No. 378: "Coarse Correction"

No. 378: "Coarse Correction"

No. 378: "Coarse Correction"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Feb. 2 2000 9:36 PM

No. 378: "Coarse Correction"

Assessing George W. Bush's defeat in the New Hampshire primary, the New York Times reports that "The outcome also set off a furious round of finger-pointing among Mr. Bush's advisers" over three mistakes Bush made in the campaign. Name one. (Question courtesy of Greg Diamond.) 


Send your answer by noon ET Thursday to

Tuesday's Question (No. 377)--"Hypothreatical":

"If I were to lose my mind right now and pick one of you up and dash your head against the floor and kill you, would that be right?" Who recently posed this question to whom in order to make what point?

  "John Rocker, to his fellow commuters on the No. 7 train."—Larry Amoros


"Amazing. Christina Ricci still plays with her dolls?"—Greg Diamond

"Come on, Hamlet, leave those lobsters alone!"—Laura Miller

"George W. said this to reporters, defending the death penalty. But he probably wouldn't have scared them so much when he said it if he hadn't been hopped up on crack."—Francis Heaney

"Call me old-fashioned, but I preferred it when Tickle Me Elmo simply giggled."—Tim Carvell


Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

"If I were to lose my mind right now …" How would we know? That's what many participants asked about various Republican presidential candidates. (But mostly Alan Keyes.) Or, as the philosopher puts it: How do you know you are a man dreaming of a butterfly and not a butterfly dreaming of picking up a sparrow and dashing its head against a tree and killing it? One way to tell: Consult "Health For Life," a New York City seventh-grade textbook, which not only offers a clear definition of mental health but also provides photographs of three sane people, each embodying one of the three essentials of lucidity—"they feel good about themselves; they are able to get along with other people; they are able to meet the demands of life." It would be difficult to say all three things about Mike Tyson, or any of the 35 or 40 NFL players arrested for violent crimes this week, or about Rudolph Giuliani, for that matter. Offering practical advice, the textbook suggests: "Getting involved in organized activities can help improve mental health." And surely a presidential primary campaign is an organized activity. (But not for Alan Keyes.)

 And Yet He's Still Trailing in the Polls Answer


Alan Keyes said it to a group of terrified New Hampshire elementary-school children to show that abortion is wrong. Apparently it was some sort of slippery-slope argument: First you bash a toddler's brains out, then you ask your doctor to prescribe Preven, and then—who knows?—safe, reliable contraception.

 By Their Housewares You Shall Know Them Extra

Can you identify the functions of each of the following, all featured in the current Macy's Home Sale catalog?

The Products


  1. Vanguard 2000 8-Piece
  2. Hoover WindTunnel Ultra
  3. Rowenta Professional P2
  4. Atlantic Infinity III
  5. Metropolis 2000
  6. Delsey Privilege II
  7. Ricardo Big Sur 2000

The Functions

  1. Alas, not the high-tech breakthrough we've been hoping for from Colonel Sanders, this is a set of pots and pans; $69.99 after rebate.
  2. Not just a vacuum cleaner, a chance to make up an oral sex joke about Clyde Tolson. On sale for $299.99.
  3. It's an iron. A $140 iron. But it's got anti-drip technology. As does my Uncle Morty. And Medicare paid for his. There are many problems government can solve.
  4. Luggage. Or a car. Or a stereo. Some kind of modern product that no doubt can connect you to the Internet.
  5. Purists may balk at remakes of the so-called classics, but I ask: Is there anything that Scream guy can't do? And you counter: This is just more luggage, isn't it? And I say: Well, yes, and I suppose your precious Fritz Lang is too good to carry luggage. And then we all have another drink.
  6. Ken Follett's newest. No wait—an upper-crust country and western singer. OK. Luggage.
  7. Should I resume my professional wrestling career, I shall fight under that name. Until then, luggage.

The Lesson Learned

The number 2000 is this year's "with attitude." Slap it on the end of anything, and it sounds cool and modern, especially luggage.

Common Denominator

Alan Keyes is nuts.