No. 393: "Pro and Contrite"

No. 393: "Pro and Contrite"

No. 393: "Pro and Contrite"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
March 3 2000 3:30 AM

No. 393: "Pro and Contrite"

A newly released Vatican document outlines a sweeping apology the pope will deliver next week for the church's historical failings. Name one. (Question courtesy of Josh Pollack.)


Send your answer by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to Wednesday's Question (No. 392)—"A Touching Story":"This is something any member of the public could have felt while handling, pushing, grabbing ... ," said Jeffrey Lamken, a U.S. assistant solicitor general, to a skeptical Supreme Court Tuesday. "At least in my experience, people don't take it out and feel it," Justice Ginsburg demurred. "It does seem to me that another passenger does not have the right to start squeezing my ... ," argued Justice Kennedy. In this case, Bond vs. United States, who squeezed what? (Note: For responses to No. 392, the penis-free zone is invoked.)

"A 6-year-old; a trigger."—Katha Pollitt

"Must ... not ... say ... can't ... use word ... blacking … out …"—Daniel Krause

"Enough about Dan Savage already."—Greg Narver

"I'm sorry. If I'm not allowed a dick joke, I'm not going to play."—TimCarvell

"Scalia grabbed his penis! PENIS! PENIS! PENIS! SCALIA GRABBED HIS PENIS! HAHAHA!!"—Al Cloutier

Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up
       Hmmm. Maybe I should have used a little reverse psychology, like Tom Sawyer painting that fence, and said, "Every reply must include a penis reference and that the penis better not have a fresh coat of whitewash slapped on it by the time Aunt Polly gets home!" This restriction was intended not to inhibit but to inspire you, as the sonnet form did Keats or the Second Amendment does the National Rifle Association, to unprecedented creative efforts—like Keats' "Ode on Bond, James Bond"; or the NRA's "Guns Don't Kill People, an Inexpensive Brand of Toilet Paper Kills People." I dreamed of a new era, both of the squeezed and the squeezer, who need not have been named Bond, but if it had to be Bond, couldn't it have been Julian Bond or Ward Bond or Gary "U.S." Bonds or beloved songwriter Carrie Jacobs Bond, who delighted us all at the beginning of this century with "A Perfect Day" and "I Love You Truly." Perhaps next time you'll embrace the restrictions, if the question is a simple fill-in-the-blanks, but you must answer it blindfolded, while weasels gnaw at your ankles, and your trousers are set ablaze, and the flames race toward—the hell with it—your penis. (Or, gender-relevant genital equivalent.)

Search Me, Seize Me, Touch Me, Squeeze Me Answer
       A federal agent squeezed Steven Bond's soft luggage, stashed in the overhead bin of a Greyhound bus, and found a pound of methamphetamine.
       The government's Mr. Lamken argued that there was no search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment because Bond had no reasonable expectation of privacy once he placed his luggage where anyone could touch it.
       Several of the justices dismissed this argument, recalling from their own actual overhead bin experience that while someone might move your bag to make room for his, you don't expect anyone to go poking and prodding your luggage.
       "You assume that touching and looking, for Fourth Amendment purposes, are identical," chided Justice Souter, "and I don't see that identity at all." He added, "People can stare at you on the street, but if they start patting down your pockets, you'll think a different value is involved."
       Justice Scalia, unsurprisingly, insisted that one could not assume the privacy of luggage stowed in a public place, or indeed anywhere else that the police felt like looking, if I correctly interpret his remarks, which I certainly do not, at least not beyond the word "place."

Party With Pat Extra
       On March 24, at the Washington Hilton and Towers, the Christian Coalition will host Pat Robertson's 70th birthday party. Which of the following are actual events at the $100-a-person affair?

       1. Swat-the-Jew Human Piñata
       2. John McCain Piranha Dunk Tank
       3. Pin the Tail on the Pope Then Kick His Infidel Ass Straight to Hell
       4. Singing of "Happy Birthday" by Entirely Straight—No, Really—Bare-Chested Male Chorus
       5. Giant Bonfire at Women's Health Center (ask for your complimentary gas can)
       6. Rushdie Hunt, in Sympathy With Our Taliban Bretheren
       7. Crowning of "Miss/Mr. Old, Rugged, Cross"
       8. Reunion Barbecue: Hookers Who've Serviced an Evangelical (reservations recommended; seating limited to first 10,000)
       9. Post-the-Ten-Commandments-on-Strom-Thurmond's-(Or-Your-Own-)Ass Tattoo Parlor
       10. Formal Declaration That for Today Only, "Life Begins With Consumption of a Quart of Malt Liquor and a Couple of Slim Jims"

       None is an official event, but once these fundamentalists get rolling, who knows? For more information on the actual party or to reserve your spot, call (800) 325-4746.

Common Denominator
       James Bond, Mr. Whipple.


Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.