The Chinese called them "seven grannies with eight teeth between them," and now they're back in a new form. What do we call them?
Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday's Question (No. 413)—"Talk Talk":
Yohei Kono, Japan's foreign minister, assesses them this way: "If the talks actually take place, they will be the first such talks in history and have an epoch-making significance." Who may be talking to whom about what?
"Yohei Kono is getting a little too excited about the next Barbara Walters special, in my opinion."—Francis Heaney
"Bob Dylan is in discussions with himself about getting back together."—JonHotchkiss
"Wow, so the Boulder police are finally going to interview JonBenet's parents. About time!"—Sharon Stern
"Producers from Fuji TV and Fox may jointly produce the new game show Who Wants To Retain a Strong Work Ethic While Respecting Your Elders?"—Michael Genrich
"Mr. Kono, to Mrs. Kono, about pretty much anything. 'My life is cold and empty,' Kono added. 'The only real human interaction I get at all is talking to you reporters. Hold me.' "—Tim Carvell
Click for more answers.
Here's who you can rule out: my Uncle Milton and my Uncle Seymour. They haven't talked for 35 years. And it's a little unnerving that Mr. Kono knows so much about my family. I suspect my Aunt Rose who has many fine qualities but cannot keep her mouth shut. And why should she? Milt and Sy are a state secret all of a sudden?
Someone else who's not talking—Tokyo's Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and anyone from out of town. "Atrocious crimes have been committed again and again by sangokujin [a derogatory term for immigrants, similar to our … well, we prefer to denigrate people on a country-by-country basis; it's more personal] and other foreigners. We can expect them to riot in the event of a disastrous earthquake."
Well, yeah. Me, too. That's pretty much my disastrous-earthquake behavior. Rioting. And cowering. But how does Gov. Ishihara know about this forthcoming disastrous earthquake? Because if he's listening to my Aunt Rose, he's nuts. She's reliable on broth but not on geology. And she was way, way off on that Comet Kahoutec thing. I've still got cans of (excellent, College Inn) broth stored under the bed.
Gov. Ishihara made his oddball remarks to the Japanese army, but because Japan is not allowed to have an army, it's called the Ground Self-Defense Force. Aunt Rose makes most of her oddball remarks at Hadassah meetings. Gov. Ishihara is urging the non-army to be prepared to round up foreigners. Aunt Rose is urging Hadassah to sponsor a bus trip to Atlantic City so she can play big money canasta. They are both significantly misinformed. Perhaps if they sat down and talked, they could sort these things out in an epoch-and-broth-making way. But I wouldn't count on Milt and Seymour showing up.
(This warm-hearted tale of Japanese and Jewish life is available for use at your Seder table. Contact News Quiz.)
38th Parallel Answer
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korea's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, will meet from June 12-14 in Pyongyang, North Korea, to discuss economic cooperation, reunification of separated families, and political reconciliation among other issues. This meeting would be the first between heads of state of the two Koreas, divided by civil war in the 1950s.
If only Larry Linville and Alan Alda had lived to see it.
Peter Lerangis' Crimson Tide Watch Follow-Up
1. "… the weekly Dunster House Doin's"
—Hey, you're cuttin' close to the bone, pal. Go Dunster. Go Zorbels.
2. How many consecutive New Quiz columns have had answers provided by five or more Harvard graduates? How many questions have been about Harvard graduates (Bill Gates doesn't count)?
—I dunno. Fiftybamillion? I learned my figurin' at one of our fine state schools. (Ed.)
Andy Aaron's Times Saving Extra
He reads the New York Times so you don't have to.
- In Monday's Times, author Carol Shields tells an anecdote about meeting a friend in a mall. She says she "couldn't resist" using this anecdote in the novel she was then writing. But "months later, when I came to read the proofs for the novel, I took the reference out. My friend would be sure to read the book, and certainly she would recognize herself."
If you know Carol Shield's friend, PLEASE DON'T TELL HER SHE WAS ON THE FRONT ARTS PAGE OF TODAY'S THE NEW YORK TIMES!
- "Previous generations thought that the people of Pompeii were justly punished by the volcano eruption, because they were so lascivious. Nothing could be less true."
An expert quoted in the New York Times on April 6, 2000
- "THE WELL-MARKED ROADS TO HOMICIDAL RAGE" (Part 2 in a series)
I'm glad the New York Times is bravely bringing the long-neglected issue of serial killers to our attention in their series of above-the-fold cover stories. Perhaps this important topic will finally get the airplay it deserves, starting a national dialogue on this overlooked subject and perhaps one day spawning movies-of-the-week, popular novels, and films about serial killers.
Copy Editor's Extra
Q: Which of the following are actual quiz participant spellings of DiCaprio?
A: Some are, some aren't.
Godzilla vs. Peter Singer.