"We're sucked in a world of wickedness and vice, and we need to speak clearly without stutter or stammer," declared the Rev. Adrian Rogers, whose committee drafted the Southern Baptist Convention's revised Baptist Faith and Message statement. This morning, Wednesday, in Orlando, the group approved his one-sentence statement on women. What does it say?
Send your answer by 6 p.m. ET Thursday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday's Question (No. 441)—"Owe, Canada!":
Reflecting the views of many of his colleagues on a matter affecting all Americans, J.C. Anderson of Calgary, Alberta, said, "We are going to have to drill the pants off this basin. Then, we are going to have to go north." What does he do for a living?
"He's the guy who goes up to basins in that commercial and says, 'Nice pants.' "—Francis Heaney
"He is going to perform unnecessary dentistry on anyone who will sit still, and then he's getting the hell out of town."—Rose White (Ellis Weiner and Julie Baker had similar answers.)
"I'm sorry, I'm too upset to answer. I've just been voted off the island."—Jon Delfin
"Um, is it possible for me to give an answer to this one without it becoming the property of Microsoft?"—Greg Diamond
"J.C. Anderson: So ... What's yours stand for?
J.C. Watts: You go first.
J.C. Anderson: (whisper) Jesus Christ.
J.C. Watts: Me too!
(They embrace. Curtain.)"—Jon Zerolnick & Josh Kamensky
Click for more answers.
Say what you will about Canada—although, as it happens, Americans say pretty much nothing at all about Canada—it has about the nicest national anthem going. For once, here's an anthem that doesn't try to persuade us that war is a terrific thing, unlike the anthems of the United States or France (or the books of Tom Brokaw—which don't seem nearly as fatuous when you sing them; Rolling Stones songs, same way). It's the sort of anthem that could actually be fun to sing—you know, if you weren't at a hockey game, terrified of being hit by a puck or a bunch of white guys from Nassau County. There are various lyrics to that uplifting melody (some quite filthy, and let me just add how fortunate it is for anthem writers that "penis" rhymes with "between us"), but the best known was written in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir, a lawyer and at the time the recorder for the city of Montreal. (No one knows what that job actually entailed, which left Weir much time for the composition of patriotic verse.) It was published in official form for the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927 and has since been generally accepted in English-speaking Canada. (Many French Canadians prefer a version that includes the line—and I translate from an utter fabrication—"Let's blow up some mailboxes and go into an economic collapse!") The only mystery about this wonderful song is its harping on standing guard. The words "stand on guard" are repeated five times in its nine lines. On guard against what? (Pants drilling! Thank you! Good night.) Now, everybody sing:
O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free;
And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! Glorious and free!
We stand on guard, we stand
on guard for thee,
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
A Drill a Minute Answer
He is the CEO of Anderson Explorations Ltd., a major natural gas producer.
After being beaten down for a decade, Canada's petroleum industry is back, the country having doubled its oil and tripled its natural gas exports to the United States.
"Canada is the largest total energy supplier to the United States," says Gordon Giffin, "greater than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or Mexico." Extra credit if you can identify Gordon Giffin.*
*No extra credit for identifying Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or Mexico; I'm tired of coddlin' you kids.
* He is the U.S. ambassador to Canada.
"I was all dolled up and ready to take on the world and I noticed that all of the ushers had on white beanies. I said: 'Rabbi, you are trying to intimidate me. The only one that I know that wears a white beanie is John Paul II.' "—Bishop Edward Egan, the new head of the diocese of New York, recounts a visit to a Stanford synagogue.
- Skullcap—high-tone word for beanie
- Zucchetto—Italian for skullcap, often refers to that worn by priests (white for a pope, scarlet for a cardinal, violet for a bishop, green for a joke about priest-ridden Ireland)
- Kipa—Hebrew for skullcap, often refers to that which, in Israel, a woman has to fight for the right to wear
- Yarmulke—Yiddish for skullcap, often refers to that with a Nike logo
- Beanie Baby—sometimes a term of affection for a yeshiva boy, more often refers to a small stuffed toy
From the forthcoming News Quiz anthology, News That Sounds Dirty But Isn't, who is describing what?
"It's meant to wobble. It is moving in a way that it should not move, and at the moment we do not know why that is."
A spokesman for London's Millennium Bridge Trust is describing a new $28 million footbridge across the Thames designed by Norman Foster. When the first arrivals swarmed onto the span, it swayed and bounced violently. Repairs are being considered.
Paradise Lost Ongoing Extra
Participants are invited to suggest a replacement for Fiji's official tourist slogan, "Fiji—the way the world should be," that more accurately reflects current conditions. Best slogans to run Friday.
Inspirational Sample (not for retail sale):
"Fiji—would you rather be taken hostage anyplace else?"
The comedy of literalism. And damn funny comedy it is, too.