March 5, 2004

Yes, I'm back from lunch, and I've read the Times. And I've got eight observations:

1. Go ahead and hunt the protected-species eagle, because that fox is cute.

2. Who wouldn't want Hirb to give them a bath?

3. A question actually posed by a NYT writer: "Why shouldn't movie moguls get their groove on wearing $2,300 sweaters handmade in Scotland and adorned with elegant motifs like skulls with Mickey Mouse ears, marijuana plants or French phrases inviting observers to perform on one's person acts whose names cannot be printed here?"

4. Kudos to Neil MacFarquhar for thinking of an adjective to precede "clad" other than "scantily." For decades, writers have searched their minds for an alternative and now, finally, a solution: "skimpily clad." (Read the article, too, to learn how "Abdel Hakim, a strapping young Saudi, kissed Kawthar, a raven-haired Tunisian beauty, and all hell broke loose." It's about reality TV in the Mideastern milieu.)

5. When friends couple for purely economic reasons: a letter expanding on the current marriage debate. I raised some similar points here. Can two platonic friends marry just so one can get the other's health insurance benefits? Sure, if they are a man and a woman.

6. Goodbye to Stephen Sprouse, who "served guests his famous Bloody Marys in measuring cups and [whose] address book consisted of writing phone numbers on his arms with his ever-handy felt marker."

7. Harsh but hilarious words from Warren Burger, pre-Supreme Court:
[In 1961:] "I'm getting so I don't read what these 'phonies' on the S.Ct. write ... The horrible thing is that the Eisenhower appointees are doing most of the damage."
"Phonies"? I wonder if he was a big fan of "The Catcher in the Rye."
[Later:] "Last Monday's effluvia of the Nine Great Minds is worse than most. ...As I watch this batch of mediocrities function I fear for the Republic. It would be hard to add up two total Supreme Court-caliber men out of the whole nine of them."
"Effluvia"? Hey, I used to have the word "effluvia" over there in my blog description but I changed it to "various random items" to avoid being offputting when somebody said they had to look it up.

8. Six width-of-the-puzzle answers in the puzzle! Thanks, Will.

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