End Game

What did we know, and when did we know it?

February 09, 1999|By Laura Lippman | Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF

It was important, or so they kept telling us.

It was not about sex. Or so they kept telling us.

They also told us that President Clinton was gone, he was toast (Cokie, Sam, the two Georges -- Stephanopoulos and Will -- c. February 1998). They said he was here to stay forever, he was invincible. (Cokie, Sam, the two Georges, c. November 1998.) And then -- but you get the point.

Now that it appears to be all but over -- this scandal has roared back to life more times than Michael Myers, the masked killer in the "Halloween" movies -- it turns out they were right about one thing -- it's not about sex. It's about trivia.

Monica's thong, Rehnquist's stripes, hot chocolate at the Ritz-Carlton, "Vox." Altoids, the blue dress, the black beret, the Shooting Gallery baseball cap, the Mayflower Hotel. Hatpin, the Big Creep, Handsome, POTUS. It was a list, it was a litany, it was the rough draft of a Barenaked Ladies song.

Herewith, as the Senate approaches a vote on the impeachment charges, a quiz on the "juicies," as Monica herself might call them. Forty-odd questions -- some very odd -- compiled from the Starr report and press accounts.

And if you don't know any of the answers? Consider yourself lucky.

I: `That Woman'

1. What does the "S" stand for in Monica S. Lewinsky?

2. What is Monica's astrological sign?

3. Monica's mother, Marcia Lewis, once wrote a book about the love lives of the "Three Tenors." Name all three. To which tenor has Lewis been linked, at least by her own coy syntax?

4. Who photographed Monica for Vanity Fair?

5. Women deposed in the Paula Jones case were referred to as "Jane Does" to protect their identities. What number Jane Doe was Monica?

6. What color was Monica's White House pass?

7. Although Monica was very choosy about her future job prospects ("I am not someone's administrative assistant/executive assistant," she wrote in her "wish list" to the president) there was one organization for which she was willing to do "anything." Name it.

II: Monicanomics

1. What was Monica's salary at the Pentagon?

2. Vernon Jordan no longer bills by the hour at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. But when he did, what did he charge?

3. Word problem: The stated first printing for "Monica's Story" (St. Martin's Press) is 500,000, her rumored advance was $600,000 and the retail price is $24.95. Assuming that Monica's royalty averages out to 12.5 percent per book, how many copies does St. Martin's have to sell before Monica -- you'll excuse the expression -- earns out?

4. How much did George Stephanopolous get for his story?

5. How much did it cost to purchase the Starr report?

6. What was the amount of the settlement paid to Paula Corbin Jones? How much of it does she get to keep?

7. Argentina is considering adopting the U.S. dollar as its currency, and one newspaper there is up in arms. What has it dubbed the proposal?

III: Youthful indiscretions

1. How did Kenneth Starr pay for college?

2. What crime was Linda R. Tripp charged with as a 19-year-old? To what charge did she plead guilty?

3. Which of the following did Monica Lewinsky not do?: a) alter a transcript b) forge a letter c) make the dean's list d) have an affair with a teacher e) sell earrings at Claire's Boutique.

4. Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal has been called "Sid Vicious." To what band did the real Sid Vicious belong? What was his girlfriend's name?

5. Where did cyber-gossip Matt Drudge grow up? What was his scholastic average?

6. In what landmark civil rights case did Chief Justice William Rehnquist argue against desegregation?

7. How old was Rep. Henry Hyde when he began his "youthful indiscretion" (a five-year affair with a married woman)?

IV: The chattering classes

1. What kind of car does Matt Drudge drive?

2. Pick the rabid, blond pundit. Of the following TV talking heads -- Ann Coulter, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, Laura Ingraham and Chris Matthews -- who said the following:

a) "We're now at the point that's beyond whether this guy is a horny hick."

b) "Do you remember `The Brady Bunch' episode where Greg Brady said, `I'm only going to live by exact words'? And do you remember what happens to him at the end of that, the moral of the whole story, `I'm gonna live by exact words.' ... And he says, `Oh, I'll wash the car tonight,' and he has to do it before midnight?"

c) (To Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson, a k a Mary Ann and the Professor from "Gilligan's Island"): "If President Clinton were stranded on an island with all you guys, which woman in the cast would -- and I'm including Lovey Howell -- would he speak to first?"

d) "I think his real weakness is not he likes women. Everybody likes women who are men -- or most of us do."

3. What malady did Cokie Roberts complain of as the year came to a close?

4. Who offered the theory that "Establishment Washington" was outraged by the scandal because "lying offends them." (Hint: It was not a satirical comment.)

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