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.
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.)
5. Christopher Hitchens, a long- time Clinton hater, became a player in the final days of the scandal by signing an affidavit in which he accused Blumenthal of telling him that Monica was a "stalker." Which of the following was Hitchens' preferred title for a documentary on Mother Teresa?: a) Sacred Cow b) Hell's Angel or c) The Missionary Position.
6. Maureen Dowd's column, "Liberties," runs twice a week in the New York Times. What percentage of her columns since Jan. 25, 1998, have managed to include at least one reference to the Clinton scandal?
V: Product placement
Explain the significance of the following terms in the Lewinsky scandal:
3. "Geek Love"
4. A Victor Alfaro cocktail dress
5. The Tandy Corp.
7. Macadamia nuts
(Way Too Much
1. Why, according to Monica, did President Clinton scoff at reports he had made a pass at Kathleen Willey?
2. Who lost his job for publishing a report that seemed to bolster President Clinton's definition of "sexual relations"?
3. What did Monica give Bill at his 50th birthday party?
4. How did Monica perk up her spirits while staying at a spa?
5. Who finally got "presidential knee pads"?
6. So, like, boxers or briefs?
1. Samille 2. Monica is a Leo, born July 23, 1973. (One year and two weeks before Richard M. Nixon resigned. Coincidence?) 3. The Three Tenors are Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. It was Domingo that made Lewis sing ... his praises. 4. Herb Ritts shot Monica at Malibu, draped in the American flag. 5. She wasn't his first love -- Monica was Jane Doe No. 6. 6. Her pass was pink, silly! 7. Monica said she would do "anything" for John F. Kennedy Jr.'s George magazine.
Monica's salary -- base plus an extra allowance for living in D.C. -- was $32,736. 2. Vernon Jordan billed at $425 an hour. 3. "Monica's Story" needs to sell about 200,000 copies before she can collect royalties. 4. George Stephanopoulos enjoyed one of publishing's biggest paydays -- $2.75 million. 5. It depends: You could buy abridged paperback versions for as little as $5.99, but if you wanted all six volumes from the Government Printing Office and Clinton's rebuttal, it would run you $178.25. 6. Jones was awarded $850,000, but it's unclear how much she will have after she pays her lawyers. 7. The proposal has been called "El plan Monica."
1. Starr sold Bibles door-to-door. 2. Tripp was accused of larceny and pleaded guilty to loitering. 3. Monica never worked in Claire's Boutique. (She did have a stint at the Knot Shop, hence, the six ties she gave Clinton.) 4. Vicious was a member of the Sex Pistols. He was accused of killing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungeon. 5. Matt Drudge grew up in Takoma Park and earned a D average at a Montgomery County high school. 6. As a clerk to Justice Robert Jackson during Brown vs. Board of Education, Rehnquist wrote a memo saying Plessy, the precedent for separate-but-equal schools, should be reaffirmed. 7. Hyde was 42, which suggests that the distinguished congressman from Illinois has effectively redefined middle-age, bless his heart.
1. At last report, Drudge was driving a Geo Metro. 2. a) Coulter b) Fitzpatrick c) Ingraham d) Matthews. 3. Roberts complained of "a suburban housewife crisis" during the holiday crush. ("Guys don't shop. Guys don't cook," she said. "I'm sitting here, a week before Christmas, with a gift catalog on my lap, waiting to go on the air.") 4. Sally Quinn explained to Washington Post readers that "Establishment Washington" is offended by lying and reveres the presidency. 5. Hitchens wanted to call the film "Sacred Cow." 6. 87.25 percent -- 89 out of 102 -- of Dowd's columns have mentioned the scandal (although New York magazine notes she began blasting Starr once she started dating actor/Democrat/recovering sex addict Michael Douglas).
1. This Gilbert and Sullivan operetta inspired the stripes on Rehnquist's robe. 2. The lyrics from this Sara McLaughlan CD were quoted in the Starr report. Monica said the song "Do What You Have to Do" reminded her of Clinton. 3. This fine Katherine Dunn novel was a gift from Monica to the president, but it didn't have the same titillating connection to the scandal as Nicholson Baker's "Vox." 4. Rumor had it that this dress, not the Gap model, was the one with the presidential, um, seal. 5. Tandy owns Radio Shack, where Linda Tripp spent $19.95 for the device she used to record Monica. 6. POTUS is what Caller ID showed on Monica's phone when the president called her from the Oval Office. (Partial credit for "the big He," "Handsome" or "the Big Creep.") 7. Macadamia nuts -- nada, although rumors insisted they were in Starr's report.
1. Willey could not have been an object of Clinton's affections because she has small breasts. 2. George Lundberg, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, lost his job. 3. Monica grabbed the president's crotch at his 50th birthday party. 4. Monica "did" the nutritionist, according to an e-mail she sent a friend. 5. Clinton received knee pads from Monica, after his knee surgery. 6. All of the above: He wore boxers once, blue briefs on another occasion and once, post-surgery, gray shorts.
Pub Date: 2/09/99