Question of the month: Where do New York Times reporters buy their drugs? The Times reports that a police crackdown on marijuana sales has driven the price of the drug in New York City to $800 an ounce, more than twice the price of gold. But High Times magazine, probably a more reliable source, says that one can buy good-quality pot for $200 to $290 an ounce on the streets of New York.
One week before the Washington state elections, pollsters predicted that a term-limit initiative on the state ballot would pass with 70 percent of the vote. But come election day the proposal lost 54 to 46 percent. Why the turnaround? Pundits sum it up in two words: Jerry Brown. Four days before the election, Linda Ronstadt's former love muffin showed up in Seattle to plug the initiative, calling it "the castor oil" that would revive good government.
Five female employees of Stroh's brewery have sued the company for sexual harassment. They claim that the "Swedish Bikini Team" commercials that Stroh's uses for its Old Milwaukee brand foster a hostile work environment. Next up? Maybe Playboy employees will sue over the centerfold.
Meanwhile, Penn State University officials have removed a copy of Goya's Naked Maja from the wall of one of the school's classrooms. A female teacher had complained that the painting created an atmosphere of sexual harassment. Any day now, some English major is going to complain that the excerpts from Byron's "Don Juan" in her Norton Anthology constitute sexual harassment.
In Ohio, Judge Thomas Nurre has come up with a novel way to punish polluters: He makes them join the Sierra Club. The judge reasons that it is no different from making a drunk driver join an alcohol-treatment program. I guess the next step is making those who run afoul of sodomy laws watch The 700 Club.
Supporters called it Turn Off the TV Day. Groups including Morality in Media, the Christian Film and Television Commission, the National Christian Association, and the American Family Association mounted a high-profile campaign to get Americans to protest prime-time sex and immorality by turning off their TVs for one night. But the numbers are in, and Turn Off Day was one of the highest-rated days of the season, up slightly over the same date the previous year. ABC's Coach was one of the big winners; the show scored its highest rating ever with a story about a gay football player. Maybe the networks themselves will sponsor future Turn Off the TV Days.
Says Democratic presidential candidate Tom Harkin: "When I'm president, every double-breasted, scab-hiring, union-busting employer…will know that working people have a friend in the White House." And in that vacation home that Harkin owns in the Bahamas.
Promoting the soundtrack to his concert film Dice Rules, raunch comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay told an interviewer, "It's like licking the bottom of an ashtray when you listen to this album."
In Japan, Antonio Inoki, who is both a professional wrestler and a national senator, was delivering a political speech at a university in Tokyo when his old nemesis Tiger Jeet Singh challenged him to a match at an upcoming card. Maybe we could import this practice to America. The next time Ernest Hollings starts to drone on and on, Alan Simpson could sneak up on him and bop him with a chair.
And in Mexico, the pro wrestlers' union has asked President Carlos Salinas de Gortari to mediate a dispute between the grapplers and the country's biggest promoter. And George Bush thinks it's difficult to deal with Congress.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".