It seems like back in the day the column answered some pretty dumb questions. Of the “classics” currently posted, this is verging on “why do you drive on the parkway and park on the driveway.” The Jimmy Carter one is stupid because the obvious answer is “he said he did, and we can’t really ever know what he saw or thought he saw.” The love potion one is either whimsical to the point of twee or, again, dumb.
I guess I’m kind of glad the questions that make it into the column these days are either fairly hardcore factual or interesting metaphysical, at least more than some of these “classics.”
Note that the columns about love potions, Jimmy Carter, and one hand clapping all come from a chapter of the original Straight Dope book called “The Divine, the Mystical, and the Just Plain Weird.” Soon we’ll be into “S-E-X” which may be more to your liking.
Lisa: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Bart: Piece of cake. [claps with one hand]
Lisa: No, Bart, it’s a 3000-year-old riddle with no anwer.
It’s supposed to clear your mind of conscious thought.
Bart: No answer? Lisa, listen up! [claps with one hand]](http://www.snpp.com/episodes/7F08.html)
Koans usually dont have only one answer. “The wings of a butterfly” is acceptable, or extending the hand palm up (like asking for a handout), clapping normally, or possibly slapping your zen master, though this one is more likely ancient humor.
Koans are more about the journey than the destination anyway, so asking for the answer is kind of silly (but fun).