Week 741: Well, What Do You Know?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

At the supermarket: "Express lane" is a term meaning "Do not under any circumstances have your money ready."

It could be true that everything YOU need to know you learned in kindergarten. But the rest of us, we're afraid, need a broader perspective. This week: Tell us what Major Life Lessons can be derived from any of these venues or situations.

1. From watching a presidential campaign debate

2. On the pot

3. At the DMV

4. At the supermarket

5. From having the flu

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets, in the spirit of the season, Poo-Pooing Santa Claus, who ejects jolly little red and green candies from a ho-ho-hole in his pants. It would be nice if we could get the Inker to do this too, but he has no pants.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions (or whatever they're called that week) get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 3. Put "Week 741" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published Dec. 22. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Today is National Empress Day. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. This week's contest was suggested by Russell Beland, who remembered a contest like this from seven years ago. The revised title for next week's contest is by Brendan Beary. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by Russ Taylor of Vienna.

Report From Week 737

In which we asked for songs to commemorate an occasion other than Christmas or Hanukkah, set to a well-known tune. Song parodies are an exacting genre -- there are millions of them out there, but few very good ones. The finest not only match the originals' meter and rhyme schemes (and often play cleverly off the original lyrics), but also build up to a strong ending, basically a punch line. The definitive parodies may be those from Mad magazine of the 1960s and '70s, but the tradition endures. One specialist is Loser Barbara Sarshik of McLean, who over the years has penned a whole Passover's worth of fabulous "Seder Songs" set to show tunes; you can see them at http://www.barbarasarshik.com.

3. Birth of a child (to "Makin' Whoopee")
A girl and boy,
They hug and dance,
They wed in joy,
Goodbye romance!
Amor is fleein',
For they've a wee 'un
Who's makin' poopie.
(Mae Scanlan, Washington)

2. The winner of the Slang Flashcards:
Valentine's Day (to "Under the Sea")
You wonder what you should do to
Make me want your body more,
Why the red lace thong you bought me
Is still lying in my drawer.
How could you be more alluring?
Babe, you haven't got a clue.
Just sit tight and listen closely
To the things that you should do:
Take out the trash, hang up your pants.
It wouldn't hurt to iron a shirt to
Get more romance.
Don't buy a case of fine French wine,
Just grab a jug of 409!
I will be lusting, when you are dusting.
Take out the trash!
(Barbara Sarshik)

And the Winner of the Inker

The Running of the Bulls (to "If I Only Had a Brain")
I could drink Amontillado
To work up my bravado
And quell my fear of pain.
Partly drunk and wholly crazy,
I could be all Hemingwazy
If I ran the bulls in Spain.
Yes, the notion is outlandish,
For bulls ain't Ferdinandish,
At least not in the main.
But each year, fellows pour in
To risk tramplin' and gorin'
As they run the bulls in Spain.
Oh I perhaps could die,
But what a way to go!
Yes, the end could be a mess, but even so,
I'd be so drunk, I'd hardly know!
Though my sprint is more a waddle,
There's courage in a bottle
For something so insane.
I could prove I'm really macho
Or else end up as gazpacho
If I ran the bulls in Spain.
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Bumming a Few Hars: Honorable Mentions

Public Radio Pledge "Week" (to "Simple Gifts")
'Tis the gift that's expected,
'tis the gift based on guilt,
'Tis the gift on which public radio is built.
But when they beg, interrupting all the news
'Tis hard to be willing to pay those dues.
(Ira Allen, Bethesda)

Super Bowl Sunday (to "A Wonderful Guy")
I can't wait until Super Bowl Sunday --
Mountains of munchies
and drinks with the lads.
Not that I claim to care squat for the game,
I'm in love with the wonderful ads!
Most of them featuring flatulent horses,
Bodily functions or kicks to the nads,
Lavish campaigns
in which tastelessness reigns;
I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love
I'm in love with these juvenile ads!
(Brendan Beary)

Thanksgiving (to "There's No Business Like Show Business")
There's no turkey in Tofurky,
It's faux turkey, you know.
Vegans like to eat it on Thanksgiving
Stuff it with some couscous and some dough,
Add some sprouts and shout, "Hey, this is living,
And it tastes great, too!" but I say, "Whoa --
We're meat, people, not wheat-people,
Let's eat what's apropos
We're atop the food chain, so let's act the part:
So eat real turkey, the neck and heart,
Offal's awful good, so grab a fork and start
The Great Carnivore Show!
(Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

Bastille Day (to "Y.M.C.A.")
Louie, try not to shake.
I said, Louis, things are simply not jake.
I said, Marie should have served more than cake
The peasants are revolting.
I said, Louis, it's quatorze juillet.
I said, Louis, for your hair a bad day.
You can't fall back on an auto-de-fe
The inmates are in charge.
Come on, let's have . . . Bastille Day,
Come on and let all those bon temps roulez.. . .
(George Vary, Bethesda)

Easter (to "Just a Closer Walk with Thee")
Just an Easter Bunny now,
No religion! Holy cow!
The Passion's gone from it somehow.
It's just an Easter Bunny now.
(Mike Dailey, Centerville)

The Day After Christmas
Take me out to the mall now,
Take me out to buy Peeps.
Christmas was over a day ago,
Easter's coming in three months or so,
So we'll stock up on chocolate bunnies,
And a small marshmallow bird,
'Cause it's one, two, three months until it's March twenty-third!
(Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

Easter (to "Revolution")
Oh, has there been a Resurrection?
Well, you know
That's what His disciples say.
They gave the tomb a good inspection,
Well, you know,
They found the stone was rolled away.
Just goes to prove the old expression:
That you just can't keep a good man down,
And you know He's gotta be Our Lord . . .
(Leslie Horne, Greenbelt)

Columbus Day
Ten million, nine million, eight million Indians . . .
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Halloween (to "It's a Long Way to Tipperary")
There's a wrong way to dress your daughter,
There's a wrong way, you know.
Make your daughter dress like she oughter,
And not like some two-bit ho.
Goodbye, Cinderella,
Hello, Britney Spears.
There's a wrong wrong way to dress your daughter
When she's just seven years.
(Mae Scanlan)

National Pomegranate Month (to "That's Entertainment")
The fruit that is currently hot
Helps your heart, and unthickens your snot
Dulls your pain, even better than pot
That's pomegranate!
(Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

And Last: The publication of The Style Invitational (to "Saturday in the Park")
Saturdays in The Post,
Jokes that make the ombudsman cry!
Saturdays in The Post,
Obvious that things are awry:
Poop jokes, rude jokes, almost lewd jokes:
I look at them and I scream,
"This is just so wrong!
These are stupid! Mine were better!
Can't I ink here?" Yes, I can,
But I've been waiting such a long time . . .
(Bob Dalton, Arlington)

Read more Honorable Mentions.

Next Week: So What's to Liken? or Jesting the Contrast

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