Week 745: Hurry Up and Slow Down!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

To make life go faster: Combine all acupuncture sessions into a single one, so you have 622 needles in you at the same time.

To make life go slower: Keep everything about NASCAR races the same except that the drivers now have to use little kids' pedal cars.

Don't you feel as if life is just speeding by in an incomprehensible blur? Well, not if you're at the DMV, as we'll learn below. Fifty-six-time Loser Bill Spencer of Baltimore suggests that we come up with solutions for a too-fast or too-slow world. This week: Suggest particular ways that would slow life down, or ways that would speed it up, as in Bill's examples above. You can suggest pairs of related entries, but it's not required.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets a bright red inflatable pop-up punching bag, sent as a promotion for the cable show "Bounty Girls." A blank-faced human is drawn on it, and there's a place to slide the photo of your choice over the blank face. Awww.

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. 31 (I mean, what else is there to do?). Put "Week 745" 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 Jan. 19. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Larry Yungk; this week's Honorable Mentions name is by Kevin Dopart.

Report From Week 741

in which we asked for "life lessons" that might be learned at any of four venues or situations we specified:

4. On the pot: It's only when you get to the end of the roll that you realize just how little toilet paper you really need. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

3. From watching a presidential campaign debate: You ask what life lessons can be derived from watching a presidential campaign debate? That's a very good question. As my father, who worked 37 years in a textile mill, once said . . . (Roy Ashley, Washington)

2. the winner of the Poo-Pooing (candy) Santa:

From watching a presidential campaign debate:"No Interest Till 2008" isn't just for Big Marty's Mattress Warehouse anymore. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

And the Winner of the Inker

On the pot: Floor tile installers must all be Nazis -- why else would I keep seeing so many ways to form swastikas? (Fred Dawson, Beltsville)

Less On: Honorable Mentions

Lessons learned at the supermarket:

Fruit-and-vegetable shoppers can be really rude, especially toward jugglers. (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

Never eat anything that has to have "food" in its name. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Avoid diet food at all costs: The people using that aisle all get HUGE. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

Somebody must be buying the moldy brown celery, or else why would Safeway keep stocking it? (Brendan Beary)

"15 items or fewer" is a surprisingly fluid concept, totally dependent on whether they are your items or the items of the person in front of you. (Russ Taylor, Vienna)

If you use a 50-cent coupon for some overpriced, awful thing you never heard of, you save 50 cents! (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

When you get in the express line with too many items, it doesn't help much to explain that you have to hurry because you're illegally parked in a handicapped spot. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

The manager should know by now I don't think this is a "liberry or sumpin," yet every Saturday when I open The Post to this page, he'll come over and ask me. (Brendan Beary)

The less clothing the 17-year-old girl in front of you in line is wearing, the less likely it is that the 20-year-old male cashier is going to card her for those wine coolers. (Christopher Lamora, Arlington)

If a recipe for that evening's dinner party calls for n ingredients, there will always be n-1 in stock. (Jack Sheehan, Eden Prairie, Minn.)

At the DMV:

There's no excuse for being rude, unless you are a seething caldron of bitterness and despair. (Martin Bancroft, Rochester, N.Y.)

DMV clerks have no sense of humor. You read Line 5 on the eye test chart as "U R A P I G" and they won't even give you a second chance. (Jon Reiser, Hilton, N.Y.)

The people at the opera are less likely to pull a gun when you cut into line. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

The DMV single-handedly supports the Next Counter sign industry. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

A single bad-hair day can carry a five-year sentence. (Jay Shuck)

There are an infinite number of ways to pronounce foreigners' names, apparently none of them recognizable to the holders of those names. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

From having the flu:

If you stay in bed in the fetal position for more than three days, the kids WILL learn how to pour their own bowl of cereal. (Anne Paris, Arlington)

Barbara Walters looks about 250 years old in high-definition. (Jeff Brechlin)

Kneeling in front of the toilet with the dry heaves is not unlike sitting in front of a computer trying to think of a joke about kneeling in front of the toilet with the dry heaves. (Brendan Beary)

You cannot actually fry an egg on somebody's forehead. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

Six degrees of separation is a lot when it's between 98.6 and 104.6. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

The human body can actually output more than it inputs. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

Chicken soup looks the same going down and coming up. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

From watching a presidential campaign debate:

It's actually possible to make six guys in blue suits, all saying the same vacuous things for two straight hours, seem boring. (Russell Beland)

All the candidates must have remarkable ventriloquism skill, as they all appear to be talking out of their mouths. (Dan Ramish, Vienna)

If you can't say something nice about someone, compensate by saying bad stuff over and over. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)

A "question" is a brief interruption before the candidate continues saying what he had planned to say. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

Nixon's starting to look pretty good. (Peter Metrinko)

On the pot:

There exists an almost metaphysical relationship between the toilet seat and the doorbell. (Bob Dalton)

You really do know all 50 states and their capitals. ( Ed Gordon, Deerfield Beach, Fla.)

The guy in the next stall almost never wants to do knock-knock jokes. (Jeff Brechlin)

Having yellow-stained fungus-encrusted toenails doesn't make you a bad person. (Bob Dalton)

The worst bars have the best graffiti. (Tom Witte)

Only loose shoes are overrated. (Kevin Dopart)

There's at least one person out there willing to let my phone ring twenty-seven times. (Russell Beland)

Another smell you can't cover up in a public stall is permanent Magic Marker. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

On vacation here, I've discovered I don't know squat. (Larry Yungk, up-country Thailand)

And Last:

From watching a presidential campaign debate on the pot due to having the flu: This may be hell -- but at least I'm not at the DMV. (Russ Taylor)

Next Week: Clue Us In, or Puzzled Expressions

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