Week 20 : Comic Relief


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jul 18, 1993

Well, here we are, five months into this tawdry little competition, and not yet hauled away in shackles by the dreaded Propriety Police. There have been close calls, mes amis, but - ha ha HA! - still we survive, a tiny underground cell of grizzled partisans with reddened eyes and bourbon breath, lobbing stinkbombs at the pompous. Fact: Even The Washington Post does not know who we are. We strike each week from different locations in the Post building, and then scurry away like rats to fight another day.

Yesterday, while we were holed up in a dank bunker near the Post morgue, we came across old comics published 60 years ago today, July 18, 1933. "The Gumps" and "Looie Blooie, Attorney at Law." Pretty dated material, eh? This week's contest: Rewrite the cartoons, filling in your own balloons, to make them funnier and more timely.

First-prize winner will receive six ripe tomatoes from Joel Achenbach's back yard, plus a spectacular vintage 1930s typewriter, a value of about $100. Runners-up, as always, get the coveted Style Invitational losers' T-shirts. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to the Style Invitational, Week 20, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or fax them to 202-334-4312. Entries must be received on or before Monday, July 26. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. No purchase necessary. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 17, in which you were asked to come up with inventive ways to reduce the federal deficit:

Fifth Runner-up: Declare Chapter 11 and start over under the new name, "The United States IN America." (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

Fourth Runner-Up: Have government agents get real friendly with the wealthiest people in the world and weasel themselves into their wills. (Paul Styrene, Olney)

Third Runner-Up: Require terrorists to pay for blasting permits. (Howard Waler, Catlett, Va.)

Second Runner-Up: Charge a nickel for every time someone begins a sentence with "If I had a nickel for every time ... ." (Paul Sabourin, Greenbelt)

First Runner-Up: Have the CIA search couches for coins. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

And the winner of the rubber chicken and ceramic cat:

Refinance! (Steven King, Alexandria)

Honorable Mentions:

Add to tax return: "Check here if you want to donate $1 trillion to reduce the deficit." That way, we'd only need four people. (Larry Rubin, Pikesville)

Sue Kim Basinger for the entire sum. She's so hated that any jury anywhere will side against her. (Steve A. Weinstein, Los Angeles)

"If you break the chain you will have 10 years of bad luck. Send $10 to the name on the top of the list (U.S. Treasury, Washington D.C.) and ... ." (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

Leave town and give no forwarding address. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

Ask families to add this note to obituaries: In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the federal government. (C. Lynne Richardson, Burtonsville)

Move the decimal point five places to the left. (Steven King, Alexandria; also, Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

1. Turn control of economy over to New York Mets management. 2. Tell them they have to increase the deficit. (Paul Sabourin, Greenbelt)

Claim that all of the U.S. government's creditors made an attempt on Bush's life; indignantly default. (Cara and Elena Horowitz, Bethesda)

Have the government publish classified ads saying, "Make Thousands Stuffing Envelopes, $2 for info." Then send worthless info costing only 29 cents postage. (Kathy Weisse, Sykesville)

Hit Cntrl-Alt-Del (Paul Styrene, Olney)

Torch White House, collect insurance. (Abner Felix McBundy, Silver Spring)

Torch Al Gore, collect insurance. (Abner Felix McBundy, Silver Spring)

Beat swords into Microsoft shares. (Douglas H. Ricker, Beltsville)

Replace Greenspan and Panetta with existential economists who proceed to prove that there is no deficit. (Mary Lee Fox Roe, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

Change the number base to a larger system so that all the numbers will be smaller. (Forrest L. Miller, Rockville)

Open a bungee jumping concession at the Washington Monument. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

And Last:

Reinstitute public hanging. Begin with Style Invitational staff. While thousands of Post readers watch and rejoice, steal their wallets. (Paul Sabourin, Greenbelt)

Next Week: We Assassinate The Post.


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