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|Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 24,
THIS WEEK'S CONTEST - Tell us: What do these machines do? Choose one, or more than one.
Winner receives a handsome first edition of "A Practical Book for Practical People," an eccentric volume published in 1895 containing celebrity monographs on such topics as "Tariff Legislation," "An Oration on Christopher Columbus," "The Importance of Sincerity," "How to Grow Potatoes" "The Rights of Married Women" (she may sign contracts, but in Rhode Island her note is not valid absent consent of her husband) and "The Proper Pronunciation of Commonly Used Words" ("yclept" and "zoave," for example). Because Mary Ann the Lawyer requires this, we hereby assign this obviously priceless prize an arbitrary value of $50. 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 34, 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, Nov. 1. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. No purchase necessary. (Mary Ann the Lawyer also requires us to say this, though it is absurd on its face. As if, in homes all over greater Washington each Sunday, the following conversation occurs: "Where are you going, dear?" "To the local public library so that I may enter The Style Invitational without spending a buck and a half.") Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 31, in which we asked you to divide the world into two types of people.
For some reason, this contest, more than most, encouraged the flogging of dead horses and grinding of ideological axes. "Vegetarians, and ruthless murderers." "Those who teach, and those who couldn't do what they do if they hadn't been taught." Not to mention the always charming "Women, and rapists." One excellent entry was submitted by three people and therefore narrowly failed the recently established only-one-per-thousand-entries originality test: "People who leave the seat up, and people who fall in."
There are two kinds of people in the world:
Sixth Runner-Up: People who can't do anything right, and their mothers. (Nora Corrigan, Reston)
Fifth Runner-Up: People who support Ross Perot, and sleazy space aliens out to ruin his daughter's wedding. (Chase Squires, Arlington)
Fourth Runner-Up: People opposing abortion but favoring the death penalty, and people approving of abortion but opposing the death penalty. (Chas. A. Henry, Fairfax Station) Third Runner-Up: People with short attention spans. (David and Janie Honigs, Hagerstown)
Second Runner-Up: People who wish they were married, and people who wish they were single. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
First Runner-Up: Friends of Bill, and relatives of Bill. (Donald Courtney, Olney)
And the Winner of the official flag flown over the Capitol:
People who preferred when Miss America contestants had their hair and makeup done for them by professionals, and people who wish that the contestants be required to do their own hair and makeup after being blindfolded and spun around until they are dizzy, as part of the "talent" competition. (Chris Rooney, Blacksburg, Va.)
(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
People who understand Dave Barry when, as Mr. Language Person, he tries to warn us about the imminent danger of COW'S cq that are at this very moment EXPLODING inside your neighbor's COMMODE!, and people who understand George Will. (Mike Thring, Leesburg)
People who dress shabbily, and people who can't afford designer clothes. (Forrest L. Miller, Rockville)
Solipsists. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
People who are good at grammar, and people whom are not good at grammar. (Mike Sacks, Washington)
Women, and men who don't have the courage to have a sex change. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
Normal people, and people with bumper stickers that say "I my pygmy goat." (Steve Wangsness, Arlington)
People who think Elvis Presley is alive, and people who think Paul McCartney is. (Douglas Olson, Beltsville)
Oliver Stone, and conspirators. (Paul Sabourin, Greenbelt)
People who know how to drive, and hazardous-chemical truck drivers. (Ira P. Robbins, Bethesda)
Those who can read others' thoughts, and those who laugh behind my back but will feel the purifying fire. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
Itchy, and scratchy. (Mandy Dramstad, Washington)
People who win the lottery, and people who win the plastic dog poop. (E. Gaston, Alexandria)
Egotistical, self-absorbed megalomaniacs who need to get their names in the paper, and "Steven King, Alexandria." (Steven King, Alexandria)
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