Week 35 : Light At The End

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 31, 1993

This week's contest: Tell the federal government what it should do with the 14-mile-long, 15-foot-diameter sausage-shaped tunnel it dug near Waxahachie, Tex., for the Superconducting Super Collider project that was scrapped by Congress last week.

1. End world hunger by using it to make the world's largest bratwurst.

2. A Habitrail for rhinoceroses.

3. A very large diagram to explain to residents of the American southwest what a bagel looks like.

4. Lay down 15 miles of cheap, fuzzy carpet and make it a laboratory to unravel the mysteries of static electricity.

5. Build a really big city on top and make it the world's largest municipal septic tank.

First-prize winner receives three terra cotta lawn pigs, a value of $75.

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 35, 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. 8. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. No purchase necessary. Hi! This is the Faerie of the Fine Print. Do you have a really really bad middle name? Send your name, with proof (such as a photocopy of your birth certificate or driver's license). Dorkiest names get losers' T- shirts. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 31, in which you were asked to come up with concepts for performance art audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to get public funding.

Fourth Runner-Up: A man dressed as a police officer goes into Arlington National Cemetery, stopping at each tombstone and saying, "You have the right to remain silent." (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

Third Runner-Up: Seven bistro-style tables surrounded by chairs are randomly arranged in a room. People are laughing, talking, eating and drinking. Suspended above them is a six-foot Plexiglas cube. Inside, a naked man hangs upside down by ankle shackles. He is smoking. He smokes until the glass box is filled with smoke and he can no longer be seen. The title of the piece is "Smoking Section." (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C.)

Second Runner-Up: The poor are invited to a picnic featuring free watermelons, and are photographed randomly. They do not know that the watermelons were grown from seeds that have passed through the digestive systems of members of Congress. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

First Runner-Up: Five million yards of gold lame' are used to sew an evening gown for the J. Edgar Hoover Building. (Jan Verrey, Arlington)

And the winner of the Fred Flintstone costume:

A woman advertises a major speech on health care reform. When the 10,000-seat arena fills up, she stands at the lectern clearing her throat, tap-tapping the mike, and saying, "Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?" until every last member of the audience gets embarrassed and leaves. (Tom Gearty, Arlington)

Honorable Mentions:

A major art exhibit is scheduled, featuring many famous paintings. The paintings are displayed, but turned to face the wall, so only the backs of the canvases can be seen. Air is pumped into the gallery from the men's room of a nearby Mexican restaurant. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Two cars are hitched together with a towing bar. One artist gets in each of the cars, and they drive up and down the interstate in HOV- 2 lanes. (Douglas Olson, Beltsville)

A man attempts to place an entire side of beef in the overhead bin of a full shuttle flight to New York. (Stu Segal, Vienna)

A box is placed on display in a museum. The cover is closed, but not locked. A sign below the box explains that there is a magnificent painting inside, but that the box is booby-trapped. The instant it is opened, acid will spatter the artwork, ruining it. (Brian Easter, Centreville)

A deaf woman gives a dramatic sign-language rendition of the "I Have a Dream" speech to a room full of blind Ku Klux Klan members. (Tom Gearty, Arlington)

A woman dressed as a meter maid places $5 bills and "Thank you for parking in D.C." fliers on all cars parked on downtown streets. (Robin D. Grove, Washington)

A man dressed as the Easter Bunny drives a VW bus through tollbooths without paying until he gets arrested. A man dressed as the Tooth Fairy comes to bail him out. (Tom Gearty, Arlington)

A man and a woman play "Rock Paper Scissors Match" to the death. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

A man writes a check, made out to himself, for the precise amount of the national debt. He tries to cash it at a bank. (Chris Rooney, Blacksburg)

The following phrase is displayed on buses and billboards throughout the city: "If you don't like this then you don't understand it." (Mark Horowitz, Los Angeles)

A man goes from one government agency to another applying for work using the voice and mannerisms of Curly from the Three Stooges. (Mike Thring, Leesburg)

And Last:

A man goes to work every weekday for 45 years, receives a gold watch, and dies. (Dick Chenoweth, Silver Spring)

NEXT WEEK: Post Impressionism.

ILLUSTRATION,,Marc Rosenthal For Twp

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