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Week 37 : A State of Disgrace


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 14, 1993

State name: "New Colombia"

State Bird: The snipe. Or, the grouse.

State Slogan: "The Shoot-Me State." Also, "The Totally Square State."

State Flower: The Pink Parking Ticket.

State Capital: Kinko's Copy Center at 4250 Connecticut Ave. NW

State Joke: How many residents of New Colombia does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Five. One to screw in the bulb, one to chronicle the exploit in a press release, one to indignantly deny that anyone screwed anything, one to smoke a giant loaf of "crack," and Lorena Bobbitt.

Early next year, we are reliably informed, Congress is likely to take up the matter of statehood for D.C. We contend the proposed state name of "New Columbia" is not sufficiently descriptive for the nation's capital. Moreover, no serious thought has been given to other equally important considerations. This Week's Contest - Propose any of the following: A State Name. A State Flower. A State Bird. A State Slogan. A State Capital. A Governor. An insulting state joke. Best single item gets a framed photograph of Gov. Marion Barry, personally autographed by Chuck Smith of Woodbridge, unless the winner is Chuck Smith of Woodbridge, in which case the photograph will be autographed by Gary Patishnock of Laurel. 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 37, 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. 22. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. Last call for dorky middle names. Send them to The Style Invitational, Faerie of The Fine Print, with proof, and maybe win a loser's T-shirt. No purchase necessary. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 34, in which you were asked to tell us what any of these four gadgets did.

Eighth Runner-Up:

They are obviously sequential. Gadget 3 is "Star Wars" program as designed under Ronald Reagan. Gadget 1 is "Star Wars" program as modified under George Bush. Gadget 2 is "Star Wars" program redesigned and approved by Congress for $1.2 billion. Gadget 4 is actual "Star Wars" implemented after spending $4.3 billion. (David Graziano, Springfield) Seventh Runner-Up: Gadget 3 is the world's most obvious trick squirting flower. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

Sixth Runner-Up: Gadget 1 is a pooper scooper for a dog with a colostomy. (Lee Rainie and Rich Folkers, McLean and Kensington)

Fifth Runner-Up: Gadget 4 is a working model of the government's latest proposal to balance the budget. (Bob Ambler, Gaithersburg)

Fourth Runner-Up: Gadget 1 is the Energizer Bunny, as built in Mexico under NAFTA. Notice the sombrero. It keeps going and g (Joan and Frank Sellers, Falls Church)

Third Runner-Up: Gadget 1 is a tragically misdirected NASA probe to Pluto. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring; also, Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Second Runner-Up: Gadget 3 is the "Wedding Disruptor" worn by the flower guy at the ceremony of Ross Perot's daughter. (Mike Thring, Leesburg)

First Runner-Up: Gadget 3, designed at a cost of $2.6 billion by the McDonnell-Douglas Corp. at the request of the Pentagon, is the long-awaited armed services "Pansy Detector." (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C.)

And the winner of the bizarre 1895 book, "A Practical Book for Practical People":

Gadget 2 - Instruction: Welcome to your new machine. Steps a) to e) are in order to convenience you. Number a) is to start the turn. Place b) to gear in precise and careful to hear the satisfactory noise. c) Shoe part. Make the balance part d) therefore the toe of shoe part to point in similar direction to aperture f). Look! Danger to reverse this process. When all is connection, platform e) will benefit the result. (The Reef family, Gaithersburg)

Honorable Mentions:

Gadget 1:

The Ray-O-Vac Puppy. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel; also Forrest L. Miller, Rockville)

A device to help firemen find hydrants on crowded urban streets. (Bob Ambler, Gaithersburg)

A Golden Receiver. (Donna Costlow, Washington)

NASA's newest satellite tracking system, preparing for yet another "fetch" mission. (Paul Sabourin, Greenbelt)

The Chia TV. (Bob Zane, Woodbridge)

Hubble the Space Dog. (Chris Rooney, Blacksburg)

A typographical error in a NASA invoice leads government contractors to design a Solid Poopellant Rocket Launcher. (Paula Rubinoff, Oakton)

Gadget 2:

Automatic Monopoly token advancer (shown with "shoe"). (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

I don't know what it does, but we have one at work. It breaks at least once a week. (Fil Feit, Annandale)

"How a Bill Becomes Law." (Robin D. Grove, Washington)

Random Comic Insertion Programmer - This device ensures that the Washington Post comics will never be placed in the same section during the weekdays. (John Anders, Westminster)

Gadget 3:

"Depends" enters the 21st century. (Hugh McAloon, Frederick)

RoboBee. (Dan Thomas, Woodstock, Md.)

Halloween accessory: Pre-frontal lobotomy or Treat! (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Department of Defense specification watering can. (Robin D. Grove, Washington)

Human Squirt gag. Large flowers often wear these on the lapel. (Vincent Rivellese, Washington)

Lets the wearer know what Bill Clinton is thinking. (Currently leaning left, looking over his shoulder, pointing in two directions, getting attention for his haircut, handling Flowers surprisingly well and weighted down by think tanks.) (Douglas Olson, Beltsville)

Gadget 4:

A Picasso portrait of Madonna. (James Day, Gaithersburg)

Playtex crossed the support of a push-up bra with the comfort of a pastie. (Bob Zane, Woodbridge)

New environmentally safe unleaded lead weights. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Ross Perot trial balloon. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

Since the black box always survives the crash, the entire aircraft, with the exception of the balloons, is made of the black box. (Bob Zane, Woodbridge)

Prince's new middle name. (Chas. A. Henry, Fairfax Sation)

And Last:

Gadget 4: The next Style Invitational Prize, valued at $50. (Forrest L. Miller, Rockville; also Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

Next Week: Pranks for the Memories.

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