Week 53 : Cruel Fete

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Mar 6, 1994

How the Style Invitational

Has Changed America:

1. Restored dignity to colostomy jokes.

2. Umm . . .


This week's contest was proposed by the Czar of the Style Invitational, who wins a 1994 Honda Prelude. The Czar proposes that on the occasion of its first birthday, this contest finally get the credit it is due. Tell us how the Invitational has changed America. First-prize winner receives a framed Official Photograph of President Clinton, in which he is slightly out of focus, personally autographed by Frank Ahrens. This is worth about $50. Runners-up, as always, get the coveted Style Invitational losers' T-shirts. Honorable Mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper stickers. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to The Style Invitational, Week 53, 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, March 14. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. No purchase necessary. The Faerie of the Fine Print & the Ear No One Reads makes a final call for photos of your pets wearing costumes. Mail to Dumb Pet Pix, The Style Invitational, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. If you want the pix returned, send a SASE. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 50, in which you were asked to come up with a new federal holiday between Presidents' Day and Memorial Day:

Fifth Runner-Up: DISGRUNTLED POSTAL WORKER DAY Date: First Monday in April. How observed: Fired postal workers come in to seek revenge, only to find that everyone is at home due to the new holiday. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Fourth Runner-Up: PMS DAY Date: Just before one of those days in March. Observed: Tell off someone who supposedly loves you but who has inconsiderately hurt you deeply. You have license to use phrases such as "If you don't know, I am not going to tell you" and may routinely begin sentences with "If you think for one moment that . . ." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Third Runner-Up: MALE RIGHTS DAY Date: Whenever they want. Observed: However they choose. (Linda K. Malcolm, Silver Spring)

Second Runner-Up: FEMALE POWER DAY Date: Some crappy day in February that nobody ever remembers. Observed: Running errands and catching up on the laundry. (Linda K. Malcolm, Silver Spring)

First Runner-Up: NATIONAL CULTURAL ILLITERACY DAY Date: The Ides of March, the day Sid Caesar was murdered. Observed: People gather at designated places to discuss why most Americans don't know such simple things as the title of Geoffrey Chaucer's last opera, the name of the artist who painted the "1812" Overture, and the date World War I broke out in Luxembourg. (Thomas Edward Knibb, Walkersville)

And the Winner of animals made of cow dung:

PALINDROME AWARENESS DAY Date: 4/9/94. How observed: Gag; Poop; Step on no pets. (Laura M. Clairmont, Centreville)

Honorable Mentions:

SOCIAL SECURITY DAY Date: May 9. Observed: Children costumed as elderly people go door to door asking for cash "entitlements." (Peyton Coyner, Afton, Va.)

DEPENDENCE DAY Date: The Fourth of April. Observed: Constituents write to their congressmen to ask when taxes are due, how to apply for Social Security and where to buy postage stamps. (Don Maclean, Burke)

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY Date: May 16, James Madison's birthday. Observed: You visit the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses and urge them to convert to your religion. (Jane Paulkovich, Burtonsville)

JEFFREY DAHMER DAY Date: Feb. 29. Observed: Eat your heart out. (Laura M. Clairmont, Centreville)

PALM MONDAY Date: March 28. Observed: Hire a lobbyist to grease a public official's hand. (Don Maclean, Burke)

NATIONAL CHILDREN'S EAR INFECTION DAY Date: The day the round-trip tickets become nonrefundable. Observed: Buying a round of amoxicillin for the house. (Bruce W. Alter, Springfield)

MAY ONE DAY Date: May 1. Observed: Doing all the fun things you've been promising yourself during the past year: "I may one day have time to do that." (Kathy Weisse, Sykesville)

WHISTLEBLOWER APPRECIATION DAY Date: April 1. Observed: Federal employees get a holiday. Agency management uses the day to install new hidden recording devices at whistleblowers' workstations. (Sarah Worcester, Bowie)

GROUNDHOG ANNIHILATION DAY Date: March 16, six weeks after Groundhog Day. Observed: Everyone seeks revenge for bad winter weather by declaring open season on groundhogs. (Chris Rooney, Blacksburg)

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS DAY Date: The first Monday in April. Observed: You cut off the end of your blanket, and sew it onto the other end to lengthen it. (Susan Wenger, Montgomery Village.)

PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION DAY Date: April 14. Observed: Northerners go to the theater and hide under a seat. Southerners run into a barn and burn it down. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

NON-GEOCENTRIC LIFE FORMS APPRECIATION DAY Date: Variable. Observed: Celebrated so as not to marginalize individuals born elsewhere in the solar system. If inhabitants of Mercury are so honored, this holiday has the additional attraction of recurring every 88 days. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

NATIONAL PERJURER DAY Date: I really don't remember. Observed: I'm not sure. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

REAL ESTATE TAX ASSESSORS DAY Date: Third Monday in April. Observed: Small furry animals are shaved, equipped with miniature three-piece suits and clipboards, then hacked into small pieces and fed, bit by bit, to packs of ravening wolves. (Kate Koutsavlis, taxing authority withheld by request)

BIRTH GIVING DAY Date: Third Sunday in March, nine months after Father's Day. Observed: Flushing any extra savings down the toilet. (Kevin Cuddihy, Blacksburg)

DAR DAY Date: April 19, the anniversary of the battles of Lexington & Concord. Observed: Open a vein to see who has the bluest blood. Tea and tourniquets to follow. (Robert Schoeberlein, Baltimore)

NATIONAL BUREAUCRATS DAY Date: A weekday between March 15 and April 15, the exact day to be determined each year by an interagency committee; however, the holiday may not fall on the same date more than once every five years except in the case of leap years, when it shall fall on the same date as the year before. In the event the committee cannot reach a consensus on the date, the holiday may be skipped unless the year number is odd, in which case the date shall be March 16. Observed: Watch the delayed C-SPAN coverage of the committee deliberations to set the date.

DIVERSITY DAY Date: May 1. Observed: In public gatherings, heterosexual males of Western European descent are stripped and flogged with rolled copies of The Washington Post. (Tod Butler, Kensington)

Next Week: Caption Crunch, II.

ILLUSTRATION,,Marc Rosenthal For Twp

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