Week 72 : Oh, hell.


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jul 10, 1994

Pee-Wee's Hell: Darkened theater. Fabulous dirty movie on an endless loop. Both hands stuck in bowling balls.

June Allyson's Hell: She keeps waking up in the Lincoln Bedroom with her hand in a bowl of water.

George Bush's Hell: He is at a lectern, speaking to a group of deaf people. For all eternity they sit there, reading his lips.

Tammy Faye Bakker's Hell: She is at her dressing table. She has just awakened. The Archbishop of Canterbury awaits her momentarily. All her makeup is missing. In desperation, she must consider using the only three things that are available: spackle, Pla-Doh and lime Jell-O with floating grapes.

This week's contest was suggested independently by Mike Sam of Fairfax and some dipstick who keeps sending in mediocre entries under the pseudonym "Chuck Roast, Woodbridge." Sam wins an unbelievably ugly T-shirt featuring a highway map of Columbus, Ohio. Roast will win one too if he ever reveals himself. Sam 'n' Roast (Salmon Roast?) suggest coming up with the perfect vision of hell for a famous person, living or dead. First-prize winner gets a nifty music-activated swaying plastic Frog Band, a $30 toy advertised "For Ages 3 and Up." 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 72, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or fax them to 202-334-4312, or submit them via the Internet to this address: Entries must be received on or before Monday, July 18. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. Editors reserve the right to alter entries for taste, appropriateness or humor. No purchase necessary. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 69, in which you were asked to come up with sequels to Murphy's Law. As often happens when a contest seeks new variations on old themes, you bombarded us with plagiarism. Dozens of people submitted blatantly recycled material as their own, including: "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." Also: "Men's desire for sex sometimes results in intimacy; women's desire for intimacy often results in sex." Also: "Cole's Law: shredded cabbage." Hahahaha. This is our last benign warning to all you Steal Invitationalists. Next time, we Act.

Fifth Runner-Up - Boyle's Law of Inevitability: If you go on living long enough, you will die. (Charles P. Boyle, Annapolis)

Fourth Runner-Up - The Law of Imitation: It's not plagiarism if you would have said it the same way had you said it first. Biden's Corollary to the Law of Imitation: It's not plagiarism if you would have said it the same way had you said it first. (Peter Orazem, Bethesda)

Third Runner-Up - Bates's Law: The phone always rings when you are outside the shower with a knife. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Second Runner-Up - Jason's Law: An unbreakable toy is good for breaking other toys. (Bruce W. Van Roy, Vienna)

First Runner-Up - J. Calvin Smith's Observation on Entropy: There is no un-fan for the ca-ca to un-hit. (J. Calvin Smith, Laurel)

And the Winner of the Real Steer Skull With Rotting Teeth and Everything:

The Principle of Documentary Fallibility: Every important document you write will contain at least one egregious typographical error. The more pubic the document, the more embarrassing the error. (Pat Scully, Sunderland)

Honorable Mentions:

Boyle's 63rd Principle: The ears have walls. (Charles P. Boyle, Annapolis)

The Paradox of Bad Circumstances: Something bad will always happen to someone else. However, we are all someone elses to someone else. (Bill Glassbrook, Gaithersburg)

The Kellogg's Conundrum: Why do some people achieve greatness and others have Grapenuts thrust upon them? (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Boyle's First Law: If not controlled, work will flow to the competent person until he submerges. (Charles P. Boyle, Annapolis)

The Alter Ego Scenario: Older, more experienced workers are a valuable resource because when they retire, all mistakes can be blamed on them. (Paul A. Alter, Hyattsville)

Dr. Doolittle's Theorem: If an animal is unusually vicious, then it is more likely to survive any usually fatal disease. (W. S. Furie, DVM, Frederick)

The Rule of Male Drivers: If you don't care where you are, you are not lost. (Kevin Cuddihy and Liz Lee, Fairfax)

Boyle's Conundrum: Like it or not, America is inching toward the metric system. (Charles P. Boyle, Annapolis)

The Metro Principle: The clarity of a PA system on public transportation is inversely proportional to your familiarity with the system. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

O.J.'s Axiom to Avoid Being Pulled Over: Stay out of the left lane, keep it under 55 and keep a gun to your head. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

J. Calvin Smith's Absolute Certainty No. 1: I don't know who, why or when, but somewhere at some time someone will have a life and death need for two snowflakes exactly alike. (J. Calvin Smith, Laurel)

Clinton's Law: Being too smart by half is even worse than being stupid. (Thomas R. McCabe, Lorton)

The First Law of Government: An executive agency in motion tends to remain at rest. (Bruce Ramsay, Gaithersburg)

Smith's Observation: The person who says, "Where did you last have it?" actually believes he is providing valuable assistance. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

The Law of Disproportionate Pain: A ton of bricks weighs the same as a ton of feathers unless it hits you in the head. (John F. Cissel, Fairfax)

The Porcelain Magnetism Corollary to the Law of Selective Gravity: An object dropped in the bathroom will always land in the toilet. (Jim Reed and Jennifer Bostic, Columbia)

The Cartoon Law of Gravity: A person will not fall until he looks down and realizes that there is nothing underneath him. (Bill Glassbrook, Gaithersburg)

The Angler's Credo: If you give a man a fish, he will eat for today. If you teach him to fish, he'll understand why some people think golf is exciting. (Jon Patrick Smith, Washington)

And Last:

The Style Invitational Theorem: The opportunity of winning is directly proportional to the willingness to submit oneself to public humiliation. Do I pull my pants down yet? (Chuck Snowdon, Arlington)

First Runner-Up Rule: Your chances of winning the Style Invitational are directly proportional to the humor and originality of your entry and pigs can fly. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Carnahan's Rule Of Three: The longer one works to bring ironic Talmudic allusion and elegant Chaucerian wit to one's entry, the greater the likelihood the winner will prominently feature "drool," "snot" or "poopy." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Next Week: Sounds Like a Bad Idea.

ILLUSTRATION; Bob Staake For Twp

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