Week 75 : Curses!


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jul 31, 1994

"You should grow like an onion, with your head in the ground."

"May you lose all your teeth except one, so you can still get a toothache."

"May you become famous, so famous they name a fatal disease after you."

"You should live like a chandelier, hanging by day and burning by night."

This week's contest was prompted by the fact that Yiddish, the language of this Czar's sainted grandma, is a dying tongue. With it will disappear some of the most colorful curses ever devised, such as all those above. We must not let this happen. Your challenge: Come up with modern maledictions in the wise and entertaining Yiddish tradition. Printable ones only, please. First-prize winner gets an official dorky Star Trek Space Pen, part of a limited edition, a value of $40. 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 75, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, fax them to 202-334-4312, or submit them via the Internet to this address: Entries must be received by Monday, Aug. 8. Please include your address and phone number. 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 72, in which we asked for concepts of Hell for famous people. But first a response to several whiny letter writers who urged us to exercise compassion toward people who send in old jokes as their own, people we threatened to punish via public humiliation. Very well. We have reconsidered, and welcome all you drooling boneheads back to the game, without penalty other than the one God has already assessed you.

Third Runner-Up: Ollie North's Hell: Under oath, with his mortal soul on the line, in front of the heavenly tribunal, he swears he's a liar. No one believes him. (Edward Roeder, Washington)

Second Runner-Up: Imelda Marcos's Hell: She is a minimum-wage sales associate at Shoe Galaxy, and her only customers are Blondie Bumstead, Cathy and her mother, and Lucy Ricardo. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

First Runner-Up: Dr. Kevorkian's Hell: In eternal private practice, he has a lavish office but only two patients: Rasputin and Lazarus. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

And the winner of the Fabulous Frog Band:

Bill Clinton's Hell: He actually feels our pain. Every time someone stubs a toe, gets a root canal, falls down the stairs, suffers a stabbing hemorrhoidal burn . . . (Jack Bross, Chevy Chase)

Honorable Mentions:

John Bobbitt's Hell: Night after night he is a guest on Johnny Carson. Ed Ames is throwing tomahawks at him. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

William F. Buckley's Hell: He is forced to talk continually, but is not permitted to use the subjunctive mood. (Greg Arnold, Herndon)

Geraldo Rivera's Hell: Deep in the bowels of Hades, Geraldo comes upon a sealed door marked "Entrance to Heaven." After toiling for centuries, he is finally able to pry it open. There is nothing there. Geraldo comes to another door marked "Entrance to Heaven . . ." (Larry Covey, Columbia)

Daniel Patrick Moynihan's Hell: The entire U.S. is redistricted and he must continually run for reelection as a senator from West Virginia. (Larry Covey, Columbia)

Michael Eisner's Hell: The glove found at the L.A. crime scene belongs to Mickey Mouse. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Bill Gates's Three Levels of Hell:

1. They are using OS/2.

2. They are using Kaypro IIs.

3. He is handed an abacus. (J. Calvin Smith, Laurel)

Thomas Malthus's Hell: His publisher insists on printing Malthus's name on the flyleaf as: THOMAS MALTHUS

Hertz Corp.'s Hell: The only celebrities who agree to become its new spokesperson are Mike Tyson, Pee-wee Herman and Michael Jackson (Steven J. Cohen, Fairfax)

Nancy Kerrigan's Hell: She is at Disney World. It is corny as hell. She is playing a Whack-a-Mole game. She is the mole. (Peyton Coyner, Afton, Va.)

John Bobbitt's Hell: Mumps. (Sarah Worcester, Bowie)

H.L. Mencken's Hell: He is sent to the Ozarks to arbitrate grammar disputes. (John L. Brown and Lynn Sidehamer, State College, Pa.)

Bill Clinton's Hell: He is surrounded by shapely women with big hair, miniskirts and white plastic boots. Every hour they deliver to him an Arkansas state trooper. (John Brock, Reston)

Harry Houdini's Hell: Every ticket in the theater is sold. The orchestra is playing his entrance fanfare. He is locked in his dressing room and can't get out. (Ken Trombly, Bethesda)

Charles Goren's Hell: For this rubber, deuces and one-eyed jacks are wild. For the next rubber, aces may be used as high or low. For the following rubber, pass three cards to the left after the bidding is closed. For the . . . (Christie Houser, Alexandria)

Joyce Kilmer's Hell: He is abandoned in a dense forest from which there is no escape. (John L. Brown and Lynn Sidehamer, State College, Pa.)

Michael Dukakis's Hell: Everyone drives a tank while he's issued a Barney Big Wheel. (Mike Thring, Leesburg)

Hillary's Hell: She goes to what she thinks is Heaven, until she realizes everyone but her has a halo. (Tom Neven, Spotsylvania, Va.)

William Safire's Hell: He meets St. Peter. He is given a choice between two doors. One is marked "Flammable." The other is marked "Inflammable." (Alison Sohmer, Reston)

Philip Morris Executive's Hell: The research performed by our scientists provides conclusive proof that these people are in no pain at all. The increase in the sulfur concentration only serves to improve the air's aroma. Scriptural reports of suffering and eternal torment are biased accusations by extremists in the anti-Hell lobby. (Ken Kaufman, Gaithersburg)

Chuck Smith's Hell: He never again wins the Style Invitational but appears only in other people's winning entries. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

And Last: Katharine Graham's Hell: Every Sunday, her copy of the Washington Post consists of pages A1, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2, F2 and Parade magazine. (Sarah Worcester, Bowie)

Next Week: Lunacy

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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