Week 92 : Plotboilers


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 18, 1994

Week 92: Plotboilers

From "Plumbed," by G. Gordon Liddy

He mashed his swarthy, work-hardened body against hers with tender cruelty, crushing her bosoms like a steamroller flattening origami zeppelins. The Contessa whimpered and succumbed.

Later, he ate a rat.

From "A Tale of Two Municipalities," by Joseph Biden

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times . . .

This Week's Contest was suggested by Newt Gingrich, who has revealed to everyone's delight that he has been working on a potboiler novel featuring a "pouting sex kitten." We wondered what other celebrities' novels might look like, if they wrote one, in 100 words or fewer. First-prize winner gets an antique ceramic flying elephant with huge pontoons for oil and vinegar, a $25 item that will stop dinner-table conversation as effectively as a chunk of kangaroo meat lodged in one's trachea. 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 92, 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 on or before Monday, Dec. 26. 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 89, in which you were asked to come up with bad ideas for Christmas toys. Many of you did not really understand this contest, offering up dreadfully precious political drolleries such as "The Hillary Health-Care Jigsaw Puzzle," whose pieces do not fit together, or "IdeoLogs," which can be assembled one way and one way only. How amusing of you. Our hands sting from making prissy little pat-pat noises of appreciation.

Fourth Runner-Up: "The Li'l Naturalist Hornet Farm." (Dean Evangelista, Gaithersburg)

Third Runner-Up: A Pee-wee Herman pull toy. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Second Runner-Up: "The Duncan Yo" - It unwinds and rolls away on the first try. Teaches children about warranties. (C.G. Owens, Indian Head)

First Runner-Up: "5,200 Pick-Up" - A jumbo deck of cards designed for every kid's favorite game! (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

And the winner of the fantastic lurching raccoon in the potato chips bag animated toy:

The Learn-About-Puberty Chia Pet. (Paul A. Alter, Hyattsville)

Honorable Mentions:

"SuperSoaker 9000" - For use on normally hard-to-reach targets: NFL referees, low-flying aircraft, and many more. At short range it can strip paint, clean rusty grill tops, dig utility trenches. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

"The Laff-o-Minit Majic Spellin' Tootor" (Elizabeth Kugler, Silver Spring)

"Dan Quayle/John Kennedy Transformer" - The Young Republicans in your house will be delighted to learn that Dan Quayle really is Jack Kennedy after all. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

A set of bathtub toy fish that always float upside down. Teaches tots a true understanding of nature. (Adam Koons and Yukari Horiba, Washington)

"Fool-'Em Transformers" - Fake dog poop that converts in seconds to fake vomit! (J. Calvin Smith, Laurel)

"Water Retention Wanda" - Teaches kids the principles of the calendar. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

"Advanced Play Medical Kit," with colonoscope and speculum. (Robert Herscowitz and Terri Strassburger, Cabin John)

"Where's the Spotted Owl?" book contains large, complex scenes in which a small spotted owl is hidden in a vast forest among burly loggers, dope-smoking hippies, rabid environmentalists etc. The joke is that there really is no spotted owl in the book, and moreover, the paper used to make the book comes from trees in the owl's natural habitat. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"Aw, Shoot" - Real handguns that look just like toys. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"Humpy Puppy." Batteries not included. (Mary Whittington, Washington)

"Plugger" - Variation of the old classic game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but the blindfolded child with wet hands tries to get the electrical plug into the outlet! (Mike E. Butcher, Waldorf)

"Tas-Tee Jars" - Toy cleaning-agent bottles, available in several fruit flavors. These are placed under the sink in place of the yucky real stuff. (Mike E. Butcher, Waldorf)

"Dottie Depends" - Betsy Wetsy's grandma. (Ginger and Kelly Fitzpatrick)

"Disease Balls" - Let your kids learn about illness with these enlarged rubber simulations of the AIDS virus, smallpox virus, tuberculosis etc. They can throw them around like ordinary balls and pretend they are "catching" all kinds of ailments! (Fred Dawson, Beltsville)

"Will It Burn?" - E-Z Lite kid's lighter helps children discover what's flammable in the home. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

"Islamic Strip Poker" - Lose a hand, lose a hand. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

"Doggie Dentist" - Kids learn about dentistry on the family pooch. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

"Bungeroo!" - Kid-size bungee kit for second-floor bedrooms. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

"Scabby Sam" - Scablike growths randomly appear on Scabby Sam. They will disappear in a week to 10 days if left alone, but will result in permanent scarring if picked off. ( Sarah Worcester, Bowie)

"Cute as a Button" - This amazing doll is created entirely out of nickel-size buttons. For ages 2 and under. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

"Cuisin-Art" - Turns Mommy's food processor into a spinning paint tool. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

Chocolate-covered lead soldiers. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

And last:

The fantastic lurching raccoon in the potato chips bag animated toy. (Paul A. Alter, Hyattsville; Diego Hernandez, Montgomery Village)

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