Week 105 : Good Idea, Bad Idea

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Mar 19, 1995

Good Idea: Buy low, sell high.

Bad Idea: Buy low, sell drunk.

Good Idea: A personal philosophy that teaches the virtue of self-sacrifice.

Bad Idea: A personal philosophy that teaches the virtue of human sacrifice.

This Week's Contest was suggested by Arthur C. Adams of Laurel, who stole it from the Fox Network's Animaniacs cartoons. Arthur wins the keys to a 1995 Isuzu Trooper. Just the keys, not the car. Hey, he stole the idea. The contest is to come up with Good Ideas and then to convert them to Bad Ideas through slight changes in wording. First-place winner gets a fabulous prize donated to the Style Invitational by Dave Barry: a copy of Dan Quayle's book, "Standing Firm," autographed by Quayle. 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 105, 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, March 27. 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 102, in which you were asked to come up with Chinese fortune cookie fortunes you would like to see. Many common themes this week: Rat/spaniel/cat/hamster as "the other white meat." Also, several people seemed to think it necessary to note that "won ton" is "not now" spelled backward. But mostly, we would like to comment on the widespread assumption that the mere mention of the words "Pu Pu Platter" would guarantee a prize. There seems to be a misconception that this contest is scatologically oriented, a contention we find ludicrous and insulting. Crude humor will find no sanctuary in a place as dignified as The Washington Post Stool Section. Style Section.

Fourth Runner-Up: If Newt wrote this it would be worth $4 million. (Don Maclean, Burke)

Third Runner-Up: Help! I am being held hostage in a Chinese fortune cookie factory, so I'm putting my hair into the batter to alert people. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Second Runner-Up: A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned. Copyright (C) 1995 Chinese Proverbs Inc., Shanghai. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this fortune may be reproduced in any way without express written permission from the publisher. (Edward Roeder, Washington; also, George Wills, Blacksburg)

First Runner-Up:

We riked you Chinee waiter imitation. Hope you riked speciar soup we fix fol you. (Larry Hinders, Fredericksburg; also, Jean Sorenson, Herndon)

And the winner of the feathered maracas:

(Bazooka Joe Cartoon.)

Honorable Mentions:

You are witty, wise and handsome. But of course, if I knew from squat, would I be writing fortune cookies for a living? (Paul Alter, Hyattsville)

Your suspicions are groundless. We are (crossed out) The CIA is not following you. (Donald H. Heitman, Arlington)

Even vegetarians live off death. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

He who leaves job unfinished (Mike Thring, Leesburg)

Date and meal have much in common. Very much dog. (Mike Flannery, Herndon)

Save this slip in case you need to use the rest room. (Steve Bienstock, Rockville; also, Jon Patrick Smith, Washington)

Howard Stern (click) (Paul Styrene, Olney)

RTANT: Time to Change Roll of Fortunes In Cookie Machine + + + IMPORTANT: Time t (Maureen Flaherty, Springfield)

Much fun, fun, fun will be had until the Thunderbird automobile is repossessed by the father of her. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

Shitake happens (Kurt Rabin, Fredericksburg)

Made in Occupied Japan. (Robert Pack, Bethesda)

You are a poor, pathetic, gullible fool who seeks advice from bakery products. (Lori Cullen, Arlington)

You have been shattered into many pieces, which will be picked up and devoured by a fat pig. Oh, wait. That's my fortune. (Lori Cullen, Arlington)

The poison you just ingested . . . (continued on next cookie.) (Scott Kane, Reston)

Just for grins, blow a dog whistle next to the kitchen. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

I write for fortune cookies too. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge) (Wendell Wagner, Jr., Greenbelt)

Important! Handle with care! Do not open. In the event of cookie rupture, contact (ideographs) (Steve Ahart, Sterling)

When I grow up, I want to be a Reader's Digest joke. (Edward F. Mickolus, Dunn Loring)

Daed si laup. (Linda K. Malcolm, Silver Spring)

Medical Instruments Inc. IUD Demonstrator Model No. 14B63. (Robin D. Grove, Washington)

Did you really think we could share even one aspect of our complex, millenia-old culture in a simple aphorism? (Diane Smith, Oakton)

You may think you are smart, but you are no Epstein. (Shirlee Weingarten, Sarasota, Fla.)

You will be "partially devoured" by lions. (Ralph T. Webb, Washington)

Our fortune cookies have been carbon dated for freshness. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Honey, the lo mein is in the bluish-green tub and our fishing worms are in the greenish-blue tub. See you tonight. (Steve Ahart, Sterling)

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