Week 108 : Near Misses


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Apr 9, 1995

"Please take my wife." -- Henny Youngman.

"Let us go then, me and you. . . " -- T.S. Eliot

"The business of America is pig farming." -- Calvin Coolidge

This week's contest was proposed by John Mewshaw of Laurel, who wins a new name. Hahaha. Just kidding. John wins a joy buzzer. John suggests a contest to come up with the discarded first drafts of great lines in history or entertainment or literature; lines that almost made it, but not quite. First-prize winner gets a framed World War II-era poster featuring a Christlike figure astride the Earth. He is holding a monkey wrench. The caption reads: "The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation." It's worth $90. 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 108, 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: Internet users: Please indicate the appropriate week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, April 17. 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 105, in which we asked for good idea-bad idea scenarios. But first we wish to once again protest a torrent of crude jokes from people who seem to think this contest dwells in the gutter. Please be advised that the Style Invitational will never stoop to rewarding sophomoric, adolescent humor.

Fifth Runner-Up -- Good idea: Shampoo. Bad idea: Shampoop. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon) Fourth Runner-Up -- Good idea: Wash hands after using toilet. Bad idea: Wash hands using toilet. (Jay Snyder, Chantilly) Third Runner-Up -- Good idea: Taking back the streets of Washington, D.C. Bad idea: Taking the back streets of Washington, D.C. (Steve Hazelton, Reston)

Second Runner-Up -- Good idea: Have a documentary on the civil rights movement narrated by James Earl Jones. Bad idea: Have a documentary on the civil rights movement narrated by James Earl Ray. (Jerry A. Pohl, Rockville) First Runner-Up -- Good idea: In business meetings, express yourself. Bad idea: In business meetings, express your milk. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge) And the winner of "Standing Firm" autographed by Dan Quayle:

Good idea: Showing pictures of your kids at a private party.

Bad idea: Showing pictures of your privates at a kids' party. (Ira Moskowitz, Lanham)

Honorable Mentions:

Good Idea: Purchase a dog at the pound. Bad idea: Purchase dog by the pound. (Patrick G. White, Taneytown) Good idea: Saving the spotted owls. Bad idea: Saving the spotted owls in little plastic baggies in your freezer. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington) Good idea: Picking up a cent on the sidewalk. Bad idea: Picking up a scent on the sidewalk. (Russell Beland, Springfield) Good idea: Getting into Wharton after high school. Bad idea: Getting into Lorton after high school. (Beryl Benderly, Washington) Good idea: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Bad idea: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Iraq. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Good idea: Drive right, pass left. Bad idea: Drive right past cop. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church) Good idea: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Bad idea: Let he who is without insurance pass the first stone. (Rich Milauskas, Laurel) Good idea: Presenting fresh, shiny faces to the teacher each morning. Bad idea: Presenting fresh, shiny feces to the teacher each morning. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel) Good idea: Take pride in your work. Bad idea: Take pride in your wart. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Bad Idea: Clinton, Gore in '96. Good idea: Clinton, gone in '96. (David Clayton Carrad, Hockessin, Del.) Good idea: Shopping at Food Lion. Bad idea: Being lion food. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel) Good idea: Pose for Playboy while you can. Bad idea: Pose for Playboy on the can. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge) Good idea: Calling your mother. Bad idea: Calling "You mutha!" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington) Good idea: Cultivating a staff of competent workers among your underlings. Bad idea: cultivating a staphylococcus among your under-things. (Mike Sharkey, Washington) Good idea: Acquire a foreign tongue. Bad idea: Acquire a foreign tongue in your wedding reception line. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge) Good idea: Getting great marks because of your class in "The Social Structure." Bad idea: Getting grate marks because of your class in the social structure. (Tom Albert, Alexandria) Good idea: Yearly mammograms over 50. Bad idea: Over 50 mammograms yearly. (Leslie Marshall and bridge buds, Bethesda) And Last:

Good idea: Post humor contest winners. Bad idea: Posthumous contest winners. (J. Calvin Smith, Laurel)

Next Week: Drawing Conclusions

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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