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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 13, 1995

This week's contest: What are these people, etc., saying? Choose one or more photos and fill in the balloons with tasteful, appropriate and humorous words. Please write your entries on a separate sheet of paper. First-prize winner gets a real print of the Nixon-Elvis Commemorative Photo, a value of $20 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 126, 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 "Images/circlei3.gif" border=0>Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 123,

"Why Is Poop Funny?," in which you were asked to come up with answers to certain questions that might be asked by a 5-year-old. It seems that many, many of you have been consulting the Old Chestnut Science Guide (rev. ed.), since approximately 1,729 of the literally 1,778 entries reported that (a) the sky is blue because it reflects off the oceans; (b) that airplanes are propelled by birds in/under/above the wings or by gas created by airline food/Congress; and (c) that babies come from "ask your mother."

Some people felt compelled to compose ponderous, Michener-size tracts, evidently figuring that the left side of Page F2 would miraculously balloon to the dimensions of a billboard to accommodate their half-page exegeses on God and His Blue Crayon.

Many of you so wittily integrated all five questions. Very nice. Doesn't fit. Sorry.

And for the life of us, we have no idea why people sent in entry after entry about toilets and the various substances deposited therein. Did they think that jokes about excreta would win some kind of prize? This is The Washington Post! Ohhh, the Czar. Ah. Well, you needn't be concerned with that nasty little man. He is, er, away.

+ Fourth runner-up: Where do babies come from? From grandparents. They say a special chant over and over, and when they've said it enough times, a baby comes. What's the chant? Well, it's secret, but parts of it go like this: "Why don't you make me a grandparent? All my friends have grandchildren. That cat is not my grandchild." (Katherine Wertheim, Washington)

+ Third runner-up: How do airplanes fly? That's a good question. USAir wants you to give them a call when you find out. (Scott Greenberg, Washington)

+ Second runner-up: Where do babies come from? Well, son, do you remember in "9 Weeks" when Mickey Rourke has Kim Basinger up against that wall? ... (Dave George, Reston)

+ First runner-up: Where does dust come from? Didn't you hear the minister, dear? When he said, "Ashes to ashes and dust to dust," he meant that dust comes from dead bodies, like Grandma's. (Linda K. Malcolm, Silver Spring)

+ And the winner of the pair of lamps made out of used bowling pins:

Where do babies come from? Me. (Cecil Jacobson, MD, via Jill Gross, Reston)

Honorable Mentions:

Why is the sky blue?

Because nothing rhymes with purple. (Bill Glassbrook, Gaithersburg)

You'd be blue, too, if you had a big planet stuck in the middle of you. (J. Calvin Smith, Laurel)

Because God decided against the more expensive mauve-chartreuse checkerboard motif. (Edward F. Mickolus, Dunn Loring)

Because they didn't have a color you liked. (Michael Temple, Washington)

Hey, what do I look like, freakin' Mr. Wizard? (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

How do airplanes fly?

When you do good things, magic pixie dust keeps the planes in the air. But every time you do something bad -- like disturb me while I'm watching the game -- a plane crashes and hundreds of people die.

(Ben Lee, Chantilly)

The airlines smushed up Tinker Bell and put a little of her in every plane. (Elly Kugler, Silver Spring)

They don't really fly. The windows are movie screens that show scenery while workers are outside building a replica of your destination. (Douglas Bailey, Baldwinsville, N.Y.)

At the Unabomber's discretion. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

They use "aerodynamic power." That's Greek for "enormous rubber bands." (Jonathan M. Kaye, Washington)

Where does dust come from?

It's little bits of people's brains that come out when they sneeze. It never goes away. Parts of Julius Caesar's brain might be in your house. I wouldn't touch it if I were you. (Ellen Lamb, Washington)

Dust bunny poop. (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C., and Linda K. Bakley, Falls Church)

Cremated fairies. (Janice, Melanie and Jil Evans, White Plains, Md.)

In the middle of the night, hundreds of tarantulas come out of the oven and crawl around the house, giving each other haircuts. (Donald Brasek, McLean)

Why don't you look under your bed and ask it personally? (Renee D'Amico, Pasadena)

Where does the sun go when it sets?

Back in its hole, silly. (Mike Paulson, Falls Church)

The sun is God's eye, and it shuts whenever it sees you doing something bad because it's so sad and ashamed for you. Now ask me where rain comes from. (Elly Kugler, Silver Spring)

It circles the Earth, just like the stars. Now get to bed, little Copernicus. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

To the recently renamed Hugh Grant Boulevard. (Scott Greenberg, Washington)

Behind Timmy's house, because it likes him better. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

The sun never sets. (Elizabeth II, London, via Joseph Romm, Washington)

Where do babies come from?

From inside Michelin tires. (Robin D. Grove, Washington)

Go ask your sister, she's a baby. (Joseph M. Schech, Silver Spring)

You know when you put a plug in a socket? It's nothing like that. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

Gold diggers who lie about birth control. (Jack Kent Cooke, Middleburg, via Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

Wyoming. That's why nobody lives there. (John Russell Tuohy, age 9, Arlington)

Babes. (Bevra Krattenmaker, Williamsburg, Va.; Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

And why is poop funny?

Because all palindromes are funny, except radar and did. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Next Week: Ask Backward VI

PHOTO,,National Archives

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Publication title: The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext)

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