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Week 138 : LIST BUT NOT LEAST


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 5, 1995

1. Three Reasons the Cold War Should Be Started Up Again:

2. Three Lessons to be Learned From the O.J. Trial:

3. Three Totally New Euphemisms for The Sex Act:

4. Three Questions That Should Never Be Asked at a Presidential Debate:

This week's contest was suggested by Paul Styrene of Olney, who of course stole it from David Letterman. Paul wins a genuine nine-carat diamond brooch, but he will have to steal it from Mervis Diamond Importers Inc. Paul suggests that you come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. Your list can be as long as you wish; three is just a guide. First-prize winner gets a plastic medical model of the human foot, from the vaunted Annie Groer Collection, a value of $25. 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 138, 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: losers@access.digex.net. Internet users: Please indicate the appropriate Week Number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Nov. 13. 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. The Faerie of the Fine Print & The Ear No One Reads wishes to thank Elden Carnahan of Laurel for today's Ear No One Reads. Also, we have recently become aware that "Paul Styrene of Olney" is a pseudonym. We do not encourage the use of pseudonyms, but inasmuch as Mr. "Styrene" is practically a charter member of the Style Invitational fraternity of pitiful losers, a longtime loyal contributor whose witty entries have entertained millions of readers for more than two years, we will at this time thoroughly humiliate him, not only by publishing his photograph, which we have secretly obtained, but by inviting readers to suggest what his real name might be -- evidently a name so mortifying he found it necessary to hide his identity behind a lame pun. Best suggestion wins an umbrella advertising condoms from French-speaking Africa. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 135, in which we asked you to come up with Seinfeld-isms.

Second Runner-Up: What's with the people who put carpet on the lid of their toilet seat? What are they thinking -- "Gosh, if we have a party there may not be enough standing room; I'd better carpet the toilet too." (Mark Jeantheau, Germantown)

First Runner-Up: What's this weird hotel custom of leaving a piece of chocolate on the pillow? I awoke thinking my brain had hemorrhaged some sort of fecal matter. (Tommy Litz, Bowie) And the winner of the Elvis doll:

Have you ever noticed that the waiter who takes your order is not the one who brings your food anymore? What is that about? And which waiter are you tipping, anyway? I think next time I go to a restaurant I'll just say, "Oh, sorry, I only eat the food. The guy who pays the bill will be along shortly." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Honorable Mentions:

Would somebody please explain to me those signs that say, "No animals allowed except Seeing Eye dogs?" Who is that sign for? Is it for the dog, or the blind person? (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate various important occasions, they're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? "Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Can't we just get rid of wine lists? Do we really have to be reminded every time we go out to a nice restaurant that we have no idea what we are doing? Why don't they just give us a trigonometry quiz with the menu? (Joseph Romm, Washington)

If airline seat cushions are such great flotation devices, why don't you ever see anyone take one to the beach? (Bruce Goldfarb, Baltimore)

Why do they call it a "building"? It looks like they're finished. Why isn't it a "built"? (Michael K. Keney, Silver Spring)

Why is it when you turn on the TV you see ads for telephone companies, and when you turn on the radio you hear ads for TV shows, and when you get put on hold on the phone you hear a radio station? (John Wallington, Silver Spring)

What's with these people who push elevator buttons that are already lighted? Do they think that the elevator will arrive any faster? I'd like to see elevator buttons with lights that go out if you touch them when they're lighted, thereby canceling the request. Then these people will think twice. (Jerry Pannullo, Chevy Chase)

So, like, why is it illegal to park in a handicapped parking space but okay to go to the bathroom in a handicapped stall? (Sharon Waters, Alexandria)

How come you have to pay someone to rotate your tires? Isn't that the basic idea behind the wheel? Don't they rotate on their own? (Jel Knanishu, Hyattsville)

All the king's horses and all the king's men? Are you kidding me? No wonder they couldn't put Humpty together again. Just what did those idiots expect the horses to do, anyway? (John J. Callebaut, Arlington)

Did you ever notice, when you are sitting at a red light, that when the person in front of you pulls up a couple of inches, you are compelled to move up too? Do we really think we are making progress toward our destination? "Whew, I though we would be late, but now that I am nine inches closer, I can stop for coffee and a Danish!" (Anthony Silk, California, Md.)

Isn't it weird that we drink milk, stuff designed to nourish baby cows? How did that happen? Did some cattleman once say, "Oh, man, I can't wait till them calves are done so I can get me a hit of that stuff!" (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Have you ever noticed how they keep improving your laundry detergent, but they still can't get those blue flakes out? Why do we trust them to get our clothes clean? These guys can't even get the detergent white! (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

Did you see these new minivan ads? All they talk about are cup holders, kiddie seats and doors. What kind of advertising is that? When you see an ad for a suit, do they say, "And look at the zipper! Carefully hidden, but easily accessible when you need it!" I think not. (Chuck Snowdon, Arlington)

Who is this guy Louis Freeh who is head of the FBI? People keep calling him Louie, like he was the king of France or something. And what's this with his last name? What does this mean, that he gives away the letter H? (Lee Hurwitz, Silver Spring)

The Last of the Topekans ....

[Table]
Why Johnny Can't Breed ...
Ready? Aim? Friar!

Announcing a Special Secret Style Invitational Challenge:

For reasons that will at this time have to remain a deep mystery, we are looking for headlines like the ones above. The winning entries will be ten words or fewer, entail the prominent use of a pun, and seem plausibly like a headline for a story that might appear in The Washington Post. We want the headlines only, not the story; the subject matter of the story should be open to interpretation. Entries may be submitted to The Style Invitational through the usual channels. Specify: `Secret Headline Challenge.' Deadline is Monday, Nov. 13. The winners, chosen for humor and originality, will obtain everlasting cheesy fame plus some really crummy prizes.

Next Week: New End in Sight

[Illustration]
ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake


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