Week 139 : Employment Lines

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 12, 1995

Bob Packwood's biographer

Taste tester for Syrup of Ipecac

Agent for McLean Stevenson, Bert Convy and Richard Dawson

This week's contest was suggested by Jean Sorensen of Herndon, who wins a box of chicken-flavored Rice-A-Roni. Jean suggests that you come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. First-prize winner gets a huge plastic mailbox that is an exact replica of a Redskin helmet, a value of $32. 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 139, 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, Nov. 20. 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 commiserate once again with all those people who keep writing in, begging for information about The Ear No One Reads. Listen, folks. If we told you where it was, it would not be The Ear No One Reads anymore, now would it? It would be The Ear Everyone Reads, and American journalism might never recover. The Faerie of the Fine Print & The Ear No One Reads thanks T. Meriwether Jones of Washington for today's Ear No One Reads, which is right where it always is and always has been and always will be forever and ever and ever. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 136, in which you were asked to come up with new Hollywood-happy endings for classic works of film or literature.

Fourth Runner-Up -- New end for Kafka's "Metamorphosis": Giant bug runs amok, terrifying community. Lovestruck gal scientist tries to save it, but Air Force blows it to smithereens. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Third Runner-Up -- New end for "Oedipus Rex": Oedipus comes back to town, kills his father, marries his mother and then blinds himself. However, it turns out he was adopted! He finds his birth mother, who is a brilliant eye surgeon and who restores his sight after a 16-hour operation featuring tight closeups of knitted brows over surgical masks. (Steven King, Alexandria)

Second Runner-Up -- New end for "Thelma & Louise": As the getaway convertible sails through the air off the cliff, Thelma pushes a button releasing a giant parachute over the car, letting it drift safely down. Suddenly, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid land in the back seat, having leapt off the other side of the cliff! A mid-air make-out session ensues . . . (Honus Thuermer, Washington)

First Runner-Up -- New end for "Psycho": Norman Bates is acquitted because his mom's dress doesn't fit him. (Jerry Pannullo, Chevy Chase)

And the winner of the Pop-Out-Your-Eye-With-a-Soup-Spoon magician's illusion:

New end for "Citizen Kane" -- The reporter discovers that Rosebud was Kane's sled. He rescues it from the furnace and uses it to enter the Olympic luge event, winning a gold medal. (Jerry Podlesak, Arlington)

Honorable Mentions:

"The Sound of Music": The family Von Trapp and their cook, played by Steven Seagal, come out to accept their award. The cook shoots out the lights and lobs off a couple of stun grenades, easily overpowering the Nazis. The cook then goes on to defeat Hitler single-handedly and the horrors of World War II are avoided. (John Kammer, Herndon)

"Woodstock": A representative of the National Park Service comes on the screen and explains that an estimated 10,000 people attended the concert. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

"Rear Window": Raymond Burr, acting as his own attorney, successfully defends himself against the murder charges by impeaching the eyewitness testimony of Jimmy Stewart, who'd seen an invisible rabbit before, too. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

"Waiting for Godot": Godot finally shows up in a time machine, explaining that he has come from the future to warn Estragon and Vladimir that he is not going to show up. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Pygmalion": Because he has become accustomed to her face, Professor Higgins chops off Eliza's head and keeps it in the freezer. (The West Springfield High School OM-Classics team, Springfield)

"Beowulf": It turns out Grendel had a son . . . (Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Rocky II": With a stunning haymaker in the second round, Apollo Creed kills Rocky Balboa, saving us from future remakes. (John Kammer, Herndon)

"Grapes of Wrath": The Joads move back to Oklahoma, where one day, shootin' for some food, they discover some bubblin' crude . . . (Joseph Romm, Washington)

"2001": Right after they disable HAL, something comprehensible happens. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

"The Bridge Over the River Kwai": They blow up the bridge.

"The Bridges of Madison County": They blow up the bridges.

"The Fabulous Baker Boys": They blow up Jeff Bridges.

"Marathon Man": The sadistic dentist puts in a bridge without Novocain. Then he blows it up. (All by Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

"Crime and Punishment": Raskolnikov, acquitted in the murder of his landlady by his "Dream Troika" of lawyers, engages in a lifelong search for the real killer. (Adam Korengold, College Park; Edward Belfar, Baltimore)

"Old Yeller": Boy completes the unenviable task of killing his beloved but rabid pet; then he turns gun on himself. Slo-mo scene of his head exploding. Fade to black. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"Moby Dick": The ending is unchanged, except for a new epilogue in which Moby rejoins his worried mate. (Charlie Steinhice, Chattanooga, Tenn.)

"La Boheme": Instead of dying of consumption, Mimi dies of a new drug-resistant strain of consumption. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"Othello": Othello plays the race card and gets off. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

"Heidi": Oakland Raiders 41, New York Jets 28. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

"The Natural": In his last at-bat in the final championship game, Roy Hobbes breaks his favorite bat. Then, with two strikes on him and using the batboy's bat, he hits a superhuman monumental game-winning home run that strikes the light stanchion far above the right field stands, causing a major malfunction of the electrical system and all the lights in the stands to explode in sequence, sending showers of sparks in a magical display to rain down around him while he triumphantly rounds . . . no, better yet, while he, IN SLOW MOTION, triumphantly rounds the bases, the orchestra music crescendos to a majestic fortissimo, and the crowd cheers deliriously. (Steve Offutt, Arlington) And last:

"Oedipus Rex": Upon learning that he has killed his father and married his mother, Oedipus banishes himself to far-off West Virginia . . . (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Next Week: Velvis Lives

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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