Week 142 : Exhibiting Bad Tendencies

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 3, 1995

LONDON, Nov. 28 (Reuter) -- The split carcasses of a cow and its calf floating in green formaldehyde clinched Britain's most controversial art award, the Turner Prize, on Tuesday. Artist Damien Hirst won $30,000.

"Mother and Child Divided" beat out three finalists, including Beirut-born Mona Hatoum, who submitted a 12-minute video of the inner recesses of her body.

The winner has been praised for its presentation of death without disgust or emotion. Some art critics say it contains elements of the Madonna and Child.

The Turner prize says its aim is to expand Britons' ideas of what is art. Last year the prize was won by sculptor Antony Gormley, who risks suffocation by making mummified casts of his own naked body. In 1993, sculptor Rachel Whiteread won the prize for filling a London terraced house with concrete, turning it into a mausoleum.

As soon as this wire story crossed our desk, we abandoned the contest we were planning. This Week's Contest is to come up with next year's Turner Prize winner. You must describe the exhibit and name it. Optional embellishment: Include an art critic's praise. First-prize winner gets his choice of any item from Dave Barry's gift guide. 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 142, 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, Dec. 11. 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 Stephen Dudzik of Silver Spring for today's Ear No One Reads. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 139, in which we asked you to come up with jobs crummier than yours. Yeah, yeah, we know: Backup shortstop for the Orioles. The Unabomber's mailman. A special thank-you to Post science writer John Schwartz, who informs us that during the early stages of product testing, the company that makes artificial no-calorie fat noticed a problem with, um, butt seepage. This required the company to conduct a medical study in which someone had to function as an official underpants-stain inspector. We agree with John that this is the worst job in the history of the world. Important note: The company reports that the butt seepage problem has now been -- ha ha -- rectified.

Winning a special award for actually having had the world's second-worst job is Nicole Stewart of Hughesville, who worked for a summer on a farm as an Assistant Turkey Sperm Collector. Presumably, Nicole had to do all those things the Principal Turkey Sperm Collector, by virtue of his higher standing, refused to do. Nicole wins a realistic rubber severed finger.

Before we report this week's results, we proudly announce the winner of the special contest to come up with "Paul Styrene's" real name, a name obviously so awful and embarrassing that Mr. Styrene has chosen to appear in this contest for two years under a goofy alias. Tom Witte of Gaithersburg wins a bag of dried herring from Japan for his entry:

"Buckwheat Farrakhan."

Back to rotten jobs.

Second Runner-Up: Lambada instructor to Al Gore. (Robin D. Grove, Washington)

First Runner-Up: Professional Salman Rushdie impersonator. (Jo Burton, Fairfax)

And the Winner of the huge plastic Redskins helmet mailbox:

The private detective O.J. hires to find the real killer. (Virginia Maggi, Falls Church)

Honorable Mentions:

The first male Hooters waitperson. (J.S. Duke, Tall Timbers, Md.; Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

The driver of a four-cylinder 18-wheeler. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

The guy who has to go around removing all those Sri Chinmoy posters. (Jerry Pannullo, Chevy Chase)

A baby-corn shucker. (Linda K. Malcolm, Silver Spring)

John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plastic surgeon. (Courtney Knauth, Washington)

Hollywood psychic to the extras. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

A tofu salesman in Texas. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

An armpit beautician. (Rahul Simha, Williamsburg)

A "stunt groin" in a karate movie. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

A Postal Service layoff notifier. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

The guy who must remove Roseanne's tattoo. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

The poet laureate of Nigeria. (Mark Pietrowski, Arlington)

A truck driver for Nitroglycerine-R-Us. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

And last:

A huge plastic Redskins helmet mailbox salesman. (Peter Zajac, Springfield)

Next Week: What if You Give It a Try?

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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