Week 143 : It's My Parody (&_ I'll Try If I Want To)

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 10, 1995

What if Shakespeare had written the theme song to "Gilligan's Island"?

Now, gentles, sit! And ye shall hear a tale,

The story of a voyage marr'd by fate,

Commencing from a port of tropic clime

Aboard a vessel minuscule, the mate

A sailor full of puissance, yet not more

Than was his captain. That idyllic shore

Sent forth five passengers upon a tour

Of but three hours' time; the weather played

The strumpet with the ship, her serenade

Turned hurricano, and not small at all,

Her crew's exertions nurs'd her to the lee

Of a long-forgotten atoll. There lamed,

Brave Gilligan and his captain dwell beside

A merchant rich as Croesus and his bride,

A wanton actress, a most learned man,

And Mary Ann,

Upon the isle for which our play is named!

This Week's Contest was proposed by David Smith of Greenbelt, who THOUGHT he was entering the "What If" contest but did not reckon on our willingness to engage in petit larceny when it suits our needs. David wins a toilet bowl night light. The contest is to rewrite any common jingle or theme song in the style of a famous writer. First-prize winner gets a full-size cardboard cutout of George Bush, a value of $50. 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 143, 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. 18. 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 express grief at the impending demise of Joel Achenbach's "Why Things Are" column, a milestone in American infotainment journalism, and hereby solicits ideas for some NEW cheeseball gimmick for a column to replace it. Best idea gets our choice of a 1996 Toyota Camry or a rubber pig nose. Also, the Faerie 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 140, in which we asked you to come up with "what if" scenarios.

Fourth Runner-Up: What if, instead of air bags, they put sharp metal spikes on the steering column? Seat belt use would go way up. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Third Runner-Up: What if the Washington Monument were 619 feet tall? The first slaves wouldn't have arrived at the Jamestown colony until 1619. (Joel Knanishu, Hyattsville)

Second Runner-Up: What if instead of the speed of light, the "c" in Einstein's equation had been equal to the maximum safe speed of a Ford Pinto? Then, by traveling at a mere 70 mph, we could go back in time to prevent past mistakes. Such as the Ford Pinto. (John Kammer, Herndon) First Runner-Up: What if "what could have been" were not the saddest words? Then the words "the Jerry Lewis Telethon is on again" would have to move up. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

And the winner of the army-issue gas mask:

If the glove had fitted

They still wouldn'ta convitted. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Honorable Mentions:

What if men really did enjoy being "just held and cuddled"? What would they carry in their wallets -- tiny packets of Snuggle fabric softener? (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

What if Agnew were still vice president when Nixon resigned? They would have had to put in a drive-up window at the White House for night deposits. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

What if instead of an Easter Bunny, we had an Easter Fish? It sure would be tricky, decorating caviar. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

What if the Hindenburg had been filled with laughing gas? It would still have been a tragedy, but its lighter side might have been a little more apparent to that downer radio guy. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

What if the French had defeated England in the French and Indian War? We'd be rude pantywaists, too. (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

What if Larry King were the host of "Jeopardy!"? All answers would have to be in the form of a loaded question. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

What if the wheel had been invented 10 years ago? The comic strip "B.C." would seem purty darn cuttin' edge. (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

What if chickens laid pineapples instead of eggs? Henhouses would need more than just subdued lighting and music to keep the chickens calm. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

What if I had a nickel for every time a guy said, "Sure, I'll call you soon..."? (Sue Lin "Croesus" Chong, Washington)

What if the Virginia colonists had harvested, consumed and exported marijuana instead of tobacco? The 13 Colonies would never have bothered to try to break away, and if they had, nobody in London would have cared. Later on, those seven marijuana company executives would not have made any less sense when testifying before Congress. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

What if Barbara Cartland wrote the plays of William Shakespeare? I don't know ... what if Alfonse d'Amato were the head of the Senate Ethics Committee? I mean, let's not get ridiculous. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

What if Jerry Lewis had never been born? The French would consider Soupy Sales a genius. (Rick Hartman, Funkstown)

What if Martin Luther were alive today? The Wittenberg door might be covered with 95 little yellow sticky notes. (Michael Jahr, Washington)

What if we evolved from reptiles? We would go to McDonald's and order a Big Rat and an order of flies. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

What if we had evolved into fishlike forms? Bowl cleaner would be flavored instead of colored. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

What if Joseph Romm of Washington and I had not been accidentally switched at birth? Then he would be a super-rich film star married to Demi Moore and I would be just another pathetic loser. (Bruce Willis, Hollywood, Calif.)

What if you could take birth control pills for three straight weeks, with one week off, instead of for one straight week, with three weeks . . . What? WHAT?? (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

What if the intellectual elite of West Virginia read the Style Invitational? He might get mad. (Michael Jahr, Washington)

What if the Style Invitational never existed? I would be mailing proctology jokes to Miss Manners. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

And Last:

What if there were a weekly contest in a major newspaper, but the winners received only gag prizes, tacky T-shirts and offensive bumper stickers? No one in his right mind would enter! (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Next Week: Ask Backward VII

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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