Week 151 : Strip Mining

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 4, 1996

Week 151: Strip Mining

Replace "Rex Morgan, M.D." with "F. Lee Rosenblatt, Malpractice Attorney."

Replace "The Family Circus" with "The Nielsen Family," a household of illiterate, inbred, bigoted trailer trash who set America's cultural agenda.

Replace "Garfield" with "Garfield," a serial on the assassination of James Garfield by a disgruntled office seeker, and other famous acts of political violence by alienated loners.

This Week's Contest was suggested by outraged reader Reid Van Nattan of Rosslyn. He wins a "Best of the Chipmunks" cassette. Reid thinks newspaper editors are, to put it mildly, a bunch of simple-minded, spineless, chicken-hearted wusses. He is distressed by what he sees as a recent trend on the comics pages toward "twit family strips," safely uncontroversial features involving cute kids and animals. He is particularly distressed by The Washington Post's recent decision to discontinue "The Fusco Brothers," a sour little cartoon about a detestable lout and his pet wolverine. Reid feels this pandering to wholesome family values has gone too far, and that it is time to develop some comic strips with a real edge. This week's contest: Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post. You don't need a story line or a punch line: just a name for the strip, and a brief description, if appropriate. First-prize winner will receive a signed, framed copy of a fax of a Bob Staake drawing of your concept. Runners-up, as always, get the coveted Style Invitational losers' T-shirt. Honorable mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to the Style Invitational, Week 151, 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, Feb 12. 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 Russ Beland of Springfield for today's Ear No One Reads, and to clear up a little misunderstanding from last week. Dozens of readers called and wrote to compliment us on the transcendant brilliance of our Ear No One Reads. Ho ho. The incomparable genius of having an ear that did not appear to be funny. What a fabulous bit of existential humor! Well, it turns out that, late Saturday night, someone in the composing room heroically took it upon himself to change the Ear from something funny to something ordinary. We are not sure who did this. We are not sure why they did it. Lips have been sealed. Documents have been shredded. Suspicious suicides have been reported. We have turned this matter over to Bob Woodward, the World's Greatest Reporter, who will get to the bottom of it in a six-month investigation featuring clandestine interviews with sources so secret and powerful even they themselves do not know their true identity. More on this as it develops. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 148, in which we asked you to interpret any of four ink blots.

Second Runner-Up: (Blot A, upside down) A pair of giant, cleavage-feeding hummingbirds attack two women involved in a tug of war for the last Wonderbra in the lingerie department. (James Hopenfeld, Arlington)

First Runner-Up: (Blot A) In a stunning reversal, crabs get a man. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

And the winner of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch:

(Blot B) The American Bar Association logo: two vultures on a field of billing receipts. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Honorable Mentions:

Blot A:

(Upside down) Bob Dole wearing his campaign "smile enhancer." (Kirsten Schneider, Fairfax)

A supine woman with exposed reproductive tract and several links of sausage draped across her belly. What pervert devised this contest, anyway? Jim Ketchum, Columbia)

Mr. Toad and his hat at an X-rated movie. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Blot B:

Two flying monkeys, each of which first wonders if the woman who left her tennis shoes and bra at his feet will learn to love him, and then thinks, "Yeah, and maybe a flying monkey will fly out of my butt." (Mike Connaghan, Gaithersburg)

(Upside down) The Reliable Source, Annie Groer and Ann Gerhart. (Jim Day, Gaithersburg)

Blot C:

(With musical notes) Mighty Mouse to save the daaaay . . . (Audrey Scruggs, Alexandria)

(Sideways) The Ear No One Reads. (Mike Connaghan, Gaithersburg)

Leonardo Da Vinci even left sketches for the Wonderbra. (Jessica Steinhice, Washington)

Autopsy X-ray shows Elvis's real cause of death: a severely worn-out pelvis. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Blot D:

Overlooked footprint recently discovered at the murder site by O.J.'s investigators. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Bad: An octopus is thrown onto the ice during a hockey game. Worse: The Zamboni runs over it. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Georghe Muresan's wisdom tooth. (David M. Magness, Arlington)

An octopus with at least a million tentacles, probably more. (Louis Farrakhan, Chicago; Greg Pickens, Alexandria)

The Eggplant From the Black Lagoon. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

What John Bobbitt's appendage would have looked like if Lorena had had access to a shredder. (Priscilla Pellegrino, Great Falls)

A squid on Prozac. (Tim Sweeney, Churchville)

(All, see drawing, Mister Drew)

The family tree. (Nancy Israel, Bethesda)

And Last:

(All blots) They are the first four letters of the alphabet. I don't know what your problem was. This has GOT to be the easiest contest I've ever seen. (Mike Connaghan, Gaithersburg)


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