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|Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 11,
This Week's Contest was proposed by Russ Beland of Springfield, who wins a can of Prairie Belt(R) "Potted Meat Food Product" (ingredients: "beef tripe, pork stomachs, chicken, partially defatted beef fatty tissue, pork fat, beef hearts . . ."). Russ suggests taking any headline anywhere in today's Washington Post and rewriting it in tabloid fashion so the story seems a lot more scandalous and/or lurid than it is. Your new headline must be loosely based on the facts, if irresponsibly exaggerated. This is an exercise in yellow journalism. First-prize winner gets "Tabloid Teasers," a 1991 board game (for three to six players, ages 10 to adult) that, near as we can figure, was so spectacularly unsuccessful we have the only copy in America. 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 152, 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: email@example.com. Internet users: Please indicate the appropriate Week Number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Feb. 19. 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 Jennifer Hart of Arlington for today's excellent Ear No One Reads. Also, we have just reviewed the five finalists for a new name for the Washington Bullets -- the Wizards, Stallions, Dragons, Express and Sea Dogs -- and would like to congratulate the Bullets for their populist fan-participation campaign, which worked splendidly except in the sense that all five names are doody. As a public service, we would like to submit a sixth name to the Bullets management, for its consideration. It was an entry to the very first Style Invitational, back during Week One in March 1993, submitted by reader Hank Wallace of Washington. It was to be a new name for the Washington Redskins. It didn't win because it was not funny, but it was a terrific name. On behalf of Mr. Wallace, and in the hope it is not too late to rescue the Bullets from a catastrophic decision, we now offer it up: The Washington Clout. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 149, in which we asked you to come up with palindromes -- jokes containing, as their punch lines, sentences that read the same forward and backward. We suspected this contest would be so hard that practically no one would enter, and that whatever entries we did get would be terrible. We were correct, as we always are, except for two things: (1) there was an avalanche of entries, and (2) they were ingenious. Still, we must observe that the challenge of palindromes drove some of you to desperate acts of semantic expedience. ("Okay, so Henny Youngman is sitting in a bar with a Czech hockey player named Esael Pefiwymekat, and . . .)
Fourth Runner-Up: How do you address a telegram to Radovan Karadzic? "Bosnia: Main S.O.B" (Charlie Steinhice, Chattanooga)
Third Runner-Up: God is visiting San Francisco. He is just a slob like one of us. In fact, he is a stranger on the bus. Up in Heaven, Jesus realizes God is making a huge mistake by not taking full advantage of the tourist opportunities, and sends him a message: "Martyr to God: Do go try tram." (Elena Stover, Bethesda)
Second Runner-Up: Joey Buttafuoco was on trial. His lawyer was pleading insanity, but the portly judge was unmoved. Finally, the lawyer lost his patience, and scribbled a note to the judge: "Buttafuoco loco, u fat tub." (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)
First Runner-Up: The assistant Los Angeles crime lab technician is on the witness stand. F. Lee Bailey asks her: "What did the lab reports show? Why did forensic expert Dennis Fung work on the reports? And anyway, what's it prove? And how do you even know these hair samples came from my client, sister?" She responds: "LAPD lab data saw DNA; Dennis' job; O.J. sinned, and was a tad bald, pal." (Tommy Litz, Bowie)
And the winner of the Nixon commemorative plate:
What would not be a good way to address the president of Honduras at a news conference? "Yo, banana boy..." (Dave Ferry, Leesburg)
The Washington Post is boring. How boring? Recently a lawyer came across a page of The Post and put it in his briefcase, mistaking it for a document in a tort case. Someone else stopped him and said, why are you taking that? "It's a deposition," the lawyer replied. "Deposition? No, it is op-ed." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)
Over dinner of crabs and beer at a local alehouse, Dan Quayle got tipsy and admitted he didn't know what "A Man, a Plan, a Canal -- Panama!" says when spelled backward. George Bush was so embarrassed he sent Quayle to Toronto until the furor died down. The Washington Post headline the next day was, "A Dan, a Crab, a Bar -- Canada!" (Phil Lerman, Chevy Chase)
During the recent blizzard, we had so much snow on our roof that the house was in danger of collapsing. I asked the contractor to come and check it out. He said that if I didn't get up on the roof with the snow blower and remove the snow, our house might be leveled. I said, "Are you crazy? I'm not getting up there with that thing. What are my options?" He responded, "Yo, blow or raze, Zarrow ol' boy." (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)
What was Divine Brown to Hugh Grant? A "lap-level pal." (Stephen Vigneux, Washington)
What was it they found in the bloodstains that made them arrest O.J. Simpson instead of A.J. Liebling? A ton of "O," not "A" (Tommy Litz, Bowie)
A man goes to a shrink. The shrink's name is Alfred Ziegenthaler, MD. Alfred says, "Let's do word association."
The first word is "Mother.""Mother 'n' father, Al.""Cow.""Cow 'n' milk, Al.""Lasagna.""Lasagna 'n' gas, Al." (Daniel J. Miller, Fairfax)
When the laconic, egocentric center on the basketball team was asked what would make his game better, he said, "Mirror rim." (Amy Mindick, Blacksburg)
Norman Lear goes to a doctor because he is impotent. The doctor tells him he can be cured only by Jewish women. "But I love all women," the great producer protests. "I have to play the field!" The doctor is adamant -- if Lear wants a sex life, he must limit himself to Jewish women. A few weeks later, a notice is posted at Norman Lear Enterprises Inc., saying the boss will be gone for a while. Where is he? someone asks.
"Lear's in Israel." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)
Which three letters of the alphabet would still enable you to compose every word and phrase used on TV? "An `N,' a `V,' an `A' -- Vanna!" (Tommy Litz, Bowie)
I asked the author of the famous Panama palindrome to come up with one for another Latin country, involving, in order, (1) what the country does not have, (2) the usual mode of transportation after a '53 Chevy, and (3) the means to escape. He wrote: "A buck, a yak, a kayak -- Cuba!" (James Driscoll, Hyattsville)
Nan: What would be your ideal fishing gear? Bob: Eel, ale, maps, Pamela Lee. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)
I went on a blind date once with a weird guy who boasted, "Anybody can be a big-game hunter. I, however, am a small-game hunter. These are my trophies." He opened a row of labeled matchboxes, one by one. "See? Mosquito scalps! Gnat butts! Chigger lips! And this is the newest addition to my collection!" He was so excited, I felt I had to say something, so I enthused: "Oo! Tsetse testes, too?" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
Satan lets Hitler take roll call in Hell.
"Devil?" "Eh, here."
"Mad Dastard?" . . .
"Mad Dastard!!" "Tardy."
Trap, Le Von?" "Here."
"Jos. Stalin? "Nil -- at SS."
"O.J."? "Er, eh, . . . novel party."
"Saddam??" "Er, eh . . . He lived."
(Tommy Litz, Bowie)
Palindromes are easy ysae era semordnilap! (Tommy Litz, Bowie)
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