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|Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 25,
"Your underwear who?"
"Your underwear the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent."
This Week's Contest: Make up a knock-knock joke. The subject of the third line must be something either 1) rude, 2) silly or 3) profound. First-prize winner receives a numbered lithograph of an original 1935 Little Lulu cartoon (we get the good stuff, don't we?), a value of $75. Runners-up, as always, receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser's 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 154, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 10071, fax them to 202-334-4312 or submit them via Internet to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, March 4. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. Editors reserve the right to alter entries for taste, humor or appropriateness. 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. Washington Post employees and their families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 151, in which you were asked to come up with concepts for new, edgier comics to replace strips that currently appear in The Post. One observation: We tapped a mother lode of resentment. Readers feel they are being overrun with comics that are cute and wholesome and demographically diverse but lack that quality best described as "humor." Out of respect to the cartoonists involved, we will not enumerate which strips came in for the most withering criticism; you will have to read between the lines. Anyway, many people suggested replacing "Momma" with "Yo Momma," a strip that gratuitously insults the reader ("Yo momma so fat her shadow weigh 50 pounds"). Also, replacing "Hagar the Horrible" with "Haggar the Horrible," a strip featuring woeful tales of men in ill-fitting polyester slacks. Ten people suggested replacing "Sally Forth" with "Sally Fifth," the story of a modern woman who has it all, including a serious drinking problem.
Fourth Runner-Up: Replace "Dennis the Menace" with "Dentist the Menace," a character based on the Laurence Olivier character in "Marathon Man." (Sarah Worcester, Bowie)
Third Runner-Up: Replace "Crock" with "Crack," the travels of a refrigerator repairman. (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)
Second Runner-Up: Replace "The Family Circus" with "The Simpson Circus." In the first episode, O.J. denies involvement in the double murder, instead coyly blaming it on "Not Me" and "Ida Know." (Brian K. Herget, Springfield)
First Runner-Up: Replace "B.C." with "P.C.," a cartoon that avoids humor that might offend women, minorities, foreigners, fat people, old people, gay people, people with substance-abuse problems or speech impediments or congenital handicaps or any other physical condition or behavioral anomaly that might otherwise be subject to uncharitable stereotyping. The strip is as funny as an embolism. (Joseph Romm, Washington)
And the winner of this cartoon:
Replace "Peanuts" with "Prunes," a strip about doddering oldsters who think, talk and act like children. (Fred Dawson, Beltsville)
Replace "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith" with "Buffy Smith-Google." A super-deb battles chipped nails, runny mascara and her arch-nemesis, split ends. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Don't change the strips, just change the nature of the situations. For example, in "Family Circus," Daddy can be working under the car when the jack slips. Bleeding to death, he tells Billy to get help quickly, but Billy runs all over the neighborhood in this zany dotted line, climbing fences, picking flowers, stopping to play with Barfy, etc. (Steve Silberberg, Washington)
Replace "Crock" with "Crock." Republicans present a plan to cut taxes while balancing the budget in seven years. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Replace "The Family Circus" with "The Circus Family," the madcap adventures of a bearded lady, her Siamese-twin husbands and their wolf-boy. (Alan Feyerherm, Arlington)
Replace "Non Sequitur" with "Ad Hominem," in which the characters are national political figures who avoid substantive issues by attacking each other's sex lives, military records, etc. (Phil John, Arlington)
Replace "Garfield" with "Garfeld," the story of a neurotic cat living in New York with his kvetchy friends. (Paul Styrene, Olney; Randy M. Wadkins, Silver Spring)
Replace "Tank McNamara" with "Think-Tank McNamara," in which an ace Heritage Foundation analyst argues, week after week, for such measures as abolishing the school lunch program to finance a capital gains tax cut. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Replace "Beetle Bailey" with "Liver Fluke Bailey," an even more comically sluggish soldier. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Replace "Apartment 3-G" with "Apartment 3-F," a continuing police drama about the stakeout of Apartment 3-G. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Replace "Snuffy Smith" with "Snuff Smith," the adventures of a hit man. (Brian Baker, Silver Spring)
Replace "Peanuts" with "Biscotti," the story of an attractive group of twentysomethings who spend all their time drinking latte ... the strip is filled with poignant and witty reflections, such as "What's so good about grief?" (Steve Daly, Reston)
Replace "Rex Morgan, M.D." with "Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, M.D." (Russell Beland, Springfield)
Replace "Non Sequitur" with "Double-Entendre," a strip filled with dirty jokes so subtle and cunning no one gets them. (Cathy Ramuglia, Lorton; Joel Knanishu, Hyattsville)
Replace "The Family Circus" with "I Strangled Billy ... " (John Kammer, Herndon)
Replace "The Born Loser" with "The Born-Again Loser." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
Replace "B.C." with "B.S.," a strip that follows the doings of a group of Washington power-mongers and policy wonks. (Robin D. Grove, Washington)
for between the lines: "One Big Happy"; "Peanuts"; "The Family Circus"; "Nancy"; "Curtis"
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