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|Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 11,
If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?
We might if they screamed all the time for no good reason.
I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because children should not be having sex.
It is easy to sit and scoff at an old man's folly.
But also check out his Adam's apple.
Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words -- "mank" and "ind."
What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
By my estimation, a song is always a thing of beauty . .
Today's contest was suggested by Joseph Romm of Washington, who wins his own underpants. For technically unexplainable reasons, Joseph sent them to us in a FedEx package a year ago, and it has remained in a drawer at The Post. Periodically, someone will open it and ask "What is this?" and we will say, "Joseph Romm's underpants," and they will respond, "Oh." The joke is -- ha ha -- wearing thin. Anyway, Joseph proposes that we ask you to come up with Deep Thoughts, in the Style of Jack Handey of "Saturday Night Live." For those unfamiliar with Mr. Handey's ouevre, we include a few of his examples above, plus a general explanation: A Deep Thought is a short, simple, seemingly inspirational observation that winds up being cynical, ironic, or just plain weird. First-prize winner gets a magnificent taxidermized mouse donated to The Style Invitational by Stephen Dudzik of Silver Spring, a value of $30.
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 178, c/o 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 week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Aug. 19. 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 Bob Sorensen of Herndon for today's Ear No One Reads. Do you have, or do you know anyone who has, the worst job in the Washington area? Best examples win stupid prizes and national humiliation. Describe said job to "Style Invitational Bad Jobs Contest," at this address. Employees of The Washington Post and their families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 175, in which we asked you to surmise what alien anthropologists would conclude about us if they arrived on Earth a million years from now and found only certain specific relics. But first, we need to acknowledge a letter from Kevin Cuddihy of Fairfax, whose entries arrived a day after deadline, with a plea for an exemption. Kevin explained how he was out of the country, chaperoning his church group to a work camp in Canada, helping restore the homes of people too sick or poor to do this themselves. Wow. Kevin, we are sympathetic to your case. But under the new welfare reform bill, compassion is expressly forbidden by law. Listen, if we starting bending the rules for you, we would have to make allowances for people with myasthenia gravis, for example. You can see where that would lead. Exemption denied.
On to the aliens:
+ Third Runner Up: A toilet -- "This primitive warrior race armored themselves with heavy porcelain helmets having handy swing-down chin straps." (John Kammer, Herndon)
+ Second Runner-Up: A brassiere -- "They may not have been totally carbon-based. I'm getting trace indications of silicon." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
+ First Runner-Up: Plastic bubble-wrap -- "Wow, near the end they must have sold air by the cubic inch! Poor wretches." (Dave Curtis, Ijamsville)
+ And the winner of the "Butts Are Gross" jigsaw puzzle:
A toilet, a D.C. taxicab and a tree-shaped air freshener -- "From this elaborate porcelain device for delivering drinking water, and from the unaesthetic coloration on the exterior of their main form of personal transport, suggesting colorblindness, and from the tree icon sprayed with a foul-smelling liquid, we may reliably infer this was a society ruled by dogs." (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)
A toilet and a D.C. taxicab: "One appears to be a vessel for waste disposal and the other ... hmm, what do you suppose this handle is for?" (Dave Curtis, Ijamsville)
The Sunday Post: "If Marilyn vos Savant was the smartest human alive, they were a race of idiots." (Dave Ferry, Leesburg)
Mount Rushmore: "It's no wonder they became extinct. They were all the same sex." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Tree-shaped car freshener, a bowling trophy, a Walk/Don't Walk sign: "Examining these objects as a group, we must conclude that this civilization's guiding motto was `tree, strikes, and your route.' This is such a bad pun they deserved to die out." (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
A D.C. Taxi: "They were a primitive society using the zone system instead of a meter like everyone else in the universe." (Dave Ferry, Leesburg)
A D.C. Taxi: "This was a race of people whose names had no vowels." (Dave Curtis, Ijamsville; Jean Sorensen, Herndon)
An umbrella: "Their mai tais must have been awesome." (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park; Dave Curtis, Ijamsville)
A brassiere: "The speculation that this might indicate a society of two-headed creatures is too ludicrous to comment on in a serious journal. Obviously, this device is a feed bag and it was the beasts of burden that were two-headed." (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)
Plastic bubble-wrap: "Look, the last batch of eggs from this planet's inhabitants. Say, no wonder they died out -- one feels strangely compelled to POP them ... " (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
A computer mouse: "The species died out because of poor design. It achieved locomotion by moving about on a single exposed testicle." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)
A bowling trophy: "Their opposable thumb became very unwieldy and may have contributed to the extinction of the species." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge; John Kammer, Herndon)
A brassiere: "The inability of our top engineers to open this device suggests it was some sort of manacle." (Joseph Romm, Washington)
A Walk/Don't Walk sign and The Post: "This aboriginal society devolved to such a state they could not decide whether to move about without specific instruction. People were literally programmed by computer to do everything. A confirming data point in The Washington Post: The capital city could not operate without a `control board.'" (Gary Mason, Herndon)
A toilet: "We are uncertain of the utility of this item, although we are reporting to Central Command that Lt. Dilphon left the lid up twice today." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)ildren, because children should not be having sex.
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