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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Great Pyramids at Giza
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Lighthouse of Alexandria
This week's contest was proposed by Dave Ferry of Leesburg, who wins a copy of "Six Drown Saving Chicken," a collection of weird but true stories compiled by Reuter. (Second-best headline: "Tapeworm Found in Frog-Eating Fugitive's Brain.") Anyway, Dave proposes that you come up with replacements for the Seven Wonders of the World, which are magnificent gigantic inspiring achievements of mankind that no one gives a crap about anymore. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus? Get real. To qualify as a Style Invitational Wonder of the World, an object must really exist, and be man-made and, in some way, awesome. That's it. You don't have to come up with all seven. We will choose a winner and six runners-up. The winner gets a great relic, the official NASA footage of Apollo 11, sold in 1969 by Columbia Pictures home movie. It is on an 8 millimeter reel; it's worth $25.
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 185, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; 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, Oct. 6. 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 is also soliciting nominations for replacements for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The current ones are Famine, Pestilence, Death and Destruction. We have great cheesy prizes for the winners. The Faerie also wishes to thank Bob Sorensen of Herndon for today's Ear No One Reads. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 182,
in which you were asked to come up with conversation stoppers -- lines guaranteed to end all discourse, possibly even empty a room. Several people reported having heard just such lines. Cissie Owens of Leesburg says a Russian friend of hers, whose English is aggressive but imprecise, once silenced a dinner party by inquiring, "Can I taste your toilet?" Also, Laura Romstedt of Vienna reports that her mother once brought a cocktail party to a thudding halt by announcing, "I have five living children."
Third Runner-Up: "So I asked the barber to cut my hair a little more like Hitler's."
(David Howe, Washington)
Second Runner-Up: "That's not an urban myth. I know the guy it happened to!"
(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)
First Runner-Up: "I do a hilarious impression of Stephen Hawking. Want to see?"
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
And the winner of the box of Smurf figurines:
"I'd love to stay for dessert, but I have to go home and feed my hostage."
(Tom Henry, Arlington)
"I don't get humor." (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)
"We prefer that our children refer to their sexual organs by the proper anatomical names, rather than use euphemisms." (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)
"Okay, everyone all together now .... My bo-log-na has a first name. . ." (Helene Haduch, Washington)
"Did you ever realize that Saddam Hussein rhymes with Saddam who-is-insane?"
(Jules Rubinstein, Potomac)
"No, I live alone. I had roommates once, but they were torn apart by invisible demons in the living room.I have to go wash my hands now." (Dan Williamson, Chicago)
"Want to hear a rendition of `In a Gadda Da Vida' using only my hand and armpit? Frap frp frap-frp frap frp FRAPP frp frp ..."
(Tobin Hill, Ft. Washington)
"I know who killed Ted Kennedy."
(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
"How can we discuss the meaning of anything until we know the meaning of `meaning'? (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
"Just think, in a future life, I will have been who I am today!" (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
"Ah, yes, the Macarena. Does that not imply a spicy "macaronic" admixture of Latin and vernacular whilst drolly suggesting the primitive gaiety of the macaco lemur?" (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
"Did you know that until the invention of Cran-Grape, Cran-Raspberry and the other cranberry drinks, `cranberry' was the only word in which `cran' appeared?" (Dan Williamson, Chicago)
"These extra Y chromosomes are driving me crazy!" (Jonathan Paul, Garrett park)
" You can't unload the bowling balls with a PITCHFORK!" (Ned Bent, Herndon)
"Both my wife and I are adopted. For all we know, we could be brother and sister!"
(Frank Franz, Fairfax)
"I think you mean, to each his OR HER own." (Sarah Worcester, Bowie)
"Talk about tired -- I've spent the whole day in court, testifying against the Mob." (Earl Gilbert, La Plata)
"Don't you think it's about time they dropped the U from UFO?" (Joel Knanishu, Hyattsville)
"Do you think Smurfette was gay? No, I'm serious." (Bonnie Speary Devore, Rockville)
"Well, as Popeye is wont to say, blow me down." (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)
"Sometimes, I break my knee on purpose." (Dan Woltman, Arlington)
"Wait, wait, I think I have a coupon. "
(Jean Sorensen, Herndon)
"Isn't your baby supposed to be talking by this age?" (Phyllis Ryer, Washington)
"Who wants to play biblical trivial pursuit?" (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
"I like socks because they make my feet feel loved." (Helene Haduch, Washington)
"If we had Sharon Pratt Kelly back, we wouldn't be in the pickle we are in now."
(Robert Greenblatt, Silver Spring)
"Et tu, Brute?" (Of course, this alone won't clear a room. You'll need several friends to stab you while you say it.) (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)
"Have you ever seen one of those flat typewriters that has a TV attached to it?"
(Joel Knanishu, Hyattsville)
"In the early 1970s, I was a Nixon lickspittle." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
"Sorry about spilling a drink on your rug. I guess you'll be wanting to spank me now."
(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)
"Catch Lehrer the other night?"
(Jean Sorensen, Herndon)
"Does anyone know where I can get an inflatable doll repaired? I want one-hour service." (J.F. Martin, Birmingham, Ala.)
"Ever notice how a cockroach's egg sac looks just like a Rice Krispie?" (Earl Gilbert, La Plata.)
Next Week: Cockney Rhyming Slang II
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