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|Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 22,
Would it not be amusing if, following a ceremony marking the signing of
the Treaty of Versailles, Lloyd George had quipped to Woodrow Wilson,
"Luncheon, I believe, is crow, served on a Kaiser roll."
Why do firemen wear red suspenders? Because their taste in clothing is simply abominable.
This week's contest was suggested by
David Twenhafel of Silver Spring, who wins "The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cookbook." A certified financial planner, David wrote us a letter in which he defends us against scurrilous charges of favoritism. The reason we keep choosing entries by the same people, he writes, is not that we are biased, but that we are rewarding the only thing we understand: sophomoric, infantile, slapstick, pratfall, poopy-potty humor. This puts the Style Invitational off limits to persons whose sense of humor is more sophisticated, persons such as David. He suggests that we run a contest for people like him. "I would offer some examples," he writes, "but you wouldn't find them humorous, so why bother?" We think this is a fabulous idea! This week's contest: Make David Twenhafel laugh. Any sort of delightful drollery or amusing witticism will do, so long as it is not the sort of lowbrow fare we usually favor. First-prize winner gets a Poopet, a realistic sculpture of a reclining cat made entirely from compressed cow manure. It is worth $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 197, 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, Dec. 30. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced three weeks from today. 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 Al Dyson of Washington for today's Ear No One Reads. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 194,
in which you were asked to become newspaper advice columnists, supplying unwise responses to any of five questions we posed.
+ Third Runner-Up: How should I tactfully inform guests that I don't want them to smoke in my house? Signed, Happy Lungs. Dear Happy Lungs: Place Popsicle-stick crosses on your front lawn. When the inevitable questions arise, tell guests that you've been losing parakeets like crazy since you converted to gas. (David K. Ronka, Bradford, Mass.)
+ Second Runner-Up: My mother-in-law still has photos my husband's ex-wife on her mantel. Should I say something? Signed, Miffed. Dear Miffed: Leave the picture on the mantel, but surround it with photographs of Hitler, Pol Pot, Charles Manson, and baby seals being clubbed. (Eric P. Gallun, Gaithersburg; William Lomas, Bristow, Va.)
+ First Runner-Up: My daughter and son-in-law are always asking me to baby-sit my grandchildren. How can I graciously let them know they are taking advantage of me? Signed, Grumpy. Dear Grumpy: The next time your daughter calls to say she is dropping the kids off, respond enthusiastically, "Oh, good. I have to drive downtown tonight to score, and my connection is always much less paranoid when Caitlin and Hunter are with me." (Frank and Cindy Curry, Richmond)
+ And the winner of the real Pet Rock: My daughter and son-in-law are always asking me to baby-sit my grandchildren. How can I graciously let them know they are taking advantage of me? Signed, Grumpy.
Dear Grumpy: Say nothing. Place large dog cages in your living room, each labeled with the name of a grandchild. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)
+ Honorable Mentions:
How should I tactfully inform guests that I don't want them to smoke in my house? Signed, Happy Lungs.
When they arrive, place a "Smoking Area" sign on their car. (William Lomas,
Wait until they request an ashtray. Tell them you don't have any, and offer your cupped hands as a substitute. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)
Grow a thin, patchy beard, dye it and your hair a mousy reddish-brown, obtain a pair of Coke-bottle spectacles, and greet your smoking guests by saying, "I'm dressed this way in honor of my idol, David Kessler, who is leaving the FDA after four years of prosecuting those merchants of death, the tobacco lords." (Lee Modesitt, Hanover, N.H.)
My daughter and son-in-law are always asking me to baby-sit my grandchildren. How can I graciously let them know they are taking advantage of me? Signed, Grumpy.
Ask them to pick up some ear plugs and a fifth of bourbon on the way. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)
My mother-in-law still has photos my husband's ex-wife on her mantel. Should I say something? Signed, Miffed.
Say, "Hey, who puked on the mantel?" Then apologize: "Oh, never mind. That's his ex-wife." (John Kammer, Herndon)
What is the proper way to introduce my son's live-in lover? Signed, Puzzled.
"This is my son, Mike, and this is Cheryl. Yes, I know she looks like Tiffany, but Tiffany was three sluts ago." (Jim and Emily Flautt, Stanford, Calif.)
Preface the introduction by saying, "Have you ever heard the saying, `Why would a man buy a cow if he gets the milk for free?'" Wink broadly. Then continue, "May I introduce
Elsie ... " (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
If your son is gay, introduce his lover as "that nice young man who sodomizes my son." (Charlie Steinhice, Washington)
I am afraid my boyfriend is being unfaithful to me. How can I found out for sure? Signed, Curious.
Have Sen. D'Amato hold hearings.
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
You should share your feelings with your boyfriend, and ask him straight out if he has strayed. Open communication and trust are the keys to a healthy relationship. Ha ha ha. Just kidding! Try blackmailing his secretary into spying on him. (David Genser, Vienna)
Try this approach. Start a conversation in which you criticize monogamy as a sexist institution designed to promote men's "ownership" of women. Suggest that the two of you might experiment with dating others while maintaining your relationship with each other. If he nods and shrugs in agreement, drive a butcher knife into his upper thorax. (Steve Anthony, Bethesda)
Catch a venereal disease. Give it to your boyfriend. Wait and see how he explains having given it to you. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
I can relate to your situation. When I thought my wife was being unfaithful to me, I beat her silly until she divorced me. Then I stalked her and her boyfriend until the time was right and then I Oops. (O.J. Simpson, Brentwood, Calif.; Mario Zangla, Leesburg)
Next Week: The Marthian Chronicles (plus, the stunning secret behind Week 193)
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