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Week 201 : The Elements of Style


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jan 19, 1997

Element: WOMAN

Symbol: Wo

Physical Properties: Boils at nothing and may freeze anytime. Melts when handled gently. Very bitter if discarded. Turns slightly green when placed beside a newer specimen.

Element: MAN

Symbol: Xy

Physical Properties: Easily gets bent out of shape. Fairly dense and sometimes flaky.

Chemical Properties: Attempts to bond with Wo any chance it can get. Also, tends to form strong bonds with itself. Neutralize by saturating with alcohol. Caution: In the absence of Wo, this element rapidly decomposes and begins to smell.

Element: BUREAUCRATIUM

Symbol: Bm

Chemical Properties: The heaviest element known to science. It has no protons or electrons and has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 312. Bureaucratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically, as it impedes every reaction it comes into contact with.

This Week's Contest was proposed by Stephen Dudzik of Silver Spring, who swiped the idea from somewhere out there on the Internet. He wins a package of Larvets, cheddar cheese-flavored edible worm larvae. Stephen suggests that you come up with a new element and its symbol, and provide a brief description of its chemical or physical properties. First-prize winner gets a genuine change purse made from the scrotum of a kangaroo, a fine product mailed to the Style Invitational from Australia by Jerry Pannullo of Chevy Chase, who wins a can of bird's nest soup from the People's Republic of China, which was donated to the Style Invitational by Dave Barry of Miami, who wins a booger.

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 201, 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: losers@access.digex.net. Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Jan. 27. 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 Russell Beland of Springfield for today's Ear No One Reads, and to continue soliciting new names for the seven days of the week. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report From Week 198, in which you were asked to name a group, and an action designed to infuriate it. For some reason, the NRA took the most hits. A special thanks to Sandra Hull of Arlington for pointing out, to no apparent purpose, the nonetheless intriguing fact that "B'nai B'rith" is an anagram for "Thin Rabbi."

Third Runner-Up: The National Organization for Women -- "Take Your Second Wife to Work Day." (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

Second Runner-Up: Veterans of Foreign Wars -- Savion Glover performing "taps" at military funerals. (Frank and Cindy Curry, Richmond)

First Runner-Up: Utah Jazz fans -- Implement quotas requiring racial representation on a sports team comparable to the racial makeup of the community that supports it. (Greg Pryor, Washington)

And the Winner of the Pee-wee Herman dart board:

Nobel Prize Committee -- Required to include new category recognizing "Most Bodacious Ta-Tas." (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

Honorable Mentions

The Christian Coalition -- Football players blaming Jesus when they lose. (Frank and Cindy Curry, Richmond)

The American Federation of Teachers -- Spitwad SuperSoakers. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

The National Rifle Association -- Bar children under 14 from owning assault weapons with armor-piercing jackets. (David Kleinbard, Silver Spring)

The American Psychiatric Association -- Suicide-prevention hot lines manned by Don Rickles impersonators. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

NRA -- Bullet registration.

(Frank and Cindy Curry, Richmond)

D.C. Statehood Party -- One word: Guam. (Christopher Kent, Washington)

England -- Translate the complete works of Shakespeare into Ebonics. (John D. Oesterle, Burke)

The American Psychoanalytic Association -- Number of minutes in hour is increased from 50 to 60. (David Kleinbard, Silver Spring)

The blind -- All Books on Tape recorded in Porky Pig voice. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

NRA -- Chisel the rest of the 2nd Amendment onto artwork in front of its headquarters. (Chris Fontecchio, Washington)

Mensa -- Handbook, Mensa for Dummies. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- Fur Q-Tips. (Stephen Mather, College Park)

American Civil Liberties Union -- "America's Funniest Executions." (Mitch Stark, Laytonsville)

The Supreme Court -- Bermuda Shorts Day. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

NRA -- A seven-day waiting period between the time you pull the trigger and the time it fires. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws -- Uh, I dunno. I mean, there's nothing really worth getting upset about. I mean, you know, whatever. (John Judy,

Silver Spring)

Snack Food Industry -- Along with calories and fat counts, they must publish the number of miles you would have to jog to work off a single serving. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

The Christian Coalition -- New holiday: "Blasphemous Transvestite Pride Day."

(Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

ACLU -- English-only emergency rooms.

(David Genser, Vienna)

NRA -- Lobbyists must wear dorky bright orange earflap caps to all social events. (Chris Rooney, San Francisco)

Amnesty International -- Thumbscrew export subsidies. (David Genser, Vienna)

American Medical Association -- Doctors must talk like pimps or drug dealers when prescribing medical marijuana to patients. (Chris Rooney, San Francisco)

And Last:

The Amish -- Nothing. I've tried.

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Next Week: What's The Difference?

[Illustration]
ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp


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