Week 212 : Dumb as The Post

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Apr 6, 1997

Kidnapping Robert Haft to get ransom money from his dad, Herbert.

Trying to pass funny money at the gift shop at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.

Fencing Apple computers.

Hijacking a blimp.

This Week's Contest was suggested by Ann Gerhart of Bethesda, after she read about Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars," who broke into houses in Potomac and Bethesda and demanded cash. Ann says these guys were morons. People in Potomac and Bethesda (1) have elaborate security systems, and (2) do not keep money in the house, they live on plastic. Ann suggests that you come up with even stupider crimes. (Please, spare us examples stolen from the excellent book "America's Dumbest Criminals," which contains 100 of the stupidest real crimes ever committed, including the idiot who staged a prison break two days before the end of his sentence, and the accused vending-machine thief who paid his $400 bail entirely in quarters.) First-prize winner gets a hard-bound copy of the American Phrenological Journal of 1866. This is the second such volume that has come into our possession, and once again we are impressed by the authority with which it speaks on the scientific significance of the shape and contours of one's head, which account for telling fluctuations in one's personality and capabilities and moral fiber.

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 212, 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: Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, April 14. 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 Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park for today's Ear No One Reads. Hello out there . . . Do we owe you any prizes? Speak now, or forever be silent. For the next three weeks we will entertain and investigate complaints from people who contend we have stiffed them; send in a postcard with your name and address and what you think we owe you, specifying the week number of the contest or contests in question. Bear in mind that delivery takes up to eight weeks, so we don't want to hear about anything after Week 201. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 209,

in which you were asked to come up with signs that spring has sprung in Washington:

Third Runner-Up: In a lighthearted, festive mood, Metro riders read the Economist instead of Congressional Quarterly. (David Genser, Vienna)

Second Runner-Up: You see the first robbin' of spring. (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

First Runner-Up: Lawyers put their clocks forward one hour, then bill their clients for the hour. (Nicci Daho, Blacksburg)

And the winner of the chocolates from the Ferdinand Marcos estate:

Last year's tourists return to testify. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

Honorable Mentions:

D.C. cabbies switch from flannel to cotton turbans. (Will Waters, North Potomac;

Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

D.C. surveyors begin to lay out next year's potholes. (Will Waters, North Potomac)

O.J. widens his search for the real killers to include Canadian golf courses. (Paul Laport and Lee Mayer, Washington; Art Grinath,

Takoma Park)

Antonin Scalia turns back the clocks.

(Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

Parked cars sport colorful Denver boots. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

Street vendors get their annual shipment of fresh hot dogs. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

Senators fly back from San Juan Capistrano. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

Mail carriers start wearing those stupid-looking shorts with the socks pulled all the way up like a dork. (Definitely not sent in by Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax, no siree Bob.)

Everyone sets his clocks ahead one hour except Dan Quayle, who moves to a different time zone. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

The more romantic Washington men send glamour shots of their resumes to their mates. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Spring brings sunshine and warmth, allowing the District's downtown denizens to strip down to four layers of clothing. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Anonymous volunteers thoughtfully prune D.C. parking meters. (David Genser, Vienna)

Flashers take the linings out of their raincoats. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

G. Gordon Liddy sees his shadow, grabs a pistol and blasts the hell out of it. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Preschool children who have donated more than $50,000 to the DNC participate in the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. (Michael Jahr, Washington; Russell Beland, Springfield)

Frequency of rain and leaky roofs means many D.C. schools no longer are fire hazards.

(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

The whole Mall area is full of buds. Trees are sprouting, too. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Street people get their shopping cart wheels rotated. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Alan Greenspan crawls out, sees his shadow and raises interest rates. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Plumbers put away the long johns and break out the butt cracks. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Roberto Alomar begins spitting practice.

(Alex Neill, Washington)

The sounds of singing birds, rumbling lawn mowers, blasting car alarms and whizzing bullets filling the air make it nearly impossible to hear your Miranda rights being read to you. (Tommy Litz, Bowie)

Next Week: Random Memo

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