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|Copyright The Washington Post Company May 18,
This Week's Contest: Who are these people? What are they doing? Explain one, or more than one. First-prize winner gets a rare, 1960s-era set of salt and pepper shakers featuring a likeness of John F. Kennedy (salt) seated on his rocking chair (pepper), a valuable antique from the famed Annie Groer collection of astonishing crap. It is worth $50.
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 218, 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, May 26. 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. Employees of The Washington Post, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 215, in which you were asked to come up with pretentious, idiotic J. Peterman-style pricey catalogue blurbs to sucker people into buying one of six items: a dead goldfish, a slice of leftover pizza, a Q-Tip, a urinal deodorant cake, a wadded-up Kleenex or a head gasket for a 1977 Chevy Nova.
Third Runner-Up --
Here's a Tip. A Q-tip. This classic, simple design, like the 17th letter of the alphabet to which it pays homage, needs U ... (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Second Runner-Up --
Don't run out of gasket -- A long long time ago, I can still remember when I drove a Nova that had style. And I knew that if I had the chance, I could do my own maintenance, and maybe keep on driving for a while ... (Russell Beland, Springfield)
First Runner-Up --
Pith. The Algonquin Round Table had it in buckets. Too bad they didn't have our wickedly clever urinal deodorant cake to aim it at. They could have used one. Except for Dorothy Parker. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
And the winner of the Russian Lapel Button:
A Pizza Pi. In 528 B.C. Pythagoras proved that the sum of the squares of the sides is equal to the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle. Let us prove that the right triangle for you is this Epicurean delight ... (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)
To be or not to be. Heck of a question. Doesn't even have a question mark. Go figure. Like our wadded-up Kleenex. Heck of a tissue. No question. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Probably, when Marie Antoinette said this in 1789, she did not have our urinal deodorant cakes in mind -- but she could have. They're non-toxic. So let them eat cake. (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)
Sartre. De Beauvoir. Camus. Rimbaud. Absinthe. Gauloises. Dead goldfish. Size: Small. Color: Gold. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and Khaled Ibn-al-Walid all favored this spare but unyielding shape, a shaft terminating in a tear-drop. They used it to batter down the gates of ancient citadels in an era of adventure and romance. Q-Tips, styled after the Grand Khan's battering ram (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)
You should've wondered about Vinnie. Maybe he's taking too big a cut. Maybe you should send him a message. Maybe one morning he'll wake up face to face with our dead goldfish. Maybe you should get two. (You've wondered about Morrie ) (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Friends, Romans, countrymen, let me clean your ears (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Through the door after a hard day's work and -- what's this? A gourmet meal on the table, a crystal vase full of roses, and your loved one enfolds you saying, "You make my life worth living. Suddenly, you are breathless, like our genuine dead goldfish (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
Dames. They're a mystery inside an enigma wrapped in a wadded-up Kleenex. Hmm . . . Now that's something you can unravel. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
A fish. A gold fish. How did it die? Did someone love it too much? (Russell Beland, Springfield)
They laughed at you. They said you were mad. The fools. You'll show them mad. You've got a head gasket from a 1977 Chevy Nova. Now who's mad? (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
A tisket, a tasket, an all-American gasket. If Ella Fitzgerald were alive today, no doubt she'd be singing the praises of this classic relic of automotive Americana. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Urinal cake -- It has had a worm's-eye view of more genitalia than all but the most active Hollywood celebs. If only this beauty could talk! (Vance Greer, Sterling)
You just flew in from Cleveland. Your arms are tired. Like this joke. Stale. Our timeless urinal deodorant cake never goes stale. Change often. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Life sucks. Your boss is a moron. You're 20 pounds overweight. Your car payment is late. Gain perspective with a dead goldfish. He's dead. You're not. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)
Next Week: What Kind of Foal Am I?
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