Week 231 : Giving Quarter

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 17, 1997
Arkansas: "Now With Electricity."
New Jersey: "Proud to Be a Punchline!"
Colorado: "Even More Rectangular Than Wyoming."
Hawaii: "You Can't Get Here by Bus, and That Suits Us Just


This Week's Contest was suggested by 2,457 people, each of whom will win a 1997 Honda Accord with cruise control and vinyl side molding. (Not really, though. This is just a joke. Mary Ann the Lawyer insists that we specify this fact, plainly, so no one will think we are really giving away 2,457 new cars, a misunderstanding that might create a potential tortious cause of action against The Post, its agents, employees and/or any wholly owned subsidiaries thereof, etc. Mary Ann the Lawyer believes it will not at all harm the integrity of the joke to explain this.) Anyway, two weeks ago, the federal government announced that the "tails" side of the quarter will be redesigned over the next decade to carry, serially, ads for each of the 50 states. Suggest a motto for any state. Optional: Describe an accompanying image. First-prize winner receives a huge snow globe containing a likeness of Elvis; when you shake it, he is bathed in glitter. This 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 231, 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, Aug. 25. 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. "Attend, Watson, I hear a step on the stair and unless I am very much mistaken we shall soon have a visitor about whom I can deduce little other than the obvious facts that his name is Genser, and that he is a bearded man of modest stature, spare frame and fair hair, mild of manner, brisk of step, quick of wit, a man skilled in accountancy, who lives near a cemetery, has an infant child, a handsome wife, and a single, extraordinarily long ear. Beyond that, I fear I know nothing." Next week: Chandleresque Ear credit. Employees of The Washington Post, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 228,

in which you were asked to tell Gen Xers how much harder you had it in the old days:

Second Runner-Up: In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In the winter we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction. (Bill Flavin, Alexandria)

First Runner-Up: In my day we didn't have MTV or in-line skates, or any of that stuff. No, it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with something like quarters, which we never had because our allowances were way too small, so we'd use our skate keys instead and end up forgetting they were taped to the record player arm so that we couldn't adjust our skates, which didn't really matter because those crummy metal wheels would kill you if you hit a pebble anyway, and in those days roads had real pebbles on them, not like today. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

And the winner of the velour bicentennial poster:

In my day, we didn't have no rocks. We had to go down to the creek and wash our clothes by beating them with our heads. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Honorable Mentions:

In my day, we didn't have dogs or cats. All I had was Silver Beauty, my beloved paper clip. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

In my day, your mama was so ugly, we walked 15 miles to school because she was the bus driver. (Rob Cramer and Fredreka Schouten, Arlington)

In my day, we didn't have fancy high numbers. We had "nothing," "one," "twain" and "multitudes." Or you could hold up digits to show how many, maximum 20 for women, 21 for men. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

In my day, attitudes were different. For example, women didn't like sex. At least that is what they told me. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

When I was your age, we didn't have fake doggie-do. We only had real doggie-do, and no one thought it was a damn bit funny.

(Brendan Bassett, Columbia)

When I was a kid, 2K RAM and 2 Hz was good enough. 36 Megs and 300 Hz? You can't even type that fast. (Dan Chaney, Clinton)

Back in the 1970s we didn't have the space shuttle to get all excited about. We had to settle for men walking on the crummy moon. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

In my day, we didn't have days. There was only "time for work," "time for pray" and "time for sleep." The sheriff would go around and tell everyone when to change. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

In my day, people could only dream of hitchhiking a ride on a comet. (David Ronka, Charlottesville)

In my day, we didn't have fancy health-food restaurants. Every day we ate lots of easily recognizable animal parts, along with potatoes drenched in melted fat from those animals. And we're all as strong as AAGGKK-GAAK Urrgh. Thud. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated. (Jon Patrick Smith, Washington)

In my day, we didn't have mouses to move the cursor around. We only had the arrows, and if the up arrow was broken and you needed to get to the top of the screen, well, you just hit the left arrow a thousand times, dadgummit.

(Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

In my day, we didn't get that disembodied, slightly ticked-off voice saying `Doors closing.' We got on the train, the doors closed, and if your hand was sticking out it scraped along the tunnel all the damn way to the Silver Spring station and it was a bloody stump at the end. But the base fare was only a dollar.

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms. (Diana Hugue, Bowie)

In my day, we didn't have Strom Thurmond. Oh, wait. Yes we did ... (Peg Sheeran, Vienna)

Kids today think the world revolves around them. In my day, the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant tortoise. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

In my day, we wore our pants up around our armpits. Monstrous wedgies, but we looked snappy. (Bruce Evans, Washington)

In my day, we didn't have Dilbert or Zippy, we had the mindless sentimental drivel of Family Circus and the stilted banality of Mark Trail. Now that was suffering. What? You must be kidding. Never mind. (Chris Kaufman, Lanham)

In the old days, nobody asked you to sign petitions. The sheriff just came to your house and told you you was part of a posse.

(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Back in my day, "60 Minutes" wasn't just a bunch of gray-haired liberal 80-year-old guys. It was a bunch of gray-haired liberal 60-year-old guys. (Russell Beland, Springfield, and Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

In my day, we didn't have virtual reality. If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could outrun him. (Sarah M. Wolford, Hanover)

Next Week: We Can't Hear You

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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