Week 234 : The Joke's on You


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Sep 7, 1997

Why do firemen wear red suspenders?

Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?

How many psychiatrists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Why did the moron throw the clock out the window?

"Just because this lad asserts his disdain for measured time, that is certainly no reason to dub him a moron."

-- Henry David Thoreau

This Week's Contest was inspired from something boinging around the Internet, in which funny celebrity punch lines are supplied for the joke "Why did the chicken cross the road?" (Tomas de Torquemada: "Leave me alone with the chicken for 10 minutes and I will find out." Ernest Hemingway: "To die. Alone. In the rain.") We would never stoop to stealing an idea, unless: 1) it is a good idea, and 2) we can alter it a little and plausibly claim it as our own. So, this week's contest is to complete any of the above four jokes (Not the chicken! That would be Wrong!) as it would be told by someone famous, living or dead. First-prize winner gets a small checkered bag with a drawstring. Inside are a half dozen pellets. They look like they might be beanstalk seeds, but they are genuine fossilized material, obtained from beneath the latrines at Civil War battlefields. We swear this is true. It is worth $20.

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 234, 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, Sept. 15. 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. Harken to the sounds upon the fen, sir / 'Tis the noble warble of the Tufted Genser. (Next week: Ogden Nash ear credit.) Employees of The Washington Post, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 231, in which you were asked to design a state motto for the back of the new quarters.

Third Runner-Up --

Maine: "Can't Say We Rightly Approve of These New-Fangled Quarters."

(Dave Whitten, Falls Church)

Second Runner-Up --

Mississippi: "Coloreds Welcome"

(Mark Seitten, Takoma Park)

First Runner-Up --

Missouri: "This is the back of the quarter." (Bob and Lydia Faulkner, Washington)

And the winner of the huge snow globe containing a likeness of Elvis:


"E Pluribus Coli."

(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Honorable Mentions:

Florida: "God's Waiting Room" (John Bowen, West Orange, N.J.; Lee Mayer and Paul Laporte, Washington)

Nevada: "Insert Coin. Pull Handle. Repeat." (Caroline Gennity, Norfolk; John Kammer, Herndon; Ken Kaufman, Gaithersburg)

West Virginia:

(John Kammer, Herndon)

New Jersey: "You Want I Should Smack You or What?" (Sid Perkins, Arlington)

Massachusetts: "We're Almost Out of Kennedys" (Barney Kaufman, Manassas)

Iowa: "The Only State in the Union Where Most Schoolkids Can Find Iowa on a Map"

(Tom Kreitzburg, Silver Spring)

Virginia: "Executing Mainly the Guilty"

(Hank Wallace, Washington)

New York: "We Got Your Quarter Right Here" (John Kammer, Herndon; Edward Mickolus,

Dunn Loring)

Texas: "Recuerde a El Alamo"

(Jessica Steinhice, Washington)

Utah: "Help Us Rename Our Basketball Team, Please" (Jessica Steinhice, Washington)

Nevada: "If There Were an Area 51, It Might Be Here" (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Hawaii: "No, We Wouldn't Like a Nice Hawaiian Punch, So Shut Your Poi Hole" (Cynthia Coe and Ray Aragon, Bethesda)

West Virginia:

(Bob and Lydia Faulkner, Washington)

Arkansas: "The Special Prosecutor State" (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

New Jersey: "28 Great Exits" (Lawrence Friedl, Washington)

Alabama: "Where Strom Thurmond is considered a hippie." (Justin Warner, Washington)

New York: "More Polite Than France"

(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Nevada: (Exact dupe of the "heads" side, for cheap sucker bets) (Drew Knoblauch, Roanoke)

New Jersey:

"Gas Food Lodging"

(David Genser, Arlington)

Nevada: "Tails It Is!" (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Arkansas: "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem" (Sarah Corcoran, Cherry Hill, N.J.)

Minnesota: "The Only State With the Anagram `A Snot Mine.' " (Pat Shea, Silver Spring)

Mississippi: "Bet You Can't Name a City"

(Jose Cortina, Centreville)

Vermont: "We're the One on the Left. No, Wait. Yeah, the Left" (Stephen R. Mundt, Arlington)

Nevada: "Most of Our Women Are Not Prostitutes" (David Genser, Arlington)

New York: "Stranglings Are Down Recently" (David Genser, Arlington)

New York: "Put the Rest of Your Change in the Bag. I Have a Gun." (David Genser, Arlington)

Pennsylvania: "Thank God We Weren't Founded by Oglethorpe" (Jay and Carol Wolff, Naples, Fla.)

New York: "Like We Need a Motto"

(Dorothy Hickson, Columbia Heights)

Next Week: Primal Urges

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