Week 237 : Ask Backward


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Sep 28, 1997

A paparazzo's conscience

Because Marv got there first

Sixteen paparazzi and a mohel

Marv, but not a paparazzo

Hitler, Pol Pot, Satan and Marv

Because a paparazzo was unavailable

A fish named Marvin

Moses, Jesus, Buddha and a paparazzo

Marvin Gardens

A paparazzo's grave

Only Marv and Eleanor Roosevelt

A paparazzo's f-stop

This Week's Contest: You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Answer one, or more than one. First-prize winner gets a set of four first-day-of-issue stamped envelopes commemorating the presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon, proudly issued in 1995 by the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, Calif. It is worth the price of the four 32-cent stamps affixed to the envelopes, plus sentimental value. Say, two bucks, total.

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 237, 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, Oct. 6. 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. "If a man gives away his ear, Socrates, how then might he hear?" "A good question, Eucalyptus. Would an earless man have no way to comprehend speech?" "He might read the lips of those who speak." "Just so, Eucalyptus. And he would thus hear voice but be deaf to the language of the gods. He could hear not the leaves rustle, nor a bee land upon a flower." (Next Week: Kornheiser Ear Kredit.) Employees of The Washington Post, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 234,

in which you were asked to complete any of four jokes, as told by a famous person. For some reason, Dan Quayle took a horrible thrashing this week. A man makes some teensy public mistakes, and people can't seem to leave him alone. If we were Quayle we would be as steamed as, oh, we don't know, a soup potato. There were several excellent answers too popular to reward with prizes. The best: Why did the moron throw the clock out the window? Lorena Bobbitt: `Because I wasn't thinking clearly. Oh, wait. You said, "clock."'

Fifth Runner-Up: Why did the moron throw a clock out the window?

Garry Trudeau: Because he had Alzheimer's. Hahahahahahaha. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Fourth Runner-Up: Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?

Dan Quayle: I saw a gorilla once when I went to the zoo. (Ivan Wasserman, Washington)

Third Runner-Up: Why did the moron throw the clock out the window?

Roy Black: First, there is no window. Second, the window was closed at the time in question. Third, there was and is no clock, and finally, my client -- the true victim in this case -- was incapable of understanding that it was wrong to throw the clock out the window because, as you yourself have already conceded, he is a moron ... (Dan Kaplan, Arlington)

Second Runner-Up: Why do firemen wear red suspenders?

Dan Quayle: Anywhere he wants to! (Russ Beland, Springfield)

First Runner-Up: Why did the moron throw the clock out the window?

Louis Farrakhan: There are 12 numbers on the clock. The phrase "throw the clock" has 13 letters. The phrase "thirteen letters" has 15 letters. The phrase "fifteen letters" has 14 letters! See? (Jacob Weinstein, Los Angeles)

And the winner of the Civil War poop:

Why did the moron throw the clock out the window?

Chris Webber: Oh, very subtle. I can't believe you guys are still on my case

for that lousy timeout. (Stephen A. Simon, Arlington)

Honorable Mentions:

Why did the moron throw the clock out the window?

Hunter Thompson: Because the drug-addled waterhead had just gobbled up a whole jimson weed and was beyond the help of God's own amount of Thorazine. The poor fool thought the grandfather clock was actually his grandfather, who presumably needed saving after the mattress had been set on fire in a cherry-bomb experiment gone sour.

(Jose Cortina, Centreville)

Jerry Seinfeld: What's with that word "moron"? I mean, if someone is dumb, shouldn't it be "less on"? (Drew Knoblauch, Roanoke)

Oliver Stone: We may never know. But we know that he did not act alone. (Bob Dalton, Beaumont, Tex.)

Dan Quayle: It wasn't a clock. It was his watch. And he didn't throw it. It just sort of slid off his wrist. Since he was a Republican, the liberal media of course turned it into this big clock thing, which if you ask me, is just one more example of the real morons calling the kettle black. (David Ronka, Charlottesville)

Why do firemen wear red suspenders?

James Michener: Over 2,000 years ago Augustus, emperor of Rome, formed a group he called the vigiles. These men were charged with the responsibility of patrolling the streets of Rome as a police force. They also watched for fires. The subsequent evolution of fire fighting is, unfortunately, not well documented until after 1666. That year brought a conflagrative tragedy of immense proportions to London, England. The Great Fire of London, as it came to be called, left thousands of people homeless and destroyed much of the city. Its influence, however, was even greater, as the fire caused the insurance companies to demand that organized fire fighting groups be established. (Firemen wear red suspenders because geese mate for life, but you don't discover the reasons why until Chapter 23.) (Carolyn Perry, Hamilton, Va.)

Lassie: Red? It looks black to me.

(Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Robert F. Kennedy: Some men see firemen wearing red suspenders and ask why. I see firemen with their pants around their ankles and ask why not? (Drew Knoblauch, Roanoke)

John Travolta: To support their pants, just as I will support the children of the late Princess, Diana (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Frank Sinatra: Beats me. Let's go find some broads. (Stephen R. Fahey, Kensington)

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

Jean-Paul Sartre: It does not matter. We shall remain forever in the dark. (Susan Reese, Arlington)

Ron Carey: None. That's a union job.

(Robert and Lydia Faulkner, Fairfax)

Ken Starr: Just give me three years and $23 million and I'll find out how many of the guilty scum it takes. (David Genser, Arlington)

Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?

Frank McCourt: I thought to myself, a better question would be, "What's a huge fat gorilla doing in the streets of Limerick to begin with?" But before I can think of an answer the coal cart knocks the gorilla on his arse and kills him entirely, and Malachy and me drag the great ape home and we eat him the same night and "Jaysus," says Mam, "I'd never wish ill harm to one a God's creatures, but if there's only a few more gorillas as dumb as this poor beast wanderin' the streets maybe the boys and I can survive until Dad gets a notion to stop takin' each week's wages to the pub"

(Dan Kaplan, Arlington)

Neville Chamberlain: Wherever it wants to. It is not our concern. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

John Kent Cooke: Well, I could give him a deal on some luxury suites and skyboxes.

(Bob Dalton, Beaumont, Tex.; Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Plato: Woof woof. Oh, wait. That's Pluto.

(David Genser, Arlington)

Bill Clinton: On the Supreme Court, if his contribution is large enough. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

And Last:

Chuck Smith of Woodbridge: On an absolutely huge toilet seat. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Next Week: Roots

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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