Week 260 : It's a Snap


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Mar 8, 1998

When you are asked a question to which the answer is obviously YES --

Old snappy response:

"Is the pope Catholic?"

New snappy response:

"Is there a book in this for Monica?"

New snappy response:

"Do trailer parks attract tornadoes?"

When you are asked a question to which the answer is obviously NO --

Old snappy response:

"When Hell freezes over."

New snappy response:

"When Martha Stewart does a TV Christmas special on "Pimps and Their Ho's."

New snappy response:

"When Madeleine Albright wins a slam dunk competition."

This Week's Contest was proposed by Michael Farquhar of Washington, who in the past has been ruthlessly and unfairly ridiculed in this space merely because he was once the Style Invitational flunky and so we think we can say anything we want about him, however cruel and outrageous. We apologize. Michael wins a new, improved genital prosthesis. Michael proposes that you come up with replacements for the hackneyed two answers: "Is the pope Catholic?" and "When Hell freezes over." Do either or both. First-prize winner gets a Mr. Potato Head Massager, a battery-operated Mr. Potato Head doll whose feet give you a vibrating massage when you depress his fedora. This handsome product, which is worth $20, was donated to the Style Invitational by John Kammer of Herndon, who wins a clip-on tag ("Visitor 40") from the Lockheed Martin defense-aerospace company.

First runner-up gets the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser 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 260, 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, March 16. 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 formally bids you adieu and wishes to thank Mr. Bill Strider of Gaithersburg, for today's Sign No One Heeds. Employees of the Washington Post, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 257,

in which you were given 11 items and urged to use two or more of them to create either a game or a prank. The items were a Colonel Mustard card; an umbrella; a pair of dice; four quarters; 40 paper clips; a deceased fish; a Gideon Bible; a 45 rpm recording of Lesley Gore's "It's My Party"; a rubber band; a flocked mirror; a toilet. A very tough contest, with an unusually small response: Fewer than 200 entries, mostly from perpetual Losers, battle-scarred veterans, residents of asylums, etc.

Third Runner-Up: Drain the toilet bowl and epoxy the quarters to the bottom. Refill with water. Exit bathroom. Listen for curses and splashes. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Second Runner-Up: Place the dead fish in the umbrella. Turn it in at the cable company's lost-and-found on a bright, sunny day. (Sarah Worcester, Bowie)

First Runner-Up: Each player must roll the dice to randomly select a book and chapter from the Bible, then rewrite at least one verse to scan to the meter of "It's My Party."

They're my people to forsake if I want to

Forsake if I want to

Forsake if I want to

You'd forsake them too if they blasphemed against you!

(Erica Ginter, Washington)

And the winner of the JFK wall hanging: Arrange all 11 items randomly, then apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. If that doesn't work, urinate on everything and reapply. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Honorable Mentions:

Take the four quarters and the pair of dice to Las Vegas. Leverage your initial investment into hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Hillary Rodham Clinton, Washington; Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Cut a round hole in the fish. Place in public restroom stall with this hand-lettered note: "Out of toilet seat covers. Please use flounder. Secure with paper clips." (David Genser, Arlington)

In a rather odd coincidence, the items you list are what we usually play Clue with, because of wear and tear and attrition to the pieces the game came with. The suspense is gone because it always ends up being Colonel Mustard in the bathroom with the umbrella. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Straighten the paper clips so they form lethal mini-javelins and hide them in a delicious, moist muffin. Cut up the deceased fish and dip the pieces (with bones) in melted chocolate; let dry and put in a fancy candy box. Paint the quarters to look like pepperoni slices and arrange them on a wedge of pizza. Put everything in a bag marked "lunch from my mom -- do not touch" and place in the office refrigerator. Whoever's been stealing your lunch will not do it again. You win. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Fashion hooks out of the paper clips. Use the fish to catch a bigger fish. Use increasingly bigger hooks to catch increasingly bigger fish, until you have landed the largest largemouth bass in the world, which is worth $5 million in commercial endorsements. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Each player, in turn, reads funny saying from the Gideon Bible (for example, 1 Kings 14:10: "I will cut off from Jereboam him that pisseth against the wall.") Anyone who laughs is out. Play continues until only one is left.

(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Use the rubber band to shoot the paper clips at a Secret Service agent's butt! Use the four quarters to call a defense lawyer and bail bondsman. (David Kleinbard, Silver Spring)

Commit a murder, and leave the Colonel Mustard card at the scene. The cops will blame him! (Jacob Weinstein, Los Angeles)

This game is to be played by Bill Clinton and his legal defense team. The players are given 40 paper clips and have to page through the Gideon Bible in search of references to oral sex as not constituting adultery. Winner gets a flying pig that freezes in Hell. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Players: One lonely business traveler in a Del Rio, Tex., motel room. Insert four quarters in vibrating bed. Play 45 rpm record of "It's My Party." Use rubber bands to shoot paper clips at broken TV. Repeat until arriving at Point of Despair. Reach for Gideon Bible. It's in Spanish. Flush head in toilet. Game over. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Next Week: It's a Bird. It's a Pain.

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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