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The Style Irritational

Week 265: A Spork of genius
Sunday, April 12, 1998; Page F02


The Mogar -- A combination modem and cigar, this device can instantaneously and anonymously transport cigar smoke amazing distances, for use in guerrilla warfare against those tiresome tyrants who whine about secondhand smoke.

The Bratrap -- A combination brassiere and rat trap, this device provides excellent support while discouraging unwanted attention from lotharios.

The Slouch -- A combination sled and couch, this product enables Dad to participate in winter activities with the kids while still effectively hibernating.
The Slouch by Bob Straake / The Washington Post

This Week's Contest was proposed by David Mills of Hollywood, Calif. David is a TV screenwriter whose credits include "ER," "NYPD Blue," "Picket Fences" and other fine works exploring human relationships in all their complexity. David wins a vintage 1989 documentary video about New Kids on the Block. David proposes that you come up with new products like the spork: combinations of two existing products that work together in some special way. Name the device and explain its function. First-prize winner receives an incredible item donated to The Style Invitational by Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park: a 1960s-era record, made in China for sale in the United States, titled "Golden Shuttles, Silver Threads Link Us With Peking." The cover features a Chinese woman sewing a sail for a sampan. The songs include "The Party's Flag Is Flying High," "Song of the Target-Shooting," "Practicing Hand-Grenade Throwing," "Bayonet Drill," "The Liberation Army Learns From the People of the Whole Country" and our favorite: "Let's Have a Picture Taken in Front of Tian An Men." It is worth 60 billion yuan.

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 265, 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, April 20. 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. Today's Blindingly Obvious Invisible Headline was written by us. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 262,
in which we asked you to help Niels Hoven, a junior at Montgomery Blair High School, come up with a knock-'em-dead line to use when he runs for student government president. But first, a response to letter writer John Kaluta of Silver Spring. Mr. Kaluta is the student government adviser at Montgomery Blair, a man who understandably takes student government a bit seriously. To Mr. Kaluta, we apologize if this contest seems to exhibit disrespect for student government. It is just that when we were in high school -- which happened to be the Bronx High School of Science (Motto: "Our Glasses Are as Thick as Sealy Posturepedic Mattresses") -- student government was the domain of pathetic doodyheads. We are sure things are vastly different now. We are sure student government types are now the hippest kids in school, self-confident, self-deprecatory, socially conscious, friendly, feisty, extremely personable pathetic doodyheads.

Third Runner-Up:
I have established an open line of communication with the administration of this school. The principal and I have become very close since he started sleeping with my mom.
(Paul Styrene, Olney)

Second Runner-Up:
If we sell the organs of the student with the lowest GPA each semester, not only will we fill the treasury by the end of the year, but we can predict a rise in attendance and improved study habits.
(Niels Hoven, Silver Spring)

First Runner-Up:
Just think, in 30 years I could be president of the United States and be having sex with your children!
(Robin D. Grove, Arlington)

And the winner of the Bangladeshi magazine:
My friends, we are at a great crossroads in our history. Do we go forward or back? Left or right? Where is the turn signal? Do we need a Learner's Permit? Will the old man notice the dent in the fender? Can we outrun the cops? Does Montgomery County have an extradition treaty?
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Honorable Mentions:

I am happy to be standing here before you, electronic ankle bracelet notwithstanding.
(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

When I think of Ted Kaczynski, I can't help but reflect on the mayhem that might have been avoided if only that bright young man hadn't lost his student government election.
(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

My brothers and sisters, this man is blind, but observe that under my healing touch he is cured! Can I get an amen?
(Niels Hoven, Silver Spring)

I have a firm commitment from Mary Kay LeTourneau that if I am elected to this august post she will accept a full-time teaching position at Montgomery Blair.
(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

If I am elected, I promise that Montgomery Blair High School will begin the 1998-99 school year in a BRAND NEW BUILDING!!!
(Bill Strider, Gaithersburg)

I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
(Joseph Romm, Washington)

A vote for me is a vote for the safety of my hostages.
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Let me introduce my opponent, whose reputation precedes her. I should know, having contributed to it.
(Bob Dalton, Beaumont, Tex.)

I believe I have a lot to give to this school. I can start by giving back all the stuff I stole.
(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Nothing improper ever happened under the bleachers. I will not parse that statement.
(Harry Moritz, Washington)

The only thing we have to fear is the dead rising from their graves and feasting on the flesh of the living.
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

What my opponent said.
(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Go ahead. Follow me around. I am boring.
(John Kammer, Herndon)

I have never lied to you as far as you know.
(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

For reasons beyond my control, if I lose this election, dozens of puppies will die.
(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

It's at times like this I remember my father's words: Buy the damn election, but just remember I'm not made of money.
(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

If elected, the first thing I will do is go to the county courthouse and legally change my name to John F. Kennedy.
(Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Vote for me. I assure you my penis has no distinguishing characteristics.
(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

I am a fabulously talented young man who enjoys playing squash and chopping carrots. My skills as a glove compartment designer are celebrated the world over. I invented wool. My Mandarin Chinese poetry has won me a variety of highly coveted accolades, and I can bench press 500 pounds. I have sought and received audiences with the premiers of Swaziland, Senegal and Suriname and am currently negotiating a lasting peace in the Middle East. I have all of my hair. I scored 1600 on the SAT, 36 on the ACT and 120 over 80 on the sphygmomanometer. I can urinate for six consecutive minutes. My methods for particleboard assembly have been adopted by the International Brotherhood of Woodworkers. I like peaches, and as president will continue to do so.
(Jose Cortina, Centreville)

That's it for my prepared remarks. My spokesperson, Susan Carpenter-McMillan, will now take your questions.
(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

If elected, I will appoint an investigative committee to determine who has been taking all those pictures through the girls' locker room shower heads.
(Bob Dalton, Beaumont, Tex.)

There will be no abuse of power and anyone who says there is will be taken out back and garroted.
(Steven King, Vienna)

And Last: Hey, I got The Washington Post to work my campaign for free! Imagine what else I can do for this school.
(John Kammer, Herndon)

Next Week: The Game of the Name

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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