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The Style Invitational

Week 273: Unseens We'd Like to See

Sunday, June 7, 1998; Page F02

A Children's Book You Will Never See:
"Mommy and Daddy Are Getting a Divorce and It's All Your Fault"

A TV Sitcom You Will Never See:
"The Alan Greenspan Show"

A Political Slogan That Will Never Make It:
"He'll Be a Big Brother to You"

Something That Will Never Become an Olympic Sport:
Synchronized Head-Patting and Belly-Rubbing

Illustration by Bob Stakke / The Washington Post

Illustration by Bob Stakke / The Washington Post

This Week's Contest was proposed by Michael Farquhar of Washington, who wins a handsomely embossed promise that we will no longer humiliate him in print every time he proposes a contest. Michael is a fine lad, a man of irreproachable moral character, a highly competent professional who, with just a few career "breaks" along the way, might have made something of himself instead of becoming a simpering lickspittle. Also -- and we mean no disrespect here -- Michael has absolutely no behind. It is as though God simply forgot, for a moment, at the birth of Michael Farquhar, that humans must sit, wear pants, and in his case, display the occasional "Kick Me" sign. Anyway, Michael suggests that you provide examples for any of the four above categories. First-prize winner gets a gigantic poster of the World Champion 1937 Washington Redskins, who appear to be a bunch of flabby, pasty-faced white guys with leather helmets and codpieces. It is worth $30.

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 273, 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. Also, please do not append "attachments," which tend not to be read. Entries must be received on or before Monday, June 15. Important: Please include your postal 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 Ad No One Notices was written by Russ Beland of Springfield. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 270,
in which we asked you to come up with four-line palinodes, poems that begin by retracting something written in a previous poem.

Fourth Runner-Up --
It looked extremely rosy for the Mudville Nine that day,
They led by four to two with just one inning left to play.
But they lost when in the ninth they coughed up three big scores.
(Mudville had a bullpen e'en worse than Baltimore's.)
(Gary Lefkowitz, Springfield)

Third Runner-Up --
I send back your tired, your poor,
Your wretched, huddled masses.
Au revoir, don't let the door
Hit you in the asses.
(Phil Edgren, Silver Spring)

Second Runner-Up --
Don't listen, my children, lest you hear
About that populist moron, Paul Revere,
Who thought common rabble were better than thrones.
We gave up Princess Di, but we kept Paula Jones.
(Steve Ettinger, Chevy Chase)

First Runner-Up --
For it's Din! Din! Din!
You dirty double-crosser, Gunga Din!
India's shame is what you brought 'er.
What you bore was heavy water.
(Charlie Steinhice, Chattanooga)

And the winner of the National Flossing Council's 1998 ad campaign videotape --
Once upon a morning sunny, not a raven but a bunny
Seeming strange and strangely funny, to my horror and my shock
Upon my bust of Pallas sat. I cried, "What are you looking at?
My solitude, is it that? My sorrow do you mock?" Quoth the bunny,
"What's up, Doc?"
(Jon Chananie, Washington)

Honorable Mentions:

Jack and Jill went up no hill,
There was no pail of water.
Still, the tumble that they took
Produced a lovely daughter.
(Ruth Heitin, Alexandria)

I do like green eggs and ham.
They are helpful in my scam.
In the lunchroom of my employer,
I'll scarf them up, then call my lawyer.
(Barney Kaufman, Manassas)

Today I saw a purple cow.
The sight was most arresting.
It limped away from India's
Thermonuclear testing.
(Ned Bent, Herndon)

Solomon Grundy
Aborted on Monday,
So you'll see no poems
About Solomon Grundy.
(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Grecian urns suck.
They deserve not an ode.
A more verse-worthy pot
Is the modern commode.
(Harold J. Rennett, Rockville)

Please go gentle into that good night,
Do not rage against the dying of the light.
I want to swim naked in the South of France
And I need my damn inheritance.
(T.J. Murphy, Arlington)

Jack wasn't nimble, nor was he quick,
No stranger was he to scandals.
One day he leapt two flames at once,
And burned his end at both candles.
(Niels Hoven, Silver Spring)

Glory be to God for unmarked things.
Can nothing cure the spots that mar the cow?
Give me the swan that flies on pure white wings.
Who needs a girl with freckles, anyhow?
(Bob Hall, Columbia)

Hope ain't the thing with feathers.
The thing with feathers is birds.
Hope is the thing with lawyers
Who get you off by twisting words.
(E.J. Lloyd, Fairfax Station)

Beauty and Truth are not the same.
And an urn is just a pot.
That is all you need to know,
And, really, that's a lot.
(Kelli Midgley-Biggs, Columbia)

Next Week: Yogi Bearer

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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