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The Style Invitational

Sunday, September 6, 1998



This Week’s Contest: Make your own Clintoon, a comic strip consisting of any or all of the above drawings. You may use as many as you wish, and arrange them in any order you wish. You may use a drawing more than once. You may place the dialogue balloons or thought balloons anywhere you wish, and of course, these balloons can be reused multiple times. No cutting and pasting is necessary: Referring to the cartoons by number, tell us which goes where, and which is accompanied by dialogue. For those of you who insist on verisimilitude, and have greater technical wizardry than The Czar, you may download the images. First-prize winner gets Big John, "the electronic flush and burp game," suitable for ages 5 and up, donated to The Style Invitational by Caitlin Carlson and Leslie Jones of Rockville. Caitlin and Leslie, who are friends, apparently outgrew Big John when they were 2 years old. They win matching photographs of an elephant pooping.

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 286, 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, Sept. 14. 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 Notice No One Needs was written by David Genser of Arlington. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 283,

in which you were asked to come up with Uh-oh lines, phrases that are likely to be followed by bad news.

  • Second Runner-Up—From your doctor: "On the blood pressure, your diastolic looks fine ..."
    (Peter J. Hughes, Alexandria)

  • First Runner-Up—From your new cubicle neighbor: "And since animal parts are used in the manufacture of soap ..." (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

  • And the winner of the crocheted lion head:

    From your new next door neighbor: "And I never could have afforded to buy my new house on my own. My old neighbors chipped in to buy it for me."
    (Philip Vitale, Arlington)

  • Honorable Mentions:

  • From your auto mechanic: "Come on out back. I want to show you something." (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    From anyone: "With all due respect . . ." (Steven King, Vienna)

    From your spouse: "I, um, didn’t expect you home so early." (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    From your boss: Any mention of the words "responsibility to the shareholders," or any reference to "a leaner, more efficient structure," or, particularly, any sentence containing the words "for the greater good." (Max Handelsman, Columbia)

    From the president of the United States: "While my answers were legally accurate . . ." (Michael Platt, Germantown; Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    From your obstetrician: "Congratulations! You have a healthy baby, uh, child." (Mary K. Phillips, Falls Church; Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

    From the sommelier during your first date: "But if monsieur wishes a truly special bottle of wine, I might recommend . . ." (Noah Meyerson, Washington)

    From the estate lawyer: "Your father’s will turned out to have some, shall we say, ‘unique’ provisions. . ." (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

    From your spouse: "Don’t you think we have a pretty good idea of what in the house belongs to you and what belongs to me?" (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    From a chat room acquaintance: "By the way, finding out where you live was a lot easier than I thought." (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

    From your new next-door neighbor: "I was just wondering: About how long does it take the cops to get here from the first sound of gunshots?" (Philip Vitale, Arlington)

    From the IRS: "And that is when we noticed something interesting . . ." (Niels Hoven, Silver Spring)

    From your daughter: "I just know you will like him. He is a totally independent thinker." (Jan Sorensen, Herndon)

    From your kid in college: "I really think the definition of cult is so arbitrary these days. . ." (Niels Hoven, Silver Spring)

    From your lawyer: "This might be the time to familiarize yourself with a list of countries that have no extradition treaty with the United States." (Bill Strider, Gaithersburg)

    From your barber: "This haircut is gonna be on the house." (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    From your doctor: "There is a clinic in the Caribbean that offers a promising new treatment program . . ." (Bill Strider, Gaithersburg)

    From an instruction manual: "After take out the battery insulator, if some segment missing, press HOUR or MINUTE set button will back to normal." (This is verbatim from an actual instruction manual.) (Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

    From a rattlesnake: "Rattle." (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    Next Week: Ask Backwards MCLXVII

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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