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Illustration by Bob Staake for The Washington Post


This Week's Contest was suggested by Jean Sorensen of Herndon, who wins a lock of hair taken from the recently severed ponytail of Karl Vick, the world-famous Washington Post correspondent in East Africa. This animal protein matter might possibly have been imported in violation of international law, but we felt it a chance worth taking. Karl was one of the last bald man on Earth with a ponytail. With its disappearance, the world is just a little colder. Jean suggests that you take any article in today's paper, and write an outraged letter to the editor about it that totally misses the point, either by misreading a word or misunderstanding the topic. This is a cross between Emily Litella and the Post's Free for All letters page on any given Saturday. Make sure you tell us which story you are responding to, and which page it is on. (The example above is responding to a reader letter in today's Miss Manners column.) First-prize winner gets a genuine Argentine bolo, donated to The Style Invitational by Sarah Worcester of Bowie, who notes, "It's been a while since you gave away something really deadly." Sarah wins a Styrofoam spittoon.

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 297, 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: losers@washpost.com. 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, Nov. 30. 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 Promo No One Reads was written by Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

REPORT FROM WEEK 294, in which you were asked to take the name of a company or product, and give it a new definition.

  • Seventh Runner-Up: Frosted Cheerios The icy salutation of British Royals. (Kelli Midgley-Biggs, Columbia)

  • Sixth Runner-Up: Cabbage Patch A patch for those trying to stop eating cabbage. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Fifth Runner-Up: Immodium A small lectern in front of which politicians deliver long, boring, paralyzingly constipated pronouncements. (Mary Ann Henningsen, Hayward, Calif.)

  • Fourth Runner-Up: Hair Club for Men A locking device to keep your toupee from being stolen. (Tom Phelps, Silver Spring)

  • Third Runner-Up: Velveeta The epic saga of Elvis. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg; Katharine M. Butterfield, Potomac)

  • Second Runner-Up: Unilever An Iraqi voting booth. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

  • First Runner-Up: Post-Its 'Twas. (Ralph Scott, Washington)

  • And the winner of the genuine Snellen eye chart:

    Bounce, Downy, Snuggle, Final Touch and Cling Free Describes Clinton's view of the affair using only fabric softeners. (J. Larry Schott, Gainesville, Fla.)

  • Honorable Mentions:

    Duncan Hines The other brother, who tap-dances while yo-yoing. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

    Cracker Jack The new stadium in Alabama built by the Cooke family. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

    Mueslix Sometimes your muse merely calls. Other times, it gets downright fresh. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

    Sudafed A software program on how to file a civil action against the government. (Antonio La Grech, Takoma Park)

    Pop Secret Paternity suit settled without publicity. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

    Vanish Drop-Ins Poisoned elderberry wine. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

    Renuzit Acne enhancer. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

    The Body Shop Jesse Ventura renames the governor's mansion. (T.J. Murphy, Arlington; Joseph Romm, Washington)

    SnackWells The areas around the cushions of one's living room couch, in which one often finds vestiges of foods eaten while watching TV. (Mary Ann Henningsen, Hayward, Calif.)

    Johnson & Johnson The generic name for a gay porn flick. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

    Time Warner Wrinkles, diminished eyesight, etc. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

    Ritz Crackers The Beverly Hillbillies. (Courtney Sherwood, Reston)

    Oral-B Monica's grade on her last intern evaluation. (David Genser, Arlington)

    Faberge Brut A bad egg. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

    Ban Roll-On We let those tree-huggers take away our aerosol deodorants, but now they've gone too far. (Ralph Scott, Washington)

    Corn Chex Software to analyze your writing for stale humor. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

    Hostess Ho Ho's Truth in advertising hits the "hostess" industry. (Ralph Scott, Washington)

    Kenmore Mattel finally introduces an anatomically correct companion for Barbie. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

    Big Red gum Severe gingivitis. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    Cremora An eel-like parasite that clings to cows. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    John Deere A company that writes personalized letters to end relationships. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

    Lipton Ice Tea A rapper who sold out to The Man. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

    Washington Redskins A brand of potatoes easily whipped. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

    Dimetapp A cheap hooker. (John Kammer, Herndon)

    Land O'Lakes Where the Oxymoron Association's convention is being held this year. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

    Frigidaire The White House bedroom. (Robin D. Grove, Arlington)

    Maalox Goat cheese and salmon spread. (J. Larry Schott, Gainesville, Fla.)

    Depends President Clinton's definition of sex. (Andrew M. Cohn, Springfield)

    Next Week: Panel Discussion

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