The Style Invitational
Week 313: The Style Invitational Souvenir Shop
Sunday, March 14, 1999
(de-engravers remove serial numbers While-U-Wait. Special at-curb service, too!)
She Sells C-Cells
(Batteries, batteries, batteries. Sorry, only size C.)
All Things Moist
Blood Pressure Central
The Egg Noggery
(Your favorite beverage all year round!)
Illustration by Bob Staake for The Washington Post
This Week's contest was suggested by Rick DeLisi of Sterling and Jean Sorensen of Herndon. Rick wins a packet of Foaming Sugar ("creates an eruption of foam in your coffee cup") and Jean wins a can opener from Knott's Berry Farm, Fla., encrusted with jewels that sort of look like a pearl and a sapphire, the way a pygmy goat sort of looks like Secretariat. Rick and Jean suggest that you come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. (You may explain it if necessary.) First-prize winner gets four genuine coffee mugs celebrating armed authority: the Fairfax County Police, the USS Louisville, the Milwaukee County sheriff and something called "Encapsulated Harpoon / Relentless Pursuit" featuring a drawing of a nuclear torpedo breaking the water, presumably en route to some foreign capital populated with Godless people different from us.
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 313, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; fax them to 202-334-4312; or submit them via e-mail to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail 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, March 22. 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 Box No One Opens 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 310, in which you were asked to come up with lame analogies. The line separating painfully bad analogies from weirdly good ones is as thin as a soup made from the shadow of a chicken that was starved to death by Abraham Lincoln. And so we had to create a separate category to honor those entries that came too close to actual literature to qualify as "bad." Here they are:
He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville) / Even in his last years, grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut. (Sandra Hull, Arlington) / The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of "Jeopardy!" (Jean Sorensen, Herndon) / Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington) / He regarded death with hesitant dread, as if he were a commedia dell'arte troupe and death was an audience of pipe-fitters. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville) / The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work. (Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington)
Now, back to the gloriously bad analogies.
Sixth Runner-Up: The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. (Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington)
Fifth Runner-Up: "Oh, Jason, take me!" she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night. (Bonnie Speary Devore, Gaithersburg)
Fourth Runner-Up: He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. (John Kammer, Herndon)
Third-Runner-Up: Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. (Barbara Collier, Garrett Park)
Second Runner-Up: She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. (Susan Reese, Arlington)
First Runner-Up: It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before. (Marian Carlsson, Lexington)
And the winner of the Smorked Beef Rectum:
The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. (J.F. Knowles, Springfield)
The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM. (Paul J. Kocak, Syracuse)
The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium. (Ralph Scott, Washington)
It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)
Her lips were red and full, like tubes of blood drawn by an inattentive phlebotomist.
(Greg Dobbins, Arlington)
He felt like he was being hunted down like a dog, in a place that hunts dogs, I suppose. (Russ Beland, Springfield)
The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object. (Nanci Phillips Sharp, Gaithersburg)
You know how in "Rocky" he prepares for the fight by punching sides of raw beef? Well, yesterday it was as cold as that meat locker he was in. (Alan S. Jarvis, Fredericksburg)
He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up. (Susan Reese, Arlington)
She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any PH cleanser.
(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)
Her pants fit her like a glove, well, maybe more like a mitten, actually. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs. (Jonathan Paul,
It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)
Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a first-generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.
(Sue Lin Chong, Washington)
Outside the little snow-covered cabin, a large pile of firewood was stacked like Pamela Anderson. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)
A branch fell from the tree like a trunk falling off an elephant. (Jonathan Paul,
Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)
The painting was very Escher-like, as if Escher had painted an exact copy of an Escher painting. (Joseph Romm, Washington)
Fishing is like waiting for something that does not happen very often. (Jim Seibert,
They were as good friends as the people on "Friends." (Katie Buckner, McLean)
Her breasts were like two mounds of flesh waiting to be compared to something. Something round. Perhaps some kind of citrus fruit. (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)
He was as bald as one of the Three Stooges, either Curly or Larry, you know, the one who goes woo woo woo. (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)
The sardines were packed as tight as the coach section of a 747. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Her eyes were shining like two marbles that someone dropped in mucus and then held up to catch the light. (Barbara Collier,
The sunset displayed rich, spectacular hues like a .jpeg file at 10 percent cyan, 10 percent magenta, 60 percent yellow and 10 percent black. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
u And Last: Joe was frustrated, like a man who thought his claim to fame was occasional appearances in a weekly humor contest, but in fact is known to millions as a stupid high school student who writes unintentionally humorous bad analogies. (Joseph Romm, Washington)
Next Week: A Jerry-Built Contest
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