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  The Style Invitational
Week 325: THE BURMA ROAD

Sunday, June 6, 1999

Paris:

Bonjour, Mes Amis

And &$@# You All.

Please Enjoy

Our Colossal Gaul.

The Bronx:

We welcome travelers

All creeds and races.

But you better behave

Or we break your faces.

illustration

This Week's Contest was inspired by a recent trip we took to West Virginia. As we entered the state we passed four consecutive billboards patterned after Burma Shave signs. They read, in succession: "We love it here / A nice place to visit / The beauty is natural / The litter it isn't." This pathetic piece of pseudo-poetry got us thinking that all states and cities should all have their own such welcoming doggerel. Propose some. Specify the city or state. Four lines only, with an ABCB or ABAB rhyme scheme. First-prize winner gets a pair of photos that were obviously very, very precious to the previous owner. The pictures are elegantly framed and triple-matted; a treatment inspired by love. The object of the owner's affection is photographed once from the side and once from behind. It is a truck. A big yellow truck, with a hydraulic cherry picker. To most observers, it evokes some variant of the following emotional response: "Man. That is SOME truck." The prize 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 325, 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: losers@washpost.com. 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, June 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 Sign No One Heeds was written by Jennifer Hart of Arlington. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 322, in which we asked you to begin with a well-known group of two or more people, things or concepts, then add on to one of the names and tell how the group dynamic changes. Many people disqualified themselves by ignoring the rules ("Christopher Robin Hood: Steals from the rich and gives to the Pooh." Very clever, but where's the group? Likewise, "Y2KY Jelly.")

Fifth Runner-Up: Ben and Jerry Springer: Ice cream with tasteless ingredients, especially the chunky ones. (Kerry Weems, Clifton)

Fourth Runner-Up: Kukla, Fran and Ollie North - The team to bring in when you want to overthrow a puppet regime. (Storrs L. Olson, Arlington)

Third Runner-Up: Boy George and Gracie: Audiences don't find them as funny because of the lack of a straight man. (Toby Bushkin, Arlington)

Second Runner-Up: Crabtree & Evelyn Waugh: They sell you overpriced English soaps, then mock you for being the sort of vulgar, pretentious American twit who buys overpriced English soaps. (Miles D. Moore, Alexandria)

First Runner-Up: Rhythm method and blues: This new fusion sound is just the thing to play when your baby wants lovin', but not vice versa. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

And the winner of Chic Sale's "The Specialist":Matthew, Mark, Luke and Johnnie Cochran: The fellas finally decide to add an attorney to strengthen their copyright infringement suits.

(Tom Glynn, Rockville)u Honorable Mentions:

Diana Ross Perot and the Supremes: When this revamped group hits the charts, it's usually pretty boring. Pie graphs, mostly. (Robert A. Brooks, Alexandria)

Toccata and Fugue State in D Minor: A popular classical work becomes positively hypnotic. (Ben Llewellyn, Falls Church)

Dharma and Greg Louganis: Sitcom of a lovable but ditsy woman trying to find happiness with an inexplicably indifferent Olympic diver. (Tom Wiener, Washington)

Bob and Carol and Ted Kaczynski and Alice: This remake bombed. (Drew Knoblauch, Reston)

Fawn Hall and Oates: The American public would be happy to see THESE records destroyed. (Matt Josephs, Washington)

Sonny Corleone and Cher: Much more likely to produce a hit. (Toby Bushkin, Arlington)

Grant Tinker to Evers to Chance: The famed double-play combo now is prone to errors like "Supertrain" and "Hello Larry." (James Dinan, Washington)

Tinker to Evers to Fat Chance: They can't get anyone out. What do you expect? These guys are 135 years old! (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Cravath, Swain & Demi Moore: From stuffed shirts to no shirts. (Ernie Isenstadt, McLean)

Captain Hazelwood and Tennille: This revamped group's career is on the rocks. (Mary Lee Fox Roe, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

American Standard & Poor's: This financial rating company specializes in firms going down the toilet. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Abraham, Martin and John-Boy: After allegations of JFK's flagrant immoralities, the song is revised to make it more wholesome. (Ben Llewellyn, Falls Church)

Smith & Wesson Oil: Now specializing in grease guns. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Henry Hyde: No change, actually. (Robert A. Brooks, Alexandria)

Donny and Marie Antoinette: "Let them eat Wonder Bread." (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

A&PMS: Convenient one-stop shopping for all the little extras: chocolate, potato chips and Midol. Reasonable prices and friendly service, but it'll cost you your life if you accidentally cut in front of someone. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Adam and Evel Knievel: Gunned their motorcycles defiantly, popped a wheelie, roared out of the Garden of Eden at 90 mph, and never looked back. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Barnes & Ignoble: Now selling the finest in plagiarized literature. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Tweedledum and Tweedledee Dee Myers: The much maligned pair decide they need to improve their image. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Bailey, Banks and Biddle Barrows: Jewelry, gift ideas and an entirely new perspective on personal shopper services. (Christopher Hapner, Savannah, Ga.)

Bergen and Joe McCarthy: The only ventriloquist act where the dummy asked all the questions. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Remy Martin and Lewis: No change. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

Patton, Boggs and Blowhard: It was only after they persuaded their partner to shorten his name that business really took off. (Tom Glynn, Rockville)

Binney & Smith & Wesson: The crayon manufacturer merged with the gun people. Baaad idea. (Jeremy Hancock, Erie, Pa.)

Peter, RuPaul & Mary: The folk group updates its 1960s hit to "Puff, the Magic Drag Queen." (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Frank n' Ernest & Julio Gallo: The two comic strip characters get down on their luck, become winos living out of cardboard boxes. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

Hiss and Hers: A set of bath towels packaged in hollowed-out pumpkins. (Mary Lee Fox Roe, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidney Dialysis Machine: Butch actually survived, but in a diminished state of health. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Rowan & Lockheed Martin: When they sock it to you, they sock it to you. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Alfonse D'Amato and Gaston: New York pols become exceedingly deferential: "I'm a putzhead." "No, no, I insist, I'M the putzhead." (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Barnum & Beetle Bailey Circus: New name of NATO coalition forces. (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

u Rookie of the Week:

Tweety and Sylvester Stallone: The bird finally wised up and hired a bodyguard. (Lisa Arthur, Fredericksburg)

Next Week: The Congressional Record Invitational

   
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