Week 353 (XX) : Patently Silly

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jun 11, 2000

This Week's Contest: Patent applications have been filed for each of these devices, but the Patent Office has lost the descriptions of what they do. Can you help out? Choose one or more. First-prize winner gets a copy of "Cuss Control," one of the strangest new books around. A self-help manual on how to control your cursing, it's a somewhat prudish little volume, yet manages to spend a fair number of its pages enumerating, with great specificity, all the awful words one must never say. On Page 12 alone, for example, the S-word is used 31 times. The book is filled with fabulously important advice, such as substituting for the F-word "fudge" or "fiddlesticks." This book, somehow, manages to go on for 235 pages.

First runner-up wins the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. The Uncle's Pick wins the yet-to-be designed but soon-to-be- coveted "The Uncle Loves Me" T-shirt. Send your entries via fax to 202-334-4312, or by e-mail to, or by U.S. mail to The Style Invitational, Week XX, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, June 19. All entries must include the week number of the contest and your name, postal address and a daytime or evening telephone number. E-mail entries must include the week number in the message field. Contests will be judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Editors reserve the right to edit entries for taste or content. Results will be published in four weeks. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes.

Report FROM WEEK XVI,in which we asked you to create haikus using words in headlines from that day's Washington Post. We are pleased to report that Mary Lee Fox Roe of Mount Kisco, N.Y., submitted 484 entries, which, while still far shy of the Style Invitational record for entries to a single contest (607 entries by, er, Mary Lee Fox Roe of Mount Kisco, N.Y.), should remain an inspiration to dedicated obsessive-compulsives everywhere.

* Fourth Runner-Up:

Love falters, you go.

Orioles lose sixth straight game.

And that's the good news.

(Mary A. Clippinger, Columbia)

* Third Runner-Up:

Me, myself and I

Me me me me me me me

Me, I'm the Donald

(Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

* Second Runner-Up:

Hit big tobacco.

Bankruptcy not good enough.

Drop dead of cancer.

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

* First Runner-Up:

The perfect bottom

(Nothing seems to shake behind)

Still topples titans.

(Susan Reese, Arlington)

* And the winner of the wooden rattrap from 1911:

George Bush is so smart

And Al Gore is so funny.

Check is in the mail.

(David Genser, Arlington)

* Honorable Mentions:

You get boys or girls.

Consequences a gamble.

Lottery of life.

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

Thousands expected.

"Tens of Thousands Expected."

We're overstating.

(R. Scott Rogers, Washington)

Relentless news leads.

War, shooting, killing, murder.

No news is good news.

(Chris Doyle, Burke)

Click on "I love you."

Stop! A Web bacteria.

Again, love backfires.

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Clinton love-crime past

Victory in the Senate

Face it, what is, is.

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

He cheats on Mom.

The importance of silence.

Mum's to the Senate.

(Chelsea Clinton, Palo Alto;

Russell Beland, Springfield)

Uncertain justice.

Nation wins tech suit and tells

Microsoft: Byte me.

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

What ticks women off?

Jealously guarded secrets,

Love, and basketball.

(Arthur Litoff, Dillsburg, Pa.)

The party's over.

Knight assumes the position.

Sure embarrassing.

(William Bradford, Washington)

The Grrrls next door say:

"Clueless love is majestic."

Like, I don't think so.

(Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Acronyms rout me.

Battle-weary, I collapse.

D.C. agencies.

(David Genser, Arlington)

"More disease! More death!"

Bacteria rally here.

The billion mom march.

(David Genser, Arlington)

Trailing in bottom

And staring at forever,

Giuliani quits.

(Mary Lee Fox Roe, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

Gore discounts polls, doubts

Of political silence

In death as in life.

(Mary Lee Fox Roe, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

A difficult thing

Perils of Prosperity

Tell me about it.

(Rich Weaver, Waldorf)

* The Uncle's Pick:

Different path for

The Style Invitational

Embarrassing me.

(Mary Lee Fox Roe, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

The Uncle Explains: When a poem doesn't rhyme/ I seldom find it fine./ But this one, oh gracious!/ It's just so veracious.

Next Week: Dubya Fun


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