Week 357 (XXIV) : Coming to a Bad End

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jul 9, 2000

Call me Ishmael--or Mike or Steve, but definitely not Hubert.

It is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known, thanks to NyQuil{reg} 24-Hour Cold Caps.

Now is the winter of our discontent, having barely recovered from the autumn of our constipation.

This Week's Contest was proposed by Connie Sancetta of Vienna.Connie suggests that you take some immortal line from literature or film and ruin it by adding a short phrase or sentence. First-prize winner gets a Herbert Hoover doll, a foot-tall "fully poseable" figure with "authentic changeable outfits," made in Kowloon. The suit that Herbert is wearing appears to have been tailored by blind Russian peasants in the 1950s. This doll, which is worth $100, is part of a "Leaders of the World" series that appears to include only George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and Hoover.

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 XXIV, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, July 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 XX, in which we asked you to tell us the use for any of five inventions. One of the finest answers ever that proved too popular to reward with a prize, for Cartoon A: The new menage a trois version of spin the bottle. Another good answer, for Cartoon E: a Swiss Army helicopter.

* Second Runner-Up: (Cartoon B) A mood ring indicates the wearer is "brooding." (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

* First Runner-Up: (Cartoon C) Mary Poppins's last umbrella. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge; Martin Bredeck, Community, Va.)

* And the winner of the self-help manual "Cuss Control": (Cartoon A) A handy product for drunks on teeter-totters. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

* Honorable Mentions:


Heinz's new solution to the problem of ketchup sticking to the bottom of the bottle.

(Beth Baniszewski, Columbia)


A cygnet ring.

(Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Barnum & Bailey was hopeful over its new act, the chicken on a unicycle. (Beth Baniszewski, Columbia)

This is the Super Bowl ring awarded to members of the losing team- -the threat of humiliation always makes a game more exciting.

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

The Beltway ring, worn whenever you need to flip the bird to other motorists. (Lloyd Duvall, Roslyn, Pa.)

An error in communication between the waiter and the cook at Hong Fat's. The customer distinctly asked for chicken wings. The chef just did what he was told.

(James Pierce,Charlottesville)

A cocktail ring.

(Charlie Myers, Laurel)

A bracelet for men who always want to be seen with a chick on their arm. (Russell Beland, Annandale)


An Acme Exploding Manhole Cover Catcher. Sales are brisk in


(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

This is an umbrella for very windy days. When it blows inside out, you're good to go. (Evan Golub, Beltsville)

An extremely stable cane for extremely old people (shown upside down). (Greg Pickens, Washington)


The very first digital clock.

(Nick Olsen, Silver Spring)

This timepiece is perfect for when your computer mouse runs up the clock. (Russell Beland, Annandale)


Phyllis Richman's getaway vehicle. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

A new device to help helicopters negotiate through fog as thick as pea soup. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)


A toe-jam serving spoon. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Fred Flintstone's brake pad. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Cannibals love this foot holder as much as vegetarians love those corn holders. (Russell Beland, Annandale)


A ball for the arrogant bowler, permitting him to roll a strike and dis his opponent in one fluid motion. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)

The pizza-size black olive, the newest invention of the same food industry that brought us the hamburger-size pickle. (Annette Florence, Ithaca, N.Y.)

The obvious design flaw in the Death Star should have been foreseeable to the Empire. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

The new Viagra medicine ball. (David Moore, Bowie)

This is a representation of the Earth as it would exist if I finally get elected president. The hole is where Moscow used to be. (Lyndon LaRouche, Loudoun County; Ned Bent, Leesburg)

John Bobbitt's new line of protective men's sleepwear. (Sarah Haut, Washington)

* The Uncle's Pick: (Cartoon C) As we all know, when it rains it rains pennies from Heaven, and a penny saved is a penny earned, thus . . . (Maja Keech, New Carrollton)

The Uncle Explains: There is wisdom in old saws. Here's another one that happens to occur to me just now: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Next Week: Everyone's a Critic


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