Week 361 (XXVIII) : Bad Libs

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 6, 2000

How many (SUBJECTS) does it take to (VERB) an (OBJECT)?


dogs, Reform Party presidential contenders, philosophers, liberals, conservatives, cats, computer nerds, NASA rocket scientists, "Survivor" contestants, teenagers, Internet billionaires, artists, politicians, lawyers, models-turned-actresses, clergymen, sissies, French people, English people, International Olympic Committee members


lift, deplore, destroy, defenestrate, produce, eat, find, fix, punt, move, appreciate, ruin, love, jump over, embrace


house, car, baby, dog, rat, dictionary, bad smell, poem, flower, sandwich, consensus, peace treaty, sports event, grammatical error, nuclear power plant, Mars mission, woman, man

This Week's Contest was suggested by J.J. Gertler of Arlington. Select one subject, one verb and one object from the lists above, and then answer the riddle you create. (Example: How many International Olympic Committee members does it take to fix a car? Only one, but he'll need a lot of grease.) First-prize winner gets a Flintstones "Viva Rock Vegas" promotional alarm clock, a value of $30.

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 XVIII, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.

Deadline is Monday, Aug. 14. 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 XXIV, in which you were asked to ruin some great line of film or literature, by adding to it. But first: Got a question for the Czar? About the Invitational? About life? He's going to answer the best questions in a column someday soon. Send them to "Queries for the Czar," at the usual Invitational addresses.

* Second Runner-Up: The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Of course, mouse plans aren't that big a deal anyway. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

* First Runner-Up: Jesus wept buckets. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

* And the winner of the foot-tall "fully poseable" Herbert Hoover doll:

"Rosebud. It was my childhood sled, which represents the only time in my life I was truly happy and, in a larger sense, symbolizes the loss of innocence that almost inevitably accompanies the acquisition of power."

(Joseph Romm, Washington)

* Honorable Mentions:

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. Small world, eh?"

(Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

"The horror, the horror. It really gets to me, sometimes."

(Katharine M. Butterfield, Potomac)

"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow. But if you want to play 'Yummy Yummy Yummy' on your armpit, you do this--"

(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"You must ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? That is to say, do I, the punk, feel lucky? It's irrelevant whether I, Dirty Harry, feel lucky."

(Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Good night, sweet prince. Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite." (Chris Doyle, Burke)

"We'll always have Paris. Except when the Germans are using it."

(Storm Marvel, Columbia)

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate. I mean, helloo- oooo." (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

"Bond. James Bond. But please call me Jimbo." (Storm Marvel, Columbia; Joe Anderson, Alexandria)

"Stella! Stella! Bo Bella Bo Nanna

Fanna Fo Fella Fee Fi Mo Mella, Stella!" (Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Fourscore and seven years ago, which comes to, what, 87 years or so?" (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, ladies and germs . . . "

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"Yes I said yes I will yes. Yes, already. How many times do I have to say it?" (Michelle Gluck and Walter Smith, Bethesda)

"Use the Force, Luke, but only in moderation." (Ben Aronin, White Plains)

"We don't need no steenking badges like we're some sort of GS- 12s."

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

"One if by land, two if by sea, three to get ready . . . " (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, which must be followed by approximately 577,230 more steps." (Chris Doyle, Burke)

"Brevity is the soul of wit. In other words, effective writing should aim at using as few words as possible. The longer and more drawn out an explanation is, the less powerful and persuasive it is." (Mike Genz, La Plata)

"Shaken, not stirred. And with one of those little umbrellas." (Jonathan M. Kaye, Washington)

"We hold these truths to be self-

evident, and by 'self-evident' we mean . . . " (Joe Anderson, Alexandria)

"How the mighty have fallen, and they can't get up." (Joe Neff, Oreland, Pa.)

"There's no place like home, there's no place like home. Although, actually, Nebraska is exactly like

Kansas, except it has a unicameral legislature."

(Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

"If you need me, just whistle. Or yodel. Or make that 'Ook-ook- ook-ook ah-ah-ah-ah' ape sound from any of those Tarzan films." (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

Truth is beauty; beauty truth. That's all ye know and all ye need to know, ya know? (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

* The Uncle's Pick:

"Rosebud. It was my childhood sled, which represents the only time in my life I was truly happy and, in a larger sense, symbolizes the loss of innocence that inevitably accompanies the acquisition of

power." (Joseph Romm, Washington)

The Uncle Explains: Kudos to Joseph Romm for finally explaining a very puzzling movie, indeed.

Next Week: Finish the Fire


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