Week 371 (XXXVIII) : Ask Backward

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 15, 2000

The Beer Witch Project


Eero Saarinen, Yuri Gagarin and the Euro

Very Soft Money

Patriotism and Underpants but not Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin but not

Gum-Out Fuel Additive

Because It Can't Be Hummed

Stop! In the Name of Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.)

Because It Discriminates Against the Deaf

O.J. Salinger

The Helium Bomb

Thwock! Fweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

This Week's Contest: You are on

"Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Answer one or more. Urgent announcement: Every five years or so we find it advisable, in the interests of reader harmony and good will, to prove to all you peevish, sullen, kvetching losers out there that we don't play favorites. We keep explaining to you that the reason the same names keep appearing in this space, instead of yours, is that these people are funnier than you are. But still you write and call and whine to the ombudsman. So, for the second time, we will prove it. In this contest, frequent winners--persons whose names have appeared in print four times or more since the Invitational resumed publication in January--may not enter under their own names, or supply any information in their entry that might serve to identify them. If they do--if we have any hint of who they are--their entries will be discarded, unread. After the results of this contest are published next month, those persons can come forward with proof of authorship, and we will credit them at a later date. First-prize winner gets a two-CD "John Tesh Music Sampler" set, including 13 hymns. This is worth $25.

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 XXXVIII, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 23. 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 subject 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 XXXIV, in which we asked you to come up with a line that we are unlikely to find in a future work of art, literature or journalism.

* Fifth Runner Up--On the jacket of Salman Rushdie's next book: "Mr. Rushdie writes daily from 6 to 10 a.m. in the upstairs study of his brownstone apartment at 428 Maple Ave., Glumtucket, R.I. 02084 . . .

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

* Fourth Runner-Up--On the next Andy Rooney segment: "Maybe it's just me, but I really don't like the taste of those ball gags. Why don't they make them in different flavors." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

* Third Runner-Up--From the upcoming autobiography of George W. Bush: "I long for the simplicity of youth more than Peleus did Thetis, seeking that transcendent joy whose surcease in adulthood has me hungering to recapture evanescent memories from the desuetude of bygone . . ." (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

* Second Runner-Up--On the dedication page of John Rocker's autobiography: "To my wonderful bride, LaTonya." (Jessica Lynne Mathews, Arlington)

* First Runner-Up--

In the next "B.C." strip:

(Maja Keech, New Carrollton)

* And the winner of the JFK painting:

In the next Anne Tyler novel: "His gat spit lead first, but it missed. He fell at my feet, something temporarily alive, his death rattle misting up my patent leather pumps."

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

* Honorable Mentions:

In the next James Bond movie: "Don't worry, it happens to every man sometimes, James." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

In Dick Cheney's memoirs: "In those days the Internet was a wild and free medium. I stayed up late nights on the campaign trail, downloading the latest Eminem hits from Napster, surfing Webzines to find the hottest riotgrrl bands about to break, and always, always looking to score increased bandwidth on my T-3. Man, those were the days." (Sean Carman, Seattle)

In an upcoming Hints From Heloise column: "Yes, you can clean lipstick stains off a cummerbund, but why bother? Just throw the damn thing away and buy another!" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

In an upcoming edition of The

Washington Post: ". . . so for these compelling reasons, we endorse George W. Bush for president of the United States." (Noah Meyerson, Washington; Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

In "Scream 4": "Let's get the hell out of here and call the police." (Chuck Smith, Soodbridge)

In an upcoming issue of the

Washington Times: "Clinton Restores Integrity!" (Russell Beland, Springfield)

In an upcoming Firestone ad:

"Separate yourself from the rest with Firestone!" (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

In an upcoming Martha Stewart book: "If you do not have a four- inch square of hunter green velvet on hand, just use some wadded-up paper towels. Who do you think is going to look under there, anyway?" (Mary Lou French, Lorton; Cathy Stoll, Montgomery Village)

In an upcoming White Pages: "Snyder, Daniel . . ." (David Genser, Arlington)

In the next "Family Circus": "Stop crying or I'll really give you something to cry about." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

On the next "Judge Judy":

"I apologize if I seem a bit abrupt . . ." (Fran Fletcher, Chevy Chase)

In an upcoming Garfield strip:

"Meow." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Shirley MacLaine: "And in the 1600s, I was a whore, a scullery maid, a grave robber, a whore again . . ." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

In an upcoming "Frasier": "But Daphne, I thought you KNEW I was gay . . ." (Roy Ashley, Washington)

In Newt's obituary: "Mr. Gingrich's body will lie in state in the Capitol building that bears his name . . ."

(David Genser, Arlington)

From Dr. Laura Schlessinger's next book: "The moral path is not always clear. For example, a woman recently wrote to me: 'Almost nightly, my 15-year-old brings a new boyfriend home. They sleep together in her room. She curses at her father and me, drinks tequila straight from the bottle and takes drugs. Now she says that she wants us to pay for her crack and another tattoo, and her abortion. Should I do as she asks?' Well, I was stumped." (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

From the next "Chicken Soup" book: "Life sucks and then you die." (Joseph Romm, Washington)

The Uncle's Pick:

What you won't see as next week's Uncle's Pick: An immature entry that goes out of its way to use the word "poop." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

The Uncle Explains: This is apropos because Mr. Beland clearly understands my code of honor. Still, I find this entry strangely troubling, somehow.

Next Week: Hyphen the Terrible


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