Week 376 (XLIII) : Apply Yourself

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 19, 2000

When my brother asked me to write this for him, I . . .

My greatest passion in life, other than setting fires and watching them burn, has always been . . .

This week's contest was proposed by Ben Aronin of White Plains, N.Y. Ben is a high school student who's been applying to colleges--a process that, although sometimes insincere and dishonest, can also be humiliating and disappointing. Ben suggests that you supply bad

opening lines to college application autobiographies. First-prize winner gets a 1970s-era plastic Marilyn Monroe wall clock, with a swinging-hip pendulum. This is worth $20.

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 shockingly ugly "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 XLIII, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 27. 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 XXXIX, in which we asked you to fill in the dialogue balloons from any of the cartoons we provided.

* Fourth Runner-Up: (Cartoon F) "Looks like that resourceful Mayor Williams has figured out how to solve the pothole problem and the morgue overcrowding problem at the same time." (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

* Third Runner-Up: (Cartoon F) "No wonder road repairs take so long. All you ever see are these skeleton crews." (Jennifer Hart, Arlington; Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

* Second Runner-Up: (Cartoon F) "You have to admit it's more effective than a 'Don't Walk' sign." (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

* First Runner-Up: (Cartoon D) "Dammit, Fred, that's not what I meant by 'Put the landing gear up'!" (Erland Kelley, Falls Church; Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

* And the winner of the bumper stickers:

(Cartoon D) "Hey, my speech balloon is the only thing keeping us in the air!"

(Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Honorable Mentions:

* Cartoon A:

"Cool! I am offending my parents AND my rabbi!" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

* Cartoon B:

"Hey, this bier is flat!" (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"Why do unknown Staake characters like me die, but not Mary Worth?" (Mike Elliot, Oberlin, Ohio)

"Has my HMO agreed to let me see a specialist yet?" (Chris Doyle, Rockville)

"I've heard of waking up a little stiff, but this is ridiculous." (Chris Doyle, Rockville)

"Okay, you win the bet. It really does hurt to lie on a dead guy." (David

Genser, Arlington)

"Help, I am choking to death on my digital recorder. Help, I am choking to death on my digital recorder. Help, I am . . ." (Donald E. Burdett, Arlington)

"I don't mean to complain, kids, but this doesn't look that much like a nursing home to me." (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

* Cartoon C:

"Is this the dating service? I think you misheard me. I said that so long as he was rich, I would take anyone with testicles . . ." (Sandra Hull, Arlington; James Pierce, Charlottesville)

"Believe me, he's not that great a catch." (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

"I'm trying to get him to come out from under the bed, Ma. I keep telling him, 'Look, St. John's wort has some side effects, too. I'm sure the side effects from St. George's wort aren't so bad.' " (Susan Reese, Arlington)

"We'd better lie low for a while, darling. I think my husband put a tail on me." (David Genser, Arlington)

"So Dr. Funnypants just left the delivery room to tell all the nurses his 'sucker born every minute' joke." (Walt Johnson, Alexandria)

* Cartoon D:

"That's not what 'Roger, over' means, Roger." (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"Seat belt check! Hahaha!" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington; Walt Johnson, Alexandria; Beth Baniszewski, Columbia)

"This is just a guess, captain, but you're worried about landing on those Firestones, aren't you?" (Ken

Schaetzle, Alexandria; David Genser,

Arlington; Bob Kopac, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)

"This is your captain speaking. Has anyone else noticed that the beer is flying up out of the top of the can?" (Jim Tucker, Charlottesville)

* Cartoon E:

"Eat your filth, Jason. Flies are starving in North Korea." (Khang- Ninh Chuang, Bowie)

"Do you have a maggot's menu for the kids?" (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

"Wow! You know, I always assumed God had wings!" (Jason Walther, North Potomac)

"And then shall come to pass a time known as 'The Coming of the Great Swatter,' when only the virtuous flies shall survive. Until then, let's eat." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

"You know, Laurence, on days like this I am as happy as humans are when they are doing something they really like." (Jacob Sager Weinstein, Cambridge, Mass.)

* The Uncle's Pick: (Cartoon A) "I am going to ham it up with the classic pork rock songs 'Love Me Tenderloin,' 'Piggy Sooey' and 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bacon.' " (Lloyd Duvall, Roslyn, Pa.; Ken Schaetzle, Alexandria)

The Uncle Explains: This one tickled my ribs.

Next Week: An Extra Large Challenge


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