Week 379 (XLVI) : Rather Unusual

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 10, 2000

"His back's against the wall, his shirttail's on fire, and the bill collector's at the door."

"This thing's as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a '55 Ford."

"This is shakier than cafeteria Jell-O."

Gore is gasping for air like a disoriented, run-over mudskipper in an iron lung on a Georgia clay backroad in a Mississippi August.

This week's contest: The top three quotes are actual lines uttered by Dan Rather, compiled by John O'Byrne in Dublin, Ireland, during the first few days of the Election Follies. Your job is to come up with even better ones. Your examples may describe any circumstance, but it must do so with Rather's unbearably folksy excesses. (A special mini-category may be created for similar parodies of Dennis Miller on "Monday Night Football"; his expressions are unbearably effete.) First-prize winner gets a copy of "Leading With Laughter," Volume 1 of a new series of audiocassettes demonstrating presidential humor. This one is devoted, exclusively, to the humor of former president George Bush. We have listened to this 40-minute tape and can report that in it, Bush tells many humorous stories, all of which appear to be quotations from people like Will Rogers. It 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 XLVI, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 18. 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 XLII, in which we asked you to combine names of two TV shows, past or present, into a new show. Recent news provoked many predictable entries along the same theme: "The Wild, Wild West Wing"; "The West Wing: Who's the Boss?"; and "Whose West Wing Is It, Anyway?" The best of these was "The Real West Wing World," by Susan Reese of Arlington: "When the election ends in a tie, both families have to live and work together in the White House for four years! Hilarity ensues!"

There shall be no prizes awarded to the intellectual hooligans who proposed combining "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Leave It to Beaver." Likewise, "Ellen" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

* Fourth Runner-Up: "Gilligan's Fantasy Island"--The Skipper, the Howells and the Professor are rescued. (Jennifer Barlament, Sterling; Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

* Third Runner-Up: "Magoover"--Myopic jack-of-all-trades gets

flummoxed by plastic explosives, etc. (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)

* Second Runner-Up: "Doody Afire"--A show that focuses on the pranks of high school mischief-makers. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

* First Runner-Up: "Everybody Loves All My Children"--Sitcom

featuring typical suburban soccer mom. (Chris Shreves, Oak Hill)

* And the winner of the Cuban constitution and Chilean handbooks:

"L.A.P.D. Victory Garden"--Cops show how to plant evidence.

(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

* Honorable Mentions:

"My Mother the Taxi"--After Jerry Van Dyke discovers his mom has been reincarnated, he decides he might as well have her earn her keep. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

"All My 222 Children"--A

documentary on the life of Dr. Cecil Jacobson. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"Twin Baywatch Peaks"--Same show, more honest labeling. (Susan Thompson, Rockville)

"Win Jack Benny's Money"--An extremely low-budget show.

(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"Route 66, Where Are You?"--Two hip guys cruise around, totally lost because they won't ask directions. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"20/60"--Less aggressive news magazine; stories are a little fuzzy.

(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville; James Pierce, Charlottesville)

"Just Shoot Martha Stewart"--Who needs a synopsis?

(Bob Leitelt, Ludington, Mich.; Joseph Romm, Washington)

"20/20 Magoo" --The cranky protagonist undergoes Lasik

surgery and suddenly discovers a vast new world. (Mark Eckenwiler,


"The Munsters M*A*S*H"--The lovable family joins a mobile Army surgical unit and high jinks ensue when they start reanimating corpses! Great theme song, too. (Kevin Cole, Washington)

"Who Wants to Marry Judge Judy?"--The least successful show ever. (James DiBenedetto, Arlington)

"The Fugitive Survivor"--The fat naked gay guy runs all over the country trying to find anyone who cares anymore. (Marcy Alvo,

Annandale; William Pifer-Foote, Leesport, Pa.)

"Buffy the Dark Angel Slayer"--

Catfight! Catfight! (Chris Shreves, Oak Hill)

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for 60 Minutes?"--Contestants discover that the IRS moves very, very fast.

(Jacob Sager Weinstein, Cambridge, Mass.)

"Yogi Doody"--Daily adventures of a bear in the woods. (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)

"Whose Line Is It, District?"--The life and times of Marion Barry.

(Michael Irani, Charlottesville)

"Will, Ellen and Grace"--Will Ellen and Grace . . .? (Royce Campbell, Harrisonburg, Va.)

"The Bonanza Bunch"--The Ponderosa is turned on its ear after Pa returns from Virginia City with a new missus and her three blond daughters, the youngest one in curls. In the pilot, Hoss referees a chili cook-off between Alice and Hop Sing. (Brandy Yarbrough, North Beach, Md.)

"Knots Tonight Show"--A documentary on marital problems. (Lloyd Duvall, Rosslyn, Pa.)

"Calling All Cooks for Ally McBeal"--

A public service show focusing on a hidden killer of young women. (Mel Loftus, Holman, Wis.)

"Touched By Mister Rogers"--An expose. (Greg Pearson, Arlington)

"Lassie, the Frugal Gourmet"--Learn how to make cheap but satisfying meals with kibble, smelly dead animals, regurgitated grass. . . .

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

"20/20 Jeopardy!"--Contestants try their hand at performing laser eye surgery on themselves. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

"Pee-wee at the Movies"--On second thought . . . (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

"When Animals Attack Geraldo"--A smash hit. (Mike Elliott, Oberlin, Ohio)

* The Uncle's Pick:

U.N.C.L.E. Knows Best--(Art Simpsen, Alexandria)

The Uncle Explains: Any explanation would be unseemly.

Next Week: Apply Yourself


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