Week 388 (LV) : Pitches in the Dirt

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 11, 2001

Product: Surplus Funnels

Pitch:"College men: For your next kegger, don't get caught without the Amazing Flatulence Megaphone."

This week's contest: You are a hotshot marketing executive facing a difficult problem. Your client has 50,000 surplus units of some ordinary product and he needs to move them fast, at a big profit. Your job: Come up with a sales pitch to get this stuff jumping off the shelves. Choose any product, and then give us the pitch. (The pitch need not

reflect the use for which the product is intended.) First-prize winner gets a really artsy serving bowl made from a partially melted 1950s Julie London LP.

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; by e-mail to; or by U.S. mail to The Style Invitational, Week LV, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 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 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.

in which we asked you to create a story around any four or more of these illustrations.

{diam}First Runner-Up:

An opera star (C) was injured at home when attempting to move a washing machine (K). Instead of canceling her solo performance, the promoter sent an e-mail to Yo-Yo Ma hiring him to replace her. But the promoter was unfortunately blindfolded at the time (I) and mistyped the name. Astoundingly, the evening was saved when Yo-Yo Man (D) performed brilliantly. (Mel Loftus, Holman, Wis.)

{diam}And the winner of the Michael Dukakis Halloween mask:

Once upon a time there was a wonderful, happy little boy (H) who lived with his mommy, who loved him very much. His daddy (D) also claimed to love him, even though he was consistently late with his child support and Mommy couldn't afford to have the washer fixed and she had to agitate the wash herself (K). Well, the judge said that the little boy had to spend every other weekend with his daddy and that cheap floo -- , uh, lady he married. That lady didn't like having a little boy running around, and decided to make sure he would never run around her house again. She pretended to be nice to the little boy all day, and then put sleeping pills in his dinner (N). After the little boy went to sleep, she mixed up a batch of cement (F) and when the little boy woke up he was (A) cemented into a big washtub! And he was never able to run around and play again. Wasn't it too bad that he got fooled by that lady his daddy married and actually ate something she cooked? Now, did you remember to put your toothbrush and toothpaste into your backpack? Daddy will be here any minute to pick you up.

(Sarah W. Gaymon, Gambrills)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

From the earliest times (G), women have sought sexual satisfaction but have had to make do with various sexual aids (J and K). When they are with their husbands, though, sometimes the heavens just won't move (E) and they must fake it(C).

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

In today's news (L), the Bush administration released its compassionate conservatism package. To cut costs, all Braille signs will be removed from federal buildings. However, to remain compassionate, all federal employees shall be blindfolded while working, so as to not give the visually abled an unfair advantage (I). Children's health insurance will also be curtailed, but to counter accusations of heartlessness, all new parents will be entitled to a free bag of cement (F) to securely anchor their children (A) until such time as they are old enough to go purchase their own tobacco products and spittoon (M). Seniors will still be able to choose between their prescription medications or food (N). As for the president, he is spending his first 100 days vacationing in beautiful Myrtle Beach. When asked about his administration's reform package, he remarked: "A package? For me?" (B). (John Watson and Michael Wallace, Washington)

"Who Wants to Carry a Frigidaire?" (K) was a big hit initially, but after several hernias . . . (Holly Hacker, St. Louis)

Waldo's the name. I'm a private dick (D). One day some dame slips a mickey into my chili (N). While I'm in cuckoo land (E), I have this recurring dream I've had since I was a kid -- no, not the one about Wilma Flintstone in that thigh-high leopard pelt (G), the one about being in concrete overshoes (A). It turns out to be prophetic because when I come to I'm in a car with wise guys, heading for a bridge, sporting a pair of freshly poured, 100 percent cement (F) Hoffa loafers. Still, it could have been worse. After all . . . Hoffa loafers are better than none. Bet you didn't see that one coming (I). (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

How rich are the kids in Potomac? They are so rich, they ride scooters made out of platinum (H). They are so rich, their parents clone dead presidents just to entertain at their birthday parties (D). They are so rich, they get to use convenient, wraparound urinals (A). And they are so rich, when they want to throw a water balloon, they tell their butler to do it (M). (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

{diam}The Uncle's Pick:

Jennifer Hart, Arlington (I), is so confident she composes her entry blindfolded. (Bob Leitelt, Ludington)

The Uncle Explains: This is funny because we understand that it is not the entry process, but the judging process, that sometimes seems to be done with a blindfold. (We kid because we love.)

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