Week 390 (LVII) : Canine Fashion

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 25, 2001

This week's contest, based on the above photograph, will be explained below.

But first, this important digression. The Czar of the Style Invitational has once again seen fit to temporarily abandon his duties and desert his post. I, the Uberczar, will be filling in (with invaluable assistance from the tireless and incorruptible Auxiliary Czar).

Fortunately, this is not a fifth-grade classroom, prepared to welcome the substitute with all the forms of creative subversion that simmer in the pre-adolescent mind. I have the luxury of knowing that in dealing with someone less than completely familiar with your quaint customs, you people -- and I mean that in the most respectful way -- will demonstrate the sensitivity and generosity of spirit for which you people are so justly famous.

That said, I realize that in these "getting-acquainted" weeks I may understandably blunder into sins of omission or commission. If you have any helpful comments or suggestions in that regard, please feel free to register them by logging on to


Back to this week's contest. It has come to The Uberczar's attention that Style Invitational contestants sometimes find it convenient to utilize sexual or scatological innuendo in the service of humor. Not this week. Use the above image as the inspiration for any one or more of the following tasks: 1. A caption explaining what is happening. 2. An explanation of why this image is not just photography but art. 3. A description of what additional items might be needed to make the image complete. Sex and potty jokes will be disqualified. First-prize winner gets the above photograph, an official White House photo about the size of a landing strip mounted on the finest sponge board. It is worth $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 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. 26. 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 for clues that someone is stupid, reckless, etc.:

{diam}Third Runner-Up: You can tell someone is stupid if . . . his vanity plates say "MY PLATES." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: You can tell someone is stupid if . . . he removed the "scroll lock" key from White House keyboards. (David Genser, Arlington)

{diam}First Runner-Up: You can tell someone is unhappily married if . . . he tells you he and his wife don't have anything in common anymore and that he plans to get a divorce as soon as he can. That's how you can tell. (Monica Lewinsky, New York; Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}And the winner of the two-foot-long Band-Aid: You can tell someone is lazy if . . . he pours his beer directly into the urinal. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

You can tell someone is stupid if . . .

He had a vasectomy because he didn't want any more grandchildren. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

He dials 411 to ask for the emergency number. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

He always wears a condom. I mean, always. (David Genser, Arlington)

The bumper sticker on his car says "I'd Rather Be Driving." (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

He replaced two windows and a TV set before realizing his eyeglasses were cracked. (Earl Gilbert, La Plata)

He thinks his fax machine doesn't work because the original keeps coming back out. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

He peeks at the end of Bruce Catton's trilogy to see who won. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

He hosts a Seder at a restaurant and pays for Elijah's meal in advance. (David Pimentel, Slidell, La.)

He looks for the instructions in his new package of socks. (Jeffrey Plunkett, Venice, Calif.)

He denies being stupid, and even offers to provide a urine sample. (David Genser, Arlington)

He attaches a mailing from Publishers Clearing House to his mortgage application. (Art Litoff, Dillsburg, Pa.)

She brought her baby back to the hospital because it was leaking. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

You can tell someone is unhappily married if . . .

She and her husband hire the same hit man. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

He asks you to kill and eat him, instead of voting him off the island and sending him back home. (Steve Calderon, Seattle)

For your anniversary, you suggest a trip to Temptation Island. (Holly Hacker, St. Louis)

He has a picture of his hand on his desk at work. (Greg Arnold, Herndon)

You can tell someone is boorish if . . .

At the state dinner he uses the demitasse spoon to clean his ears. (Phyllis Kepner, Columbia)

He asks, "Hey, are you done with that hunk of floss?" (Russell Beland, Springfield)

He runs for president of the United States just because he needs the furniture. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

You can tell someone is lazy if . . .

She intentionally opens a virus in order to clean up her hard drive. (Susie Hawk, Harrisonburg, Va.)

He doesn't bother microwaving the microwave popcorn. (James Pierce, Charlottesville)

He waits for all of his fish to float to the top of the aquarium so they'll be easier to feed. (David Genser, Arlington)

He uses not only a Clapper, but a recording of someone else clapping. (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

Whatever. (Ron Dimon, Fairfax)

You can tell someone is reckless if . . .

She takes the year-after pill. (John O'Byrne, Dublin, Ireland)

He has unprotected sex with a crack whore in the back of a Ford Pinto. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

You give advise on spelling when your being filmed. (Anonymouse, Indianapolis; Russell Beland, Springfield)

He measures out his bungee cord, then adds "a pinch to grow on." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

After he's done shaving, he needs a two-foot-long Band-Aid. (Paul Styrene, Olney)

You can tell someone is jealous if . . .

He insists his wife blindfold the baby before breast-feeding. (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

She paid a proctologist to install Lojack in her husband. (Paul Styrene, Olney)

He doesn't like the look she's giving the priest through her wedding veil. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

He stares at your Style Invitational Loser T-Shirt and shakes his head in feigned bafflement. (Mike Elliott, Oberlin, Ohio)

At night he checks the mileage on his wife's electric wheelchair. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

{diam}The Uncle's Pick: You can tell someone is stupid if he bets on a tie in a baseball game. (Max Wasserman, Bethesda)

(The Uncle Explains: It is truly tragic how gambling has ruined so many families.)

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