Week 395 (LXII) : Devilishly Clever

Fahey, Kensington; John Kammer, Herndon)

Full Text (1202   words)
Copyright The Washington Post Company Apr 1, 2001

George W. Bush: In the middle of a tough campaign, W. discovers he hasn't read the small print closely enough. Turns out he's actually running for president of the American Society of Elocutionists.

This week's contest is suggested by Russell Beland, Springfield, who is cheerfully ripping off a Far Side cartoon in which Satan is showing a dignified man in white tie and tails through a door saying something like "And this will be your room, maestro." Inside, the room is filled with scruffy little boys playing harmonicas and accordions. The contest is to describe someone's special little corner of Hell. First-prize winner gets a one-ounce bottle of Demeter brand Laundromat Pick-Me-Up cologne featuring, according to the label, "simple, subtle, singular scents each day, everywhere." This bottle was recently appraised at $3.95.

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 LXII, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, April 9. 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 subheads that would give an unexpected twist to headlines on stories or ads in the March 4 Washington Post:

There were many, many responses for "Burundi's Capital Is Shaken by Hutus Who Rejected Accord" suggesting they preferred Civics or Camrys.

Also widely thought of: Oldest U.S. Veteran John Painter Dies: Master Painted 50,000 Latrines

But by far, the most popular response was along the lines of: Powell Earns Style Points at State: Secretary Seen Wearing Idiotic T- shirt in Yemen.

{diam}Fourth runner-up: Let's Enroll Our Kids in Shooting Classes: Frustrated, Michael Jordan Looks to the Future (Charlie Myers, Laurel)

{diam}Third runner-up: Police Warn D.C. Judge of 'Hex': 'It's Okay,' Assures Judge, 'I Shop at Sax' (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

{diam}Second runner-up: Croat Hard-Liners Seek Separation in Bosnia: Cite Career Conflicts, Deny Scientology a Factor in Split (Ben F. Noviello, Fairfax)

{diam}First runner-up: Buy One, Get One Free: Latest Pardon Revelation Startles Even Die-Hard Clinton Supporters (Ervin Stembol, Alexandria)

{diam}And the winner of the festive Economic Report of the President coffee mug:

The Buck Goes There: New Patrons Don't Know Tipping Etiquette, Exotic Dancers Complain (Sarah W. Gaymon, Gambrills)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Oprah Winfrey Presents: Frantic Parents Storm Toys R Us as Mattel's Talk Show Host Action Figure Debuts (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Fire on Prime Minister's Plane: 'Just Following Orders,' Troops Claim (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Temple Remains Too Much for GW: President Still Unwilling to Attend Mormon Service, but Insists He Is 'Ecumenable' (William E. Bradford, Washington)

Temple Remains Too Much for GW: Owls' Coach Uses Cadavers in Lineup, Still Beats Colonials by 22 (Sarah W. Gaymon, Gambrills)

16 Inches of Snow Could Hit Area: Next Decade Could Total More Than a Foot of White Stuff, Forecasters Say (William E. Bradford, Washington; Joseph Romm, Washington)

Hoyas Oust Orangewomen: Gender, Skin Color Still Issues in College Sports (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Navy Men Advance; Virginia Women Lose: Scandal in Norfolk Could Rival Tailhook (Gary Moore, West River, Md.)

Lake Braddock Sweeps Meet: Fairfax Chimney Workers Brush Up at Conference (J.J. Gertler, Arlington; Jennifer Hart, Arlington; Bill Strider, Gaithersburg)

Lake Braddock Sweeps Meet: Track Event Washed Out When Reservoir Overflows (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Capitals Break Away: A Biography of e.e. cummings (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Tips That Could Save Your Lifestyle: Trojan Touts Improved Safety Reservoir (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C.)

Pay Dirt: 16 Ways to Save in Europe: American Tourists Revel as Euro Sinks to New Low: 1 Handful of U.S. Topsoil (Dave Zarrow, Herndon; Steve Fahey, Kensington; John Kammer, Herndon)

And Another Thing . . . John Bobbitt Working on Christmas Wish List (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

NASA's Space Odyssey Grounded: OSHA Allowance Docked; No TV All Week for FCC (Adam D. Elfenbein, Arlington)

Life Is Short: Tell Me About It (John Muehl, Springfield)

Vanderbilt Shocks Tennessee: Heiress Serves Red Wine With Catfish (Kelli Midgley-Biggs, Columbia)

Paid Death Notices: This Week's Mob Hits (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

An Excellent Source of Calcium: Nutritionists Praise 'Hannibal Lecter Diet' (Ervin Stembol, Alexandria)

46 Years, No Winners. Aim Elsewhere: School for the Blind Cuts Archery, Javelin Programs (John Kammer, Herndon)

Web Woos Chinese: So Are Web Wangs and Web Wongs, but Not Web Webbs or Web Wellingtons (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Business Backs Bush Tax Cut: Earth Labeled 'Spherical,' Pope 'Catholic' (Michael Knab, Rockville)

$99 Bridal Sale: Why Waste Your Money on Expensive Mail-Order Brides? (John Kammer, Herndon)

A New Way to Lose Weight: Eat What Satisfies You: As Long as You're Satisfied With 600 Calories a Day (Lloyd Duvall, Roslyn, Pa.)

Tiger Beetle's Last Stand: Woods's Less Talented Cousin Struggles to Make Par in Camp Swampy Open (Cheryl Davis, Arlington)

State Capitol Uninhabitable Due to Quake: Game-Addicted Legislators Promise to Shower Right After They 'Finish This Level' (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

What Do You Want Your Room to Say About You? Or Do You Just Want It to Shut Up? (Mike Genz, La Plata)

Vow of Poverty Challenges Elderly Nuns: Archdiocese Basketball Tourney Concludes Tonight (J. Larry Schott, Gainesville, Fla.)

NASA's Wish Upon a Star: Inexpensive Space Travel: Panel Advises Cheaper Alternative of 'Wishing Upon the Ground' (Brian Thurber, Bethesda)

Solid Lead for Green in New York: Cement Shoes Not Enough for Nader & Co., Dems Insist (Michael Knab, Rockville)

A Sedan, but Showing More Leg: Jennifer Lopez to Star in 'My Mother the Car' (Adam D. Elfenbein, Arlington)

Bush Works the Phones: President Also Manages to Operate Light Switches, Doorbells (Michael Swanlund, Minneapolis)

President's Words Belie His Tactics, Democrats Charge:Bush Denies Allegations, Pledges to Extend Olive Branch to 'Crybaby Commie Democrats' (Tom Power, Vienna, Va.)

I'll Take Manhattan: Clinton Packs, Prepares to Leave N.Y. (Michael Knab, Rockville)

Powell Earns Style Points at State: But Saudi Ambassador Offended by Low-Cut Blouse (Noah Meyerson, Washington)

Man Found Dead in Magothy River: River Often Turns Magothy This Time of Year (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Life Is Short: So Is Time. The New Yorker Is Medium. National Geographic Is Long. The Journal of the American Medical Association Is REALLY Long. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Oldest U.S. Veteran John Painter Dies: Fake Headline Planted by Uberczar (Bill Strider, Gaithersburg)

{diam}The Uncle's Pick:D.C., D.C., It's a Hell of a Town: Mayor Williams Promises to Fill Potholes With Good Intentions (Jon Graft, Centreville)

The Uncle Explains: The crude profanity in the original headline did not prevent the contestant from discovering Dr. Johnson's famous and useful proverb within. Notice his clever spin on the unspoken word "paved" -- and notice how he avoided using the offensive word himself!

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