Week 397 (LXIV) : Sins of Omission

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Apr 15, 2001

THE MEN'S WEARHOUSE, Springfield Mall: THE MEN WE USE, one of the

major competitors of Gigolos 'R Us.

PROSPERITY BANK & TRUST, Burke: Y BANK & TRUST, a savings and loan for the existential crowd.

TARGET, Burke: ARG, "Are you frustrated by the typical drugstore / department store /discount store /mega-store shopping experience?"

This week's contest was suggested by Peter Braxton, Burke, who has way too much time on his hands. Driving around town he noticed a surprising number of electric signs with burned-out

letters and figured there had to be a way to turn that observation into Style Invitational points. Here's how: Omit a letter or letters from a real-life sign to create a name for a new business, comically different from the original. Describe the new business or include a slogan that explains it. Include the location of the actual sign. First-prize winner gets "The Royal Baby," a 1983 paper doll cutout book featuring Prince William, of the House of Windsor, as a chubby little toddler in HRH monogrammed diapers. Face value, $4.95.

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 LXIV, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, April 23. 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 rhyming poems based on articles in the March 18 Post:

{diam}Third runner-up:

'CIA Declassifies Its Records on Dealing With Nazis'

(apologies to Dr. Seuss)

The CIA did not like Reds.

They did not like them 'neath their beds.

They needed someone who could spy.

They went and got a Nazi guy.

The Nazi guy's back in the news.

Did he do bad things to the Jews?

The CIA tried not to tell.

Do you detect a funny smell?

(Rod Ewing, York, England)

{diam}Second runner-up:

'Below the Beltway'

Fannabis, cannabis

Col'mnist Weingarten

Interviews folks who would

Legalize grass.

Gene is reviving his

College persona: the


"Head" of the class.

(Chris Doyle, Burke)

{diam}First runner-up:

'Bush Set to Curb ABA's Role in Court Appointments'

The feeling's blue at the ABA

To think they've had their final say

On who are the lawyers who get the nod

To sit on benches and play God.

The word's gone out from Dubya's men:

"Get lost! You'll never Bork again."

(Bill Willcox, Washington)

{diam}And the winner of the electric nose cleaner:

'Women Are Still Scarce in Top Media, Telecom Jobs'

You'll do fine if you're perky and have a nice rear

With Meg Ryan-ish hair you can toss.

They'll love you in front of the camera, dear.

Just don't ever try to be boss.

(Lindsay and Geoff Shafer, Stahlstown, Pa.)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

'Illegal Residents Exceed Estimate'

We lost a load of Russians, forgot some Thais and Greeks,

We missed a million Catholics, plus Protestants and Sikhs.

We skipped a few from Salvador, Morocco and Iraq,

We put ten tons of Shiites in a five-ton sack.

(Tina Conner, Washington)

'Biotech Grain Is in 430 Million Bushels of Corn, Firm Says'

(apologies to Wordsworth)

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high like pois'nous mists,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of crop geneticists.

Muttering and spluttering, all forlorn,

They'd screwd up big with StarLink corn.

(Rod Ewing, York, England)

'Brown University Newspaper Reprinted Over Student Protest'

Bigotry's painful,

That I can tell you,

But I'd rather read hate ads

Than confront ACLU.

(Kelli Midgely-Biggs, Columbia)

'A Loophole Lesson in "Soft Money" '

McCain calls for a soft-money ban

Colleagues, though, oppose the plan:

"The right to donate needs protection!

(Like my right to reelection.")

David Andrukonis (Arlington)

'Putin's Rocket Challenge'

(to the tune of "Puttin' On the Ritz")

S-300 rockets make

A power struggle missile stake

Where NATO sits:

Putin's on the blitz!

(Phyllis Kepner, Columbia)

An essay in Outlook on noisy libraries:

Our library once was a haven of quiet.

We went there to study. Now, don't even try it.

It's gotten so crowded, so raucous and noisy,

The din can be heard in Secaucus, New Joisey.

In the midst of the shelves, with their tomes and romances,

The neighborhood elves hold their picnics and dances.

Well, our heads are not bloody -- they're not even bowed.

We just ask everybody: Please don't be so loud.

(William Bradford, Washington)

On Catholic University's national basketball title:

Catholic U gives all little schools hope.

They're winners -- did more than just cope.

And when the "sixth man"

Gives the help that he can,

Watch out for that dunking Air Pope.

(Roy Ashley, Washington)

'Kilimanjaro, Gasp by Gasp'

Much to a mountaineer's sorrow,

There's a crowd atop Kilimanjaro.

Forget about "lonely,"

It's standing room only.

Perhaps there'll be seating tomorrow.

(Chris Doyle, Burke)

An article about a hospital's plans to check prescriptions by computer:

Enter the symptoms: clogged nose, shaky feet,

Computer advises, the doctor will treat

You're no longer "fatal," you're "Ctrl-Alt-Del"

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

Editorial about Rep. Robert Barr threatening Metro

(apologies to Tennyson)

Budget meddling from afar,

Congress to us the bird will flip.

Metro will cross the big Bob Barr

If no stop's named for Gip.

We want no announcing Nancy's mate

Whilst disembarking from the car.

We'll sing hosannas to the Peachtree State

When they have tossed Bob Barr.

(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

'The Trouble With ADHD'

When Timmy first could not sit still

We thought we'd fix him with a pill.

"But times have changed," the doctor said,

And prescribed a smack upside the head.

(Niels Hoven, Camperdown, Australia)

The horoscope for Taurus

Devote time to your "special one"

At home or a resort.

Just take good notes in case one day

You haul him into court.

(Greg Arnold, Herndon)

'Checking Out Kohl's'

Tried that new store in your 'hood?

Come next Christmas, if you're good:

Your pantyhose all full of holes?

You'll find stockings in your Kohl's.

(Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Tony Kornheiser on his stock market woes:

He wrote the article just to be funny,

He wasn't advising us how to make money.

But if you read closely, you'll be a bit wiser:

Just do the opposite of Tony Kornheiser.

(Richard Pratt, Arlington)

{diam}The Uncle's Pick: 'Run of Spring Injuries Hits the Red Sox Hard'

The blooming vernal equinox

Oh, how it mox the poor Red Sox.

For them, spring is a paradox.

They've lost six jox to varied pox,

Their injuries have cleaned their clox,

And now they stink like week-old lox.

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

The Uncle Explains: I just loved how the writer changed the spellings of "-ocks" words to "-ox" to match "Sox." It might make some unfortunate readers forget, for a moment, their plummeting stox!

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