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Week 413 (LXXX) : Bland Ambition


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 5, 2001

1. Climb Mount Vernon

2. Meet Billy Ripken

3. Work to Achieve Peace in the

Midwest

4. Save the common

mosquito from extinction

5. Read "Pat the Bunny"

6. Learn to play the kazoo

This Week's Contest is to come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. This contest, trumpeting the virtues of modest expectations, was suggested by Dave Zarrow of Herndon, whose letterhead, we point out with no intended irony, proclaims himself "The World's Funniest Office Products Dealer." First-prize winner gets a fancy framed photo of the epic 1971 meeting between Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley, a value of $30.

First runner-up wins the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-Shirt. Honorable mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Send your entries via fax to 202-334- 4312, by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by U.S. mail to The Style Invitational, Week LXXX, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 13. All entries must include the week number of the contest and your name, postal address and 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. Entries may be edited 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. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Russell Beland of Springfield.

in which we asked you to take something that might need an image boost, and come up with a nicer name for it. But first, an important announcement: Today Jennifer Hart of Arlington steps into history beside Sandra Day O'Connor, Indira Gandhi, Marie Curie, Golda Meir and other women who dared challenge their society's destructive assumptions about gender and competence. With her published entries number 499 and 500, Ms. Hart today becomes the first woman to enter The Style Invitational Hall of Fame, invading the previously all- male bastion consisting of Chuck Smith of Woodbridge.

Back to the contest. Many folks proposed that a nicer name for the Montreal Expos or Tampa Bay Devil Rays would be "The Washington Senators."

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: Old name: Polyester. Nicer name: Dinosaur- based natural fabrics. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: Old name: Jihad. Nicer name: Faith-based initiative. (Nate Foster and Dan Kerr-Hobert, Berryville)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: Old name: Slobodan Milosevic. Nicer name: Shecky Milosevic. (John Cogburn, Southlake, Tex.)

{diam}First Runner-Up: Old name: Gary, Indiana. Nicer name: Garrett Indiana III. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse)

{diam}And the winner of the National Republican Senatorial Committee 1984 Christmas cards:

Old name: The Ten Commandments. Nicer name: The Ten Suggestions for Highly Successful People. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Old name: I-95. Nicer name: Meadowlark Lane. (Barbara Holland, Bluemont, Va.)

Old name: Slugs. Nicer name: Escarnot. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Old name: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Nicer name: Ronald Reagan Washington Ronald Reagan National Reagan Washington Ronald Airport. (Bob Barr, Smyrna, Ga.; Russell Beland, Springfield)

Old name: Carjacking. Nicer name: Ride-sharing. (Eric Bennet, Stephens City, Va.)

Old name: Colonoscopy. Nicer name: Getting to know your inner self. (Katherine Rettke, Bethesda)

Old name: Hell. Nicer name: South Heaven. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Old name: Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. Nicer name: Douglas Johnson. (Mrs. Douglas Johnson, Laramie Wyo.; Dan Dunn, Bethel, Conn.)

Old name: Satan. Nicer name: His Supreme Naughtiness. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Old name: Idaho. Nicer name: Udaman. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Old name: Four-putting. Nicer name: Keeping the ball rolling. (Sophie J. Kunze, Perth, Australia)

Old name: Gary Patishnock. Nicer name: Pat Ishnock. (Gary Patishnock, Laurel)

Old name: Autopsy. Nicer name: Final exam. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

Old name: Lie detector. Nicer name: Truth affirmer. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

Old name: Myanmar. Nicer name: Burma. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Old name: New Jersey. Nicer name: Olde Jerseytowne. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse)

Old name: Tapeworms. Nicer name: No-mess pets. (Russell Beland, Springfield; Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Old name: Typhoid Mary. Nicer name: Typhoid Tiffani. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Old name: Telemarketers. Nicer name: Family mealtime extenders. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Old name: Menstruation. Nicer name: Pumping iron. (Dan Dunn, Bethel, Conn.)

Old name: Coma. Nicer name: Power nap. (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir N.C.)

Old name: White House intern. Nicer name: Midlife crisis therapist. (Bonnie Olson, Reston)

Old name: Senility. Nicer name: Getting in touch with your inner child. (Katherine Rettke, Bethesda)

Old name: Flatulence. Nicer name: Wind poem. (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C.)

Old name: Leper. Nicer name: Body performance artist. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Old name: Newark, N.J. Nicer name: Newark-on-Hudson. (Lloyd Duvall, Roslyn)

Old name: Termites. Nicer name: Munchkins. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Old name: Cockeysville. Nicer name: Not Cockeysville. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Old name: Red-light district. Nicer name: Women's Enterprise Zone. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Old name: Exploding manholes. Nicer name: XTreme Tiddlywinks. (Alan Haeberle, Silver Spring)

Old name: Urban sprawl. Nicer name: Suburban infill. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Old name: Mold and mildew. Nicer name: Porcelain bonsai. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Old name: Lethal injection. Nicer name: A real shot in the arm. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

Old name: Traffic jam. Nicer name: Road rage containment area. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Old name: Lyme Disease. Nicer name: Lemon and lime disease. (Lee Mayer and Paul Laporte, Washington)

Old name: Suspect. Nicer name: Not a suspect. (Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C.)


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