Week 420 (LXXXVII) : Ha Anxiety

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Sep 23, 2001

This Week's Contest: Make us laugh. First-prize winner gets a delicate bell emblazoned with the logo of the Prince George's County Police Department. We have no idea to what use this bell is intended to be put, except to note that it is made of glass, and, struck smartly on a desktop, would probably shatter into utilitarian fingernail-size interrogational slivers, if you get our drift.

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, or by U.S. mail to The Style Invitational, Week LXXXVII, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Deadline is Monday, Oct 1. 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 Brian Foster of Fairfax.

in which we asked you to explain how things would have been different if a historical figure of your choosing had been of the opposite gender, or a different nationality, or really, really stupid, or a dog, living in a world of dogs.

{diam}Fifth Runner-Up: If Beatrix Potter had been a man, her book would've started: "Once upon a time there were four little rabbits and their names were Flopsy, Fatso, Fartsy and Zit Boy." (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: If Lorena Bobbitt had been a dog, she wouldn't have needed a knife. However, she also would have been "put to sleep." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: If Al Gore had been a dog, he would have promised to bury Social Security safely in the back yard. (Ray Aragon and Cindy Coe, Bethesda)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: If Alan Webb were a Kenyan, he would finally make the varsity this year. (Daniel J. Mauer, Silver Spring)

{diam}First Runner-Up: If Tajikistan's Prime Minister Yakhyo Azimov were Kazakhstani, who would give a crap? (Chris Doyle, Burke)

{diam}And the winner of the coasters, drinking glass and necktie:

If sculptor Gutzon Borglum had been a dog, living in a world of dogs . . .

(Drew Knoblauch, Falls Church)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

If they were women:

Sigmund Freud would have declared that men look enviously at life savers, pencil sharpeners, holes in doughnuts, etc. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

J. Edgar Hoover could have saved a lot of money on clothes. (Grant Beale, Arlington)

Douglas MacArthur would have said, "I'll be back in a jif." (David McAuley, McLean)

Muhammad Ali would float like a butterfly and sting like an astringent. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Instead of making an arrest of Pee-wee Herman, police would have made a video. (Drew Knoblauch, Falls Church)

Yasser Arafat? It would have meant one more blind date for me that somebody would swear "Can't miss." (Michael Scott, Arlington)

Moe Howard would have disciplined her brother Curly and compatriot Larry Fine with scathing, pithy sarcasm and icy glares of disapproval followed by sensible advice and empathetic encouragement to learn from their mistakes. Mercifully, this did not happen. (William Jacobs, Olney)

Jesus would have made sure beforehand that there were enough fishes and loaves to feed all those people, not to mention tartar sauce, brownies, potato salad, green bean casserole, iced tea, cinnamon buns . . . (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Abner Doubleday would have required you to touch a lot more bases before you score. (Roger Hall, Harrisonburg)

If they were men:

Florence Nightingale's bedside manner would have consisted of: "Wounded? Nah. Walk it off, wuss." (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

If they were dogs, in a world of dogs . . .

Frank Sinatra would have been known as "Old Blue." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Lennon-McCartney would have written "When I'm 9." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Lauren Bacall would have said to Bogart, "You know how to whistle, don't you? Oh, wait, neither do I." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Bonnie and Clyde would have been famous for knocking over a whole string of garbage cans. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Ponce de Leon would have yearned to drink from the Toilet of Puppyhood. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Judge Roy Bean would have been known as The Fixing Judge. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Louis Pasteur would be famous for inventing the "eating grass" cure. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Ty Cobb would be known as the dirty athlete who slid into second base with one leg up. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Abbie Hoffman would have written "Chew This Book." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Strom Thurmond would be approaching 693 years old. (Mel Loftus, Holmen, Wisc.; Mike Genz, La Plata)

If they had been of different nationalities:

If Wayne Newton had been German, he would have had a hit song called, "Thank You." (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

If Bill Clinton had been French, Monica would simply have been called The First Mistress, and no one would have given two patooties. (Kelli Midgley-Biggs, Columbia; Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

If Kevin Costner were Japanese, after the failure of "Waterworld" he would have disemboweled himself. Darn! (Mark Young, Washington)

If Van Gogh had been Sicilian, the ear in the mail might actually have worked. (Dan Dunn, Bethel, Conn.)

If Clarence Thomas were not African American, there'd be absolutely no difference. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

If they'd been really, really stupid:

Hirohito: There would have been a sneak attack on Bar Harbor. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

George Washington: We'd be entering the Cornwallis Post Style Invitational. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

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