Week 424 (XCI) : Osama Chanted Evening

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 21, 2001

Higgledy piggledy

Osama the terrorist

Hides in a cave with a

Price on his head.

Find him and Dubya

Will out-and-out lubya

Hyperfinancially --

Living or dead.

This Week's Contest was suggested by Charlie Bryant of Gaithersburg, who points out that the best way to confront evil is not to demonize it but to contemptuously trivialize it. Accordingly, we seek poems about Osama bin Laden. You may use any poetic form: sonnet, limerick, haiku, couplet, double dactyl, as in the above example Charlie wrote, or any other. First-prize winner gets an antique box of cloth sweaters for soft-drink glasses. We are not exactly sure who thought this was a good idea, or why, but this may be the only surviving item of its kind. It is worth $50.

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 or by e-mail to


Deadline is Monday, Oct. 29. 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.

Before we get to the remarkable Week LXXXVII, we dispense with some old business. You know how you all are always complaining that The Czar chooses the wrong winners? To test this theory against the alternative theory that you are all whining idiots, The Czar graciously withheld his winning choices in a recent contest. He published all 25 finalists, unranked, then invited you to submit your choices for winner and four runners-up. The results: You agree that The Czar is wrong. Unfortunately, you haven't figured out precisely what he is wrong about. Of the 25 possibilities, our hundreds of respondents declared that the single best entry was obviously . . . 24 of them! Every finalist but one was chosen by at least one person as the winner of the entire contest. (And no, you couldn't vote for yourself.) You were all over the map, with nearly insignificant point spreads separating the winners from most of the Honorable Mentions. Possibly this judging thing isn't as easy as you think.

The contest was to come up with nasty rhetorical questions after the model "Is that your face or did your neck just puke?"

The readers' choices: {diam}Fourth Runner-Up: Is that your boyfriend, or does your pimp drive a Geo? (Russell Beland, Springfield).{diam}Third Runner-Up: Is that your nose, or are you just glad to smell me? (Paul Kocak, Syracuse). {diam}Second Runner- Up: Is that your car, or is this the day you leave your recycling at the curb? (David Kleinbard, Jersey City). {diam}First Runner-Up: Is that your president, or did the Supreme Court just puke? (Tom Campbell, Chicago). {diam}And the winner: Is that your carefully considered position on the inconclusiveness of the scientific evidence of global warming and the dwindling supply of petroleum reserves, or your SUV?(John Muehl, Springfield)

And now The Czar's choices, made before the contest was published. These are the ones that count:

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: The president -- puke.

{diam}Third Runner-Up: Carefully considered position -- SUV.

{diam}Second Runner-Up: Is that your final answer, or are you still holding out hope that a brain will suddenly grow at the end of your spinal cord?

(Mike Connaghan, Alexandria)

{diam}First Runner-Up: Is that your actual weight or did you fill out your driver's license form while tethered to a blimp? (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}And the Winner of the 1954 George Washington University Medical School yearbook, the Speculum: Is that your nose, or are you just glad to smell me? (Paul Kocak, Syracuse)

During the least funny week in anyone's memory, we asked you simply to make us laugh. No further instructions. Predictably, your 175 entries constituted the smallest response in the history of this contest. We empathize with all who chose to stay silent but salute all who did not: Your entries were wildly different but shared a certain thrilling pugnacity. Thanks for the laughs. All entries below win T-shirts. Winner of the Prince George's County Police Department bell is the last entry on the page.

There is one huge problem with the guarantee of 70 virgins for each martyr in Paradise. What can one do with six dozen women? The guarantors eit her don't know Paradise or don't know women. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)

If wives were meant to enjoy sex, God would've made husbands good at it. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

Bad choice of tough language for the Taliban to use: "Oh yeah? You and what army?" (Russell Beland, Springfield)

This is a real excerpt from the news shortly after the WTC and Pentagon were attacked. The interview took place at a blood donation site: "At times like this, people come together. We have come together here to give blood. Many people didn't know they had it in them." (Judy Freedman, Rockville)

A tornado tore through the Gaithersburg Home Depot yesterday, leaving in its wake 12 newly fashioned houses, three toolsheds, a gazebo, and a new deck added onto a nearby home. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

I keep waiting for our president to say something like: "We are not at war with Islam, and we certainly don't wish to offend the many good Muslim Americans. Our enemies are the terrorists and those nations that have become a Mecca for terrorist behavior." (Hang Xia- Ti, Arlington)

As I write this, I am at work and not wearing pants! A clown has just thrown a pie in my face! Also, poopy-doody! (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Okay, here's a trick. Think of a number between 1 and 10. Now multiply it by the number of decades you have been alive. Okay? Now subtract the day of the month you were born. Okay? Now picture J. Edgar Hoover in a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader costume. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

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