Week 427 (XCIV) : Skinned

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 11, 2001

That last lifeboat from the Titanic rows into New York Harbor.

Osama bin Laden signs a $25 million book deal with Random House and announces a 30-city U.S. publicity tour.

Barbie gets reconfigured to plausible human dimensions, with a B- cup and child-bearing hips.

This Week's Contest was proposed by Chris Hill of Santa Fe, who read with amusement a giddily upbeat Washington Post sports column suggesting that the 3-5 Redskins now have hope for a terrific season. Yes, the turnaround's been sweet, Chris says, and we're all heartened, but get real. He suggests that you come up with events that have a smaller chance of happening than the Redskins winning the Super Bowl next year. First-prize winner gets a ceramic Dalmatian, man's best friend, seated forever next to your commode, a friendly sentinel concealing a toilet brush. This is worth $25.

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 U.S. mail entries have been canceled due to rabid, spit-flying fanaticism. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 19. 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 Tom Witte of Gaithersburg.

in which you were asked to replace a character in a movie with one from another movie, and explain how the movie would change.

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: If Ben Kingsley's Gandhi had played Darth Vader, the Empire wouldn't have struck back. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: If Renton from "Trainspotting" had played Mary Poppins, it would have taken a spoon, a lighter, a belt and a syringe to make the medicine go down. (Jessica Henig, Takoma Park)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: If Phil from "Groundhog Day" had played Scarlett O'Hara, tomorrow wouldn't have been another day. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

{diam}First Runner-Up: If Marlee Matlin's character in "Children of a Lesser God" had played Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver," it would have made a lot more sense for her to keep wondering, "Are you talking to me?" (Mike Edens, Canoga Park, Calif.)

{diam}And the winner of the can of South Carolina Potted Possum: If Flipper, from

"Flipper," had starred in "Jaws," then after eating people he could have scooted through the water backward on his tail balancing their heads on his nose. Cool. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

If C3PO replaced Mariah Carey in

"Glitter," there'd be fewer complaints about robotic acting. (Ray Aragon and Cynthia Coe, Bethesda)

If Chewbacca the Wookie had played Spartacus, then that scene where all the Roman slaves stand up and say "I am Spartacus" would have been far less effective. (Joseph Romm,


If John Shaft had played Hoke Colburn in "Driving Miss Daisy," that old broad is walkin'! (Drew Knoblauch, Falls Church)

If Brad Pitt had been Rick in

"Casablanca," he'd have said, "Here's lookin' at me, kid." (Grady Norris, New Bern, N.C.)

If one of the "Porky's" gang had starred in "Psycho," he'd have taken the knife and just cut a little peephole in the shower curtain. (Russell Beland,


If William Wallace of "Braveheart" had played any Woody Allen character, it would have actually made sense when he ended up with the girl. (Andrea

Connell, Arlington)

If James Bond had played "The Man in the Iron Mask," he would have cut the mask away with his laser pen, escaped from jail with his exploding cuff links and floated away on his underpants-that-convert- to-a-helium-balloon.

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

If the warden in "Cool Hand Luke" had played Thomas More from "A Man for All Seasons," what we would have had there was a failure to excommunicate. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

If any of Jackie Chan's characters played Christy Brown in "My Left Foot," he still would have kicked butt. (Kathye Hamilton and Jason Russo, Falls Church)

If Dumbo had played Rufus T. Firefly in "Duck Soup," he'd know very well how that elephant got in his pajamas. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

If Francis the Talking Mule had played a horse in "The Horse Whisperer," he would have asked, "Why are you

whispering? What's the big secret,

anyway?" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

If Roberto Benigni's character from "Life Is Beautiful" played Travis Bickle from "Taxi Driver," he would have said: "Are you talking to me? Yes! Come and talk with me for a while! The city is beautiful and I am so much in love with you! Talk to me! Talk to me!" (Kathye Hamilton and Jason Russo, Falls Church)

If Miss Piggy had played Debbie in "Debbie Does Dallas," I, for one, would have asked for my money back. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

If John Rambo had played the lead in "Saving Private Ryan," it would have ended with Rambo and Hitler in

sneering, shirtless hand-to-hand

combat. (Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

If Hercule Poirot had played Ethan Hunt in "Mission: Impossible," he might have been able to figure out the plot. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

If Austin Powers were the Godfather, someone would wake up one morning and find himself in bed with a horse's ass. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

If Jackie Chan played Moses, he'd have parted the sea with one chop. (Jean

Sorensen, Herndon)

If Moe of the Three Stooges had played the U.S. secretary of state in "Tora!

Tora! Tora!," the official U.S. response to the attack on Pearl Harbor would have been to poke the Japanese

ambassador in the eyes, bop him on his head with a fist and yell, "We oughta murderalize youse guys." (John

Kammer, Herndon)

If Vito Corleone played "The Pawn-

broker," he would have made him an

offer he couldn't re-use. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

If Mary Pickford in "Pollyanna" had played the captain in "Titanic," she would've chirped to the passengers, "Great news, everyone! Free ice for your drinks!" (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

At the end of "Now, Voyager," if Bette Davis's Charlotte Vale were in a

hopeless love affair with Darth Vader, she'd say, "Oh Darth, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the Death Star." (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

If Alvy Singer of "Annie Hall" played

Ilsa in "Casablanca," she would have said: "Did you hear that? Here's looking at jew? Here he thinks he's fighting the Nazis, but he's as anti-Semitic as Strasser." (Dina Feivelson, New York)

If Jean-Claude Van Damme had played Rhett Butler, we wouldn't have given a damn. (John O'Byrne, Dublin, Ireland)

If James Bond were played by Jerry Lundegaard of "Fargo," we'd all be speaking Russian now. (Ranald Totten, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.)

If the bean-eating cowboys in "Blazing Saddles" replaced the women who hung out at the beauty parlor in "Steel Magnolias," then maybe more than three men in America would have seen that movie. (Michael Levy, Silver Spring)

If the shark from "Jaws" had been in "Free Willy," that would have been the only possible way the movie could look more fake. (Mark Young, Washington)

If Dumbo had played Babe, pigs would fly. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

If Dudley Moore's Arthur played

Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire," he would've yelled, "Look, Stella, I've ripped my shirt! I've ripped my bloody shirt off! Isn't that the

funniest thing ever?!!" (Mark Ross,


If Antoine Doinel from "The 400 Blows" had played Death in "The Seventh Seal," then we would have had an angst-ridden insight into the nature of life, death and humanity, and it wouldn't have made sense because Doinel speaks French and Death speaks Swedish, duh. (Daniel Fitzgerald, Coral Gables, Fla.)

If Kevin Costner had played Rosebud in "Citizen Kane," he'd have probably screwed it up. (Grady Norris, New Bern, N.C.)

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