Week 429 (XCVI) : Shark Instruments


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 25, 2001

Sign that the Ford Motor Co. has jumped the shark.

This week's contest was suggested by James Hertsch of Springfield, who points out that a new term has entered the American lexicon: "Jumping the shark" is based upon the disgraceful turning-point episode of "Happy Days" in which the Fonz was required to water ski over a shark while wearing his leather jacket. Jumping the shark refers to the moment at which you realize a TV show -- or anything else for that matter -- has just passed its prime and is on its way to oblivion. (Many fine examples can be found on This Week's Contest: Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution -- TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc. - - has jumped the shark. First Prize winner gets a genuine Backstreet Boys throw pillow and an original Rubber Ducky.

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, Dec. 3. 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. 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 Howard Walderman of Columbia.

in which we asked you to make a new word from any two hyphenated words in that day's Post, and supply a new definition.

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up -- Ridicu-plexly: How 16 movie theaters are squeezed into one little corner of a mall. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

{diam}Third Runner-Up -- Zero-handed: A Saudi recidivist. (Tom Witte,


{diam}Second Runner-Up -- .45-baked: Not even half-baked. (Mel Loftus, Holmen, Wis.)

{diam}First Runner-Up -- Circum-tember: The ad campaign that mohel "Crazy Shmuel" Weinstein launches each fall: "It's Circum-tember, and I'm SLASHING prices!" (Thomas Wallick, Washington)

{diam}And the winner of the battery-powered Mr. Potato Head -- Mo- ronto: 1. The Lone Ranger's mentally challenged companion; 2. Home of Prime Minister Jean Cre{acute}tin. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Art-meets-Steve: Not that there's anything wrong with that. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Assassi-sassination: Termination with extreme trash-talking. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Battery-up: What you'd get if the Bronx were down. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Be-bate: Hamlet's soliloquy. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Bra-night: The baseball season's most popular promotion. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Breed-vantage: Some guys seem to think it's a sports car or a

toupee. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Bull-nary: When this bird sings,

you damn well better listen.

(James A. Noble, Lexington Park,


Christo-joy: Wrapture. (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Corn-ard: Cruise line based in Kansas (now defunct). (M. Lilly Welsh, Oakton)

Du-phia: A female doofus. (Tom

Witte, Gaithersburg)

Ef-pox: Syphilis. (Tom Witte,


Eventu-ments: Clothes you keep in the closet in hopes that one day you can fit in them again. (Tom

Witte, Gaithersburg)

Ex-and-breakfast: A fling with an

old boyfriend. (Sue Lin Chong,

Washington) Bill Clinton's Web site. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Fur-sical: What you get when

your cat rubs against your ice-cream-on-a-stick. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Gal-crease: Cleavage. (Bill Strider,


Integri-gested: Swallowed pride. (Kelli Midgley-Biggs, Columbia)

Jew-gro: To the Klan, the worst possible human. (Stu Solomon, Springfield)

Limp-solve: Along with Rise & Shine, Upstart and Morning Glory, one of the many rejected names for Viagra. (Andrea D. Connell,


Loudspeak-dependence: Inability of the &*@#$@#% in the next cubicle to conduct business without yelling. (John R. Junker,


Mary-pus: A clue that one should avoid Mary. (Tom Witte,


Mo-ist: Member of a Three Stooges cult. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Non-kini: Even better than a

bikini. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Opera-cide: It's REALLY over when the fat lady sings. (Paul Stygar,


Paul-profit: Made by robbing

Peter. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Prim-stantly: The speed with which a good girl brings her knees

together. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Pound-wheel-drive: A commute on the Beltway. (Jennifer Hart,


Real-lection: When the guy with the most votes wins. (A. Gore,

Carthage, Tenn., via Kelli Midgley-

Biggs, Columbia)

Re-thing: What the surgeons did to John Bobbitt. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Sin-mantic: Defining "evil" to suit one's own agenda. (Howard

Walderman, Columbia)

South-minute: About an hour longer than a New York minute. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Strug-temporary: When your voice squeaks for a moment. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Suck-second: The measure of time needed to assess the networks'

fall schedule. (Mary Lou French,


Suck-settes: The tape clearance bin at Tower Records. (James Pierce,


Survi-denfreude: The pleasure of seeing someone voted out of the tribe. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Ter-ruary: September. (Tom Witte,


27,341,274,866-a: The room

you've reached by the time

you've realized that your

dentist's office is at the

OTHER end of the building.

(Sayuri Stemp, Fairfax)

Ventrilo-wind: Passing your gas off on someone else. (Steve Fahey,


Weak-diss: An ineffective insult, like "Your mother wears Nikes." (Chris Doyle, Burke)

Whatev-ing: Apathy. (Kelli

Midgley-Biggs, Columbia)

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