Week 430 (XCVII) : Omb Directive No. 2

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 2, 2001

Above, a recently published pronouncement by The Washington Post Ombudsman, upbraiding The Style Invitational for "lapses into vulgarity and just plain bad taste" that "seem inconsistent with a serious newspaper such as The Post."

This week's contest: We are so ashamed. But it's not too late to make amends. Your challenge is to revisit any contest The Style Invitational has ever run, and rewrite our tawdry past by proposing a new first-prize winner serious and/or decorous enough to please the Ombudsman. (No need to remember the actual winner; you know the sort of vulgar and crude stuff we routinely reward -- well, just do the opposite.) First-prize winner gets Grandpa Pig from the Gas Family line of novelty dolls ("Try me -- pull my finger"), which includes a fact-at-your-fingertips booklet on flatulence.

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. 10. 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 year's contest is by Tom Witte of Gaithersburg.

in which we asked you to create new captions for any photographs or illustrations in that day's Post. On the advice of our lawyers, the firm of Krindge, Bough & Snivvel, P.C., we wish to emphasize that these are made-up captions, for humor purposes, and do not in any way reflect the truth about any persons depicted herein. Some worthy entries could not be reproduced in the space below. The best of these, by Chris Doyle of Burke, featured a Page A1 aerial photo of smoke billowing from a bombed Afghan village. The new caption: Moments after the Northern Alliance entered Kabul, they lifted the ban on smoking.

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