Week 431 (XCVIII) : Please Bear With Us . . .

they are?

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Dec 9, 2001

This week's contest:There is no contest. Today The Style Invitational goes into a six-week hibernation as The Czar embarks on a mission so sensitive it can be described only in code: {gt}#{bulm}{dier}5/8{cedil}~{hbox}=^. In mid-January, everything will resume as though nothing had happened. The Czar requests that you all use this time productively, to reflect on the nature of consciousness, the question of man's role in the biosphere, the paradox of why toilet paper comes in squares so small no one can use just one, etc. Meanwhile he wishes to address the legitimate gripes of many of you who complain bitterly about the same names appearing in this space week after week, month after month. You keep asking: Who the hell do these people think they are?

Thanks for asking. Now they'll tell you. We asked the all-time top winners of The Style Invitational to submit their photos and autobiographies, and we'll be running them in this space during the next few weeks. The rules were simple: One hundred words, max. And to make it interesting, each autobiography must contain one, and only one, lie.

I was born at an early age and have now spanned two centuries, not to mention numerous belt sizes. I came to prominence (if not infamy) in the

Washington area by being printed in The Style Invitational during its infancy (not to mention its immaturity) but have been writing for various national comic strips for 10 years. I have had one of my one- act plays performed off-Broadway, have appeared in several major motion pictures, have played a dead body on "Homicide" (the bloating was my idea) and have appeared at the Kennedy Center with Placido Domingo.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

I'm a cartoonist. Everyone is fodder. I

enlarge noses to protect the humiliated. My twin and I grew up on Long Island. Mom gave us rosary beads; Dad, Roosevelt Raceway. Despite even-the- carny-guy-with-one-shoe-scored-higher SATs, I was smart enough to marry my high school sweetheart. For a time I juggled accounting and mothering, until I nearly dropped my youngest. So I hung up my CPA hat for MOM stretch marks. My three children give me lots of love, laughter and laundry. I donate time to school and church because it's cheaper than cash. I cook gourmet. And I draw on life. It's pretty funny.

(Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

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