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Week 457 (CXIV) : Letter Rip


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jun 9, 2002

This Week's Contest was suggested by Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park: Give us the beginning of a letter to the editor that is certain never to see print. First-prize winner gets a T-shirt produced by the town of Battle Mountain, Nev., promoting itself as being "Dubbed the Armpit of America by The Washington Post Magazine." It's pretty ugly.

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 losers@washpost.com. U.S. mail entries are no longer accepted due to rabid, spit-flying fanaticism. Deadline is Monday, June 17. 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 Stephen Dudzik of Olney.

Report from Week CXX,

in which we asked for political haiku. We received an indignant letter from one woman who claimed that by not requiring a "seasonal" word, our definition of haiku showed shocking ignorance of, and cultural insensitivity toward, the Japanese culture. Research reveals that there is a spirited debate among haiku experts about precisely what constitutes their art; in general, the consensus seems to come down on the side of the greatest liberality. Few demand the seasonal word. Or, to put it succinctly: Haiku is strangled / When too many rules are sought / So nyah nyah, lady.

{diam}Second Runner-Up:

John F. Kennedy

Camelot mystique

Masking a philanderer

We didn't know Jack

(Chris Doyle, Burke)

{diam}First Runner-Up:

James Buchanan

Preceded greatness

A cleanshaven president

But he had a beard

(Roy Ashley, Washington)

{diam}And the winner of the elephant dung paperweight:

Al Sharpton

You can lose the weight

But you can't lose the baggage

That's the skinny, Al

(Daniel Horner, Washington)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Michael Dukakis

Short Greek governor

Massachusetts Miracle

Then his campaign tanked

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney; Cindi Rae Caron, Lenoir, N.C.)

President Clinton

Was unable to re-dress

The stain on his name

(Diane Morgan, Williamsport, Md.)

Richard Nixon

He had it all taped

But the thing he should have taped

Was his big fat mouth

(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Grover Cleveland

Both his home and girth

Truly Buffalonian

Woe his youthful bride

(Steve Fahey, Kensington)

Zachary Taylor

His name has five syllables

Zachary Taylor

(Lex Friedman, Waltham, Mass.)

James Garfield

He got shot, was fine

Until doctors tried to help

Did not have nine lives

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

WPA

NIRA TVA

OK FDR!

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

Dan Quayle

You say potato

And then I say potatoe

Call the whole thing off

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

Calvin Coolidge

The most he would say

Would not fill up a haiku

(Mike Genz, La Plata)

Steve Forbes

Capitalist tool

Had a well-stocked magazine

Shot nothing but blanks

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Jesse Helms

Tar Heel good ole boy

No pacemaker in just yet

Have to find heart first

(Maja Keech, New Carrollton)

Richard Nixon

Watergate's boiling

The kitchen is getting hot

I am not a cook

(Chris Doyle, Burke)

Thomas Dewey

Polls notwithstanding

A man on a wedding cake

Was groomed for defeat

(Chris Doyle, Burke)

Alexander Hamilton

A foggy morning

And a hole in your jacket

Burr, it's really cold

(Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

Kathleen Townsend

Here's my re{acute}sume{acute}

K-E-N-N-E-D-Y

Isn't that enough?

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Margaret Thatcher

Some thought her sexy

Cannot quite imagine why

But then, they're British

(William Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)


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