Week 460 (CXXVII) : Pompous Assets

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jun 30, 2002

"In 1985, in my preface to a three-volume reference set about

Shakespeare's world, work and influence, I noted that falling under the spell of the man Ben Jonson dubbed the 'Sweet Swan of Avon' is one of life's most liberating

experiences. This paradox has been affirmed and reaffirmed by more than four

centuries of drama professionals, theatergoers and other observers. And if the memoirs to be examined in the paragraphs that follow are any indication, it has lost none of its original pertinence . . ."

This Week's Contest was proposed by Mike Pocalyko of Oak Hill. Mike suggests that you come up with the first paragraph of a review of a real book or a movie -- past or present -- that is as narcissistic, pretentious and self-aggrandizing as the review above - - which actually appeared in The Washington Post two weeks ago. Maximum length, 50 words. First-prize winner gets a Spam-can piggy bank donated to The Style Invitational by Bruce Friedrich, PETA's Washington bureau chief. Bruce procured this item from the Spam Museum in Austin, Minn., to which he was dragged by a sweet, elderly, clueless relative. That was bad enough, and then he learned that the inventor of Spam was named Friedrich and may well be a relative.

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 are no longer accepted due to rabid, spit-flying fanaticism. Deadline is Monday, July 8. 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 Seth Brown, of Williamstown, Mass.

Report from Week CXXIII, in which we asked you to come up with completely unfunny, humor-impaired questions for "Jeopardy!" answers we had previously supplied. Several persons were disqualified for the mistake of being too funny. The best of these was Chuck Smith of Woodbridge (Answer: Germany, only Germany. Question: In what country is the "Family Circus" character "Ida Know" named "Ino Nussing"?). We also must reprimand Mark Hagenau of Derry, N.H., for unnecessarily pointing out the unfortunately amusing fact that "Rapid I Movement" is an anagram for "Vomit me a pi, nerd."

{diam}Third Runner-Up: Answer: A Mackerel Lollipop. Question: What do you get when you cross a mackerel with a lollipop? (Andrew Nellis, Washington; Simon Toomey, Christchurch, New Zealand)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: Answer: Rapid I Movement. Question: What is a homophonic pun on a phrase used in polysomnography? (Mark Hagenau, Derry, N.H.)

{diam}First Runner-Up: Answer: Velcromagnon Man. Question: How would Mel Brooks, speaking with a Yiddish accent, say "Well, Cro- Magnon man?"(Judy Miller, Poolesville)

{diam}And the winner of the Loser pen that mistakenly says "Bizarre" instead of "The Czar":

Answer: Those Paper Toilet Seat Covers. Question: What product should be recyclable but isn't because big business rapes the planet to assure that we have clean buttocks when we excrete cows we have murdered and consumed? (Mark Young, Washington)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

A Mackerel Lollipop

What might a masochistic Catholic piscatologist confectioner create for use as a dessert after a Lenten dinner? (Greg Berry, Fairfax)

What treat would be difficult to "fin"-ish? (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

What takes a licking and keeps on stinking? (Mike Hammer, Arlington)

What kind of candy doesn't swim upstream to spawn? (Beth Baniszewski, Columbia)

Those Paper Toilet Seat Covers

Let's say your company's coffeemaker is located in the ladies' room. Well, what might work pretty well as a substitute if you ran out of coffee filters? (R.J. Sturgeon, Kensington)

What does George W. Bush use for lobster bibs because he's so clueless that he does stupid things? (Ned Bent, Herndon)

What is different from eggs in that eggs might hatch if you sat on them? (Mike Genz, La Plata)

Abigail, but Not Martin,

Van Buren

What is a chain of six words where each word contains at least one letter that goes above the middle line in print handwriting? (Lex Friedman, Manalapan, N.J.)

Fran Drescher and the Norwegian Parliament

Who's probably not going to come over and help me take out the garbage? (Sarah W. Gaymon, Gambrills)

Whom did R. Kelly not videotape himself having sex with? (John Stoner, Durham, N.C.)

Who starred in the TV movie "The Nanny Gets Elected to the Norwegian Parliament"?

(Mike Hammer, Arlington)

Rapid I Movement

What do you call that shouting thing that the Indians did when they attacked the soldiers in the movies? You know, that "I-I-I-I thing." That was cool. (Mark Young, Washington)

What happens when you hold down the key between U and O for a really long time, like thisiiiiiiiiiiiii? (Greg Pearson, Arlington; Dierdre Bond, Silver Spring)

It Got Lost in the Translation.

What must have happened to the proper spelling of Osama bin Laden's name, since everyone seems to be calling him O-sama in clear contradiction of the Library of Congress, which calls him U-sama? (Mark Young, Washington)

What is the TransItGotlation? (Don Watkins III, Springfield)

Velcromagnon Man

What would be an obvious paleontological hoax, assuming you knew that Velcro wasn't around in prehistoric times? (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

What would be a great name for a TV sitcom about a caveman who is always getting into "sticky" situations? (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

Germany. Only Germany

What instructions did the bacteria leader give his bacteria soldiers just before infecting a knee? (J.D. Berry, Springfield)

Enron and Cream of

Mushroom Soup.

What rhymes with "Shmenron and Shmeam of Shmushroom Shmoup"? (Lex Friedman, Manalapan, N.J.)

Kukla, Fran and Osama

Who's buried in Kukla, Fran and Osama's tomb? (Hank Wallace, Washington)

What are a puppet, a TV personality, and the personification of evil who should rot in Hell? (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

I Can't Hear You, You're Breaking Up

What did Quasimodo (1) say to Saint Catherine (2)? (1) Character in Victor Hugo's novel "Notre Dame de Paris" (1831), who becomes deaf after prolonged exposure to loud bell ringing. (2) 4th-century A.D. virgin martyr (most likely apocryphal) whose capital sentence included breaking on the wheel. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

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