Week 468 (CXXXV) : Ism This Stupid

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 25, 2002

Semi-Tourism: Taking one's vacation in a Mack truck. Not a popular practice.

Eco-sadism: Environmental protection carried out in such a way as to cause the most pain and suffering: e.g., recycling laws that require separation of pint bottles from quart bottles, domestic beer bottles from imported, tabloid newspapers from broadsheets . . .

Bi-Darwinism: The belief that some people (e.g., Nelson Mandela) are fully evolved, while others (e.g., Vin Diesel) are not.

This week's contest was suggested by Reene Grossman of Washington. Take any common prefix (mega-, psycho-, proto-, pseudo- , neuro-, techno-, etc.) and attach it to any well-known "ism" and define the new term, as in the examples above. First-prize winner gets a suitcase-size disguise kit distributed to the media by the makers of the film "Master of Disguise," in the hopes of garnering good publicity for a movie that proved so dreadful that Post film critic Stephen Hunter walked out of the screening in mid-movie and refused to review it.

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 mail entries are no longer accepted due to rabid, spit-flying fanaticism. Deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 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. 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 Thos Witte of Gaithersburg.

Report From Week CXXXI, in which you were asked to invent a modern curse.

{diam}Third Runner-Up: May you be named Ben Ladden, be 6 feet 4 and weigh 145 pounds, and be paged over the PA system at the Army- Navy Game. (Jonathan Alen Marks, Alexandria)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: May you have seven daughters and may each major in philosophy at a separate Seven Sisters college on no scholarship and each simultaneously discover that God is a womyn and . . . (Kristina Ogilvie, Alexandria)

{diam}First Runner-Up: May you answer the doorbell and find Ed McMahon on your doorstep -- alone, on foot, because his car broke down and he wants to use your phone. (Jim Cranford, Spokane, Wash.)

And the winner of the vintage 1953 framed copy of "The Eisenhower Prayer":

May you create the perfect lawn, moments before the world mistakenly believes you have created a better mousetrap. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

May the bird of paradise fly up your nose, and an elephant caress you with its toes, and it be discovered that your most celebrated work is plagiarized. (Donna Lear, Jefferson, Md.)

May your doctors say, "Well, the good news is that you have a fatal disease . . ." (Dot Yufer, Newton, W.Va.)

May you spend eternity in an elevator with the Wazzup guys. (Brian Barrett, Bethesda)

May you never see your eye doctor again, after your laser surgery. (Tom

Witte, Gaithersburg)

May Fox TV devote a half-hour show to you called "When Colonoscopies Go Bad." (Bird Waring, New York)

May you be forced to eat worms, run naked in front of your friends, be humiliated by a stern Englishwoman, and not become famous on a reality TV show. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

May your airline pilots be armed and drunk. (Marc Leibert, New York)

May you die, go to Hell, and find that Howard Cosell's Heaven is having a guy just like you to talk to. (Roger and Pam Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

May you be the Secret Service agent in charge of Jenna and Barbara.

(Joseph Romm, Washington)

May you have a terrible disease named after you, and you are not a doctor or research scientist. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

May it be that wherever you are, whatever you do, you can't get the song "Seasons in the Sun" out of your head. Not the Jacques Brel original, the one by that idiot Terry Jacks. You know the one. (Rosemary Walsh, Rockville)

May your elderly billionaire father marry a young woman with huge breasts. (Helene Haduch, Washington)

May the first name on your nominating petition be Homer Simpson. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

May your therapist name his yacht after you. (Jonathan Alen Marks, Alexandria)

May your mother be the only respondent to your personals ad. (Roy Highberg, Bentonville)

May you die a rock star's death, without a rock star's life. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

May that ridiculous Internet urban legend about the stolen organs actually happen to you in Guatemala. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

May you be Saddam's food taster. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

May you have to eat crow, and it's carrying West Nile. (Fred S. Souk, Reston)

And Last:

May your sole source of income be the Style Invitational. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

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