Week 475 (CXLII) : Bad Connection


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 13, 2002

This week's contest was proposed by Bird Waring of New York, whose name sounds mighty fishy to us. Bird suggests that you manufacture a flap by taking any two seemingly unrelated stories from anywhere in today's Washington Post,, and/ or tomorrow's USA Today, and explain how their subjects are linked in some unholy conspiracy or other suspicious way. Specify the headlines on the stories you use. First-prize winner gets what appears to be a genuine elegant ostrich-feather duster distributed to the media in the hopes of obtaining fawning publicity for "Maid in Manhattan." This is a new film starring Ralph Fiennes and Jennifer Lopez, a pairing that seems, in terms of sexual chemistry, like casting Laurence Olivier opposite Roseanne.

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. Deadline is

Monday, Oct. 21. 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 Chris Doyle of Forsyth, Mo.

Report from Week CXXXVIII

This was the contest proposed by schoolteacher Kelli Midgley- Biggs, in which you were

supposed to come up with creative excuses for not doing your homework, forgetting your spouse's birthday, failing to file taxes or not going to church.

{diam}Second Runner-Up -- Excuse for not doing your homework:

My dog ate it. Granted, I had to shred it, soak it in gravy and mix it with his kibbles and bits, but he did eat it.

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

{diam}First Runner-Up -- Excuse for not doing your homework:

My printer ran out of ink. So what looks to you as several blank pages is in fact a printout of my entire assignment, but without the ink.

(Michael Rae, Potomac)

{diam}And the winner of the Tea Boy penguin tea-bag dunker:

Excuse for forgetting your spouse's birthday:

Your birthday brings you one year closer to death. I can barely face that dreadful fact; I certainly do not intend to celebrate it.

(Kelley Lund, Ashburn)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Excuses for Forgetting

Your Spouse's Birthday

There was a Monday deadline for The Style Invitational, and I just had to win you the Tea Boy.

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Well, you forgot the anniversary of the day I bowled 226.

(Mike Genz, La Plata)

Excuses for Missing Church

I do not wish to offend our wonderful friend and ally, Saudi Arabia.

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Well, if that wasn't Jesus who left the message on my answering machine telling me to skip church, who was it?

(John Griessmayer, Roanoke)

What, it's every Sunday now?

(John Griessmayer, Roanoke)

I use the Mayan calendar, with its 13-day weeks. Thus, Sunday occurs once every 13 days, and I should really only be in church once every 91 days, when our calendars align.

(Danny Bravman, Potomac)

Because God is everywhere, He and I are staying home to watch cartoons.

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

I thought it was a bye week.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

I won't go to any fancy brick church when there are children in China worshiping in tar paper shacks.

(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

If I suddenly start going to church, the terrorists will have won.

(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Excuses for Not Filing Taxes

I couldn't find the category for


(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

I am still awaiting a ruling on the deductibility of "Take a Penny, Leave a Penny" contributions.

(Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

My refund will only add to the federal deficit. Therefore, I would prefer that you keep it to pay for well-deserved increases to IRS staff salaries.

(Robin D. Grove, Pasadena, Md.)

Excuses for Not Doing

One's Homework

I found the topic of my homework assignment so original and challenging that it inspired me to apply for a National Science Foundation grant. The grant process is rather lengthy.

(Michael Rae, Potomac)

Algebra was invented by the Arabs, so in these troubled times, I am making a political statement.

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

My pit bull, here, ate it.

(J.D. Berry, Springfield)

The dog ate my friend's homework that I was going to copy.

(Roy Ashley, Washington)

I ate my dog, which, unbeknownst to me, had eaten my homework.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

My book report on "Waiting for Godot" will be here soon.

(David Moss, Arlington)

It doesn't matter. It's all a dream anyway. That's why I'm not wearing pants.

(Bird Waring, New York)

Local zoning laws prohibit me from working in my home.

(John Griessmayer, Roanoke)

I will gladly turn over my homework once you file a Freedom of Information Act request.

(Robin D. Grove, Pasadena, Md.)

I am sorry but I couldn't take any assignment seriously from someone named "Midgley-Biggs."

(Danny Bravman, Potomac)

And the winner of a Style Invitational

T-shirt for a special "Truth IS Better

Than Fiction" entry:

Last year I was taking Spanish I.

I thought I was doing okay until my parents got a note from my teacher saying that I was always late with my homework. It wasn't until we had a conference with the teacher that we figured out the problem: Every time my teacher gave my homework assignment, she would say "Okay, in 10 days." Well, it turns out that

what she was saying was, "Okay,

entiendes?" which means, "Do you understand?" Obviously I didn't.

(Kate Ritzenberg, 14, Bethesda)

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