Week 492 (CLIX) : Cheap Tricks

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 9, 2003

Next time you have your sewer line snaked, save the clog. It makes an excellent toupee.

Put four slices of hard salami on buttered bread, refrigerate overnight. Next day, remove the salami and enjoy a "smell only" sandwich. Repeat for five more days. On the seventh day, the salami is yours!

This Week's Contest was suggested by Brendan O'Byrne of Regina, Saskatchewan. Come up with extreme cost-conserving measures for these difficult economic times, as in the bread example above, which won a Florida newspaper contest. The more miserly the better. First- prize winner gets a promotional sample of Kosher Pet Food ("Approved by Top Breeders, Not to Mention the Almighty"). It is endorsed by the Chicago Rabbinical Council.

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, Feb. 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 Seth Brown of Williamstown, Mass.

Report from Week CLV, in which we asked you to come up with creative new questions about life. We thought this would be hard, and were surprised and delighted to find ourselves inundated with entries -- more than 5,000, total. Alas, what we naively thought might be a spasm of creativity turned out to be a spasm of soulless larceny. Why do people build their houses outdoors? How do they stick the Teflon to the pan? When the snow melts, where does the white go? Why is there Braille on drive-up ATMs? How can anything be new and improved?

Note to those Steal Invitationalists: If your entry contained more than one such chestnut, we roasted the entire list on an open fire.

{diam}Fifth Runner-Up: Why can't you pick your friend's nose?

(Michael Levy, Silver Spring)

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: If the Chinese revere old age so much, why is it that if you're past your sixties you won't find your birthday on those Chinese restaurant place mats?

(J.F. Martin, Naples, Fla.)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: If time travel is impossible, how did I know this would win third runner-up?

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: Why is an older woman younger than an old woman?

(Gail Gottlieb, Takoma Park)

{diam}First Runner-Up: Why is there a picture of a baby on the package of toilet paper, when a baby is the only person who doesn't use it?

(Debbie Johnson, Montgomery Village)

{diam}And the winner of the second bubblegum-wad-looking purse:

Why should I question authority?

(John T. Durkin, Ardmore, Pa.)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

If you multiply two even numbers you get an even number, and if you multiply an odd and an even, you get an even number. The only way to get an odd number is to multiply two odds. So why aren't there more even than odd numbers?

(Jeanne Mussig, Herndon)

Why is it that foreigners in the movies can master complex sentences in English but revert to their native language for the simplest words, as in: "Si, sen~or, I can help you escape from the corrupt police. Just pay me $500, por favor."

(Teri Chism, Winchester)

If toast always falls with the butter side down, if you don't butter it, will it spin wildly and land on its edge? And if you butter both sides, will it explode?

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

Why don't they call it a teethbrush?

(Michael Landauer, Bethesda)

Why does anyone ever say "Needless to say"?

(Michael Patterson, Alexandria)

Why doesn't "umlaut" have one?

(John Karwoski, Pottstown, Pa.)

Where do you write a reminder to yourself that you need more Post- it notes?

(Michael Clem, McLean)

Before they made sliced bread, what was the best thing?

(Mariann Simms, Wetumpka, Ala.)

Why is it that sex is used to sell everything except beds and mattresses?

(Elizabeth Andros Gaston, Ligonier, Pa.)

Did the guy who invented patents have to get a patent?

(Mariann Simms, Wetumpka, Ala.)

What happens to rice cakes when they pass their expiration date?

(Brigid Cleary Davis, Camp Springs)

Shouldn't Chap Stick be called Anti-Chap Stick?

(Adina S. Wadsworth, Washington)

How do you punish masochists?

(Adina S. Wadsworth, Washington)

What is is? (W.J. Clinton, New York)

(Brad Suter, Charlottesville; Mark Lynner, Sterling)

What would a toilet look like if our knees bent in the other direction?

(Gordon Labow, Glenelg)

Why were the Three Musketeers always fighting with swords? Did they lose their muskets?

(Mark Lynner, Sterling)

If the Flash can run faster than light, why does he keep his costume folded up inside his signet ring, instead of just running home and changing?

(Doug Palmer's 13-year-old daughter, Annapolis)

Why is "phonetic" spelled with a p?

(Tom Fonner, Montclair)

Who coined the phrase "to coin a phrase"?

(Brendan J. O'Byrne, Regina, Saskatchewan)

Why did they name Ramses condoms after the pharaoh who fathered 100 children?

(Brendan J. O'Byrne, Regina, Saskatchewan)

If we have a pair of pants and a pair of scissors, why don't we have a pair of bras?

(Kyle Whitney, Vienna)

What if a mime really were trapped in a glass box? Wouldn't that be great?

(Anne Skove, Dendron, Va.)

Where do they send Siberian criminals?

(Barry Goldsmith, New York)

If Darth Vader is Luke and Leia's father and he built C3PO, then why in Episode V didn't he know . . . oh, never mind.

(Robert Carlisle, Arlington)

Shouldn't "brevity" be a one-syllable word?

(Bill Morris, Washington)

What do you use to get out club soda stains?

(Andrew Prodromou, Mountain View, Calif.)

Why is the winning Style Invitational entry never as funny as the Honorable Mentions?

(Chris Kaufman, Glenn Dale)

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