Week 530 : Tri Harder

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 2, 2003


Democrate: The political soapbox

Democat: Socks

Democram: How do they get nine great candidates on that itty- bitty stage?

This Week's Contest was suggested by Kenneth S. Gallant of Little Rock. It's a new wrinkle on an old contest: Take any word, alter it three ways -- by adding a letter, by subtracting a letter and by changing a letter -- and redefine all three new words, as in the example above. Entries must consist of all three variations. First- prize winner gets a key chain carved from the seed of an illala palm tree that has passed through the digestive tract of an elephant. It was donated to The Style Invitational by Robin Diallo of Malawi.

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, Nov. 10. 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 Mike Genz of La Plata.

Report from Week 526, in which you were asked to rewrite one of four famous observations. Many people pointed out that the real root of evil is "yfel," from Old English. We also need to note that two readers came up with what, indisputably, are the "real saddest words." We will not share them with you, however. They are too sad.

{diam}Second Runner-Up: Love of money is NOT the root of all evil. This is a falsehood perpetrated by that left-wing radical element that would deny all capitalistic rewards for hard-earned genius. The real root of all evil is . . . (for the answer to this truly intriguing question, please send $25 and SASE to Don Burdett, Alexandria, Va.) (Don Burdett, Alexandria)

{diam}First Runner-Up: The real root of all evil is intolerance and xenophobia, particularly as practiced by foreigners. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

{diam}And the winner of the "Armpit of America" T-shirt from Battle Mountain, Nev.:

Genius is not 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. It is 41 percent flour, 21 percent sugar, 10.00041 percent water, 10 percent corn syrup, 9 percent hydrogenated oil from canola, soybean or beef fat, 1.2 percent diacin, 0.8 percent ferrous sulfate, 0.71 percent mononitrate, 0.4 percent riboflavin, 0.21 percent dextrose, 0.02 percent modified food starch, 0.019 percent sodium acid pyrophosphate, 0.0021 percent lecithin, .00006 percent polysorbate 60, .000009 percent dextrin, .00000002 percent calcium caseinate, and that, my friend, is the Twinkie. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

{diam}Honorable Mentions

They say that the saddest words are "what might have been." Nah. What are the real saddest words?

"And now, in our feature in-flight presentation, Robin Williams and the Olsen twins star in a four-hour exploration of the healing power of love and soul-cleansing laughter, and of the ultimate triumph of the human spirit . . ." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

"You look so young in that picture!" (John O'Byrne, Dublin)

"Dad, ah juth ga ma tongue piertht." (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

"Restrooms for customers only."

(Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

"As you can see on the X-ray . . ." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

"NOW do you believe in God, Mr. Dead Guy?" (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

What this country needs more than a 5-cent cigar:

Lasagna-flavored dental floss.

(Howard Walderman, Columbia)

A singable national anthem.

(Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

A retroactive VCR.

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

A 5-cent co-payment for seeing an out-of-network physician.

(William Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)

What this country really needs is a reason to go to war in the Middle East. Oh, wait, no we don't . . .

(Jim Reed, Wales, Wis.)

An answer to the question "What does this country really need?"

(Elliott Schiff, Allentown, Pa.)

The real root of all evil:

The athletic shoe manufacturers'

cartel. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)

LET's go, YAN-kees. (clap-clap,

clap-clap-clap.) (Tom Restivo, Frederick)

Moral absolutism. Absolutely.

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Well, the square root of 666 is 25.82. (Dave Michaels, Silver Spring)

Edison said genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. What is a better formula?

One percent inspiration and 99 percent graduate assistants slaving away in indentured servitude.

(Chris Lafferty, Leesburg)

Genius is 50 percent genes and 33 percent us. I am the rest.

(Michael J. Simon, Gaithersburg)

One percent inspiration and, like, a billionty-kazillion percent


(Baylen Linnekin, Washington)

A gentleman's genius is 1 percent inspiration and 73 percent

perspiration. (George W. Bush,

Washington) (Danny Bravman, Potomac)

Ninety-five percent attention to

detail, and 6 percent not being a

total Nazi about it. (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

One percent pandering and 99 percent unquestioning allegiance to The Style Invitational.

(Robin Colaninno, Takoma Park)

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