Week 531 : Your Cynic Duties

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 9, 2003

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. But lightning kills hundreds of people

each year who are trying to find it.

When birds fly in the right formation, they need only exert half the effort.

Even in nature, teamwork results in collective laziness.

That which does not kill you postpones the inevitable.

There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

This Week's Contest was suggested by Joseph Romm of Washington. Joseph directed us to, a Web site featuring wonderful parodies of dippo inspirational posters, such as the ones above. That's your challenge: Come up with a saying that sounds as if it's going to be inspirational, but winds up being cynical, misanthropic or sad. First-prize winner gets a fabulous promotional CD of the Bob Graham 2004 "Charisma Tour," featuring songs promoting Bob Graham, "The 44th U.S. President," including "The Bob Graham March." Bob Graham was the first of the Dems to drop out of the race.

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. 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 Russell Beland of Springfield.

Report from Week 527, in which you were asked to come up with amusing things to say to defuse tension in some potentially embarrassing situation

{diam}Fourth Runner Up: (When realizing your fly has been open for some time)

Sorry, I thought this was casual fly day. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: (When realizing your fly has been open for some time) My God, you were able to open my fly with the power of your mind?

(Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: (After calling your wife by another name during sex) . . . that's what I want to name the baby, if it's a girl! (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

{diam}First Runner-Up: (To the boss, when caught visiting adult Web sites) I'll have you know this is not an "adult" Web site. Why, these are mere girls -- 18 years old, tops.

(Marty McCullen, Gettysburg)

{diam}And the winner of the a soap dish shaped like a bathtub, plus a pen shaped like the continental United States:

(To the doctor during a prostate or OB/GYN exam) Yes, yess! Oh, yessssss! Huh? Oh, nothing. I just saved a bundle on car insurance. (Mark Young, Washington)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

When realizing your fly has been open for some time:

Gosh, I could have sworn that was MY fly I zipped up at the urinal.

(Peter Levitan, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)

It's easy to understand how this happened -- all my other trousers zip up from bottom to top.

(Michael Rae, Potomac)

I'm not sure being a zipper tester is worth the extra money.

(Chris Hill, Santa Fe)

You know, you're the sixth person to mention that today.

(Colette Zanin, Greenbelt)

After committing a social error in an elevator:

If you think that's embarrassing, try growing up with an alcoholic father. (Amanda Matos and Aaron Van Roy, Vienna)

Excuse me. As I'm sure you've all noticed by now, someone in this elevator has committed a social error by wearing white shoes after Labor Day. That someone is me. I apologize. As for the deafening and noisome flatulence I've been emitting while delivering this apology, that is entirely natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Have a good day. (Christopher L. Parkin, Silver Spring)

Third floor, men's windbreakers, watch your step please.

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

I guess the cardinals have elected a new pope! (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Ladies and children first when the doors open. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Now, what if that had been sarin gas? I want you all to think about that. If we're not prepared, the terrorists win.

(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

Hmm. Poignant, a bit husky, with a hint of melodrama and an excellent nose.

(Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

When calling your wife by another name during sex:

Would you rather I were making love to HER using YOUR name?

(Howard Tenenbaum, Silver Spring)

BMW or Lexus?

(Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

To a cashier, after being told your credit card has been rejected:

It's always about money with you, isn't it? (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

To the boss, when caught visiting adult Web sites:

All I did was type into a search engine, "hot naked boobies." Who knew this filth would come up?

(Josh Borkin, Bloomfield, Minn.)

You are not going to be happy about this, but after weeks of research I have determined that our firewall is useless at preventing employees from visiting adult Web sites. Will you contact security, or shall I?

(Kyle Hendrickson, Mitchellville)

You are a pig, I have no respect for you,

I plan to behave in an insubordinate fashion, decline assignments, resist improvement, all the while attempting to infect co-workers with a spirit of mistrust and dissatisfaction. There -- now you can fire me for a less embarrassing reason.

(Kyle Hendrickson, Mitchellville)

Holy cow, it looks like terrorists have hacked Billy Graham's Web site!

(Don Jernigan, Shreveport, La.)

After rear-ending someone at a stop light:

According to Dr. Einstein, you actually backed into me.

(Bruce W. Alter, Fairfax Station)

I only did that, madam, because I felt your bumper made you look fat.

(Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

I've been trying to get your attention to tell you your taillights are all smashed in. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

That's the last time I let my 7-year-old change the brake pads.

(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

To the doctor, during a prostate or

OB/GYN exam:

I'm dilated to meet you.

(Ben Schwalb, Severna Park)

STAND-IN! Dang, where's my stunt double when I need her?

(Margaret Virkus, Oak Hill)

Thank you, SIR. May I have another? (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

If something bites your finger, don't worry, that's just Irving.

(Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

Does this count as a date? If so, which base are you on?

(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

When your spouse catches you in bed with someone else.

Wait a minute -- this ISN'T just a dream? (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

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