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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jun 13, 2004

This week's contest will drive you crazy. You may blame Jack Suber of Cabin John, who came up with this idea while playing with the alphabet blocks of his 14-month-old son (who one day will get to use them, too). The late children's book author and cartoonist William Steig had this idea earlier and made a couple of books out of it, "CDB" and "CDC." Write a funny sentence (or more) that you "spell" with only the sounds of the names of letters (e.g., bee, aitch, eye, ess) and those of numbers 1 through 9. So you don't "accidentally" copy Mr. Steig's work, make your sentences inappropriate for a children's picture book (but still printable in this newspaper, whose editors do not like bad words). For example, the sentence in the cartoon above reads, "I see you in a beady tutu." You may include punctuation. (Attention, aliens: This is America and Z is pronounced "zee"; it does not rhyme with "dead.") Jack wins a plush toy germ that no doubt he will also not let his kid play with.

First-prize winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational Trophy. First runner-up wins "Mad About Martha," a 1996 parody paper-doll book that features costumes for Ms. Stewart as cocktail waitress, Marie Antoinette and even president of the United States, but fails to include an orange jumpsuit.

Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T- shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week.

Send your entries via fax to 202-334-4312 or by e-mail to losers@washpost.com. Deadline is Monday, June 21. Put the week number in the subject line of your e-mail, or you risk being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are 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 July 11. 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 558, in which we asked for right-leaning political humor in any of several standard joke forms. The Empress wasn't overly surprised to receive some entries that were, let's say, a bit disingenuous, such as this one from Brendan Beary of Great Mills: "Beware, let me tell you / Of that damned ACLU / And their whole Bill of Rights, / I mean, goods, that they'd sell you."

But first, an amazing bit of news to report, courtesy of Elden Carnahan of Laurel, who has meticulously compiled Loser stats since the Invitational's birth in 1993 (www.gopherdrool.com): With his ink this week, Russell Beland of Springfield has had more than seven hundred entries, contest suggestions, etc., printed since he first entered in 1994. While some readers assumed that writing entries was his full-time job, it should be known that Russ actually devotes several hours a week to his big-shot position at the Pentagon. Russ is now about 50 blots of ink above Nos. 2 and 3, Tom Witte and Chuck Smith, who by strange coincidence are also federal employees.

Back to conservative humor:

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: How can you tell if a pickup truck is owned by a liberal? That's a trick question -- Volvo doesn't make pickup trucks! (Bruce W. Alter, Fairfax Station)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: What's the difference between the National Education Association and the National Rifle Association? The NRA wants to teach kids to set their sights on something. (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: What's the difference between John Kerry and John Paul II? Only one of them is supposed to pontificate endlessly. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

{diam}First Runner-Up, winner of the autographed copy of Joseph Romm's book "The Hype About Hydrogen": What's the difference between conservative and liberal faith-based initiatives? Well, we could find only one example of the latter -- Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ." (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: How can you tell that the Washington Post is liberal?

Conservative Invitational entries can be published only by affirmative action. (Danny Bravman, Potomac)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

What's the difference between . . .

. . . "The Catcher in the Rye" and the Pledge of Allegiance? We might have to stop teaching the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools because its content might offend somebody. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

. . . Michael Moore and Osama bin Laden? One directed "9/11" to demoralize America, and the other is a terrorist. (Bob Dalton)

. . . a stopped-up toilet and a liberal? Eventually, you can get the toilet to work. (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

. . . Karl Marx and Harpo Marx? Harpo had the good sense to keep quiet.

(Russell Beland)

. . . a rich liberal and a rich conservative? A rich conservative thinks he deserves his money, while a rich liberal thinks the conservative should give it to charity.

(Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

. . . a conservative and a liberal? To improve the economy, the first would buy a Hummer, while the second would hire a bum.

(Chris Doyle)

. . . unborn children and mass murderers: Some people are confused about which group the Constitution should protect.

(Russell Beland)

. . . a conservative commentator and a liberal commentator? One is called a conservative commentator; the other is called a commentator.

(Jeffrey Contompasis, Ashburn)

. . . a conservative and a liberal? Conservatives love John Birch; liberals love birch johns. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

. . . Jesse James and Jesse Jackson? Jesse James was wanted in a lot of places.

(George Vary, Bethesda)

. . . Kerry and Carrie? At least Carrie generates some heat.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

. . . John Kerry and John Edwards? Kerry will be a senator in January. (Chuck Smith)

. . . predictions of global warming and the college football rankings? One is the complex numerical analysis and evaluation of a topic with factors having major importance to concerned citizens across the country. The other is just a bogus weather report.

(Greg Arnold, Herndon)

. . . a conservative and a liberal? The conservative keeps his hand close to his vest; the liberal keeps his hand close to your pocket. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

. . . an illegal Mexican immigrant and a Texas Democrat? The Mexican seeks democracy by sneaking into Texas. (Bob Dalton)

. . . John Kerry and a roulette wheel? When a roulette wheel stops spinning, there's at least a small chance it won't cost you money. (Allan Moore, Washington)

. . . John Kerry and a knock-knock joke? In a knock-knock joke, you learn who is really there. (Carl Northrop, Fairfax)

Knock, knock . . .

. . . Who's there?

Kerry.

Kerry who?

Kerry your water for you, Mr. Chirac?

(John McMillan, Manassas)

. . . Who's there?

Your car engine, running on EPA-formula gas. (Peter Metrinko, Plymouth, Minn.)

. . . Who's there?

John Kerry.

John Kerry who?

Who do you want me to be?

(Bob Dalton; Robert L. Hershey, Washington)

. . . Who's there?

Big government.

Big government who? Just kidding -- big government doesn't knock, it bashes in the door and takes your gun away.

(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

. . . Who's there?

Global warming.

Global warming who?

Actually there's nobody here, but global warming could be here soon. (Seth Brown)

Kerry won the nomination,

Promptly took a short vacation;

Said he needed to unwind.

Put on flip-flops, changed his mind.

(Bob Dalton)

How can you tell if a liberal has just won a presidential election? He finally reveals his definition of "middle class." Bulletin: It doesn't include you. (Tom Witte)

And Last: How can you tell if a humor contest has a liberal bias? The prize is an environmental screed by some low-level Clinton appointee. (Joseph Romm)


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