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even Ted Williams didn't bat .667.

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 10, 2004

Almost by chance, David envied Fabio's great heinie;

I just kinda like mushy, normal ones.

Honestly, I just keep licking my new open pustules.

This week's contest, suggested by Russell Beland of Springfield, is one of those rare contest ideas that seem so obvious that it's amazing we haven't run it in any of the previous 578 weeks. But if anyone would know, it would be Russ, who spends way more time thinking about this contest than we do. Write us a sentence or phrase consisting of words beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet, in the A-to-Z direction.

First-prize winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational Trophy. First runner-up wins a Sharper Image "Aqua Frame," a plastic box in which some plastic fish "swim" around with aid of magnets. The box describes it as "dynamic entertainment" that offers "all the fun of an aquarium with none of the hassle." Kind of how paving your yard and painting it green delivers all the fun of a lawn with none of the hassle.

Other runners-up win a 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 by e- mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 18. Put the week number in the subject line of your e- mail, or it risks 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 Nov. 7. 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. The Aqua Frame was donated by Kevin Mellema of Falls Church.

Postscript to Report from Week 574: Last week's brilliant First Runner-Up entry, for practical jokes that would backfire, was written by a celebrity -- the fabulously dark-witted Jack Handey of "Deep Thoughts" fame (we once ran a contest to imitate his work). Unfortunately, it was not submitted by the fabulous Mr. Handey.

Report from Week 575, in which we solicited ideas for the new Loser T-Shirt for runners-up, to be drawn by Esteemed Cartoonist Bob Staake based on the idea of his choice. This year's model gets away from the botched-suicide-attempt theme of the past several Loser T- Shirts. The previous versions have prompted at least one regular Loser, a doctor, to alter the artwork before being seen wearing them, and successful Loser Jean Sorensen of Herndon to implore the Empress to, for once, instead make the new shirt "something witty, clever, dare I say it, subtle." Hey, Jean, even Ted Williams didn't bat .667.

Design for the front:

{diam}Third runner-up, winner of the current Loser shirt, since she doesn't have one yet, so what does it matter: Culpeper guy aiming a shotgun at the mosquito on his big toe. (Maggie Lawrence, Culpeper, Va.)

{diam}Second runner-up, winner of a new Loser shirt, since he already has won 54 of the others: Graduates in caps and gowns are standing in line to receive diplomas. The Loser, in the center, is being handed a roll of toilet paper. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

{diam}First runner-up, winner of an old Loser shirt, since he refuses to wear his previous 69 shirts in public anyway: A guy in a suit of armor trying to go through airport security. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}And the winner of Bob Staake's original drawing for this T- shirt (but not the shirt -- see, she didn't lose!):

(Sarah W. Gaymon, Gambrills)

Slogan for the back:

{diam}Second runner-up: Surely I Jested (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, W. Va.)

{diam}First runner-up: If You Can Read This, I Came Close (Russell Beland)

{diam}And the slogan for the new shirt, the winner of the Inker: The Style Invitational: Under New Mismanagement (Brendan Beary, Great Mills; Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Half the Wit That's Fit to Print (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Attach Monkey Here (Russell Beland)

If You Don't Get It, You've Got Company (Brendan Beary)

Think This Is Bad, You Should See What the Winner Got! (Art Grinath)

If You Can't See My Mirrors, I Can't See You (Marty McCullen)

Open Other Side (John O'Byrne, Dublin)

Wide Right Turns (Marty McCullen)

They're With Stupid (with arrows

pointing all different ways)

(Russell Beland)

Registered Textual Offender (Tom Witte)

I couldn't make number one or number two for the whole week! (Russell Beland)

If You Can Read This, I Put My Shirt on Backward Again (Jon Reiser, Hilton, N.Y.)

The Style Invitational: Gone With the Weekend (Mel Loftus, Holmen, Wis.)

I Slept With the Empress for This?

(Art Grinath)

And Last: Curses, Doyled Again!

(Russell Beland)


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