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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 24, 2004

Dave Prevar of Annapolis wrote in to relate this "Loser Idea Moment":

"I was looking for some over-the-counter back pain relief, and guess where the store stocked it? The bottom shelf, naturally. It took me a while just to get down there, and I hung on to a shelf to get back up. While I was down there, I even helped an older feller with his selection."

This week's contest: Think of similarly evil or just plain stupid practices that the staff of a retail or other establishment might perpetrate. Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up receives a big yellow sponge sent to The Washington Post to promote "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," which we have no reason to believe will be any better made than this plain old sponge -- not even in the SpongeBob shape -- on which is printed, almost illegibly, the name of the movie and a little bit of the title character's face. Even the Empress feels a little bad about giving that crappy a prize, so she'll throw in an old Loser Pen.

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, Nov. 1. 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. 21. 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 Brendan Beary of Great Mills.

Report from Week 577, in which the Empress invited you to "alter slightly" any TV show title and describe the new version. Among the more than 2,200 entries were a number of good titles sent too often, such as "My Three Sins," "60 Minuets," "I Love Loosely," "The McLaughlin Grope," "Hogan's Herpes," "Fiends" and "The Pimple Life."

{diam}Fourth runner-up: Goner Pyle, USMC: Sgt. Carter asks, Pvt. Pyle tells.

(Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

{diam}Third runner-up: Onanza: Tales of a ranch with a lot of men and no women.

(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

{diam}Second runner-up: Queer Eve for the Straight Guy: In this sitcom set in ancient times, the human race struggles to get going. Starring Barbara Eden. (Dan McCauley, Staunton, Va.)

{diam}First runner-up, winner of the tacky deer lamp: Cuckoo Fran and Ollie: "Crossfire's" new matchup: Drescher vs. North. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: Mayorbarry, BFD: Despite repeated cancellations, the show keeps getting renewed. (Jack Cackler, Falls Church)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

My So-Called Lift: Dissatisfied patients confront their plastic surgeons. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

The Wimple Life: Paris and Nicole join a convent. Poverty, chastity, obedience -- wha? (Jeffrey Contompasis, Ashburn; Will Cramer and Julie Thomas, Herndon)

The Pan From Uncle: Newlyweds smile bravely as they open crappy wedding presents. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

The Flaying Nun: Sister Bertrille is assigned to a class of gum- chewers and eraser-throwers. (Peter Metrinko, Plymouth, Minn.)

Rogaine's Heroes: Hair-raising adventures! (Russell Beland, Springfield)

America's Most Wasted: "Dude, that dude just needs to chill, dude!" "Whoa, dude, you're right!" "Hey, dude, that's your picture there, dude!" "Whoa, dude, you're right!" (Dan Nooter, Washington)

While You Were Cut: Teams perform surprise home renovations while the owners are undergoing surgery. (Chris Doyle)

Bewatched: Cute attorney general has to just wiggle his nose to make the Bill of Rights disappear. (Jack Cackler)

Family Freud: Not exactly the Huxtables. Only on HBO. (Pam Sweeney, Germantown)

The Newlywed Same: The civil union game show. (Dave Komornik, Danville, Va.)

Big Bother: An audience is forced to sit through yet another bunch-of-people-stuck-in-a-house reality show. (Wayne Rodgers, Satellite Beach, Fla.)

Antique Road Ho: A poignant drama about a broken-down hooker still working the street. (Russell Beland)

The Fraidy Bunch: A family is constantly on guard against pollen, war, strangers, people who are too nice, identity theft and big dogs. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Cross Fire: The wacky Keystone Klan makes mischief in diverse neighborhoods. (Doug Pinkham, Oakton)

Eighth Is Enough: The Wizards pursue their perennial quest to finish just high enough in their conference to make the playoffs. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

The Six Million Dollar Can: A sitcom starting J. Lo. (Brendan Beary)

Fit Albert: Newly svelte "Today" show weatherman Al Roker gives exercise tips. (Jeff Evan, Millsboro, Del.)

The Family Gay: Each family has one. This week: the Cheneys from Washington, D.C.! (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Cups: From the producers of "Baywatch": Busty policewomen chase perps in slo-mo. (Chris J. Strolin, Belleville, Ill.)

Different Strikes: National and American league umpires alternate in the World Series. (Richard Lempert, Arlington)

Rather Knows Best: CBS's newest disaster show. (Judith Cottrill, Peter Metrinko)

F--- Troop: On the campaign trail with Vice President Cheney and his entourage. (Thad Humphries, Warrenton)

The Golden Girl: Bea Arthur attends three funerals. (Ben Schwalb, Severna Park)

Bunsmoke: Watch the Olympic luge team in training! (Judith Cottrill)

Have Gnu, Will Travel: Richard Boone roams the veldt fighting bad guys. (Richard Lempert)

Gnats Landing: The joys of summer picnicking. (Peter Metrinko)

Let's Fake a Deal: There's a goat behind Door Number 1, Number 2 and Number 3! (Dot Yufer, Newton, W.Va.)

PeaceMaster Theatre: Scenes from the life of Jesus. (Jim Mall, Chicago)

Tip Tuck: A peek into the lives (and G-strings) of drag queens working as exotic dancers. (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City)

Perky Mason: Life in the Ancient Order of Hibernians brightens up when Reese Witherspoon becomes its newest member. (Kyle Bonney, Fairfax)

Petticoat Injunction: Real-life courtroom drama from sexual harassment cases. (Russell Beland)

Magnum, P.I.G.: A private investigator chooses his caseload entirely by his chances of sleeping with his clients. (Kyle Hendrickson, Dunkirk)

The Price Is Sight: Guess wrong and you give your corneas to a lucky member of our studio audience! (Kyle Bonney)

American Bandstank: William Hung joins a rock group in this spinoff talent contest. (Judith Cottrill)

The Honey Mooners: A "Nova" documentary on how bees communicate by wiggling their butts. (Richard Lempert)

6 Minutes: A new version of the newsmagazine with all unconfirmed allegations edited out. (Frank Mullen III, Aledo, Ill.)

The Nopranos: It's Season 6. Who's left? (Judith Cottrill)

Twin Geeks: Bill Gates and Ken Jennings talk software. (Jean Sorensen)

20-20: The hour-long final point in the Championship of Pong. (Dan Nooter)

Homo Improvement: Straight eye for the queer guy. (Chris Doyle)

Your Show of Showns: All reruns all the time. (John Held, Fairfax)

The George W. Lopez Show: President Bush legally changes his name in a blatant grab for the Latino vote. (Duncan MacGregor, Grapevine, Tex.)

BBC Smackdown! Alistair Cooke faces off against Sister Wendy in their long-awaited revenge match. (Jerry Ewing, Orlando)

Wilt & Grace: The Playboy Channel brings you Part 1 of a 20,000- part series. Tomorrow: Wilt & Felicia. (Pam Sweeney)

They're ruthless and they're greedy,

Tyrannically Tikriti,

Their spider holes are seedy,

The Saddam Family! (Brendan Beary)

He's creepy and we do say,

Like sons Uday and Qusay,

A danger to the U-SA,

The Saddam Family!

(Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

And Last: Meet the 'Press: The editor of The Style Invitational discourses on wordplay, meter, tacky promotional items and poop. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)


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