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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 21, 2005

The beehive at first was created

So thousands of bees could be crated.

It's either the home

Where they make honeycomb

Or a hairstyle that's grossly outdated.

Just about this time last year, we introduced you to a Web site called the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form, whose founder, Chris J. Strolin, aimed to compile one or more limericks for every word in the English language. At the time, Chris J. was up to words beginning with "ad-" and had just passed 600 limericks. Since then, after much publicity and input (not least from Invitational Losers), the OEDILF has burgeoned into a massive cybervault of more than 17,000 five-line definitions. And it's still on the B's! So for this week's contest: Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with bd- through bl-. Don't worry, any standard dictionary has lots and lots of words in this range. The limerick can define the word or simply illustrate its meaning. Once the Empress posts the results on Sept. 18, you may submit your entries (inking or not) to as well. Note: To prevent last year's, er, discussion as to what constitutes a limerick, you can see the guidelines for rhyme and meter at The standards are looser than some people's, stricter than others.

Winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up gets a DVD of "Manos: The Hands of Fate," a 1966 horror flick touted on its own box as "regarded as one of the most inept movies ever made," donated by Peter Metrinko of Chantilly.

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 or, if you really have to, by fax to 202- 334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 29. Put "Images/circlei3.gif" border=0>Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. 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 Tom Witte of Montgomery Village.

Report from Week 620, in which we sought ways to boost The Post's declining circulation. This contest drew thousands of enthusiastic entries with lots of ideas; unfortunately, most of the ideas were each submitted by dozens of readers, thus rendering then unprizeworthy. A few of these: (a) Have tie-ins with bird cage manufacturers and parakeet breeders; (b) make the paper especially attractive to puppies, or especially absorbent, or hardly absorbent at all (thus requiring many more newspapers); (c) print the paper on two-ply perforated rolls; (d) wrap the paper around a bottle of bordeaux; use a page of uncut $20 bills instead of a plastic bag, etc.; and (e) make the newsprint out of loofah, because, see, when you rub it on your skin, you, heh heh, increase circulation.

A number of people suggested that The Post offer its readers the "employee discount" for subscriptions. Actually, folks, you're already getting the employee discount.

{diam}Third runner-up: Add more exciting verbs to attract younger readers: "President Bush TOTALLY STUCK IT TO Uzbekistan for, like, all that stuff they did. And Uzbekistan was, like, literally going INSANE." (Ezra Deutsch-Feldman, Bethesda)

{diam}Second runner-up: Occasionally replace writers' names with whatever the spell checker suggests. So Tony Kornheiser would be Tony Cornhusker and Dan Froomkin would be Dan Foreskin. (Try it!) (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}First runner-up, the winner of the porcelain bald eagle sitting on a brown thing: Add a box on each day's front page explaining how to read. (Peter Reppert, Beltsville)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: Write and arrange the stories so that if you fill in all the o's, the front page reveals the nude picture of a celebrity. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Reformat it into a circular design to fit inside steering wheels. (Robin D. Grove, Woodbridge)

Set up a store and repackage the paper into distinct levels: from le notizie (the A-section, Style and Sports), selling at $3.49, up to the ricchezza della notizie (full Sunday edition), at $8.95. Customers would wait in long lines and feel grateful when a snotty paparista deigns to serve them. Then just stand back and let the money flow in. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Attract more readers by lowering the price of the daily paper from 35 cents to 34 cents. Of course, you'll have to modify all your vending machines to take pennies. (Russell Beland)

Since most people want to read only what fits their beliefs, start publishing "red" and "blue" editions of the same news. The beauty is, the policy wonks will feel obliged to buy both copies! (Brendan Beary; Danny Bravman, St. Louis; Wayne Rodgers, Satellite Beach, Fla.)

Start a column devoted to dishing dirt on Bob Novak's wife. (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)

Wrap each morning's home delivery around a ripe banana. The toss will go farther, the dog can find it more easily, and you have an instant breakfast. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

Use scratch-and-sniff paper for notices of restaurant closings due to sewage backups, or for the story about the house where that woman had the 400 cats. (Roy Ashley, Washington; Beau Bigelow, Annapolis)

Point out to readers that using The Post to line their bird cages is much less expensive than using their laptop computer. (Rick Haynes, Potomac)

Print it on beer. (Janet Arrowsmith-Lowe, Ruidoso, N.M.)

Just give every employee a $1,000 raise, provided most of it is spent on subscriptions. (Russell Beland)

More pictures of humans doing really cute things. (Mei Xiang, Washington) (Dan Seidman, Watertown, Mass.)

Persuade Christo to construct his next $21 million installation entirely of copies of The Post. (Sue Lin Chong, Baltimore)

Using a time machine, go back 20 years and pay the right person a handsome bribe not to invent the Internet. (Anonymous Cable Mogul, New York)

(Mark Eckenwiler)

Start rumors in Asia that pellets made from The Washington Post are a potent aphrodisiac. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park)

An Origami of the Day feature, such as an Army helmet out of the front page, or a hypodermic syringe from the sports front. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

Use more modern spelling and syntax (sample editorial: "GWB wuz like omg! WTF???!!"?) (Ezra Deutsch-Feldman; Mark Eckenwiler)

Rather than making us wait, print the corrections immediately following each article. (Kevin Jamison, Montgomery Village)

Lots more puns in the obit headlines! (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Snazzy new section names: The obituary page would be "Post Crypts," and Weekend would be "Get Your Big Butt Up and Out."

(Howard Walderman, Columbia)

Every week, it's "Make Up Your Own News Friday." (Russell Beland)

The Style and Weekend sections ignore far too many movies and videos. For instance, "Naughty Nurses Volume 8: Sponge Bath Taboo" has been out for months, and I still haven't seen a review. (Brendan Beary)

Redefine "circulation" to include added readership as a result of recycling the newsprint.

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Hire a Harvard symbologist to find all the satanic runes in the masthead of the New York Times. (Elden Carnahan)

Couldn't you insert The Post into two plastic bags? I need one for the afternoon dog walk, too. (George Laumann, Arlington; Beau Bigelow)

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