Suggestions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

The Society wishes to thank Russell Beland, Chris Doyle, Kyle Hendrickson, and Pat Myers for their help in assembling the archive that is linked to from this page.

On the right you will see links to some representation of that Week's appearance in the paper:
Text file
Downloadable Microsoft Word version
htmlWebpage made from a Word file
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THEME: CUL -- Culture and Entertainment

April 18, 1993BEAT THE BANDS Come up with a name for rock bands. Beverley Brown CUL    HTML   
May 2, 1993VANITY UNFAIR Create vanity license plates for famous people. Don Beale CUL    HTML   
May 23, 199312 HERE, DOGGEREL … Write a limerick. It must contain one of the following names: "Hillary Rodham Clinton," "Jack Kevorkian," "George Stephanopoulos" or "Bosnia-Herzegovina." Jimmy Nguyen LIM CUL    HTML   
June 20, 199316 I AM ADDICTED TO AN ASININE CONTEST… Come up with sleazy new topics for the daytime talks.  Kitty Thuermer
Mike Tidwell 
CUL  13   HTML   
August 8, 199323 HAPPY ENDINGS Modernize an old quote or expression by altering its ending. Pamela Zilly CUL  20   HTML   
September 5, 199327 IT'S THE EPONYMY, STUPID Coin an eponym, a word or figure of speech based on the name of a famous person. You must define the word, and, if you wish, use it in a sentence. Sharon Kuykendall CUL  24   HTML   
November 28, 199339 WAY OUTSIDE THE LINES Name a new crayon color for the 1990s, with a description. Paul Styrene CUL  36   HTML   
December 5, 199340 NOT WRONG. JUST INCORRECT. What's next on the political correctness agenda? Steven King CUL  37   HTML   
January 2, 199444 ADVERB PUBLICITY Write us a Tom Swiftly or two, updated for the '90s. Each must include a reference to a famous person or institution. St. Andrew's Episcopal School Mrs. Airey's English class WOR CUL  41   HTML   
February 13, 199450 GIVE US THIS DAY There are no holidays between Presidents' Day and Memorial Day, a cheerless run of more than three months. Let's stick one in there, somewhere. The holiday should celebrate something or someone uniquely American. Tell us the date, the name of the holiday and how it should be observed. Laura M. Clairmont CUL  47   HTML   
June 12, 199468 GIVE US A SIGN Come up with new astrological signs for the 1990s, together with one day's horoscope. Christie Houser CUL  65   HTML   
September 25, 199480 NICK KNACKS Come up with a great nickname for any contemporary celebrity. Chuck Smith CUL  77   HTML   
October 16, 199483 BEDROOM FARCE What questions were left out of the Great American Sex Survey?  Robb Mathews CUL  80   HTML   E 
October 30, 199485 PLAY MYTHTY FOR ME Come up with new urban myths, those vaguely believable, wildly paranoid stories that circulate by word of mouth until they are generally accepted as true. Ben Lea CUL  82   HTML   
November 27, 199489 CHILD'S PLAY Come up with bad ideas for new toys for the Christmas season. Paul A. Alter CUL  86   HTML  
January 15, 199596 STICK IT IN YOUR ERA Come up with a catch phrase for the 1990s. Joseph Romm CUL  93   HTML 
April 9, 1995108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. Joseph Romm HIS CUL LIT  105   HTML 
April 23, 1995110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. Elden Carnahan CUL  107   HTML 
June 11, 1995117 GIVE 'EM HELOISE Come up with a tribute to Heloise, that queen of inanely creative recycling. Peyton Coyner
Gene Van Pelt 
CUL  114   HTML 
November 5, 1995138 LIST BUT NOT LEAST Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. Fred Dawson CUL  135   HTML 
December 24, 1995145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. Susan Reese CUL  142   HTML 
February 11, 1996152 WE ARE CURIOUS (YELLOW) Take any headline in today's Washington Post and rewrite it in tabloid fashion so the story seems a lot more scandalous and/or lurid than it is. Mike Hammer HEA WAS CUL  149   HTML 
March 24, 1996158 SO SUE US Come up with frivolous lawsuits. Sue Lin Chong CUL  155   HTML 
July 7, 1996173 DEAD RECKONING Propose a question that might be asked by a living celebrity to a famous dead person. You must name the living person, name the dead person, and tell us the question. Ken Kaufman CUL  170   HTML 
September 22, 1996184 ED ANGUISH Create an argument on some social issue, in 75 words or fewer, taking an extreme liberal view. John Kammer CUL  181   HTML 
November 10, 1996191 GOING THROUGH A PHRASE Come up with phrase for an American English phrasebook that would provide no practical help whatsoever to a foreigner trying to get along in the United States. Jacob Harley CUL  188   HTML 
December 8, 1996195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. Stephen Dudzik CUL  192   HTML 
December 29, 1996198 YOU MUST BE MAD II Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups. Bob Sorensen POL CUL  195   HTML 
February 9, 1997204 DOUBLE EXPRESSO Take any well-known colorful expression, and modernize it. Maja Keech CUL  201   HTML 
March 2, 1997207 TIED TO BE FIT Each of the eight provided items is related, in some fashion, to one or more of the provided individuals. You make the connections. David Genser CUL  204   HTML 
March 23, 1997210 RANDOM MEMO Supply embarrassing "While You Were Out" phone messages that might be left for famous people, in plain sight, while they are away from their desks. Art Grinath CUL  207   HTML 
July 27, 1997228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. Barry Blyveis CUL  225   HTML 
November 2, 1997242 SACRED COW PIES Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided. Charlie Steinhice POL CUL REL  239    
December 21, 1997249 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world. Tom Witte CUL POL  246   HTML 
May 10, 1998269 SIGNS, AND THE TIMES Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it. David Litman CUL POL  266   HTML 
October 4, 1998290 THE WORLD THEORIES Codify some of life's more populist theories. Chuck Smith CUL  287   HTML 
November 22, 1998297 FREE FOR OIL Take any article in today's paper, and write an outraged letter to the editor about it that totally misses the point, either by misreading a word or misunderstanding the topic. David Genser WAS CUL POL REL  294   HTML 
January 3, 1999303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. Elden Carnahan CUL  300   HTML E 
January 24, 1999306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. Meg Sullivan WAS STY CUL  303   HTML E 
January 31, 1999307 IF YOU BOYCOTT THIS TASK / YOU WON'T WIN THE FLASK Come up with rhyming couplets to warn us about the perils of modern life. Howard Walderman POE CUL  304   HTML 
February 14, 1999309 A STINKING PILE OF THESES Write an all-purpose first line or paragraph for any doctoral dissertation, designed to impress the heck out of academics. David Genser CUL  306   HTML 
February 28, 1999311 A JERRY-BUILT CONTEST Find cleverly disguised threats to public morality or hallowed American values that may be secretly lurking out there in our culture. Joseph Romm CUL POL  308   HTML 
September 10, 2000366
Just Fulghum Come up with a list of at least three Major Life Lessons one can learn from any of the venues provided. Martin Bredeck CUL  362   HTML 
November 5, 2000374
Bill Us Later Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium. Twyla Vernon CUL  370   HTML 
December 10, 2000379
Rather Unusual Come up with lines that could be uttered by Dan Rather, with his unbearably folksy excesses. Jennifer Hart CUL  375   HTML 
December 31, 2000382
Pickup Schticks Write inept pickup lines, by either sex, to either sex. Jonathan Paul CUL  378   HTML 
April 22, 2001398
Animal Magnetism Make great literature and/or a significant expression of the human condition out of the provided randomly-selected words. Use whatever punctuation you choose and any of the words, but only those words, and use them only once. Brian Foster LIT CUL WOR  394   
May 6, 2001400
Life Is Snort Write a "Life is Short" entry in under 100 words, in the voice of a celebrity, living or dead. Don Burdett CUL  396   HTML 
June 17, 2001406
Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. David Moore CUL  402   HTML 
August 5, 2001413
Bland Ambition Come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. Gail Fiorini CUL  409   HTML 
November 25, 2001429
Shark Instruments Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark. Chris Doyle TEL CUL BUS  425   HTML 
March 10, 2002444
Advice Squad Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead. Mike Genz CUL  440   HTML 
July 28, 2002464
Cursive Writing Come up with a new curse for this millennium. Art Grinath CUL  460   HTML 
September 1, 2002469
Playing Check-In Suggest appropriate hotel check-in names for any celebrities, past or present, living or dead. Russell Beland CUL  465   HTML 
November 3, 2002478
Do You Mindset? Anticipate items for the Mindset List for the freshman class of the year 2020. Tony Noerpel CUL  474   HTML 
February 2, 2003491
Hirschfeld Follies Try to figure out which celebrities Bob Staake is trying to draw in imitation of Al Hirschfeld. Ben Pitkin CUL  487   HTML 
July 20, 2003515 A Cellebration of Tasteful Living Come up with ways that Martha Stewart can prettify and improve her new prison surroundings using only her skills, her impeccable taste and those resources available to her. Chuck Smith CUL  511   HTML   
August 10, 2003518 Say, Kids, What Time Is It? Fill in the blanks in the following sentence: "You know it's time to ------ when ------." Michael Connaghan CUL  514   HTML 
September 7, 2003522 Being There Set the agenda for a flash mob, one of those existential, Web-arranged, sudden, pointless, instantaneous but brief gatherings of people at odd places, to do odd things. Sarah Worcester CUL  518   HTML 
September 14, 2003523 Hard to Overstate Propose ways to make modern life just a little bit harder than it needs to be. Danny Bravman CUL  519   HTML 
October 12, 2003527 Rite of First Defusal Come up with witty or bizarre things to say to defuse the tension in awkward moments. Mark Young CUL  523   HTML 
November 23, 2003533 Breed Apart Mate the clones of any two famous real people, living or dead--a male and a female, please--and hypothesize what traits or skills their offspring might have. Tom Witte CUL  529   HTML 
November 30, 2003534 The Feminine Touch Propose how any male-dominated occupation or institution would change if it suddenly became female-dominated. Tom McCudden BUS CUL  530   HTML 
January 11, 2004540 Revisionist History, or Badenov for You? State any news event (or old event) in the style of the Rocky-and-Bullwinkle teasers about the next show. Chris Doyle CUL  536   HTML 
March 7, 2004548 Inklings Tell us about certain people's childhood experiences and behaviors that hint at their destinies. Walt Johnston CUL  544   HTML 
December 5, 2004587 The B-List Come up with an In-Out list for 2005, or other pairings. Joseph Romm CUL  583   HTML 
January 9, 2005592 We Got Gamy Offer us a concise idea for a Super Bowl commercial, or some innovative halftime entertainment, or some inappropriate sponsors, or some ideas for improving the game itself. Peter Larsen ATH BUS CUL  588     
March 6, 2005600 Top of the Inking Tell us some ways the District of Columbia will change now that we have the Nationals. Dudley Thompson CUL ATH  596   HTML 
September 4, 2005626 Course Light Come up with a comical college class, along with a description for the course catalog. Doug Frank CUL  622   HTML 
December 4, 2005639 What's the Small Idea? Do you have a senseless idea for improving the day-to-day lives of everyday Americans? Kevin Dopart CUL  635   
April 16, 2006658 Not in the Cards Send us ideas for cards that would likely be ruled "FBN" (Funny, But No) by Hallmark but F&YYY by the Empress. Randy Lee LET CUL  654    
April 23, 2006659 Tell Us a Fib Compose a six-line poem with the following number of syllables per line: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. It must be about a person or topic currently in the news, and two successive lines must rhyme. Brendan Beary POE CUL  655   
June 25, 2006668 Cut From the Chase Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression. Bob Sprague CUL  664   
October 22, 2006685 Thank it Over Tell us some things to be thankful for. Bruce Alter CUL  681   
March 11, 2007704 Another Game of Tag Create vanity plates for well-known people, real or fictional. Phyllis Reinhard CUL  701   
December 22, 2007745 Hurry Up and Slow Down! Suggest particular ways that would slow life down, or ways that would speed it up. Christopher Lamora CUL  741   html  
January 5, 2008747 Boeing Us Silly Suggest some comical ways to improve air travel, either in general or for yourself. Beverley Sharp CUL  743   
May 10, 2008764 Can You Up Chuck? Come up with entirely new and funny Chuck Norris Facts. Robert Gallagher CUL  760   
July 5, 2008772 Make It Simile, Stupid Translate a sentence or two of literature or other good writing so that "Los Angeles residents under 40" can appreciate it. Mike Ostapiej LAN LIT CUL  768    
July 19, 2008774 Tour De Forks Supply a name for a restaurant dish named after someone (or some product or organization) and describe it. Kevin Dopart BUS CUL  770    
September 20, 2008783 The Shill Game Name a celebrity or fictional character to endorse a real product or company. Marty McCullen BUS CUL  779    
September 27, 2008784 Words to The Wiseacres Give us some proverbs for 21st-century life. Michael Dailey CUL  780    
November 8, 2008790 If Only! Explain how the world would be different had some event not occurred. Chris Doyle POL HIS CUL  786      
April 4, 2009811 Rock-Bottom Lines Tell us a sign that the economy couldn't get worse. John Russell Tuohy BUS CUL  807    
May 23, 2009818 Name the Day Cite an actual holiday or one of those silly commemorative days, weeks or months for which you can find previous evidence, and supply a snarky description or slogan. Don Kirkpatrick CUL  814    
June 20, 2009822 For Real Folks Suggest some attractions for a Festival of Real American Folklife. Wayne Rodgers CUL  818    
June 19, 2010874 Stat Us Write a funny Facebook status line. Dudley Thompson CUL  870    html 
June 26, 2010875 Fail Us Give us a funny Learn From My Fail-type lesson, 30 words or fewer, true or not, in your own words or attributed to a famous personage. Drew Bennett CUL  871    html 
July 10, 2010877 Quipped from the headlines Write a rhyming couplet about some matter in the news. Brendan Beary POE CUL  873    html 
December 11, 2010898 Pre-current events Predict some humorous news event that would happen in 2011. Arthur Adams CUL  894    html 
May 1, 2011917 Wryku Write a haiku--a sentiment that can be broken into three lines with exactly five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the third--on any subject that's been in the news in the last couple of weeks. Danny Bravman POE CUL  913    html 
August 14, 2011932 We'll call them your-mama jokes Tell us an original "your mama" joke. Ben Aronin CUL  928    html E 
September 4, 2011935 The 400 blows Write a humorous poem--choose your form--about the Virginia earthquake, Hurricane Irene or another well-known natural event. Matt Monitto POE CUL  931    html 
February 26, 2012960 Raving reviews Send us a creative "review" for any of the provided items that are listed on Amazon. Melissa Balmain BUS CUL  956    html   
June 10, 2012975 Gone mything Debunk a "Sixth Myth" about one of more of the recent "5 Myths" topics provided. Tom Witte CUL  971    html   
July 1, 2012978 A reason to rhyme the news Write a short verse about something that's been in the news recently. Nan Reiner POE CUL  974    html   E 
November 11, 2012996 A Life-Time opportunity Combine two magazines or journals and describe the result, supply a marketing pitch, or suggest a story or two that it might publish. Lawrence McGuire CUL  992    html 
January 20, 20131006 It's a ... a ... Create a new superhero (or duo) and describe the superpower, or not-very-superpower. Michael Reinemer CUL  1002    html E 
March 10, 20131012 The news at 5 Write a limerick about a recent news event. Kevin Dopart LIM CUL  1008    html   E 
April 28, 20131019 What a turnoff Tell us some creative things that children and families could do during Screen-Free Week. Art Grinath CUL  1015     E 
June 9, 20131025 In so many words Create an original backronym for a name or other term, especially one that's been in the news lately. Jay Cummings WOR CUL  1021   HTML   E 
October 27, 20131044 Play it safe Come up with a comically safety-conscious rule for the workplace or elsewhere. Stan McCoy CUL  1040   HTML   E 
June 22, 20141077 Time marches Swiftly Give us a novel Tom Swifty, playing on either an adverb or a verb (e.g., "We care about the little people, the BP chairman gushed"). Greg Arnold WOR CUL  1073   HTML   E 
August 3, 20141083 Everybody get appy Offer up an idea for either a humorously useful app or a humorously counterproductive one. (Conversational textRobert Falk CUL  1079    E 
August 17, 20141085 Eww-venirs: Ideas for gift shops Suggest a humorous--but NOT horribly tasteless--tchotchke, T-shirt, etc., from a real or imagined gift shop at a particular tourist site. (Conversational textMichael Duffy CUL  1081   HTML  E 
August 31, 20141087 The core ridiculum Come up with a comical class (any type of school) and provide a course catalog description. (Conversational textFrank Osen CUL  1083   HTML  E 
October 5, 20141092 Are we having funds yet? Suggest a humorous fundraising "challenge" for any organization. (Conversational textFrank Osen CUL  1088   HTML  E 
November 16, 20141098 Prime time for some Amazon reviews Send us a creative "review" for any of the provided items that are listed on Amazon. (Conversational textMelissa Balmain BUS CUL  1094   HTML  E 
December 14, 20141102 Let's get Sirius Suggest a new radio channel and describe it. (Conversational textPam Sweeney CUL  1098   HTML  E 
January 11, 20151106 Show your resolve Suggest a New Year's resolution that someone might make 100 or more years in the future. (Conversational textNancy Schwalb CUL  1102   HTML  E 
April 12, 20151119 We want hue so bad Invent a name for a color and describe it. (Conversational textJohn McCooey CUL  1115    E 
June 7, 20151127 From the creators of … Think up a spinoff of a real TV series, past or present, and furnish a description or bit of dialogue. (Conversational textMark Raffman CUL  1123    E 
June 14, 20151128 Drone for a loop Give us some novel uses for a CICADA micro-drone, assuming that anyone can get one, and that it can have a micro-camera, micro-grips, etc. (Conversational textLawrence McGuire CUL  1124    E 
July 5, 20151131 One man's trash Suggest a humorous way to reuse one or more of the items listed above -- or anything else advertised on (Conversational textDavid Prevar CUL  1127    E 
August 2, 20151135 The meter's running Suggest actions in daily life that should require a time limit -- maximum or minimum -- and come with an appropriate penalty for running over (or under). (Conversational textLarry Carnahan CUL  1131    E 
August 30, 20151138 Show us your touché Offer an elegantly snide (and original) insult of anyone living or dead. (Conversational textMae Scanlan CUL  1135    E 
November 15, 20151149 Gestures of depreciation Suggest ways to celebrate National Love Your Lawyer Day -- or a made-up "holiday" celebrating some other profession. Melissa Balmain CUL  1145    E 
November 29, 20151151 To [a glass], snarkly Write a short, snarky (but witty) note to one of the provided glassbowls. (Conversational textFrank Osen CUL  1147    E 
July 10, 20161183 C'mon, be honest with us Write something in roughly the form "If X were more honest, (then) Y." (Conversational textAnnette Green CUL  1179    E 
November 27, 20161203 You've got the powers Tell us what you would do if you had one or more of the six magical powers provided. (Conversational textRob Huffman CUL  1199    E 
August 27, 20171242 Generation Yux Give us a "then/now" joke. (Conversational textBruce Carlson CUL  1238    E 
September 10, 20171244 Primed for product reviews Send us a creative "review" for any of the provided items that are listed on Amazon. (Conversational textJesse Frankovich CUL BUS  1240    E 
September 17, 20171245 Call us reprehensible … Complain in a humorously missing-the-point way about something that has appeared in The Washington Post (in print or online) recently, or in another publication. (Conversational textDave Garratt CUL  1241    E 
October 8, 20171248 C'mon, fess up! Send us a brief "confession" -- there will be categories for true and just-kidding. Rob Huffman CUL  1244    E 
October 29, 20171251 Thanking outside the box Tell us something to be thankful for. (Conversational textJohn O'Byrne CUL  1247    E 
December 31, 20171260 What lies (are) ahead for 2018 Jokingly predict some news event to happen in 2018. (Conversational textSteve Honley CUL  1256    E 
January 28, 20181264 A cry for Yelp: 'Review' any place Write a humorous review, positive or negative, of anyplace (real of fictional) one might visit. (Conversational textMark Raffman CUL BUS  1260    E 
March 25, 20181272 The hex files: creative curses Come up with a creative curse. (Conversational textDanielle Nowlin CUL  1268    E 
September 2, 20181295 Really, now? A matter of degree. Tell us an indication to some problem, followed by an even more dire sign. (Conversational textBrian Allgar CUL  1291     E 
November 4, 20181304 All the muse that's fit to print Present a "what if" scenario and explain its effect. Jesse Frankovich HIS CUL  1300     E 
December 23, 20181311 Nextra! Nextra! The year in preview Name some humorous event to happen in 2019. Ira Allen CUL POL  1307     E 
March 3, 20191321 Pumping Prime: Amazon reviews Send us a humorous "review" (like the provided samples from our earlier contests) for any of the provided items. David Hammond BUS CUL  1317     E 
July 14, 20191340 Not-ables -- slightly alter a famous name Slightly alter the name (make sure the original is obvious) of a famous personage -- past or present, real or fictional -- and describe the resulting nonpersonage, or offer a quote from that person, or both. Jonathan Jensen LET CUL HIS  1336     E 
December 8, 20191361 2020 vision -- the year in preview Name some humorous news event to happen in 2020. (Conversational textDuncan Stevens CUL POL  1357     E 
January 19, 20201367 Pick me up at work, okay? Give a pickup line from someone in a particular profession, or from a particular person or fictional character. (Conversational text CUL  1363     E