||YOU MUST BE MAD II
||Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups.
||H H |
||SEEKING SMART MORONS
||Come up with an oxymoron for our times, an expression made bogus by the fact that it combines incompatible, contradictory ideas.
||Tell us, in 40 words or fewer, what is great about August in Washington. It's August, and we're out of here.
||In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say?
||Tell us what Neil Armstrong should have said upon stepping onto the moon's surface, instead of what he did, the greatest gaffe in the history of Historic Sayings.
||GIVE US A SIGN
||Come up with new astrological signs for the 1990s, together with one day's horoscope.
||BAD NEWS BEARERS
||Come up with statements one would not want to hear from friends, relatives, service personnel, etc.
||CALLING THE TOON
||Who are these people, and what are they doing?
||DO THE HOOKY POKEY
||Come up with inventive ways to call in sick or otherwise persuade your employer you must miss a day.
||Write comical combinations of famous names, by marriage or other conceit.
||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.
||A STATE OF DISGRACE?
||Propose any of the following for D.C.: A State Name, A State Flower, A State Bird, A State Slogan, A State Capital, A Governor, An Insulting State Joke.
||SCAM ON WRY
||Come up with a prank you can play, for fun, profit, or deliverance of a well-needed comeuppance.
||INSPECT A GADGET
||What do these machines do?
||FATAL ART ATTACK
||In 50 words or fewer, describe a performance art concept that might get public funding. Winners will be audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to seem to have a social "message."
||INVITATION TO A DUAL
||Divide the world into two types of people.
||Write a caption for any of these photos.
||A SO-SO CONTEST
||Describe somebody--or something--through exaggerated comparison.
||I AM ADDICTED TO AN ASININE CONTEST…
||Come up with sleazy new topics for the daytime talks.
||5 H ||
MOST OF YOUR INK
Here is, I hope, most of your ink to be found in the All Invitational Text list. I have to find these with what are called regular expressions, which is a method used in a lot of programming languages to find and modify certain text strings in larger corpora. Basically I look for something like this:
"Report From Week 758"
"And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . ."
and then some text, your name, and your town, arranged in this familiar way:"GlaxoSmithKline: I have six kids named Chesterfield, Winston, Lark, BensonHedges, Doral and Kool. If I name my new baby Nicorette, can I get a free coupon for your products? (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)"I don't catch everything, but I believe I find 90%.
Unlike in the table to the left, I've arranged these in chronological order, so you can see how your humor matured, like a forgotten cheese deep in the walls of an old house. You started out, perhaps in Year 1, sending in riddles you sort of remembered from grade school, and now look at ya, ain't you Dorothy Parker.
[still working on this ...]