Week 652: Ask Backward

17 percentage points

Fruit of the Lame

The things that you're liable to read in the Bible

Absolutely not in a Metro car

Bruce Springstein-Goldfarb

The California Raisinets

Definitely Not Control-Top Pantyhose

Angelina Jolie's pinkie

Rock-Paper- Scissors for Dummies

Brown v. Board of Zoning Appeals, Gaithersburg

Pyramus and Frisbee

Maxwell's Alabastrite? Ball Peen Hammer

Once again, you are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the
questions to as many as you like. Fortunately, you don't have to tell the
Empress some allegedly amusing fact about yourself, as you would have to
tell Alex Trebek. Just as fortunately, the Empress does not have to give
you thousands of dollars for losing. She will, however, give you the
following for Losing:

Winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First
runner-up gets the excellent volume "You Have Head Lice!," an easy-reader
book with lots of good photos, donated by Brendan Beary of Great Mills,
who wonders what the exclamation point is supposed to signify. Perhaps
the first word of the title should be "Congratulations."

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, March
13. Include "Week 652" 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 humor and originality. All
entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited
for taste or content. Results will be published April 2. 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 was sent in by
both Steve Langer of Chevy Chase and Tom Witte of Montgomery Village, and
maybe some others.

Report from Week 648, in which we asked for silly questions to ask the poor people who man the
phone lines for consumer product information, an activity pursued
regularly by Washington Post Magazine metaphysics columnist Gene

And in an honor granted previously only to phenomenally
amusing former Post columnist Bob Levey, Gene himself was permitted to
choose this week's winner and Losers from among a list of 74 finalists.

4 To Pampers: "It says 'for up to 25 pounds.' Isn't that . . . kind of a
lot of poop?" (Brenda Ware Jones, Jackson, Miss.; Dan Seidman, Watertown,

3 To Blue Cross: "After a night of heavy drinking, I woke up to find an
image of Muhammad tattooed on my chest. Do you think you might cover
tattoo removal in this one case? It might be a pretty big health issue
for me if I don't do something." (Fred Dawson, Beltsville)

2 The winner of the wall hanging of an angel with Christmas lights on her
head: To The Washington Post: "I'm wondering about your name. I mean, you
don't really deliver the paper by mail anymore. Wouldn't it be more
accurate to call yourselves The Washington Guy Driving a Minivan?"
(Russell Beland, Springfield)
And the Winner of the Inker

1 To Unilever Corp.: "Why do your Dove Bars taste like soap?" (Kevin
Dopart, Washington)

Honorable Mentions

Depends: "Do you have a similar product, but one that is maybe more like
For Sure?" (Russell Beland)

Maytag: "Hey, since you've got these repair guys sitting around doing
nothing, could you send one over to my house to fix my Amana?" (Jeff
Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

Quikrete: "You know, youse guys ever thought of putting a chart on the
bag to say how much concrete you need to sink a 200-pound, um, object?
And youse could package it with a special extra large bucket, 'cause some
people got big feet to go along with their big mouths, ya know what I'm
sayin'?" (Brendan Beary)

Morton's Kosher Salt: "Is it okay to put this on ham?" (Art Grinath,
Takoma Park)

Lockheed Martin: "Yes, I'm calling about your F-22 advanced air
superiority Raptor fighter. I see here that they are going to sell for
about $200 million each, and I'm just wondering if you have special
financing plans, or maybe a manufacturer's rebate?" (Russell Beland)

Head & Shoulders: "My hair looks great, but I don't think my
shoulders look any better at all. Am I doing something wrong?" (Roger
Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Lysol: "Your label says your product kills 99.9 percent of germs in 30
seconds -- but what about that 0.1 percent? Isn't that tough little
booger the one I should really be worried about? What do I use to kill
HIM?" (Douglas Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

Northwest Airlines: "I know you guys fly from Miami to Chicago, 'cause
that's northwest. But how am I going to get back? Do I need to make a
reservation on Southwest? But then how do I get east?" (Jeff Brechlin)

Alpha-Bits: "Every box of your cereal has some squiggly pieces that don't
look like any recognizable letter. Are you trying to sneak Arabic letters
in, thereby aiding and abetting terrorists within our borders by
providing them a healthy balanced breakfast?" (Brendan Beary)

Meow Mix: "My kitten seems to like your product, but when I try to make
her ask for it by name, like you say, she doesn't get the 'Mix' part at
all. Should I try another brand?" (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield,

Pez: "Please help! Something appears to be lodged in his throat!" (Jay
Shuck, Minneapolis)

Riverside Press: "About your big book with the Shakespeare plays? Well,
in that 'Julius Caesar' one, some guy says, "The clock struck three," and
that's stupid because they didn't have striking clocks back then. And so
I was wondering if you could fix that." (Ken Rosenau, Washington)

Scope: "I have a recipe that calls for creme de menthe, but I'm all out
and was wondering what the equivalent amount of Scope would be." (Art

Audubon Society : "Hi, we get mourning doves at our bird feeder, and I
was wondering if you had any good recipes. My husband likes spicy dishes,
if that helps. Thanks!" (Jeff Brechlin)

Bayer: "I am taking your One-A-Day 50 Plus multivitamins, and I notice
that they are 'high potency.' Should I not take them at breakfast, then?
Because I don't know how potent I want to be at the office, especially
now that I have that hot new boss." (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Virgin Atlantic: "I'm flying to London for a band trip, but last night I
went to third base with my boyfriend, but that's still a virgin, right? I
can still use my ticket?" (Jeff Brechlin)

9Lives: "My cat just died. If I stuffed a little of your product into his
mouth, do you think it would help?" (Roger Dalrymple)

Flintstones Chewable Vitamins: "The label says 'Keep out of reach of
children.' So do I need to stuff them down my kid's throat while his
hands are tied? Or do I have to shoot him with some sort of vitamin gun?"
(Jay Shuck)

Miracle Whip: "On your label it gives a recipe for making a turkey
sandwich: Spread bread with dressing; top with lettuce, tomatoes and
turkey, cover with remaining bread slice. I wonder if you have a more
detailed set of directions." (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

Deer Park water: "You know, our bodies are about 60 percent water. Can
you guarantee that none of your water has ever been part of people?
Otherwise, isn't your product pretty much cannibalism?" (Brendan Beary)

New York Yankees: "Is 'Yankees' short for 'Yankees suck'?" (John Kupiec,

General Motors: "I overheard my daughter tell her boyfriend that she was
going to give him a Hummer, and I'm trying to find out how much this is
going to set her back." (Jeff Brechlin)

Honda: "Yes, I'm thinking of buying an Odyssey. Since it's named after a
20-year voyage of horrifying deprivation and a near total loss of life,
is that what I can expect? 'Cause my wife, Penelope, she swears a minivan
can't possibly last 20 years." (Russell Beland)

Hertz: "You used to have those really cute ads with the football player
running through the airport jumping over suitcases? How come you stopped
running those? Whatever happened to that guy?" (Ken Rosenau)

Dell: "Are your computers Y2K-compatible?" (Jonathan Markoff, Vienna)

Next Week: Across the Wide What? or Shenand'oh!