Week 654: It Plays to Recycle

A burned-out fluorescent tube makes a great Star Wars light saber -- for
a while, anyway.

George Bush could reuse Will Rogers's saying "If stupidity got us into
this mess, then why can't it get us out?"

Don't toss that heroin syringe -- share it with a friend.

In honor of Earth Day, which comes during the week when the results of
this contest run, won't-go-away Loser Kevin Dopart of Washington suggests
a wide-ranging recycling contest: Come up with funny ways to recycle
things, people, writing (except for your old Invitational entries; not
this week) or ideas, as in the examples at left.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First
runner-up receives a really stupid card game called Are You Phrazy?, in
which the players read passe-slang phrases ("Cowabunga," "Can you dig
it?") from the cards and try to string them into a conversation.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-Shirt, possibly
in the previous style, since we just discovered a huge pile of old red
and blue ones when we moved our office. 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 27. Include "Week 654" 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 16. 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 Fil Feit of Annandale.

Report From Week 650, in which we asked for horror-story scenarios involving everyday items, a
la Stephen King's "Cell."

The horror-story title of the week goes to
Martyna Fox of Darnestown for "Bram Stoker's Spatula," though we didn't
quite flip over the story itself hahahaha. The Empress enjoyed the scary
tales submitted by a classful of Florida kids; however, demonic
possession of their fingers forced most of them to overshoot the 75-word
limit by up to 400 words.

4 Blade of the Beast: The year is 2999. Omens of the impending apocalypse
are seen in the land. Meanwhile, frustrated by sluggish sales of their
665-bladed razor, executives at SchickGillette make a fateful decision .
. . (Michael Fransella, Arlington)

3 The Blue Screen of Death: It really is. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

2 The winner of the Boudreaux's Butt Paste and the Butt Paste bobblehead:

An elderly uncle brings the family a music box that plays a sweet little
tune when the lid is opened. But the family soon discovers that the song
never stops playing, even when the lid is shut. They try smothering the
music box, smashing it and shooting it with a gun, but to no avail. The
sound drives the entire family mad. Also, the uncle kills and eats
everyone . (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

And the Winner of the Inker

1 You can't blame the toilets. People flush baby alligators when they get
too big to be pets. And people flush drugs when the cops are at the door.
So it's not the toilets' fault that drug-crazed alligators are popping
out of them. We did it to ourselves. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
Honorable Mentions

We're just his prop: "How many liberals does it take to change a light
bulb?" "How many Texans?" "How many lawyers?" He's got a million of 'em,
all lame. So let's just -- POP! -- blow this 100-watt baby and see: How
many pathetic nimrods does it take to change a light bulb? Answer:
FZZZT!! At least one more than you, Shecky. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Nature Abhors a Vacuum: A Park Avenue couple is increasingly annoyed as,
one after another, each new maid they hire disappears on her first day,
shortly after starting the housework. (Marjorie Streeter, Reston)

Horra! Horra! Horra! A beam of radiation hits the only Japanese
restaurant in Wyoming, somehow giving chopsticks the power to turn those
who eat with them into homicidal maniacs. Fortunately, no one in Wyoming
knows how to use chopsticks, so the crisis passes unnoticed. (Jeff
Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

The Botox Syndrome: Its victims are unable to show their pain. (Russell

Hurly-Burly : They're tired of standing in as note paper. Fed up with
being stuffed with dirty tissues. Angry at being demeaned as the place to
stash the remnants of that greasy cheeseburger. The Barf Bags plot a
flight where their proper use will be not just obvious to all on board,
but mandatory, again and again and again . . . (Deb Parrish, Fairfax

A monstrous fiend creates a glasslike device that reflects the actual
images of those who look at it, causing universal self-hatred. (Peter
Metrinko, Chantilly)

Possessed printer's ink develops powers to rearrange letters in a line of
type. The vice president is now known as "Needy Chick" -- as reported in
the Saw Things on Pot. (Douglas Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

The town is invaded by flesh-eating zombies invisible to the naked eye.
Fortunately, they can be seen and avoided by anyone wearing his own
eyeglasses saved from the 1970s. Most residents prefer death, of course.
(Jay Shuck)

Sweet Revenge: A disgruntled Splenda employee substitutes another white
powder during a production run. When the sabotage is discovered, panic
reigns and hospitals are overwhelmed as people discover the yellow
packets contain 100 percent sugar. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

The Pairings: Nursing a grudge at abuse suffered in "Sideways," flights
of Napa Valley merlot start pairing inappropriately, soon accompanying
dishes ranging from effeuillée de raie aux herbes en papillote de choux
to croustillant de foie gras parfumé au Floc de Gascogne. Outraged diners
kill all the sommeliers, and civilization as we know it comes to an end.
(Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Every time a person presses a button on the TV remote, he loses a second
of his life. Men all over the world are dying younger and younger, some
not even making it to their thirties. Women are left alone to watch
entire programs from start to finish. (Donna LaBranche, Reston)

Seconds before Fanny dashed to the loo, the malevolent seat sprang into
the vertical again. Cold ceramic on the gluteus, a hip-wrenching fall
into the bowl, tore a shriek from Fanny's pharynx: "Peter! You
inconsiderate . . ."

"Yet another marriage destroyed!" gurgled a voice from the depths. (Art
Litoff, York Springs, Pa.)

The Closet: A series of New York socialites literally die when, as
successive owners of a high-end condominium, they discover that every
article of clothing in the bedroom closet has transformed into last
year's fashion!!! (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

Luffa's Not Enough: Beware, thin-skinned ones! Facial care products want
their pound of flesh: They start exfoliating and they won't stop until
those cheekbones are really defined. (Russell Beland; Cecil J. Clark,
Asheville, N.C.)

Anti-evolutionist plotters develop computer furniture whose secret aim is
to compress and deform the human spinal column. After the human race
mutates into hunched-over drones, the anti-evolutionists claim that
Darwin was wrong. (Peter Metrinko)

PMs: Platelet Monsters: A mutant blood virus has given tampons the power
to overpower the emotions of any human who comes into contact with them.
Symptoms of the "host" include emotional instability, intolerance of
perceived slights that were hallucinations, and overreactions to simple
inconveniences -- like getting on a spouse's case for not calling to say
he would be late from work, when he actually did call, but the line was
busy, so what could he do? (Joel Ross, Herndon)

Fed up with being the target of men's derision for so many years, urinal
cakes learn how to charge themselves to 6,000 volts. (Dave Kelsey,

And Last: Wastebaskets of Doom: Paper-recycling bins keep snatching up my
best entries and tossing back third-rate junk like this. (Russell Beland)

Next Week: Show Us Some Character, or Toyed Story