Pun and ink: 38 gems sifted from 500 contests

Mess With Our Heads, our perennial contest for a “bank head” reinterpreting an actual Post headline:
Post head: Compelling Body of Art
Bank head: Simon Explains Real Reason for Reunion With Garfunkel (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City, Md., Week 583, 2004)

NASA Breaks Ground With Craft/ Next Time, Agency Plans to Point Rocket Skyward (Mike Hammer, Arlington, Va., Week 583)

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American’s Dream Comes True/ Man, 37, Shows Up Naked and Totally Unprepared for Meeting (Michael Levy, Silver Spring, Md., Week 756, 2008)

Ask Backwards, our perennial contest in which we give a list of answers and you give the questions:
A. Dick Cheney but not a training bra. Q. What needs wiring to provide chest support? (Michael Kidwell, Silver Spring, Md., Week 497, 2003)

Week 516 (2003): Unwise things to say in given situations: To a waiter: “You call this lemonade, jerko? It’s barely yellow! Bring me some better stuff!” (Milo Sauer, Fairfax, Va.)

Week 519 (2003): Only-in-Washington pickup lines: Your beauty renders me as powerless as Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. (Cindy Burnham, Alexandria, Va.)

Week 531 (2003), inspirational statements turned cynical: You can do anything if you want it bad enough. That is why we see so many people who can fly. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)

Week 532 (2003), four-word movie pans of a movie or other work:
“I Am Curious (Yellow)”: It was meaty (ocher) (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

“The Sound of Music”: DOA, dear. (Jeffrey Scharf, Burke, Va.)

Week 537 (2004): Write an irresponsibly sensationalistic headline for an actual Post story: 60 KILOTONS OVER PYONGYANG! (actual headline: “U.S. Sending 60,000 Tons of Food to N. Korea”) (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)

Week 547 (2004), things an existing brand name would be bad for: Wachovia is a good name for a bank but a bad name for a cemetery. (Michael Cisneros, Centreville, Va.)

Week 551 (2004), feed a phrase into Google’s translation tool, then translate the results into English:
Original: I am the worst president elected ever.
Back from French: I am the worst president never elected. (Kevin N. Mettinger, Warrenton, Va.)

Week 557 (2004): The difference between two people with a common element in their names: Marilyn Monroe vs. Marilyn Quayle: One reputedly slept with Jack Kennedy, and the other has slept with . . . well, he’s no Jack Kennedy. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Week 568 (2004): Groaner puns on book titles:Did you hear that the school system demanded a PC version of the Harper Lee novel? “Tickle a Mockingbird.” (Wayne Rodgers, Satellite Beach, Fla.)

Week 580 (2004), combine two countries: The Netherlands + Fiji = Netheriji: I don’t know much about it; I’ve been warned since age 12 not to play with Netherijians. (Brendan Beary)

Week 608 (2005): Snappy answers to rude questions: Do you play basketball? No, do you sumo-wrestle? (Six-foot-tall Beth Morgan, Palo Alto, Calif.)

Week 648 (2006): Stupid questions for product hotlines: To Unilever Corp. “Why do your Dove Bars taste like soap?” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Week 669 (2006): Bad advice to new arrivals in the United States: If you are asked, “Do you advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government by force or violence?” the correct answer is “Violence.” (Mark Eckenwiler; Washington)

Week 670 (2006), compare two words differing by one letter:
Bra and bar: Only one of them will open to serve drinks to minors. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

Week 688 (2006): Six-word stories: My wife’s suicide note: ungrammatical, naturally. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Dead Letters, our annual obit-poem contest:
South African leader P.W. Botha:
Apartheid rule is not a way
To gather healthy karma.
I bet that Mr. Botha may
Be heading someplace warma.
(Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D., Week 695, 2007)

Week 698 (2007): Job interview questions: Applicant: “Say, those girls in the photos on your desk, are they seeing anyone? Well, not the fat one, but those other two?” (Russell Beland, Springfield, Va.)

Questionable Journalism, our perennial contest in which you find a sentence in The Post and supply a question that it could answer: Post: They must also not appear partisan. Q. In addition to being partisan, what’s expected of a U.S. attorney? (Russell Beland, Week 706, 2007)

Week 736 (2007): Questions for the “Car Talk” guys: When I get my 2004 Mustang up to about 85 miles an hour, I hear a high-pitched whining off to my right that persists until I wind down to 60. What can I do to shut her up? (Chris Rollins, Cumberland, Md.)

Week 749 (2008): New meanings for existing words: Cremate: Coffee-Mate’s unsuccessful initial brand name. (Kevin Dopart)

Week 794 (2009), Onion-style headlines:Palin Is Prime Cause of 3rd-Quarter Drop in U.S. Jaws, Analysts Say (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

Week 805 (2009), bad names for given types of products: A bad name for a candy bar: Herpes Kisses (Cy Gardner, Arlington, Va.)

Week 856 (2010), children’s books that will never be published: “You Were Adopted, but You Weren’t Our First Choice” (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Week 871 (2010), alter a movie title: Four Weldings and a Funeral: A man attaches a set of rocket engines to his Chevy and momentarily achieves his dream of driving a flying car. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Week 891 (2010): Palindrome sentences (allowing for homophones):
Quoth Raven: “Nevermore!” . . . BLAM! . . . Nevermore Raven quoth. (Peter Jenkins, Bethesda, Md.)

Week 900 (2011): “Dear Blank, From Blank” notes: Dear Leonardo: Your fly is open. — Sincerely, Mona Lisa (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Week 902 (2011): Put a positive spin on a line from The Post:
Original: Maine’s governor told critics Friday to “kiss my butt” . . .
Spun: Maine’s governor found it in his heart to turn the other cheek . . . (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Week 923 (2011): New chemical elements: Platitudinum: A metal that becomes more dull each time it is used, yet somehow is never discarded. (Beth Baniszewski, Cambridge, Mass.)

Week 951 (2012), pair a word with itself or its homophone: Fact shun faction: The Fox News Channel lineup. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)

Week 955 (2012), pair a word or phrase with its anagram: Satellite radio salaried toilet: Howard Stern. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

Our perennial contest to compare any two items from a list we supplied:Michael Phelps and Bristol Palin: Each got into trouble after doing some dope. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y., Week 972, 2012)

Week 975 (2012), “debunk” a “Sixth Myth” about any of a dozen topics: White people don’t lack rhythm, they just hear a different drummer — and he lacks rhythm. (Tom Witte)

Week 996 (2012), combine two magazines: Astronomy and Astrophysics + Nuclear Physics: Sure, it has pictures of heavenly bodies, but I buy it for the particles. (Gary Crockett)

Be sure to check out the many other segments of this 20th-anniversary Style Invitational retrospective: classic limericks; song parodies; neologisms (new words); horse “breeding” and “joint legislation”; and some of our wackiest prizes. Plus how to enter this week’s new contest, and a look at the Losers and their remarkable subculture. And more! See the index of articles here.

Next: Meet the parentheses: The Losers and their remarkable community.

 
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