Transcript: April 13, 2009 at 11 a.m. ET

Peeps Show III

With over 1,100 gooey submissions, it was hard to choose a winner. Take a look at the top 40 entries to our third annual Peeps Diorama Contest: They're sweet.
Dan Zak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 13, 2009; 11:00 AM

With over 1,100 submissions, The Post's third annual Peeps Diorama Contest pulled in entries from Washington to Georgia.

Chat about this year's contest, the finalists and more with The Post's Dan Zak. He's a staff writer for the Style section and is also the unofficial impresario of the contest, but will soon be retiring from that position due to hyperglycemia.

He'll discuss the winners, the losers and what it takes to win it all.

If you want more Peeps mania, listen to this year's winner discuss her entry and check out the other top 40 diorama submissions here.

The transcript follows


Dan Zak: Good morning. On this day after Easter, we wake from a sugary slumber to talk about what we saw. I'll be here the whole hour. Let's leave no Peep unturned. Ask anything.


NOVA: I have to say I'm disappointed in many of your 'top 40' entries this year, but particularly in your selection of a Guantanamo Bay/waterboarding scene as a semifinalist. Wow, your team of judges really went for the morbid, didn't they? What's next for next year, Abu Ghraib?

Sweeney Todd is one thing -- it's a play, not based in reality, and celebrates the macabre. Guantanamo Bay is a very real, recent source of American shame, and not something to mock in a diorama. Shame on you for celebrating something as distasteful as that.

Dan Zak: Hmm, I don't think the diorama is celebrating Guantanamo Bay. It is depicting it using an absurd medium. It's low-grade satire. A Peeps diorama of Guantanamo Bay makes us chuckle, but there's a dose of bitter shame behind it. When first viewed by the staff here, it elicited laughs that turned quickly to groans.

And we've had Abu Ghraib submissions. We've had an execution of Saddam Hussein Peep diorama. Crucifixion dioramas. And so on. But this Guantanamo one was edgy, amusing, topical and groan-inducing. And it got the OK from editors.


Manteo, N.C.: I was so sad to see the Iraqui shoe throwing peep was not a finalist. Did it get THROWN out?

Dan Zak: I don't remember this one. There are three of us who picked through the 1,100 submissions, so that one might not have been in my pile. Was the diorama any good? A good idea is one thing -- but it also needs to be executed and photographed perfectly.


Buffalo, N.Y.: Do people use preservatives on the peeps submitted in the contest? What is the shelf life of an untreated peep?

Dan Zak: An untreated Peeps has a half-life of 1 billion years.


Frederick, Md.: Were there any entries that were great, but too controversial to pick as a finalist?

Dan Zak: Yes. We originally included in the semifinals a great diorama depicting the Georgetown Cuddler (Google it). It was removed at the last minute after editors raised a red flag out of -- as Robert Gibbs would say -- an "abundance of caution." We apologized profusely to the dioramist, and she was very understanding.


Arlington, Va.: LOVE this contest. Always makes me smile.

Also, kudos to the winner -- who clearly deserved the honor. I mean, when you take time to properly LIGHT your peep diorama, you are either competitive... or insane!

Dan Zak: Competitiveness and insanity are both key traits in a successful Peeps dioramist.


Arlington, Va.: Ok, did anyone submit an idea for a "V-Peep Debate" with a Biden, Palin and Ifill peeps? A winking peep may have carried the voting...

Dan Zak: I didn't see one of those. Shockingly, we had less than 10 dioramas depicting Sarah Palin -- one had her shooting chicks from a helicopter, one had her slaughtering a Thanksgiving turkey. If those dioramas had been a little more put-together, they surely would've gotten through.


Washington, D.C.: You mentioned Darwin themes, but we didn't see any of them in the finalists. While there were other themes that were duplicates, what did the Darwin one's look like?

Dan Zak: many Peeps...One of them had a recreation of the HMS Beagle. Can't remember the others.


Alexandria, Va.:1,100?!?! What percentage was done intending to win the contest?

Dan Zak: Yeah, 1,100. We narrowed that down to 108 top-knotch dioramas. So 108 people or groups really showed up to play ball.


Bereft in Maryland: The Style section employees at The Post must be the first group of "wordy" people I have met that didn't jump with delight at just the idea of defenestrating peeps. I so wanted to make the slide show. My heart is broken.

Dan Zak: I don't understand your question, and I won't respond it.


Washington, D.C.: "As Seen on Peep TV" Is definitely my favorite. I can only find about 12 of the 16 items though! Kudos to all the artists. Check out that diorama: As Seen on Peeps TV

Dan Zak: Yeah this was a good one, and it defied the odds. It wasn't easy to grasp just by looking at it -- an explanation was necessary. But it works great after you know what to look for.


Lenexa, Kansas:

Hi -- Can you please tell us the rules for the contest for next years Peep Show? Thanks!

Dan Zak: No, I can't. The 2010 rules will be out sometime in January or February of next year. Just check early next year. Or, better yet, visit every day!


Fairfax, Va.: Without in any way taking credit away from the winner, I am concerned about the precedence this sets. I anticipate that next year you will have a slew of similar attempts to recreate classic works of art with Peeps. This worries me because I do not want to lose the off-the-wall creativity that some of these entries have shown.

Dan Zak: I share your concern. We had plenty of dioramas that recreated famous art. I can remember at least four that depicted Munch's "The Scream." But none of those stood out. If you're going to pick a major work of art to Peepsify, then you'd better know what you're doing.


Falls Church, Va.: I submitted a photo of my diorama, but did not even make it as an honorable mention.

As I was photographing it, my dad said that he thought the dioramas with the most detail were the ones that usually win. Is he right? Am I going to have to get down to the incredibly small details in order to have a better chance next year?

Dan Zak: Small details are only part of the game. I'll get to criteria soon. Lot's of people are asking about it...


Dublin, N.H.: I have to ask (since my Octopeep entry didn't make the final cut) how many dioramas did you receive depicting the Suleman octuplets?

It was such a great topic, just crying out for parody -- and I loved the one you did pick. It, along with the other 39 finalists, was brilliant.

Can't wait until next year.

Dan Zak: I think we got five or six octuplet dioramas. Most of those were pretty good, and at least two were part of the 108 quarterfinalists.


Bel Air, Md.: Are these supposed to be made of marshmallow cubes?

The point being ..... what? Other than a waste of several person-hours, and resources?

No wonder the terrorists hate the U.S.

Dan Zak: You are insane.


Arlington, Va.: I really marvel at the creativity and detail. Did you think when this all started that such an interesting art form was being born?

Dan Zak: The first year caught us way off guard -- we expected 15 to 20 dioramas and instead got over 400 I think. Last year was 800. This year was 1,100. Every year is a complete shock. Especially when it comes to putting the whole thing together in print and online. Lots of people involved on both sides.


Houston, Tex.: Which is more important for a peeps entry to be a winner, a really good idea that doesn't have tons of detailing in the background? Or an average idea with tons of detail work?

Dan Zak: Another detail question. Let me say this: In the gallery, look at The Peep Is Right and Thelma & Louise: Peeps on the Run. The first has an astounding amount of detail. The second is very simple: a rock, two toy cars, and two Peeps. Both made the semifinals.


Washington, D.C.: Should we have gotten some sort of confirmation e-mail? My friend and I are inclined to hope that you just never got our submission, rather than thinking the Phelps one that made it in was better than ours!

Dan Zak: No confirmation e-mails are sent out. Out of concern for my own well-being, I refuse to send out 1,100 individual "thanks for entering, but sorry" e-mails. You are only notified if you are a semifinalist or higher. If not, you remain in agonizing purgatory.


Anonymous: Love the winner! It was by far the best.

Dan Zak: We thought so too. The fluorescent lighting was a perfect decision.


Washington, D.C.: "Shockingly, we had less than 10 dioramas depicting Sarah Palin -- one had her shooting chicks from a helicopter, one had her slaughtering a Thanksgiving turkey."

So, basically, this was the pro-Democratic peep contest. Funny, I didn't see that in your rules.

Dan Zak: I'm posting a link to this year's rules. You will see clearly that we request dioramas ONLY FROM DEMOCRATS AND THE EXTREME LEFT WING.

_______________________ Here are the official guidelines.

Dan Zak: Here they are.


Arlington, Va.: I am really intrigued by this contest, but am a little intimidated. What criteria do you look for?

Dan Zak: We look for something that will engage us immediately and make us laugh. We look for excellent craftsmanship. Topicality is always good, but not a requirement.

One thing people need to know: Take better photos of your dioramas. We do the majority of judging by photo. If you can't take good pictures, then find someone else to do it for you. Bad photos make good dioramas look bad.


Rockville, Md.: How many entries were duplicates? For example, how many "Sully's" or "Michael Peeps" did you receive?

Dan Zak: Lots of duplicates: a half dozen Sullys, several Michael Peeps, lots of Munch's "The Scream," Darwin, Aretha's hat, and a whole class from a school in Virginia sent in two dozen Macbeth dioramas. Lots of Birnam wood and floating daggers and witches. It's hard to imagine how Peeps diorama-making helps kids learn about Shakespeare, but I'm not a teacher, so what do I know?


McLean, Va.: What charming diaromas -- one of the things I really like about the winner, outside of the artistry and technical excellence, is that the Peeps themselves haven't been messed with too much.

To me Peeps have their own charm and do not need googly eyes and pipe-cleaner arms to jazz them up. Peeps is peeps.

Dan Zak: A purist weighs in.


San Francisco, Calif.: Were there any odd/esoteric entries that stumped the judges?

Dan Zak: Sure. Earlier we had a comment from Bereft in Maryland about "defenestration." I had a brain lapse with that one, and a colleague of mine reminded me that a Defenestration of Prague diorama made our top 108. But the staff agreed the reference was too obscure, and the rendering too esoteric, to make the semifinals. But it's still cool to receive such a diorama. Don't let that discourage you from submitting the most obscure diorama possible -- as long as the execution and explanation makes sense, it's a contender.


Arlington, Va.: I have been following the annual peeps contest, and your entries are growing exponentially. Are you making any changes for next year to help you handle the load of entries?

Dan Zak: I lobbied the top brass of the Post to make me Assistant Managing Editor for Peeps. They declined, citing budgetary concerns. Whatever.

It takes so much work to make this happen: me, editorial aides, art directors, photo people, Web people, editors, copy editors (not to mention the dioramists themselves). I do most of the coordinating between departments, and it is a big job. Next year we'll probably figure out a way to delegate further.


Slumdog Millionaire?: I read speculation that there would be a glut of "Slumdog Millionaire"-themed entries this year. Was that the case?

Dan Zak: Not a glut. I remember three. All of them were of poor quality.


Arlington, Va.: I love the annual peep show contest. Great art work. But I wonder if this contributed to the extreme Peep shortage of 2009? The drug stores ran out of yellow peeps several weeks ago and all peeps were gone way before Easter.

Dan Zak: I wouldn't be surprised. Although, you don't need a ton of Peeps to make a diorama. I can't imagine people are actually buying the Peeps to *eat*. They're revolting once you get them in your mouth.


Washington, D.C.: Increasingly the dioramas are peepified depictions of familiar scenes from movies or pop culture. I enjoyed last year's pink nightmare submission so much because it was completely original. I'd love to see more celebration of original ideas. In my opinion, that one was the best this year or last.

Dan Zak: A valid point. Pink Nightmare was a stunning display of artistic vision designed by a professional. Graphic designers are really good at making Peeps dioramas.


Pennsylvania: "Contest is open to anyone in the United States but the five finalists must be residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia."

So basically anyone from outside these areas can't win the contest? Why bother to accept entries if they can't win?

Dan Zak: So they can make the semifinalist gallery. We have several out-of-staters in the gallery this year.

It's our contest. We make the rules. Deal with it. Or move to the area. Whatever your priorities are.


Washington, D.C. : Did you have any peeps depicting the Stock Market crash?

Dan Zak: Yes, many. There were at least four or five of them in quarterfinals, but none stood out. I did like one that had Peeps floating down in golden parachutes, though...


Harrisburg, Pa.: I was going to submit an entry, but my dog ate my homework. No, literally...

Dan Zak: Part of a finalist's diorama was eaten by her baby.


East Falls Church: Wasn't a criteria in past years that the materials had to be edible? I don't even see a requirement that Peeps have to be used ... just purchased?

Dan Zak: Edibility was never a criteria. Eating Peeps is horrifying. You just have to use Peeps.


Frederick, Md.: What about Michael Peeps hanging out with his Peeps? Too controversial?

Dan Zak: No, just not as good as the Michael Peeps diorama in the gallery.


Falls Church, Va.: I don't see why the winner won. I thought there were a number of more detailed and fun entries. My favorite might be the Price is Right spin off.

Dan Zak: The winner won because it was a beautifully constructed, immediately arresting diorama that was impossible to ignore. The sprawl of the Price Is Right diorama, while amazing, simply did not compare to the visual impact of NightPeeps.


Philadelphia, Pa.: Since you received more then 1,000 entries, how do you narrow it down to just 40?

Dan Zak: All of this is explained in my intro to the story.

Two colleagues and I eyeballed the 1,100 entries and discarded those that did not catch our eye immediately. We were ruthless. We got those down to 108 superb dioramas, and then viewed those in a slideshow with the staff. We assigned star ratings. Only four- and five-star dioramas made the final 40. Then we judged the five finalists in person.


17th Street: True or False: National Geographic has raised the bar for excellence in peep diorama making.

Dan Zak: Go back to work, NatGeo staffers.


Colorado Springs: All the entries were well done, and the whole thing was hugely amusing. Don't you think, though, that there have been many, many take-offs of "Nighthawks" over the years, in a wide variety of media? Even in The Simpsons. It just seemed there were many more creative and relevant entries.

Dan Zak: Other people have raised this issue. It's moot. NightPeeps was fresh to our eyes and we loved it.


RE: Peep shortage: No shortage out here in Reston, nor down Connecticut Ave at the CVS. All are 50% off now, too.

I agree, Dan, they are revolting. I'd rather just eat a regular marshmallow... better flavor!

Dan Zak: 50 percent off! Buy them now for next year. Trust me: They won't rot. They will just harden into unbreakability.


Leesburg, Va.: We're the extreme left wing creators of the "Sarah Peeplin Thankgiving Turkey Slaughter" diaroma. Did we at least make the quarter finals?

Dan Zak: You did!


Arlington, Va.: How important is a catchy title?

Dan Zak: Not terribly important. If anything, it's the cherry on top of an already wondrous diorama.


Arlington, Va.: I would imagine that the company which makes Peeps must be thrilled by a contest like this. Have they ever gotten in touch with you?

Dan Zak: Yes they have. And yes, they are unbelievably pleased with this contest, especially because Peeps don't qualify as tasty treats and there needs to be some other reason for people to buy them.

But note: This contest was our undertaking, not the Peeps makers. We maintain total editorial control of the implementation of the contest.


Baltimore, Md.: I guess I should just read the rules, but... people build their dioramas and then submit photos of it? Does The Post ever see the actual dioramas?

Dan Zak: Yeah, you should read the rules. The Post only sees the actual dioramas in person when we get to the finals. So we always only see five dioramas, and from there we pick the winner. It would be physically impossible to see over 1,000 dioramas in person.


Bethesda, Md.: Didn't the Whac-a-Peep entry make you laugh, just a little bit? Any constructive criticism?

Dan Zak: A little, yes. I don't remember the details of the diorama, but I think your photo was poorly lit or cropped. But I could be wrong.


Washington, D.C.: I have to say that your comment that all three "Slumdog Millionaire" entries were of "poor quality" was unnecessary and mean.

I happened to see someone's SM entry, and it was very detailed and good. I guess you missed that one?

Dan Zak: I guess I did. And I'm just trying to keep it real. Did you see the quality of those finalists?


Washington, D.C.: What was the most innovative material used in a peeps diorama?

Dan Zak: The finalist octuplets diorama had a wealth of innovative material. For example, the stethoscopes were made out of single sequins. The IV bag was a patch of dried sticky glue. And on and on.


Reston, Va.: Can you tell us what the 16 products were in the "As Seen on Peep TV" entry? I'd love to know for sure!

Dan Zak: Only the dioramists can tell you. If they're out there, let us know!


Washington, D.C.: Do you recall a particularly magnificent diorama of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory?

Dan Zak: Vaguely, but the past week has been a whirlwind. So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.


Bethesda, Md.: Why not make a picture gallery with ALL of the photo entries, so everyone that took time to do this can see their work online? Then, obviously, you could also do the "finalists." Just a thought, as these things take a considerable amount of time.

Dan Zak: Would you click through a photo gallery that had 1,100 photos?

Didn't think so.


McLean, Va.: I love this contest, and was also happy to see a non-top 40 diorama (the "Peepitals" game) getting screentime on hockey blogs! Any chance we'll get to see others from the 108 quality scenes mentioned?

Dan Zak: Not unless the dioramists throw their JPEGs out there. Some have already. I did see the Peepitals, and it's good.


WDC: Were there any dioramas depicting Battlestar Galactica?

Dan Zak: None that I saw.


The word criteria: plural. "There was never a criterion" is what you should have said.

Thank you for all your hard work, you Peeping Dan.

Dan Zak: Shame on me. I also used "dolorous" in two different articles in Sunday's Style section. I'm really a vocabularic trainwreck.


Arlington, Va.: I love the dioramas. It does seem, however, that most of the finalists use very few Peeps and place them in the rest of a lushly-decorated scene. It's been trending that way more and more every contest.

It's OK, the dioramas are great - but it seems less Peepy.

Dan Zak: An interesting observation. That hasn't occurred to me.


Bethesda, Md.: Having placed last year (The Birds) and not this year (The Last Supper and North By Northwest) I enjoy that the guidelines are vague and that you aren't afraid of controversial topics. Please don't create some kind of grading rubric like they do in middle school these days.

Dan Zak: Yes! Someone finally gets it! A little vagueness goes a long way. You either get Peeps dioramas, or you don't.


RE: As seen on Peep TV: I saw Chia pets and a bedazzler, to name two more.

Dan Zak: There we go.


"As Seen on Peep TV": Also there is the reclining bed, the dog steps and the pull up bar.

Dan Zak: Three more.


Washington, D.C.: First, thanks for choosing my diorama, "Peeptown Cupcake" for the semi-finals! I'm totally honored.

Secondly, since I live in D.C., I really loved the D.C.-specific entries. Especially, the one about tourists on the metro. Did you have any other entries about D.C. life that didn't make the cut?

Dan Zak: Peeptown Cupcake was lovingly, expertly created. The detail and exactness is beautiful.

Can't remember any more DC-specific entries that jumped out. Lots of federal and Metro scenes. Very few neighborhood-y scenes. Y'all gotta work on that. Let's make the contest more home-y.


An undisclosed location: See, personally, I thought the Guantanamo diorama was the best of the lot. My girlfriend loved it too. And, yes, we've both been waterboarded and both consider it torture.

Dan Zak: Hot.


Peeplexed, D.C.: I think I understand your judging criteria and agree for the most part with your finalists (especially the winner -- just awesome).

However, I don't get why two of the same theme (Man on a Wire) make it to the semi-finals. If you narrowed it down originally to 108 top-notchers, why include two with the exact same theme? I'd think they'd lose points for originality, not both be rewarded with a trip to the semis. Can you explain? See both of the "Man on a Wire" entries here and here.

Dan Zak: A good point. I think we all agreed that they worked together. Both Man on Wire dioramas were constructed and photographed in ways that informed one another, rather than repeated. We liked them both, and thought it would make a nice double bill. Plus, each depicts a separate event. (We received four or five Man on Wire World Trade Center dioramas.)


Riverhead, N.Y.: We love the Peeps Show every year. Family favorites included the I-Peeps, Peeps Making The Peeples, and the Cupcake Stand.

Were there any eye-catching sports related submissions that didn't make the top forty such as the Nats, Redskins, Caps or Masters? If I were in D.C., I would try to do a Green Jacket Masters moment.

Dan Zak: Ooh, the Masters would be perfect. Why hasn't that happened? And so timely.

We had a couple Pittsburgh Steeler dioramas that were GREAT. But my enthusiasm for them was not matched by the rest of the staff.


Slumdog Millionaire, Take 2: Gee, thanks. I asked about the proportion of "Slumdog Millionaire" themed dioramas out of simple curiosity, since I submitted one -- was it really necessary to deem it "poor quality"? Celebrate the winners, but don't denigrate the losers. I was excited about participating in next year's contest, but now I'm disinclined to bother.

Dan Zak: Apologies, apologies. I'm just trying to add a little sourness to all this Peepsy sweetness.


Leesburg, Va.: Non-diorama contest related:

Dan, have you heard of "Peeps Jousting?" It sounds like it would be right up your alley. Basically what you do is take two peeps (the chick ones, not the rabbits) and give each one a toothpick. then you face them at each other in a microwave. Run the microwave and the peeps start to inflate. The first peep to puncture and deflate the other with his toothpick is the winner.

Just wanted to share.

Dan Zak: Peeps jousting is dangerous and inhumane. Is this Michael Vick?


Arlington, Va.: My favorite is Thelma and Louise. Simple. Classic. What gives?

Dan Zak: I agree. I looove that diorama.


Cleveland Park, D.C.: Maybe it was my poor time management and/or Internet searching skills, but from my experience, the announcing of the Peeps contest and the deadline were a mere 20 days apart. Granted, people could start working on their peeps much earlier than the announce date (if peeps were available at the time), but do you really think 20 days is enough to complete a quality Peep diorama? The time frame is partly the reason I did not submit one this year, and am still sulking about it.

Dan Zak: No, it's not enough time. I raised that issue, but there was a bit of squirreliness in the contest's transition from Sunday Source (RIP) to Style. Hopefully there will be more time next year.


Chicago, Ill.: How much did the newsworthiness of the subject enter into your decision? Was it more important to be expertly done or to be based on something in the news?

Dan Zak: "Expertly done" is more important.


Washington, D.C.: My friends and I submitted a truly awesome Peeple Tunnel of Doom diorama, which inexplicably was not even a semifinalist. You can see it here.

The Purple Tunnel of Doom diorama which was finalist #34 was fine, but it really did not compare to ours. Ours had dozens of individual peeps with hand-crotched scarves and hats and tiny purple tickets; tunnel lighting; exit signs accurately modeled on the ones in the 3rd St. tunnel; a peep on a ladder posting a "PEEP" poster with Obama's face on a Peep body; and an entirely separate inauguration scene above the tunnel, featuring a Peep-bodied Roberts flubbing the oath for a Peep-bodied Obama on a Peepbotron, and the image of the Capitol which they sent to actual purple ticket holders in their consolation package.

The injustice is really quite stark. What gives, Washington Post? To see the entry this reader is referring to, click here.

Dan Zak: Honestly, I myself liked yours better. The detail was not lost on me. There was some good chaos. And it made the quarterfinals. But the rest of the staff was not as enamored, and majority ruled the day. Peeps judging is vicious and inexplicable.


"It's OK, the dioramas are great - but it seems less Peepy": I totally agree.

Dan Zak: I wish you would've given some examples.


As Seen on TV: There's a Sham-WOW! on the floor, mopping up a doggie puddle. And the chin-up bar in the doorway.

Dan Zak: Two more. This diorama is like the Da Vinci Code.


Slumdog Millionaire, Take 2: Oh, Dan, please don't take any more posts from sore losers. I can't believe the peeple who are trying to spoil our fun.

Dan Zak: (I know, right? It's Peeps, for Pete's sake.)


Washington, D.C.: One of the As-Seen-on-Peep-TV dioramists here. The hardest ones to get are: the Twin Draft Guard on the window, the space saver bags (under the bed), the Kinoki foot pads and the Aquaglobe.

Dan Zak: Nice!


Washington, D.C.: I love this contest! I was so sure my friend's Julia Child's kitchen scene would make the top 40, but alas it did not. Do you remember that one? The details were incredible. Jacque Peepin's cookbook, and the peeps roasting in the oven... fabulous!

Dan Zak: Yes yes, I remember that one. Made the quarterfinals. But again, the staff rules the day, and they are a fickle, distracted, headstrong bunch.


Germantown, Md.: Though biased because my lovely diorama didn't get picked as one of the top 40, a friend of mine made the comment that otherwise OK entries that mentioned a child's participation seemed to have a higher likelihood of being chosen. Also, more explaining seemed to make an entry more winning - if an entry had an explanation of how accurately detailed attached. Was that more important than the overall visual effect?

Also, why two Peep on a Wire finalists? They seemed redundant.

Dan Zak: We judge all dioramas blindly. We have no idea if a child is involved.

As for detail vs. overall visual effect, I answered this using Peeps is Right and Thelma & Louise as an example.

Peep on Wire is explained above.


Manteo, N.C.: Kudos to all entrants and WP. Someone thankfully had too much time on their hands and or a great imagination to dream up this contest. We all need humor, satirical or otherwise in our lives. Thanks for this annual treat!

Dan Zak: Holler.


Central Mass.: Love the peeps! Just want to say thank you to the person from LAST YEAR's show who submitted "Peep Sold Me Out!" (showing Mayor Barry's arrest). I hadn't seen the show last year, but it ran again this year as an introduction to this year's contest. My husband and I were going through a tough time with my father-in-law in the hospital, and that particular diorama gave us a laugh. We'd see each other and say "Peep Sold Me Out!" Missed it? See Peep Set Me Up!

Dan Zak: The contest has worked its way into the lives of all Americans.


Washington, D.C.: I thought the Star Trek diorama relied too heavily on the background and non-Peep accessories, as well as the angry Metro riders diorama. Both the Peep on a Wire dioramas were nearly too dependent on non-Peep details, as well.

Dan Zak: There we go.


"hand-crotched scarves"??: Please! This is a family chat.



Washington, D.C.: I am cracking up at all the whiny comments on here by peeps who didn't make the cut. I love it when the overachieving crowd is deemed mediocre and commences with the foot-stamping over something as silly and whimsical as a Peeps diorama. It's so classically D.C., with everyone demanding validation.

Dan Zak: I agree.


Dan Zak: All right, kids, I'm off. Thanks for chatting, entering, dissecting, viewing, forwarding, and on and on. Check next January or February for contest updates. Better yet, come to every day. Or consider a print subscription.

Some links to follow...

_______________________ See the top 40 entries from our third annual Peeps Diorama Contest here.

Dan Zak: Here's a link.

_______________________ Listen to this year's winner Melissa Harvey discuss what inspired her diorama design here.

Dan Zak: And here's another link.


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