This Week's Contest was proposed by Paul Styrene of Olney, who discovered an old poetic form called the "palinode," in which the poet retracts something said in an earlier poem, as in the examples above. Paul wins a copy of Dan Quayle's "American Family," signed by someone who was forging Quayle's signature, which seems somehow appropriate. Your poem must be four lines long and contain at least one rhyme. First-prize winner gets a nine-minute videotape of the National Flossing Council's 1998 ad campaign, in which famous toothsome persons such as Jerry Seinfeld and Kate Moss urge you to floss.
First runner-up gets the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable Mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to The Style Invitational, Week 270, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; fax them to 202-334-4312; or submit them via Internet to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Also, please do not append "attachments," which tend not to be read. Entries must be received on or before Monday, May 26. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced three weeks from today. Editors reserve the right to alter entries for taste, humor or appropriateness. No purchase necessary. Today's Ear No One Reads was written by Richard Leiby of Silver Spring. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 266,
Fifth Runner-Up -- Cockroaches Unclear on the Concept:
Fourth Runner-Up -- A National Organization for Women rally on the mall:
Third Runner-Up -- New York Marathon:
(Joseph Romm, Washington)
A guy in dorky swim trunks and snorkel, with a blow-up ducky around his waist, walking into a tough inner-city pool room.
A prophet in robes walking street with sign: "The World Will End in 2.6 Million Years."
Two sumo wrestlers, facing off in the ring. One is pointing to his thong and asking the other: "Does this make me look fat?"
Condemned man positioned in guillotine. Machine has failed to operate properly. Technicians stand around looking at the mechanism, befuddled. Condemned man looks up and says: "Wait, I think I see the problem "
A condemned man is finishing his last meal. He is asking for a doggie bag.
Man in confessional, to priest: "But enough about me "
Firing squad: The guys with the rifles are wearing blindfolds and smoking cigarettes.
Man and meter maid. She has handed him a ticket, and he is handing it back: "I'm sorry, ma'am, but you got a digit wrong on my license number, and this is a Mazda, not a Toyota."
Masked bank robber holding loot in one hand and gun in other, being chased by cop. Cop: "Halt, or I'll draw my gun."
Man in hospital, looking at newborn twins. "This is great. They'll keep each other entertained, and I'll be able to sleep through the night."
Bank robber to teller: "On second thought, why don't you just deposit it into my account?"
Mr. Boffo is a guest on "Jerry Springer." Boffo: "Sorry, I can't discuss that. It's personal."
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