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Week 315: Fermenting Trouble

Sunday, March 28, 1999

Roqueforts, Camemberts and Bries
Take these words, my friend, and heed 'em.
A paradise on Earth is cheese

A veritable Garden of Edam. This week's contest was suggested by Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park, who wins a hardback copy of the Arkansas state constitution. Jonathan was reading George Will's March 4 column, which began thus: "'Poets,' noted G.K. Chesterton, 'have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." Will went on to make some snotty, sophisticated point about something or other, but Jonathan never got that far. He thought: Maybe it's time for a little cheese poetry. We agree. Your job is to write a rhyming poem like the one above – eight lines maximum – on the subject of cheese, or any of these items: Bellybuttons, The Lint Trap in a Dryer, Nyquil, or United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky. Any rhyme scheme is acceptable.

First-prize winner gets a genuine antique pewter ashtray from the administration of William Donald Schaefer as mayor of Baltimore.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 315, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; fax them to 202-334-4312; or submit them via e-mail to this address: E-mail 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, April 5. Important: Please include your postal 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 Very Next Sentence No One Gets To was written by Stephen Dudzik of Silver Spring. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes; employees of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, oddly, are.

Report from Week 312, in which we asked you to combine the works of two authors and provide a suitable blurb. But first, a little housekeeping. We have received numerous reports that the First Runner-Up published two weeks ago ("It came down the stairs looking like something no one had ever seen before") was borrowed from James Thurber. We checked. It was. We are certain this was entirely coincidental, that the entrant thought of it all by herself, and that she is, in fact, a world-class humorist who is going to go on to enjoy a multi-million-dollar career as an author, satirist and lecturer.

Back to the books. The overall winner is also the Rookie of the Week:

Second Runner-Up: "Machiavelli's The Little Prince" – Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic children's tale as presented by Machiavelli. The whimsy of human nature is embodied in many delightful and intriguing characters, all of whom are executed. (Erik Anderson, Tempe, Ariz.)

First Runner-Up: "Green Eggs and Hamlet" – Would you kill him in his bed? / Thrust a dagger through his head? / I would not, could not, kill the King. / I could not do that evil thing. / I would not wed this girl, you see. / Now get her to a nunnery. (Robin Parry, Arlington)

And the Winner of the Dancing Critter:

"Fahrenheit 451 of the Vanities" – An '80s yuppie is denied books. He does not object, or even notice. (Mike Long, Burke) u Honorable Mentions:

"2001: A Space Iliad" – The Hal 9000 computer wages an insane 10-year war against the Greeks after falling victim to the Y2K bug.

(Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Curious Georgefather" – The monkey finally sticks his nose where it don't belong.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

"The Hunchback Also Rises" – Hideously deformed fellow is cloistered in bell tower by despicable clergymen. And that's the good news ... (John Verba, Washington)

"The Maltese Faulkner" – Is the black bird a tortured symbol of Sam's struggles with race and family? Does it signify his decay of soul along with the soul of the Old South? Is it merely a crow, mocking his attempts to understand? Or is it worth a cool mil?

(Thad Humphries, Warrenton)

"The Silence of the Hams" – In this endearing update of the Seuss classic, young Sam-I-Am presses unconventional foodstuffs on his friend, Hannibal, who turns the tables.

(Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)

"Portnoy's Choice": A man is forced to choose between his right and left hand. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"Jane Eyre Jordan": Plucky English orphan girl survives hardships to lead the Chicago Bulls to the NBA championship. (Dave Pickering, Bowie)

"Nicholas and Alexandra Nickleby" – Having narrowly escaped a Bolshevik firing squad, the former czar and czarina join a troupe of actors only to find that playing the Palace isn't as grand as living in it. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

"Catch-22 in the Rye" – Holden learns that if you're insane, you'll probably flunk out of prep school, but if you're flunking out of prep school, you're probably not insane. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

"Tarzan of the Grapes" – The beleaguered Okies of the dust bowl are saved by a strong and brave savage who swings from grapevine to grapevine. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Where's Walden?" – Alas, the challenge of locating Henry David Thoreau in each richly detailed drawing loses its appeal when it quickly becomes clear that he is always in the woods. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

"Looking for Mr. Godot" – A young woman waits for Mr. Right to enter her life. She has a looong wait. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"Rikki-Kon-Tiki-Tavi" – Thor Heyerdahl recounts his attempt to prove Rudyard Kipling's theory that the mongoose first came to India on a raft from Polynesia. (David Laughton, Washington)

"As I Lay Winesburg, Ohio" – William Faulkner and Sherwood Anderson tell the unforgettable story of one man's ambitious quest to nail every woman in his home town. (Grady Norris,New Bern, N.C.)

Next Week: The Style Invitational Souvenir Shop

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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