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  The Style Invitational
Week 327: Ask Backwards

Sunday, June 20, 1999

Larry of Arabia

Nine Apathetic Sympathetic Diabetic Old Men on Bicycles

The Heimlich Manure

Slobodan Fitzgerald Kennedy

Six Characters in Search of a Plumber's Helper

Hugging, Kissing and Kvetching

The So-So Gatsby

Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim

A Squeegee and a Codpiece but not Madeleine Albright

Three! Four! Five! Buttocks! Six!

The Sphinx, the Great Pyramid and the Jiffy Lube in Rockville

The Next-To-Last of the Mohicans

This Week's Contest: You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers.What are the questions? Choose one or more. First-prize winner gets a Shea Stadium cookie tin that, when opened, plays "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." This is worth $20.

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 327, 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, June 28. 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 Warning No One Heeds was written by David Genser of Arlington. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 324, in which we asked you to come up with "prequels" to famous works of cinema or literature. Many entrants came up with fabulous titles, but failed at creating plausible plot summaries. These included "Just Another in a Long Series of Tangos in Paris," "All the Postmaster General's Men," and "Patton Pending." Also, some entries were very good, but were not, technically, prequels. The best of these, by Malcolm Fleschner of Arlington: "Here's Waldo" -- Precisely like the familiar version, but each full-page illustration includes a big red arrow.

Fourth Runner-Up: "It's a Terrible Life" -- A young Mr. Potter wishes he had never been born after losing the use of his legs, but after an angel shows him just how unbearably chipper the town of Bedford Falls would be without him, he changes his mind for the good of mankind.

(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Third Runner-Up: "Divide by Zero" -- Before Brad Easton Ellis failed at literature, he tried his hand at math. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

Second Runner-Up: "James Bond, 006" -- A man with a learner's permit to kill.

(Brian Broadus, Charlottesville; Bob Sorensen, Herndon)

First Runner-Up: "Godot Waiting" -- Godot spends three acts pacing, glancing at his watch, and muttering "Where the hell are those guys?" and then shrugs and shuffles off stage.

(David Genser, Arlington)

And the winner of the Magruder's bag full of plastic fruit:

"Star Wars, Episode 0" -- Ninety minutes of Mrs. Skywalker's ultrasound of little Anakin. On the first weekend, it grosses $100 million. (Aaron Kravitz, Ellicott City)

Honorable Mentions:

"Twelve Mildly Ticked-Off Men" -- A bunch of guys get a summons to jury duty.

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

"The G-dfather" -- Years before the Italians took over, Orthodox Jews ran organized crime. (David Genser, Arlington)

"Basic Instinct, Part 1" -- The story of a little girl who climbs high on the monkey bars and then drops cinder blocks on the boys who try to peek under her skirt. (Paul Styrene, Olney)

"Angel, Second Class" -- The hilarious misadventures of Clarence, the apprentice angel in the days before Bedford Falls, as he tries to save the Titanic and the Hindenburg. (David J. Litman, Arlington)

"Tuesday Night Fever" -- The dancing is intense, but stops at 11 because, hey, it's a school night. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

"Two Very Horny Dalmatians" -- Self-explanatory. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

"It's a Wonderful Day" -- Tempted to call in sick, a man is shown what the office would be like without him. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

"The Oyster," by John Steinbeck, a novel in which an oyster tries in vain to rid itself of a particulate that has lodged within its shell. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

"Paleozoic Park" -- Trilobytes are cloned from fossilized DNA, and a theme park is created around them. No one comes. Then someone gets a better idea (Beth Baniszewski, Columbia)

"The Undergraduate" -- Benjamin is a little worried about his acne. Score by Chad and Jeremy. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

"The Whiny Adolescence of Jerry A. Prufrock" -- He just can't score. (Ralph Scott, Washington)

"The Blobule" -- A young Blob makes its way around town largely unnoticed, attempting to wreak havoc but mostly just clogging up pipes and sticking to people's shoes. (Mike Genz, La Plata)

"The King and Me" -- Anna still has a lot to learn when she begins student teaching.

(Bill Strider, Gaithersburg)

"Neuro" -- While changing for gym class, Normie Bates is caught wearing his mother's nylons. The other kids' razzing affects him adversely (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

"Fast Times at Ridgemont Middle School" -- Same as the original, only even more sophomoric. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

"You've Got a Telegram" -- A heartfelt romance between two people that takes place in 1909. (Blythe Leatherman, Cabin John)

"Mr. Zhivago" -- Yuri fails his medical boards because instead of studying he spends all his time writing sappy poetry. (Lynn Terhar, Chantilly)

"The Eggs" -- Prequel to "The Birds." No, wait. "The Birds" is the prequel to "The Eggs." No, wait (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

Rookie of the Week:

"Go Ask Dorothy" -- Fed up with her addiction to hallucinogens, a young girl's parents send her to live with her aunt and uncle on a farm where, unfortunately, mushrooms grow wild. (Sarah and

Amy Splitt, Washington)

Next Week: The Burma Road

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