Pant by Numbers

By Mayor Anthony Williams

"Take me," Stephanie moaned to Horace as she closed her ledger, in which she had just recorded a surplus in excess of $740,000 for the previous fiscal year. Horace looked at her hungrily. This sultry accountant stirred a longing in him he could not deny, even if under oath at a judicial inquiry into municipal management practices.

The Style section's always spunky Reliable Source column recently had a great time gleefully compiling -- and rating -- hot scenes from the novels that seemingly half the wonk population of Washington (Barbara Boxer! Scooter Libby!) feels compelled to write, and clearly shouldn't. It inspired Loser Peter Metrinko of Chantilly to suggest more of the same. This week's contest: Write a steamy passage of a novel that's ostensibly by some well-known person who isn't a novelist. Maximum length 75 words; significantly shorter entries are also welcome.

Winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up receives, through the misguided charity of Loser Brenda Ware Jones of Jackson, Miss., a hollow ceramic baking potato or possibly yam, to which is glued a gold-painted ceramic pipe as might be held by a leprechaun. We cannot begin to guess the intended use for this fine piece, but it is clearly worth an enormous amount of work to win it -- and face it, it's probably more than you'll make for your fiction from anyone else.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to or, if you really have to, by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 28. Put "Week 637" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published Dec. 18. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Douglas Frank of Crosby, Tex.


In which we asked you to share some real or fictitious "secrets" a la the required-to-be-true ones on Half the entrants, it seems, 'fessed up to having used the pseudonym "Russell Beland" or "Brendan Beary" or "Chuck Smith" hundreds of times over the past years. Ah, no wonder these guys get so much ink.

4 When I'm mad at my wife, late at night I "adjust" the bathroom scale by one turn counterclockwise. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

3 I don't really think George Bush is the most brilliant person I ever met. If he were, why would he have nominated me? -- H.M., Washington (Dot Yufer, Newton, W.Va.)

2 The winner of "Fonging for the Soul," which involves making music by making weird sounds with oven racks:

(Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)



During boring meetings, I pretend everyone present is naked. And good looking. And female. And a kangaroo. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)


Sometimes I pick my nose and let my dog eat it. Man, is he gross. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

I once looked something up on the Internet at work that was not job-related. (Art Grinath)

I don't really like sex -- I just do it because everyone else is doing it. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

I can eat only the Rice Krispies that snap or pop. The ones that crackle bring back too many bad memories. (Rob Poole, Ellicott City)

I wish there were more verses to "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

I'm the guy who designed some of the Toyotas so that you can't use the cup holder and the ashtray at the same time. My bad. (Douglas Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

I own a vegetable stand but I sell tomatoes anyway. (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick)

When my neighbors neglect their grass, I secretly spell out dirty words on their lawns in fertilizer. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

For whatever reason, I can pee only when sitting down. It's embarrassing and sometimes inconvenient, but it's nothing compared with the fact that I can poop only when standing up. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

I recycle my thongs by stitching them together to make granny underpants. (Sue Lin Chong, Baltimore)

I like to dig out my earwax and create figurines of former classmates who picked on me. Then I plick them. (Debi Marsh, Montgomery Village)

I re-gifted the rosary our priest gave me in memory of my parents. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

I phound Pharmer Phred phlinging pheces to phertilize his phields. And then I phound him phrolicking with his phlocks. (Deborah Guy, Columbus, Ohio)

(Jeff Brechlin)

Hurricane Katrina was my fault. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

Sometimes I wear a cheap wig just so people will be sympathetic because they think I have cancer. (Russell Beland)

I like to switch the regular eggs with the organic eggs at the supermarket. It makes me feel like an anarchist. (Beth Baniszewski, Somerville, Mass.)

I want to cram a piece of kryptonite up my father's butt. -- Kal-el Coppola Cage, New York (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

I just skim the Reader's Digest stories. (Russell Beland)

I sniffed a cork from a bottle of wine in a D.C. restaurant and later drove home. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Sometimes I do read the paper. -- G.W.B., Washington (Eric Murphy, Ann Arbor, Mich.)

I have never torn a tag off a mattress. (John Crowley, Annandale)

I sometimes harbor doubts that the hokey-pokey is really what it's all about. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

I told my son to invade Iraq because I wanted him to fail. -- Name Withheld by Request (Joseph Romm, Washington)

I sell The Post's Express tabloid to tourists for 10 cents a pop. (Stephen Dudzik)

I secretly don't watch "Desperate Housewives." (Russell Beland)

While I was glad to see her, there really was a gun in my pants. (Ted Weitzman, Olney)

I read my husband my Style Invitational entries as foreplay. (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City)

Next Week: Mess With Our Heads, or Double Headers