First he was a surveyor at Fort Belvoir. Then he worked for the federal government. Then he . . . Wait a minute. Did the painting job come before Uncle SAm? Or was it the brief stint as a construction worker?
It's hard to recall, because Kurt Grimwood has held oh-so-many jobs since he moved here in 1968. ''Whenever I apply for something new, they ask for previous employment, and I get writer's cramp,'' he says.
Grimwood has been a pizza deliveryman. He has been a bartender. He has served as an ''illumination specialist '' at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (translation: he changed light bulbs). ''Oh, yeah,'' he adds, as a breathless, note-taking scribe finally catches up. ''I was in the Merchant Marine twice, too.''
Grimwood now spends most of his time co-owning and co-running a Capitol Hill typesetting business. 'Twas during a lull there last month that he chanced upon Levey's latest neologism contest.
First, Kurt almost didn't enter. Then he almost forgot to mail his entry. But virtue and a 22-cent stamp were rewarded. The Kurt of all trades was the hands-down winner.
This was the challenge:
What do you call motorists who always slow down when they spot a police car -- even if they're already doing the speed limit, or less?
You don't need to be a shrink to appreciate the punsmanship therein. Nor do you need much experience on our highways and byways. Screeching by drivers who get frantic when they see a cop is as much a part of the motoring landscape as dotted white lines.
According to our winner, however, he's only a reluctant member of the Schreechafrantica Club.
''I only slow down when I pass a cop because I know everyone else in front of me is about to,'' said Kurt, who is 36. He's trying to avoid rear ending somebody, he says, not trying to avoid a ticket.
There wasn't much about his victory lunch that Kurt needed to avoid. It was held at a swanky Capitol Hill restaurant called 209 1/2, which Kurt said he'd been past a million times but never in.
Kurt pronounced his calves' liver excellent, but he found the coffee a bit watery. I'll bet I could do better,'' he said. Could a new carer as a coffee brewer be on the horizon? With Kurt Grimwood, the chances are just as excellent as the calves' liver -- or as his neologism.
The near miss file was unusually full of puns this month. Here are the entries that came closest to top billing, groaningest puns first:
Guilt-Hedged Insecurities: John C. McDonald of Arlington.
In memory of that noted adventurer, Cyrano de Bergerac, Kathy Ruser of Northwest suggests Sireno Diversionac.
Bobby-Cued Chicken: Carla W. Murphy of Northeast.
Nerds of Enrearment: Susanne Humphrey of Wheaton.
Chicken Courtin' Blue: Adrienne Downs of McLean.
Surrey with a Cringe on Cops: Charla D. Mayo of Woodbridge.
Radarth Evader: Ann Lawless of Arlington.
Pedalytic Converter: Judi Eaton of Brandywine.
Overcoppensators; Kevin R. Hopkins. of Springfield.
Nervous Brake Clowns: Robert C. Gallagher of Falls Church.
Pullover Sweaters: John Paulman of Reston, Larry Hochberger of Springfield and Joan Gilmour of Alexandria.
Panic Depressives: Barbara Ackerman of Silver Spring and Colin D. Riley.
Yellow Journeyists: Walt Dennis of College Park.
Cruise Controllers: Joseph Wagner Jr. of Alexandria.
Hell, A Coppers: Leah Snediker of Dale City.
Law-abating Citizens: Virginia Y. Peters of Fort Washington.
Hypocopreacts: Claire Kelly of Alexandria and Judi Harrell-Parker of McLean.
Oughta-matic pilots: J. Baxter Newgate of New York City.
And Velocimpedes: Len Greenberg of Reston.
FRom one annoyance, we gallop to another. Here's the April challenge, courtesy of Patricia Donahue DePrez of Southeast.
You are about to make a phone call, but you discover the phone cord twisted up into a spaghetti-like mess. The best way to untangle the cord is to dangle the receiver just above the floor and let it spin a few times. Whay is this procedure called?
No, the winner will not get free phone service for a month. Even after her breakup, Ma Bell's power exceeds that of the press.
However, the power of a certain col-yume-nist's credit card is such that he can buy the victor a free lunch. Winner picks the restaurant. Only condition is that Levey comes along. Don't worry. I'll share the rolls. Entries by May 10, please, to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.