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Nashville) (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Mar 6, 2005

The Secret Service orders the shooting down of pop flies.

Presidents no longer have to travel to Baltimore to make fools of themselves on Opening Day.

The percentage of city residents who use crack will decline as the percentage using steroids increases.

We couldn't resist reverting to Roman numerals this week for a contest about Washington, where 2005 will be remembered -- barring the unspeakable -- as The Year Baseball Came Back. This week's contest: Tell us some ways that the city will change now that we have the Nationals, as in the examples above, which are by Russell Beland of Springfield.

First-prize winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up gets, for once, a really nice prize, courtesy of Loser Ken Gallant of Little Rock: an 8-by-10 photo taken outside the "Washington American League Base Ball Club" sometime in the mid-1920s; in the foreground, fans admire a trophy that honors either Washington's only World Series victory (1925) or the league victory.

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 losers@washpost.com or, if you really have to, by fax to 202- 334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 14. Put the week number 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 the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published April 3. 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 Tom Witte of Montgomery Village.

Report from Week 596, in which we asked you to rearrange some of the words from that day's Ask Amy advice column -- it concerned whether to confront a parent who was screaming at her child during skating practice -- to form some new thoughts. Some readers may have been a wee bit puzzled by the Empress's example for this contest, since most of its words, such as "gas" and "ammunition," were not exactly to be found in that Ask Amy column. So she accidentally used the next Sunday's column, okay? At least this week nobody sent in an entry that had the same joke as the example.

{diam}Second runner-up: Dear Maegan: Mom and I are having a tough day, so don't come home. The neighbors have food. Scream if you have your child. -- Dad (Eric Murphy, Chicago)

{diam}First runner-up, winner of the Indian joke book and comic book: For parents of young children, life is like a roller coaster, but with more screaming and throwing up. (Pam Sweeney, Germantown)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: Many witnessed my public embarrassment, but it occurred to me to ask for a recount; people would have benefited (compassion -- that's my mantra). My challenge was a roller coaster that went on and on until I was stopped cold by an abrupt and awful result, made by a crazy group jokingly referred to as "adults." A tough day. Was it their place to intervene? I don't think so, but the impact of that changed my career forever. So I went home. (A. Gore, Nashville) (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

When in the Course of . . . . . . (people-something? act?) . . . it can become . . . just . . . Dear me, this is not as easy as I thought. (T. Jefferson, Charlottesville, Va.) (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

I'm losing my temper and no one stopped to help me look for it. (Alyson Yee, Arlington)

I'm community college educated, and happy to. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Me, myself, and I. Me, myself and I. Not my parents. Not my children. Not neighbors, friends, or strangers. Never he, she, we, you, they. It's only me, me, me. Wow -- is this a scream for help or what? (Jeff Covel, Arlington)

Tough break in that one, Coach. Now, I have to ask: Are you aware that you could use some help on offense, or is this just not the right career for someone as stupid as you? (Mike Cisneros, Centreville)

Do you drink enthusiastically? Is your life a roller coaster ride of throwing up in public and affectionate behavior with strangers? Wow, college is fun! Don't be shocked, parents. That used to be you. (Kurt Stahl, Frederick)

Public parking is just not allowed on Sunday. What are you, crazy? And one more thing: We lose a lot. (D. Snyder, Potomac) (Russell Beland)

I hope Tonya Harding stopped demonstrating the mantra "We all can use a break sometimes." (Barbara Hoss Schneider, Bowie)

Screaming crazy responses in church can result in them throwing you out. But what fun -- and you can drink in the parking lot until your parents come to get you. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

I would not have experienced so much bullying if the other children hadn't seen Dad come to Career Day in Mother's things and with a painted face, and didn't get to hear him say, "I work Michigan Ave." (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

A bully made an impression on me -- he stepped on my face. (Peter Metrinko)

I am usually a three, but with no food and throwing up I can, maybe, get to be a one. It's important for my career. (C. Flockhart, Beverly Hills) (Russell Beland)

Dear Amy: I have not stepped out of my home in three years. I am not socially experienced, and being in a public place is very trying. I know I have to get help, but how? -- Crazy at Home

Dear Crazy: Perhaps I should not say so, but I was the same way. What I found is, you can not ever have anyone as affectionate and giving as food. It never humiliates or berates like people do. So what if I lose my figure, or people in Michigan can see my can when I'm in Chicago? The point is, I am happy. You should be also. (Brendan Beary)

Don't point in public. Just scream and make fun of the stupid crazy people. (Eric Murphy)

Children should be seen and not had. (Chris Doyle, Dunedin, New Zealand)

I don't care to say "throwing up"; I like "abrupt food recall" more. (Russell Beland)

I was once affectionate with a young woman, the neighbors' daughter. When I took her home, her mother attempted to intervene. Her daughter gently said, "Hey, Mom, if you think I'm that easy, why don't you get involved? You know -- group lessons?" I was shocked, but her mom directly offered to engage in "inappropriate behavior" - - regularly, enthusiastically, and with different objects! The impact of that made an impression on me. Or did I just imagine it? (Fred Rogers, Latrobe, Pa.) (Bob Dalton)

Throwing young children in church is a fun way to get out your aggression. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

I am not dangerous to a daughter. Only a boy is food. (J. Dahmer, Hell) (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City)

Don't you recognize that I'm a people-person, you stupid, crazy woman? (Russell Beland)

"Mantra" is my mantra, as it is easy for me to recall. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

A group of stupid, dangerous skating-career bullies threw temper tantrums, and have now stopped skating. It's crazy! What is the point? And what to do? Maybe if enough people or their coach would intervene and berate these offending children, they would come to the rink, put on skates, demonstrating an important value:

Skating is supposed to be fun. But the bullies didn't get it, so I went home. (NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, New York) (Bob Dalton)

When I write about my but it humiliates me. (J.D. Quayle, Indianappolis) (Russell Beland)

Dear Amy: I didn't have a dad as a child, and much of my adult life I was looking, in an inappropriate way, for that sort of figure. You could say I'm very "experienced" -- friends, neighbors, the parking lot boy, just about anyone. My behavior is an embarrassment but I don't know how to stop. -- EB

Dear Easy: I'd like to get right to the point: What would you think about being with a woman? I can be called at 435-2005; I get out of work at three. (Brendan Beary)

What are YOU looking at -- some stupid joke? Look to your right: Maybe "Ask Amy" can help you get a life. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

And Last: This is your mantra: Losing is the only thing. (Chris Doyle)


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