The Globe Challenge

by Warren Clements

The Toronto Globe and Mail

Back to the Globe Challenge | 1997 Loser Ink | 1998 Loser Ink | Other Contests | Main Page

Some challenges seeing Loser ink in 1999:

12/4/99: Laws of inevitability, covering specific instances.

The screen on your workplace computer freezes up only when you are checking hockey scores.
Ketchup will always remain on the corner of your mouth when you meet someone famous.
Sneezing attacks only occur when tissues or handkerchiefs are unreachable.

-- Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

11/20/99: More announcements that you might hear on arriving at the airport after the fate of Canada's airlines has been sealed.

"Passengers will need to vote to determine which pilot is in command of the aircraft."
-- Bill Strider, Gaithersburg, Md.

11/6/99: announcements that you might hear on arriving at the airport after the fate of Canada's airlines has been sealed.

"The new airline does not yet have landing rights at all destination airports. If necessary, your flight attendant will issue you a parachute."
-- Bill Strider, Gaithersburg, Md.

10/30/99: : double dactyls (also known as higgledy-piggledy poems) on the topic of any Canadian, living or dead

Higgledy piggledy
Raffi Cavoukian
Captivates children with
Stories and song.
Baby Beluga says
Saving the whales is a
Noble endeavour, but
Caviar's wrong.

--Chris Doyle, Burke, Va.

10/23/99: : Two sentences. The first: What I should have said. The second: What I actually said.
Should have said: "I want to work for Amalgamated because this position offers the challenge and opportunity that is particularly attractive to a hard-working, ambitious person such as myself."
Said: "Amalgamated is near my home. Also, I like the benefits package."

--Michael Genz, La Plata, Md.

10/16/99: : names and definitions of physical, psychological or sociological phenomena

Millenniumbrage: taking offence at the notion that the millennium begins in 2000 rather than 2001.
Hydrochondria: a preoccupation with the fear that a neighbouring country will try to steal your water resources.
Pokemononucleosis: extremely contagious affliction among preteens, which impels them to catch imaginary Japanese creatures.

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

Monotonotheism: the belief in a boring God.
Michael Genz, La Plata, Md.

Catatunic: compelled to inexplicably break into a song from Cats.
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

Fobia: fear of spelling bees.
Chris Doyle, Burke, Va.

10/9/99: celebrate the 1990s genius for putting a positive spin on the definitions of all practices related to the world of business, by suggesting examples

Hitting on that young thing in accounting: Mentoring.
Chris Doyle, Burke, Va.

Chatting it up with long-lost college friends: E-commerce.
Padding an expense account: Enhancing the revenue stream.

Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

10/2/99: suggest an animal-vegetable hybrid, with a brief description.

Springbok choy: If the early crop fails, there's always fallbok choy.
Bananaconda: squeezes itself into a mash that can be used to sweeten gumboa.
Llama bean: carries produce to high-altitude Andean markets.

Chris Doyle, Burke, Va.

9/18/99: wording for a résumé that, while not inaccurate, puts an advantageous varnish on the truth.

I met or exceeded sales quotas by market-positioning strategies. (I stole sales from my colleagues.)
Paul J. Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

9/4/99: How rich was he/she?

She threw loose diamonds on her icy driveway for traction.
The rocks in her garden were imported from the moon.
She cut up Vera Wang wedding dresses for coffee filters.
Instead of playing books on tape while driving, he hired the author to read the work to him.

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

His favourite breakfast was Fabergé egg omelettes.
Sandra Hull, Arlington, Va.

Her rich uncle borrowed money from her.
Tom Witte, Gaithersburg, Md.

8/28/99: adjectives whose general meaning are peculiarly applicable to a particular calling

Lackadaisical: a florist, albeit an unsuccessful one.
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

Footloose: a prosthesis mechanic.
Perky: a Starbucks waitress.
Pathological: a traffic engineer.

Chris Doyle, Burke, Va.

8/21/99: begin with a well-known group of two or more people, things or concepts, add on to one of the names, and briefly explain how the group dynamic changes. (Credit for the wording goes to Elden Carnahan and The Washington Post's Style Invitational.)

Bill and Edmund Hillary: Political couple who sought the highest office in the land "because it was there."
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary Woods and Thyme: Hauntingly beautiful ballad with an inexplicable 18-minute gap in the middle.

Sandra Hull, Arlington, Va.

8/7/99: amendments to violent film titles that might make them a bit more acceptable

Little Shop of Hors d'Oeuvres
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

Slumber Party Wiseacre
An American Warehouse in London
Acropolis Now

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

7/31/99: words of comfort or otherwise that an advice columnist might offer to any famous character, fictional or real, who wrote in for help.

"Many adoptees idealize their birth parents, Luke. Unfortunately, the reality seldom meets those happy expectations."
Meg Sullivan, Potomac, Md.

7/24/99: name a computer virus and briefly describe its effects

Star Wars: Episode 1 virus: It's not a virus, it's a bomb!
The Bill Clinton virus: Your computer remains turned on at all times
The Garfield virus: Only attacks your mouse
The Wash-Your-Mouth-Out-With-Soap virus: Disables your cursor

Meg Sullivan, Potomac, Md.

6/26/99: titles that might seem as unrealistic or fantastic today as From the Earth to the Moon did a century ago

The Undisturbed Loner
The Comedian Who Never Swore
Not Enough Lawyers
The Blockbuster Movie With Absolutely No Fast Food Tie-ins, Toys or Merchandising of Any Kind

Meg Sullivan, Potomac, Md. -- The Winner!

The Guy Who Said He'd Call -- And Did!
Twenty Thousand Dollars Under the Estimate

Sandra Hull, Arlington, Va.

6/19/99: name colours appropriate to the occasion

For an escaped convict's outfit: you'll never take me alive copper.
Meg Sullivan, Potomac, Md.

The entrance to an Indian restaurant: tan door.
Bill Strider, Gaithersburg, Md.

6/5/99: units of measurement that quantify a unique condition or situation

Natos: near-misses. "I drove for blocks, but couldn't find the right house, being off by 3 natos."
Unhunhs: spousal non-listening units. When she asked him if he would either love to take out the garbage or go to Barbados, he offered a response of 1.27 unhunhs.

Paul Kocak Syracuse, N.Y. - The Winner!

The You Know (yk) measures the relative inarticulateness of a given (English) speaker. By comparing the amount of substantive dialogue to the number of meaningless phrases used in a conversation, scientists can formulate the yk factor. Ten yks equals one lkyk (Like You Know).
Meg Sullivan, Potomac, Md.

5/29/99: update the title of a well-known work of literature (fiction or non-fiction) for the cyber-age.

Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading AOL
Sandra Hull, Arlington, Va.

5/15/99: the final utterance of a person in a certain occupation or venture

Lexicographer: "Farewell [ME farwel]."
Lawyer: "I'll file an appeal over this tomorrow."
Sportscaster: "Death shuts out life in a nail-biter. Details at 11."

Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

Mime: ". . . . ."
Miner: "It's been a blast."
Zookeeper: "Nonsense, these animals aren't carnivor. . . aacck!"

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

5/8/99: ways in which certain well-known people might deal with sleep disorders

King Tut kicks back, relaxes and tries to unwind.
Sigmund Freud tries to get a little shut I.

Meg Sullivan, Potomac, Maryland

David Letterman counts to 10 backward.
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

4/10/99: awkward but defensible adaptations of well-known movie titles for foreign markets

The Exorcist: Beware of Little Girls With Rotating Heads
West Side Story: Singing and Dancing Hoodlums Terrorize New York.

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

3/27/99: ways in which certain people or groups might answer the old riddle, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

Al Capone: Because the road crossed it, so the chicken had to get even, see?
IOC Selection Committee: Let's put it this way. If it didn't do what we asked, then its little chicken town wouldn't be hosting the next Olympics.
George Balanchine: It was part of the choreography -- sheer poultry in motion.
James Carville: Ken Starr was hounding him. Ken Starr is out of control.

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

3/20/99: unusual warnings and disclaimers that might result from fear of litigation:

On a roach motel: "This motel is not suitable housing for roaches."
On devil's-food-cake mix: "The baking of this cake will not invoke Satan or his minions."
On a nuclear warhead: "Detonation will cause radioactivity which has been shown to cause cancer."

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

On a pen: "No liability either implied or inferred if not mightier than sword
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

3/6/99: headlines that might appear in a Canadian newspaper in 2000

Clinton Asks for Asylum During Montreal Visit.
Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

2/20/99: far-fetched excuse for losing a famous book that somehow relates to its content or its title

"Someone ripped off my copy of Steal This Book."
"I can't find
Where's Waldo? anywhere."
Sandra Hull, Arlington, Va.

2/13/99: suggest an unappealing E-mail subject heading

"Free Lucien Bouchard screen-savers."
"God knows you are a sinner!"
"Hot Linda Tripp nude photos HOT HOT HOT!"
"How to ritually sacrifice animals."
"101 tested squirrel recipes."

Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring, Md.

1/23/99: change the title of any literary, cinematic or theatrical work or TV program to better signal a change in the weather

The Sleet Hereafter
Sandra Hull, Arlington, Va.

Of Thee Icing
Les Flurries de Mal
Chris Doyle, Burke, Va.

1/9/99: note of explanation or excuse from a member of the health system to a disgruntled user

"Your prescription request has been delayed because our team of Egyptologists is busy deciphering the backload of doctors' handwriting samples."
Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

Back to the Globe Challenge | 1997 Loser Ink | 1998 Loser Ink | Other Contests | Main Page