Week 707: What Would YOU Do?

The Washington Post Sunday - - The Style Invitational -

Look­ing for tough, durable elec­tric nose-hair trim­mer. Will trade theater tick­ets plus un­opened car­ton of con­doms.


his year marks the 50th an­niver­sary of one of the most bril­liant ex­am­ples of lit­er­ary min­i­mal­ism: “The Cat in the Hat,” Dr. Seuss’s mas­ter­piece of an­ar­chy, sub­ver­sive­ness and slosh­ing gold­fish, all cre­ated in per­fect English syn­tax with a vo­cab­u­lary of just 236 words, in­clud­ing plu­rals — the vast ma­jor­ity of them ex­ceed­ingly sim­ple one-syl­la­ble words. This week: Use only the words ap­pear­ing in “The Cat in the Hat” (see the list be­low) to cre­ate your own work of “lit­er­a­ture” of no more than 75 words (though a much shorter en­try is quite wel­come): It can be in verse, like Kevin Dopart’s ex­am­ple above; it can be a nar­ra­tive or di­a­logue; it may sound Seussian or not. You must use the words ex­actly in the form on the list, ex­cept that you may com­bine them into com­pound words, and you may use any cap­i­tal­iza­tion and punc­tu­a­tion you like.

Win­ner gets the Inker, the of­fi­cial Style In­vi­ta­tional tro­phy. First run­ner-up re­ceives a 2-foot-long bright red sign that says “Naked,” sal­vaged by Tim Van­der­lee of Austin from a su­per­mar­ket dis­play ad­ver­tis­ing this brand of juice. This is def­i­nitely what ev­ery Loser ought to hang from the ceil­ing above his of­fice cu­bi­cle.

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