4 JULY 1931, Page 25

"Spectator" Competitions

RULES AND CONDITIONS Entries must be typed or very clearly written on one side of the paper only. The name and address, Of pseudonym, of the competitor must be on each entry and not on a separate sheet. When a word limit is set words must be counted and the number given. No entries can be returned. Prizes may be divided at the discretion of the judge, or withheld if no entry reaches the required standard. The judge reserves the right to print or quote from any entry. The judge's decision is final, and no correspondence can be entered into on the subject of the award. Entries must be addressed to :—The Editor, the Spectator, 99 Gower Street,

London, W.C. 1, and be marked on the envelope Competition No. (—).

Competition No. 12 (Set by "Duou," not—as announced last week— by " SCADAVAY.") A PRIZE of a 8s. is offered for a list of the twelve women's Christian names most popular in England to-day. The prize will be awarded according to the general vote of the Competition.

Entries must be received not later than Monday, July 6th, 1931. The result of this competition will appear in our issue of July 18th.

Competition No. 13 (Set by "Drint.r.") A PRIZE of /.8 8s. is offered for a new and original English Limerick verse, one line of which must end with the word "July."

Entries must be received not later than Monday, July 13th, 1931. The result of this competition will be announced in our issue of July 25th.

The result of Competition No. 11 will appear in our next issue.

Report of Competition No. 10 (REPORT AND AWARD BY " SCADAVAY.” ) A PRIZE of 13 3s. was offered for the funniest "Synopsis of Previous Events" to precede the fifth instalment of an imaginary serial story in an imaginary daily newspaper. Entries were limited to 350 words.

The trouble about most of the entries for this competition was that they were not at all funny. They were, on the whole, uncannily realistic, recapturing the passion-in-a-port- manteau note with alarming facility ; but they reproduced it with something akin to reverence, and omitted to apply that minimum of distortion which alone was needed to topple the pathetic into the ludicrous. As in the originals, most of the humour was occasional and unconscious.

The jesters, on the other hand, went at it hammer and tongs, strenuously buffooning something which needed only a slight seasoning of burlesque to make it laughable. T,he result was a glut of schoolboy facetiae (like "armed to the eyebrows ") and a host of characters called Goldbug, Spaghetti, and Desmond Dogsbody—a form of wit usually pointed by the gnomic ejaculation Tee ! Hee ! ", in brackets.

Of those who were funny at times, but failed to stay the course; I must mention Miss .Jean M. Binnie, whose heroine's affinity was "a strong silent man in the paper and string department " ; Mr. V. Rigby, who I take to be one of the youngest of our parodists, and whose characters included a transported gangster," "Baronet Munschen, the Wall Street financier" with his paraniour "Chorus Kate," and, for heroine, "a beautiful comptometer operator " ; Joseph Fitzsimons, of whose villain we learn that, in spite of an Oxbridge education, "when ruffled he betrays his Latin origin"; "Dims," whose military beginning promised well : "LORD VERNOUGH, General of the Coalstream Guards, receives an anonymous letter while he is on guard outside the Mall. He angrily draws his - bayonet, but is restrained by PRIVATE JAMES RILEY, whom, in gratitude, he invites to dinner at the officers' moss."

Miss H. Park Bowden, whose otherwise humourless entry ends with the words" Then came the important discovery that she was lathe habit of cycling to and fro ' ; " Melstock," whose " Golden Cobwebs "—similarly ponderous in conception —is suddenly illumined by an American debutante who was "true blue at bottoin " ; T. E. Oliver, whose heroine is described as "an authoress, mostly by marriage " ; Miss Cynthia Herbert-Smith, who was almost alone successful in evolving the recipe for those portentous surnames which do so much to put the ton in feuilleton ; Miss Bertha Bettie, who would have been .very funny if she had tried less hard;

Highbrow," who exploited the vernacular of the American underworld and got his domestic ties into the correct Gordian knot ; "W. M. G.," whose Lady Betty was, curiously enough, the fourth heroine to face the crisis of her life in Lyons Corner House. L. V. Upward, as usual, was very sound, and " Celtico " produced a likely-looking plot.

The prize goes to Guy Lures, who—if he will forgive my saying so—was lucky to find so little inspiration in the field against him. His humour creaks less than his rivals', but his yarn is insufficiently rattling. Angela's Reripe needed a more pungent flavour of extravagante.

" Legion " is honourably mentioned. Unfortunately, his entry, besides being much too long, is in parts unsuitable for publication in these columns, and I can reproduce only the beginning of it. A stricter decorum, and a nicer regard for the conditions governing this competition, would have won him the prize.



LORD BUNGBOLTON, a rugged Labour Peer who has contri- buted heavily to party funds from the revenues of Bungbolton's Barley-water, is a perfect martyr to delirium tremens. At a nursing home he receives the ministrations of the bewitching ANGELA DENTRY. She is courted by GEORGE NORTHBUCKLE- SMITH, a poultry-farmer, who flies the eggs to market in an aero- plane. She nurses LORD BUNGBOLTON back to his usual rude health, whose quality of rudeness manifests itself when he tries to kiss her. He endeavours to win Angela by tying himself to her apron. strings, and pretending that he is a cart. George catches him at it, and gives him a thick ear. LORD BUNGBOLTON'S chagrin vanishes on learning that George was brought up on the barley-water which Builds Bonnie Babes. Digging him in the ribs, he wittily chuckles, "Well, young feller, I s'pose you find it difficult to make hens' meat " " Eggsactly," replies, George, in similar merry vein. Angela, whose father taught her that the man who makes a pun will pick a pocket, is appalled by this revelation of the mentality of the peer and the poultry-farmer, and, shocked by the fellow-felling that makes them grin, abandons nursing. She forges ahead in a new career—" ghosting" for a popular actress as recipe-writer in an evening paper. She is still sentimental about George, and accordingly specialises in making eggs palatable. The News Editor, EDGAR SWALLOWS, falls in love with her, and is anxious to "put her on crime stuff." One evening at the Corner House, after languidly refusing anything with eggs in it, she picks up the paper to ascertain whether the misprints in her recipes have, as usual, rendered them valueless. She notices a paragraph in the " fudge " space, announc- ing that George has crashed with a load of eggs. "What an ome- lette ! " she exclaims. Hearing a hiccup behind her, she turns to face LORD BUNGBOLTON arm-in-arm with EDGAR SWALLOWS. Now read on !

18 Randolph Crescent, W. 9. GUY INNES.




STRICKLAND PRENDERGAST, oarsman, clubman, sidesman, and sahib, in a desperate attempt to salve the fortunes of the Liberal Party (subsection 8A), hires an office as headquarters and engages a typist. LADY GADARENE FLUKE, who for reasons best known to herself, is getting the low-down on Real Life under the pseudonym of HELEN GASKETT (Miss). A political crisis of the.first magnitude is brewing over the Bathwater (Unauthorized Consumption of by Chelsea Pensioners) Bill, and this is fermented by THE HON. JABEZ THWART-THWART, schemer and bon viveur, and his toady, FUSTIAN TREW, a major poet, but not fond of animals. The Bill's fate and the future of Liberalism alike hang on a speech which Strickland has arranged to deliver from the back of his favourite chestnut mare during the Eton and Harrow match, but at the last moment he discovers that Stenegrapher Gaskett (for as yet she is no more to him than that) has made nonsense of his speech by putting in" How True ! " and " I should just think so ! " after every main verb. Chagrined, he rebukes her tartly, and she, stung, walks blindly out into the sunlight—out, and on, careless of where she goes, so only she may be alone. But destiny, ever capricious, guides her footsteps, and the next day Strickland is amazed to find that this slip of femininity whom he had thoughtlessly hauled over the coals has heaped them on his head. Every news- paper in the country is hailing her as the First Girl-Typist to Walk from London to Brighton by Mistake.

Thwart-Thwart, meanwhile. . .* " Lvarox."

* At this point a regrettably ribald note creeps into " Legion's " Synopsis, and the rest of his entry must be, not without reluct- ance, withheld from our readers.