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This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

"My doctor," said Emily Cox to Henry Rathvon, "claims I have ____ wordplay addiction."

The blank space in the sentence above can be explained by the fact that we're approaching the month of May--and May flowers do bring May flower puns. At least, such is the case here at the Atlantic, as you'll see if you insert the word ACACIA in the blank above.

In this contest, we want to _____ it up. (That's YUCCA, folks.) So we ask you to send us a sentence in which a pun (or more than one) is perpetrated upon the name of a flower (or more than one). In your sentence, leave a blank, as above, wherever the flower belongs--but please include your answer along with your entry. _____ make life a lot easier for us. (Read: THISTLE.)

For the purposes of this contest, no distinction is made between weeds and flowers. Anything that flowers is a flower. Hence, "I don't think much of your tiger, but that's a ____ you have there" would be fine. Flowering trees are okay, too.

Send your flower pun to CoxRathvon. As always, multiple entries are welcome. We will continue accepting Say It With Flowers entries through Saturday, May 6. Results will be posted on Friday, May 12. Senders of the three most original and laugh-inducing puns will each receive 5 free AOL hours.

--EC and HR (DANDELION, obviously)


(All names without @ symbols are AOL screen names.)

Well, we did ask for it. And you gave it to us by the bucketload--or should we say bouquetload?

There's scarcely room in our online garden to display every bloomin' pun we got. In fact, three people's imaginations burgeoned so luxuriantly that we've had to plant a folder on the message board to accommodate the full flower of their ideas. See Puzzles & Word Games folder "Petal Pushing" for lush punfests in story form by GaKidJr, Shrugatlas, and Wannabpoet.

Tulips (two lips), carnation (car nation), begonia (begone you), astilbe (I'll still be), marigold (marry gold), hydrangea (I drained your), aster (asked 'er), and orchid (or kid)--these were the blossoms most often reproduced. Other of the commonly sown wisecracks are represented in TinLizzard's little scene below, arranged with particular neatness:

"Jake's Animal World, good morning."
"Jake, this is Cynthia Miller."
"__________." (1)
"Don't 'hiya' me, Jake! That sheepdog you sold me let my ______ (2) wander loose. You said he was trained!"
"He IS trained! A wonderful sheep __________ (3) I lie to you?"
"You ______ (4) a rug, Jake! With a friend like you, who needs ________?"(5)

(1. hyacinth 2. phlox 3. dogwood 4. lilac 5. anemone)

Correspondent Lawlss (who wrote "Lordy, I've pollen and I can't get up!") claimed that she didn't want to "violet" the rules of the contest. Nor do we. But just for fun we present our three winners below in the form of a puzzle--with the solutions withheld and posted at the very end of this document. See if you can solve the entries by replacing each blank with the name of a flower. Congratulations to our winners, each of whom will receive 5 free AOL hours plus a book of his or her choice from the Atlantic's online bookstore.

***The Oh-Sweet-Smell-of-Success Winners***

I sent a _____ blackbird to Moe and a raven to Curly. (Ravensegg)

Throw that cigar in this _____ big lug! (Shmaltzy)

I went down to the local pub and got my usual greeting from Eddie Broome, the bartender.
"Step up to the _____! What'll it be?"
"_____ up, Broome!" I said to the bartender. "How's your sheepdog Mollie?"
"Well, right now she's fine," he said, pouring a malt, "she's up the hillside, _____. But she's a pill at night these days; I keep her out on the screened veranda but if I don't bolt the door she can work the latch and get out--and then who knows when she'll turn up again!"
"Guess that's a ______ lot!" I cracked, but Eddie only smirked. "Not up to your best today, Barry..."
"Sorry, it must have been the _____. Y'know what it can ____."
(The Boze)

***And Now, Our Lovely Nosegay of Honorable Gentians***

One thing about being a florist--there's always a _____ in it. (fuchsia) (GaKidJr)

"Ibe stopped dialing your dum-ber, so I wish you'd stop _____."
(columbine) (KarinaK)

Give me an early wake-up _____ breakfast for everyone! (columbine) (PineCreekS)

The practice of having long aisles at the supermarket is known in economics as _____. (columbine) (Mztlplx)

It aint _____ Sara Lee--so? (narcissus) (Shmaltzy)

You say you want to rent a cheap house on the Italian Riviera this summer? Oh boy have I got a _____ for you! (bougainvillea) (MaggieNY)

The bridge player grabbed the last trick and crowed, "And that _____!" (poinsettia) (JebMar)

When de goin' gets tough, _____ get goin'? (candytuft) (GaKidJr)

"Hey Mac! _____ up! The billa ladin' _____ desk!"
(lotus, zinnia) (Ravensegg)

Under a brick by the door, _____ might need in case you lose your main set. (stokesia) (GaKidJr)

The doctor gave me a couple of Valium and said, "_____ calm you down." (thistle) (Nysssa)

_____ way to town? I already _____. (vetch, camomile) (MJSpence)

I left the cleanser in the _____ the sink. (lavender) (PineCreekS)

"_____!" whispered Tonto, " the bad guys are looking for you!"
(hydrangea) (Susan03)

This just in from the postal service: The public may show postal carriers more sympathy when they learn that most suffer a dread condition known by doctors as _____.
(peony) (LyleNSandy)

I told her I loved her, I told her I cared, but she thought I wasn't _____. (cereus) (JDorothy)

Those pants are too _____. (begonia) (SandySSW)

Lissen', life _____, but it _____ in the bucket neither. (snowball, snowdrop) (MJSpence)

Fred's yard is full of trees, so he _____ find some shade loving plants. (hosta) (Landlord1)

I guess I shouldn't have so many potted plants in the office; I'm being sued for maintaining a _____ environment. (hosta) (Nysssa)

If _____ up my hair, at least use my _____ afterward! (euonymus, coxcomb) (ShedPot)

Needing money in a hurry, _____ her gold watch. (hollyhocks) (Pollyannop)

"My 3 year old refuses to _____, _____ his teeth." (phlox, bottle brush) (September)

The environmentalist said, "Saving whales is the _____ dear to my heart." (cosmos) (JebMar)

The winning team shouted "We can _____ we're number one!" (crocus) (JebMar)

The English school boy couldn't wait to get home to see his brother _____. (chrysanthemum) (JebMar)

The Secret Service will be _____ from any sniper fire,
Mr. President. (gardenia). (Sandyssw)

Said one Arab to the other, "How many miles to the gallon do ya get with that new _____ bought?" (camelia) (SPORTY40)

You will find many _____ on the Tour de France (cyclamen) (Mztlplx)

"If you hadn't worn that _____ have a table by now" (ragweed) (Mztlplx)

The Atlantic is one _____ want on a desert island; the other _____ kill you. (ragweed, jonquil) (Shmaltzy)

Herbal Flower Remedy: It's good for what _____. (azalea) (Mztlplx)

Well, gotta go now _________ later. (azalea) (Susan03)

_____ my case! (iris) (GaKidJr)

***Answers to the three winners***
1: crotalaria
2. petunia
3. barberry, sedum, garden phlox, portulaca, scotch broom, deutzia

Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.