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This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

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

Labor Day is fast approaching, folks. And you know what that means- it's picnic time! So let's start planning now for a big potluck dinner.

As we hope you'll agree, no picnic is complete without a generous serving of wordplay. So here's what we want you to do. Invite a famous friend and tell us what appropriate dish that person is toting to our cookout.

For example, we've already invited Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he's got mussels for everyone! We've also invited Dracula (who's bearing a steak) and even Joe Palooka (who's bringing black-eyed peas). We're thinking about inviting Popeye, who'll undoubtedly show up with olive oil.

Get the idea? You can invite anyone in the known universe (never mind whether they're actually living or dead, real or fictional). Just tell us what ironic, punny, apt picnic item your guest is toting.

To play along in this Potluck Dinner contest, e-mail your entry to CoxRathvon. (You may send several entries if you wish--but collect them in one piece of e-mail whenever possible, and please don't use attached files!) The writers of the three funniest entries (in our entirely objective opinion) will receive 5 free AOL hours each, courtesy of the Atlantic Monthly.

Potluck Dinner will run through Friday, August 25. Results will be posted on Friday, September 1. See you at the barbecue!

--EC and HR

POTLUCK DINNER Contest Results

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

Invite a lot of punsters to your table, and you're going to have a groaning board! Our e-box has never been so stuffed with items for us to in-jest.

To help us set the scene for our potluck picnic, Judge Ito donated the bench (Alamano), Linus the blanket (Btaki), Sir Lancelot the shish kebob skewers (Muddybear), Billy Crystal the glasses (Btaki and DelDoc), Nolan Ryan the pitcher (Snacks100), the Tin Man his silver wear (Alamano), and the Jolly Green Giant his "can-o-peas" (BJVena). Casper brought the spirits (Evenstar99) and Glenn Close provided The Big Chill for the wine (RHorton508). Said contestant DelDoc, "I thought you'd be happy to know that I asked Adam Ant to stay home." GypsyHeart added, "I wanted to invite George Burns, but he always overcooks everything." And Doc Shiva informed us, "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will give us all a lecture on transcendental mastication."

Certain witty entries were duplicated often, proving perhaps that great thinkers dine alike. The following is a slimmed-down menu of the most popularly cited guest-and-food combos. Adam brought spare ribs and Eve a fig pudding. Donald Trump and other moneyed magnates brought bread, mint, and clams. Our esteemed President brought waffles--or else a pot pie which he tasted but did not swallow. Pot pies were also favored by Cheech and Chong and Jerry Garcia (who is now enjoying "heavenly hash" ice cream). Yankee Doodle brought the macaroni, Danny deVito the shrimp, Charles Schulz the peanuts, Phil Gramm the crackers, Bob Dole the pineapples, Bill Gates and Erik Estrada the chips, John Wayne the grits, Spanky the alfalfa, Eric Clapton the cream, Sigmund Freud the nuts, George Washington the cherry pie, Marie Antoinette the cake, and various Northerners (including the entire cast of "Northern Exposure") the baked Alaska. George Bush brought quail, and Quayle brought a potatoe which Alan Alda mashed. James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Sam and Dave all brought sole. Steve Wozniak, William Tell, and Isaac Newton all brought apples. Janet Leigh, Sam Kinneson, Edvard Munch, and Stephen King added "I Scream." Need we point out that members of a certain celebrated trial supplied the juice? And dare we mention that various cannibalistic villains showed up with ladyfingers and dates?

But wait, there's more. We forgot to say that lamb was roasted by Shari Lewis, Little Bo Peep, Mary, William Blake, and even Cybill Shepherd (with her pie). Mike Tyson (who as MJSpence noted "will make mincemeat out of anyone in the pantry and will relish it") supplied a very strong punch (which Abi Short spiked by inviting a volleyball player). Contestant Pinwa further noted that Mike Tyson delivered a sockeye salmon.

Scooping the winning entries out of this big stew was not easy. But we lip-smackingly bestow our awards of 5 Free AOL Hours upon master picnickers Cove22, SSAPhD, and Gardenia. Congratulations, winners! And happy eating, everyone!

***The Winners***

Voltaire brought Candide yams. (Cove22)

Mickey Mouse brought mini-muffins. (SSAPhD)

Mark Spitz brought the dip. (Gardenia)

***And More Potluck Pandemonium***

Shakespeare may have some Bacon, but we can't be sure. (G8ly; also Dfbisbee)

Ezra Pound and 1,999 of his relatives will bring won ton. (G8ly)

I'm inviting Albert Einstein... theoretically he's bringing a relative. (JasperStar)

Meryl Streep will give all the dishes a zing with Accent. (MJSpence)

Please invite Euclid to your potluck picnic. He makes great desserts! But he can't get geometry off his mind even in the kitchen. So things come out strange (his pie are square). (Epithenas)

Davy Crockett: apple pie "Alamo" (Dfbisbee)
Jane Fonda: absinthe (because Ted Turner told her, "Absinthe makes the heart grow, Fonda") (Dfbisbee)
George Steinbrenner: Strawberry-rhubarb crumble (Rickwins)
Wade Boggs: cranberry relish (Rickwins)
Chip 'n Dale: shrimp scampi (Mztlplx)
Woodward and Bernstein: hot currant scoops (OakCal)
Susan Butcher, winner of the Iditarod: mush (KZB)
Ted Turner: a box of serials (FSAND)
Arnold Palmer: chips (KEurich)
Harry Houdini: lox (Obfusco)
The Fugitive: lamb (Obfusco)
Mario Andretti: fast food (Obfusco)
Richard Nixon: Pats of butter (Snacks100)
Sherlock Holmes: capers (Btaki)
Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie: a smelt (G8ly)
Edward Teller: mushrooms (OakCal)
Arnold Palmer: greens (OakCal)
Torvill and Dean: pears (OakCal)
Louis Armstrong: chops (OakCal)
Dashiell Hammett: hard-boiled eggs (made with Hellman's mayonnaise, of course) (StefSpad; also AllenG5)
Virginia Mayo: cholesterol-free, low-saturated sandwich spread (StefSpad)
Allen Ginsburg: beets (Megajesus)
John Steinbeck: flat tortillas, grapes, and canned fish (JebMar)
Captain Nemo: submarine sandwiches (JebMar)
Supreme Court: frankfurters and burgers (JebMar)
Packwood: mo'-lasses (JebMar)
Miss Piggy: frog's legs (Ivan002)
Dizzie Gillespie: blowfish (Pinwa)
Lobbyists: curry (JebMar), curried favors (OakCal)
Fred Astaire: Ginger (OakCal, Btaki, JebMar)
Marx Brothers: mixed nuts (Dfbisbee), coconuts (JebMar)
Romeo & Juliet: cantaloupe (Glemward)
Prince Charles & Camilla Parker-Bowles: cantaloupe (Obfusco)
Juliette Low: Brownies (G8ly, RudeSooz)
Heidi Fleiss: dates and tarts (G8ly; also OakCal, Seigster, Megajesus)
Ross Perot: elephant ears (Mztlplx, Doc Shiva)
Prince Charles: elephant ears (Seigster)
Ringo Starr: drumsticks (Evenstar99)
Oscar Madison: sloppy Joes (ANDYTORAH)
Mark Twain: huckleberries (MrGCat, Cove22)
Winnie-the-Pooh: honey (Unashamed)
Abe Lincoln: celery-and-peanut-butter logs (Abi Short)
All the king's horses and all the king's men: egg salad (Blufsh, Lucky Bean)
Sisyphus: rock candy (Paard)
Olga Korbut: banana splits (Ceejayyy)
Pavarotti: a red-throated bass sprinkled with High C's (FSAND)
Michael Caine: sugar (CARLYgrl)
David Letterman: alphabet soup and tea (Cove22, BooHoo2, CARLYgrl)
Vanna White: alphabet soup (Mztlplx)
Sly Stallone: Rocky road ice cream (CARLYgrl, Dreamer 427, BurngDsr)
Boston Blackie: beans (KEurich)
Fats Domino: blueberries (KEurich)
Ebenezer Scrooge: crabs (KEurich)
Lizzie Borden: chops (KEurich)
Kevin Costner: watermelon (KmasterK)
Dustin Hoffman: Tootsie Pops (KmasterK)
Macbeth's witches: we're not sure but it's a brew that bubbles and no one wants to have any (JebMar)
Congress: poached pork, old baloney, flaky waffles and nuts (JebMar)
Mary Chapin Carpenter: screwdrivers (Cove22)
Tim Allen: screwdrivers (Megajesus)
Garth Brooks: trout (Cove22)
B. F. Skinner: box lunches (Seigster)
Jim Croce: thyme in a bottle (Seigster)
Reader's Digest editor: condensed milk (Seigster)
Imelda Marcos: shoestring potatoes (Seigster, WILLYMD)
Marquis deSade: Reddi-Whip (Rickwins)
Norman Mailer: Postum (Rickwins)
Yves St. Laurent: French dressing (Rickwins)
David Lynch: Velveeta (Rickwins)
Alan Dershowitz: tortellini and tortillas (Rickwins)
William Casey: New England covert dish (Rickwins)
Stephen King: devil's food cake (Ryell)
Billy Graham: angel food cake (RudeSooz)
Joseph Heller: devil's food cake (ShedPot)
Debra Winger: angel food cake (ShedPot)
Nero: fiddler crabs (ShedPot)
Joan of Arc: quiche Lorraine (ShedPot)
Leo Durocher: stewed rhubarb (ShedPot)
Edsel Ford: lemonade (ShedPot)
Jack Lemmon: sourdough bread (ShedPot)
Erle Stanley Gardner: hummus (ShedPot)
Bobby Fischer: chess pie (ShedPot)
Pearl Buck: venison (GypsyHeart)
Walter Pidgeon: squab (GypsyHeart)
Sen. Robert Byrd: pork--by the barrel (SASadler)
The Rolling Stones: tongue (SASadler)
Tarzan: Cheetos (RDH9995)
ICE T: lemons (RDH9995)
Roger Bacon: scrambled eggs (RDH9995)
The Vampire Lestat: Rice (Marstp)
Arnold: eggs Benedict (JasperStar)
Carl Sagan: the Milky Way (Evenstar99)
Neil Armstrong: moon pies (Evenstar99)
Pope: wine and crackers (BECCAS123)
Carolyn Chute: a bean pot (from Egypt, Maine) (Cove22)
Geppetto: cobbler (GGTski)
David Cassidy: roast partridge (CynSC)
Rosemary: a deviled egg (G8ly)
Peter Noone: some Hermits (G8ly)
The Dioscuri: a pear (G8ly, KEurich)
Suleyman: the Jinn (G8ly)
Diamond Lil: carrot souffle (Glemward)
Ali Baba: sesame seed rolls (Glemward)
Speedy Gonzalez: hasty pudding (Glemward)
Helen Twelvetrees: woodchips (RHorton508)
Richard Pryor: lighter fluid (RHorton508)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: charcoal for the fire (Alamarr)
Errol Flynn: swordfish (Pinwa)
Michael Jackson: white chocolate for dessert (BurngDsr)
Joan of Arc: French toast (Dfbisbee)
Queen Elizabeth I: Bloody Mary (Dfbisbee)
Willie Shoemaker: apple cobbler (Dfbisbee)
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: his best dilithium crystal (Dfbisbee)
Mikhail Bulgakov's Master: Margaritas (Dfbisbee)
Diana Ross: supremes (Dfbisbee)
Divine Brown: tarts (Dfbisbee)
Dorothy's Straw Man: stuffing (OakCal)
Richard Avedon: cheese (OakCal)
Moet-Chandon: French toast (OakCal)
Frankenstein: a hot dog and a beer (Doc Shiva)
Gypsy Rose Lee: strip steak (Btaki)
John Le Carre: spice (Btaki)
Andy Warhol: Campbell's soup and the Pop Tart (Btaki)
Basil Rathbone: pesto (Btaki)
Fred Gwynn: munster cheese (Btaki)
Red Skelton: spareribs (MAltperson)
Paul McCartney: Wings (Alamano)
Lassie: cauliflower (Fischlips)
Abigail "Abby" Van Buren: venison (RudeSooz)
Dian Fossey: bananas (RudeSooz)
Emily Post: peas and couscous (RudeSooz)
Billy Crystal: Snickers (RudeSooz)
Arnold Palmer: tea (RudeSooz)
Lassie: blanc mange (NaomiVT)
Jerry Cooney: bread basket (Mztlplx)
Muhammed Ali: cashews (ala Clay) (Mztlplx)
Michael Jordan: Dunkin' Donuts (Mztlplx)
Napoleon: Beef (with) Wellington (Mztlplx)
Wilt Chamberlain: Stilton Cheesecake (Mztlplx)
Fabio: an Italian Meatball? (LauretteA)
Goldie Hawn: Blondie Brownies (LauretteA)
Sylvester: catfish (Kellie7267)
Liz Taylor: 10 carrots (JebMar)
Benedict Arnold: dessert (JebMar)
Archimedes: pie (JebMar)
Yogi Bear: bull mousse (JebMar)
Kung Fu's Kwai Chang Caine: grasshopper pie (JebMar)
Buster Crabbe: cakes (JebMar)
Phyllis Diller: pickles (JebMar)
Bobbitt: tenderloin (JebMar)
Mother Theresa: humble pie (AEJCarlson)
Roald Dahl: Giant peach (AdamRCohen)
Jimmy Stewart: a pot of his imaginary rabbit stew (JHFrancis)
Democrats: flounder (Megajesus)
Republicans: sour grapes (Megajesus)
... and, of course, Hen & Cox bringing chick peas (ShedPot)

***And in a Slightly Different Vein***

Flan: O'Connor
Meat: Tarzan
Pate: Duke
Okra: Winfrey
Wheat: Tina
Salmon: Rushdie
Cocoa: Chanel
Pita: Fonda
Cheeses: Mary & Joseph (YADUKK)

Ogden: Hash
Jessica: Candy
Nathan: Kale
Alfred Lord: Venison
Rudolf: Gherkin
Dumas: Pear (NotBath)

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