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An absolute pleasure running into so many old friends on Saturday at the meeting of the American Political Items Collectors in Tyson's Corner, Va.
Yes, such an organization exists. No, I was not the craziest person there. But the best part was learning that so many people there are diehard ScuttleButton fans!
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
For years, a correct answer chosen at random would get his or her name posted in this column, an incredible honor in itself. Now the stakes are even higher. Thanks to the efforts of the folks at Talk of the Nation, that person also hears their name mentioned on the Wednesday show (by me) and receives a Political Junkie t-shirt in the bargain. Is this a great country or what?
You can't use the comments box at the bottom of the page for your answer. Send submission (plus your name and city/state — you won't win without that) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Why do people keep forgetting to include their name and city/state?)
And, by adding your name to the Political Junkie mailing list, you will be among the first on your block to receive notice about the column and the puzzle. Sign up at email@example.com. Or you can make sure to get an automatic RSS feed whenever a new Junkie post goes up by clicking here.
By the way, I always announce the winner on Wednesday's Junkie segment on TOTN — seven or eight days after the puzzle goes up. So you should try and get your answer in as soon as possible. But logistically, you have about a week to submit your guess.
Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:
1-2-3-4 W.D.W.Y.F.W. — I believe the letters in this anti-Vietnam button refer to "We don't want your foolish (!) war."
Two horizontal buttons that say "Strike" — More Vietnam-era buttons.
You're Happy/Honda/We're Happy — This button was part of the deal when I bought a Honda Accord many years ago.
Get Out of Vietnam — Still another anti-Vietnam War button.
So, when you combine 3 + Strikes + You're + Out, you may just very well end up with ...
Three Strikes [and] You're Out. The baseball expression and the line in the song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
I would have accepted "1,2,3 strikes and you're out." But about 50 people wrote in "TWO strikes and you're out" — not an expression I'm familiar with. (And yes, there were several responses that read "FOUR strikes and you're out"!)
One person who knows baseball — and who happened to be the randomly-chosen winner — is William Tucker of Portsmouth, N.H. William gets not only the coveted Political Junkie t-shirt — but the Official No Prize Button as well!
And don't forget to check out this week's Political Junkie column, which focuses on gay marriage, DOMA, and the rapid shift in public opinion on the issue. Click here to read the column.