Welcome to The Week's "What Next?" contest, an invitation to test your powers of imagination with challenges inspired by current events.
Last week's question: Hallmark has introduced a line of sympathy cards for people who've just been fired. Kindly write one of these, in two lines or less.
THE WINNER: You may have been fired, but don’t despair—
For I was hired and sit in your chair.
Shawn Huber, Cherry Hill, NJ
SECOND PLACE: Sorry about your loss.
Sincerely, your boss.
Isaac Davis, Bertram, TX
THIRD PLACE: If I don’t make eye contact with you, please forgive.
You’ll understand shortly.
Nancy House, Nashville, TN
Hey, it's not the end of the world!
Just your participation in it.
Barry Cutler, Palm Desert, CA
When life gives you a pink slip,
Make a negligee!
Brenda Canedy, Omaha, NE
It could be worse.
You could be wracked with guilt like your CEO for firing people and then taking a huge bonus.
Jeffrey Contompasis, Ashburn, VA
Hey! It's just a job. It's not like you lost your self-esteem or your
means of making a living.
Edmund Conti, Raleigh, NC
Outside of card: Knock… knock. Who’s there?
Inside: Not you anymore
David Ellwanger, Brentwood, TN
Outside of card: I understand –
Inside: I am getting laid off from Hallmark!
Paul S. Wax, Teaneck, NJ
At a time like this you need a hand that’s warm and tender.
Those I can provide, but I’m not a money lender.
Angela James, Westminster, MD
Roses are stupid and violets, a joke
It's too bad you're fired and soon will be broke.
Karissa King, Minneapolis, MN
Good news: Now that you're on the skids
You've got more time to play with your kids!
Molly Kaplan, St. Louis Park, MN
You’ve lost your job but don’t stop your motors.
Maybe you’ll appeal to the GOP voters.
Larry & Luann Bonier, Jamestown, RI
So you've just lost your job. That's a bitch, it is true.
But since the foreclosure, no payments are due!
Richard Pennant, Hoquiam, WA
Kindly think of me as a reference,
But as for working here, you are no longer our preference.
Travis DeVore, Mountain Home, ID
Violets are blue.
Your career: It's through.
Wald Klimczyk, Janesville, WI
Isn't it odd that you were fired,
Right when that younger kid was hired?
Chris Martinez, Santa Fe, NM
So sorry to hear how you've been set free! Look on the bright side:
It could have been me.
Alan Parven, Commerce Twp., MI
Heard you were let go.....
Can I have your stapler?
John Parry, Laurel, MD
Just spent $2.99 on this unemployment sympathy card.
I bet you wanted the cash.
Paul Miller, Santa Rosa, CA
Roses are red, violets are blue
The economy's tanked and now so have you.
Mary Miller, Akron, OH
Dear Boss: When you fired all thirty-three,
You never dreamed you’d work at McDonalds for me.
Greg Grench, Organ, NM
I'm sorry that you lost your job; it gives me no enjoyment
To know my taxes will support your months of unemployment.
Jeffrey Hutchins, Black Mountain, NC
Your allowance picks up where we left off: $3 for mowing the grass, 10¢ for taking out the garbage. –Dad
David Levin, Edgewater, MD
Don’t think of it as losing your job…Think of it as more time to Tweet!
Herman Waltzer, Alabaster, AL
Lost your job and things look bleak?
You can borrow my copy of The Week.
Heidi Hanssen, St Louis Park, MN