A new competition
Relax. After your hard work on the literary weather reports, the new Home Forum Competition should be a breeze. All we want now are some very contemporary cliches to replace phrases that have lost their punch (see what we mean?).
In the age of space travel, high-tech, and natural foods, there must be something better than ''straight as an arrow,'' ''the greatest thing since sliced bread,'' ''going like 60,'' ''between the rock and the hard place,'' or ''so quiet you could hear a pin drop.''
A computer-prone colleague suggests ''so quiet you could hear a system crash.''
What do you suggest?
Please address your updated cliches - no more than three per entrant, please - to The Home Forum Competition, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115. All entries become the property of the Monitor. Only those received by Nov. 10 can be considered for the announcement of award certificates on Dec. 5.
Meanwhile, we keep remembering things you said as weather reporters in the guise of familiar authors.
There must be a negative prize for the likes of Shirley Petranek, who was ''sure there will be room'' between the weather reports for her line: ''That was witty, but the man who wrote 'Snowbound' was Whittier.'' No room for such foolery here.
A number of entrants carefully sewed together authors' actual words, which we enjoyed but could not honor as much as we'd like, even with this follow-up to the awards announced Oct. 3 and 4. A number also left us with haunting lines, such as: Shakespeare/Barbara Mullen's ''It is the sun and Joliet, Illinois, is the moon.'' J. D. Salinger/Elizabeth McGowan's ''It's probably gonna start raining on all those little kids trying to have fun in the snow.'' Ernest Hemingway/August W. Reichel's ''. . . and there will not be a feeling of a storm coming.'' Harold Pinter/Ross E. Dunn's ''How do you know we are going to have showers, Roger?'' Carl Sagan/Alice Taylor Reed's ''Weather elsewhere in the galaxy remains normal for this time of year.'' John Gould/Norman Walter's ''My best advice: Wait for the road grader.'' Richard Nixon/C.H. Channing's ''Things are very overcast, but I want to make it perfectly clear.'' Several of you attributed Anonymous's ''Sumer Is Icumen In'' to Chaucer, tsk, tsk, but Holly Carpenter didn't, following ''Clear skyes on Saturday too'' with ''Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!'' Certificates to:
May I risk an observation and say that although it has been - and it well may be in the future - allowing for the heat of the sun and the solicitude of the air, that is, if we can rely on what has occurred before when the clouds were in this formation, that is such as appear tonight and can mean as they have in the past - and may indicate in the future - we may presume to assume that clouds such as these will be in evidence tomorrow. Henry James/Jean Elizabeth Lewis Ormond Beach, Fla.
A feathery breeze ought to whirl through the upper reaches of the atmosphere and leave us with a calm conscience, knowing that no ill can be hidden in the obscure depths of the soul on such a clear day as this shall be. Nathaniel Hawthorne/Sandra Yin Bryn Mawr, Pa. Flame hot air vibrates up from asphalt cools in clouds returns as calm rain. Basho/Anita Williams Calexico, Calif. Do you see yonder cloud, full of sound and fury, Signifying rain? Methinks it is more like a mare's tail, And we shall have fair prosperous days. But, hark ye now, what bold front is that Which sweeps across the plain? I vow - and if be wrong, May I be hoist with my own pointer -- There's something in the wind. Shakespeare/Miriam Wilhelm Lewisburg, Ohio (San Francisco weather report) January at nine And by noon, it's June. Dorothy Parker/Evelyn Radcliffe Palo Alto, Calif.