(Here’s the link to the video of the squeeze ball; it wouldn’t work in the photo caption.)
Hello, everyone. I’d like first to express my deepest thanks for the many words of comfort from those in the Loser Community about my father, who died last Friday afternoon. My family and I were so deeply touched by those who donated to charities in his name, and to those who attended the funeral on Monday. As Loser Dion Black noted just last week in the Sunday Style section story about the Losers that ran with the Invite’s 20th-anniversary package, it’s times like these that show what we mean by “community.”
So! It’s been a heck of a week. I’m delighted that our 11-part retrospective last week, focusing on highlights of the Invite’s last 10 years, seems to have brought us some new fans. One indicator is that in the past week, 19 people — almost all of them new to us — joined the Facebook group Style Invitational Devotees; in a typical week we might get five.
And while I’m nowhere well enough organized to have planned for it, I’m thrilled that the first new contest results those newbies will see are the hilarious set from Week 1008, the contest to rearrange the words of a movie title and describe the results. Like the vast majority of the classic entries we ended up using in the retrospective, this week’s inking entries are easy to read and are intrinsically funny, rather than deriving a lot of their success from the feat of meeting a contest’s demanding rules. (Not that the latter kind of contest isn’t also fun — I’m expecting great things from Week 1009, the contest to write about a person using only the letters of his name — but the entries don’t tend to be quite as accessible and quotable for the reader.)
Take five: this week’s limerick contest
Iin addition to our annual Limerixicon in August, in recent years we’ve been retapping the Losers’ extraordinary, um, limericity with a second contest a few months before or after. In Week 974, last June, we did a contest for limericks about movies,, and in Week 938 we had a hugely successful contest to “improve on” Edward Lear’s proto-limericks from the 1800s. This week, we’re making the contest wide open with the requirement only that the subject be in some way on current events. It doesn’t have to refer to a specific story from the paper; it just needs to be generally topical.
Once again, I’m guaranteed to be reading through hundreds of entries that don’t follow the structure of a limerick that I describe in “Get Your ’Rick Rolling” (some of its references are to last year’s Limerixicon, but the rules for rhyme and meter apply universally), but I’m absolutely sure that I’ll have many dozens of lims that are not just mechanically correct, but inkworthily clever as well. (The Charlotte Observer, which is running a similar limerick contest, offers a more concise guide here; thanks to Loser and limerick blogger Madeleine Begun Kane for telling me about it. If you’re entering a limerick in that contest, that’s fine with us, but don’t also send that limerick to the Invitational.)