The Style Conversational
The Style Conversational
Loser-friendly discussion with The Empress of The Style Invitational

Week 1003: Here’s absurd from our sponsor

By the E, Pat Myers

We have so much great stuff in the Week 999 results that I’d rather you spend your precious Invite -dedicated minutes to reading them rather than this here, so this time I really will be brief (as opposed to short, which I usually am). Except for my quoting a bunch of unprintable entries, it’s pretty much a Convette today.

I expect there to be lots of good, funny entries for the Week 1003 ad slogan contest, but it’s a very short-form challenge; it doesn’t involve writing. So probably (a) I’ll get a lot of duplication; and (b) the winning and Losing entries won’t take up a lot of space. If an entry sent by 25 people is really funny, chances are that I’ll run it without specifically crediting anyone for it; I’ve done this in the past, though rarely (the contests for crossword clues spring to mind). And if the page comes up short, I know just where to look for some extra material (see below).


Right after I heard that The Post would be getting a new editor in January, I mentioned here how I’d like to introduce him to The Style Invitational with the results of Week 993, the hilariously clever Epic Rap Battles of History. But of course, what better way to demonstrate the Invite’s breadth and depth than this retrospective? (And by now, perhaps, Marty Baron is starting to study every feature in the paper as he gets ready to come over from the Boston Globe, I think next week.)

In fact, I just realized that this week’s four “above-the-fold” entries reflect four signature types of Invite humor:

1. Observational, often warm jokes about domestic life. And a “Devil’s Dictionary”-type definition of “date nights” for married couples brings Lawrence McGuire his first Inkin’ Memorial, though it’s his fifth win and 131st blot of ink. Since Lawrence doesn’t live too far from me, I’m hoping I can hand over the Bob-o-Linc in person, since we now have one report of a bobblehead that was decapitated in shipping.

2. Song parodies, especially about current events. This time, it’s more from the amazing parodist Nan Reiner, former prosecutor for the D.C. government, digging at Mayor Gray and his inability to know how all that campaign money got there. The Week 982 song parody contest did ask for just a verse, but I ended up pretty much ignoring that limit in that week’s results, and did again this time. Just as good as this one — but there was just no way to fit it into the paper — was Nan’s brilliantly clever “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” as sung by Gen. Petraeus’s pal Paula Broadwell. Be sure to take a look at it near the end of this week’s results; there’s a YouTube clip of the original that you can listen along with. Perhaps Nan could do a live rendition at the Losers’ Post-Holiday Party on Jan. 5.With these entries, Nan is closing in on the 100-ink mark in the Loser stats.

3. Groaner puns, especially complex or literary ones. This category is well represented with Kevin Dopart’s “Loman on the totem pole” for the Week 989 contest to combine two professions (though Larry Yungk’s honorable mention, from the same contest, was right up there in its complex groaniosity). Kevin gets his 9,786th straight ink. Okay, sorry, it’s just his 911th ink. (And 912th. And 913th.)

4. Zingy, often cynical one-liners. And here we have Jeff Hazle’s play on “a chicken in every pot,” a gibe at contemporary America’s idea of gustatory satisfaction. His Pun Runneth Over mug or Grossery Bag will be Jeff’s seventh above-the-fold winner out of just 27 inks, a remarkable ratio.

Missing from the above are our distinguished categories of scatological humor and sex jokes, but rest assured that they’re accounted for in the honorable mentions, from the double book of “Go, Dog, Go” and “Scoop” to the “no bones about it” (Web-only) wellerism.

One notable entry, one that was too crude for print, was Mark Richardson’s “pho queue” HM for the homophone-humor contest. What’s especially funny is that Mark won the Week 986 contest the first time around with a joke on “pho, Pa” — which drew grumpy gripes from the Grumpy Gripe contingent of the Loser Community, since the actual pronunciation of the big bowl of soup is more like “fuh.” So Mark came right back with another vowel.

I’ll probably be late mailing out this week’s prizes; I might not go into the office this week. I know you can handle it: Be strong.


While I figured that I could be a bit bolder with the Web-only entries this week, since it’s such a long list that it’s going to draw the more dedicated Invite fans, and they know what they’re getting into, there were still a number of clever entries that were headed straight for this section instead:
“Sixth Myths:” It’s a myth that Abraham Lincoln engaged in homosexual acts, including the oft-cited example of him having been bored in a log cabin. (First Offender Vera Huffman, wife of 32-time Loser Rob)

“Before and after” expressions: Give Head of the Class: How you get to be teacher’s pet. (Jason Russo)

E-word limericks:
Great EROS, a power uncanny,
Can arouse ev’ry nook and each cranny.
His archer guise, Cupid,
May look sort of stupid
‘Til you get a big shaft in the fanny. (Dixon Wragg)

And in the too-soon-to-be-printable department:
Wellerisms: “Houston, we have a problem,” declared the Beverly Hilton Hotel maid. (Kevin Dopart)


It seems that we’ll have a fun crowd at my house at the Jan. 5 potluck — but nothing like the 100-person circus that materialized last time I took a turn hosting the party, three years ago. But I’ve heard from a number of Invite veterans, including Kevin Dopart, Chuck Smith and Mae Scanlan, as well as some recent Losers I haven’t met yet, such as Mark Raffman and Larry Gray, and some people almost totally new to the Loser community, or who’d just like to meet the parentheses. Please e-mail me at . You can bring whatever you like; I figure that instead of coordinating the food and drink, it’ll either all even out (yayy!) or we’ll have 27 dips (so?).

Happy New Year, everyone — hope to see you soon.

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