Whenever I’m not working on the current week’s Style Invitational these days, I’m taking a look back through 10 years of old contests — 515 of them — to cull a sampling of the the Invite at its best and most varied. (You know that one particular entry that you think is the funniest, most memorable one you’ve ever read? I won’t be including that one. I’m just saying this now so that you won’t write to me to complain after the 20th-anniversary retrospective runs on March 3 in the Sunday Style section — starting on the cover — or Feb. 28 online.)
And in addition to the grab bag of greatest hits, there will also be an article about the Losers themselves, especially about the social community and the whole subculture that sprang from the Invite. Style section reporter David Montgomery will be getting in touch with a few of the Losers, and he’ll also be attending this Sunday’s Loser Brunch, which is a buffet at Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs near the City Dock in Annapolis. The time has been reset to about 10:45 from the previously announced 10 a.m. start. If you’d like to join us and chat a bit with David, and you haven’t already RSVP’d, e-mail me at myerspat [at] gmail [dot] com so we can get a head count. Buddy’s will validate parking at the garage across the street (Buddy’s is at 100 Main St.).
Week 1009: Good for another go
This week’s contest is about as straightforward as you can get, but also pretty open-ended for what we’ll get. After all, it’s a writing contest — practically the opposite of such recent challenges as the backward-crossword clues (results next week) or the one to assign an ad slogan to another company (results here; scroll down past the new contest).
The first time we did this contest, in 1998, the Czar was in charge, I brought out the second round in 2005, by which time I was able to use washingtonpost.com to post a supplement of honorable mentions that didn’t fit in the paper. You can see the results of both contests here — it’s a long, long file, though, so get your cup of tea/energy drink ready first. If you’re thinking of entering the contest — and of course you should be — and you’re wondering about whether a certain element of a name may be used, you can use these previous results as precedents. You may, of course, write about the people who’ve already been the subject of past entries, but your entry has to be substantially different from them.
As usual, I’ll most likely gravitate toward readable sentences with natural syntax. If an entry becomes tedious to read, I won’t be itching to share my experience with the world, you know? Note that several of the entries were poems. That’s cool. And as I warned in the column: Please don’t write hundreds of words just because you were able to. (See “tedious.”)
The Jest Us League*: The results of Week 1006
As I’d envisioned, our contest to create a superhero (or not-so-superhero) resulted in lots of humor about the usual suspects, but wearing a cape. And there were the expected clever plays on the names of numerous comic book heroes and sheroes. This contest cried out for a cartoon, and so I asked our Forever Go-To Guy Bob Staake to draw the winner this week rather than the example for the new contest (he’s already done Rick Santorum anyway, for some other publication, back during the primary campaign last year).