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

Week 994: Beautify your refrigerator now!

By the E, Pat Myers

Hi, everyone. This weekend’s Invitational has been online, accidentally, since 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, so I’m not going to write all day here and delay the e-mail notification.

We’ve had many prize-slogan contests over the years, all the way back to one for the first Loser T-shirt in Week 11, even before Bob Staake came aboard. (If anyone has the grotesque Year 1 T-shirt by proto-cartoonist Marc Rosenthal, can you post a picture on the Style Invitational Devotees page on Facebook?) There were numerous bumper stickers — they were the honorable-mention prizes the Czar gave out before they were deemed too expensive, particularly to mail in the large envelopes required, and nobody wanted to stick them permanently to anything, anyway — plus a succession of T-shirts, and, after the Empress’s acsension, for the Loser Mug and most recently the Grossery Bag. There was even a contest for something to put on a sticker that would go on the back of the Inker, the bag-headed “Thinker” statuette that was the Invite’s grand prize from 2004 until a few months ago. (Unfortunately, the stickers ended up fitting poorly on Mr. Inker’s back, and they also tended to fall off, so we dropped the slogans almost immediately.) And of course we have the magnets, whose declared value appreciated somewhere along the way from “mildly sought after” to “lusted-after.” (Much as the Empress has herself, according to the Empress.)

Sometimes we ran actual contests dedicated to finding a slogan; other times we’d dig into the inventory of runners-up and honorable mentions and just announce a winner. It’s become too unwieldy to produce a comprehensive list of every idea we’ve ever given ink to. So go ahead and send me up to 25 ideas, including any you submitted before but think would still work on a magnet.

I’m sure that some veteran Losers have at least one of each of the magnets, and maybe a whole shirt collection as well. When 300-ink-plus David Genser visited Washington last month, he brought some classic bumper stickers to the Loser Brunch and gave some extras to various attendees; it would be great to have a sort of swap meet at the next Loser Holiday Party (probably in January) or next year’s Flushies (probably in May).


The same-last-name challenge of Week 990 was one of those compare-and-contrast contests that the Loser Community does so well, and there were lots of clever entries this week (though even the Royal Consort averred that they leaned toward the more-clever-than-funny end of the continuum).

It’s the third win and already the 71st blot of ink for Robert Schechter, who First-Offended only a little more than a year ago. Robert, who’s active in the light-verse world, has also enhanced the Invite significantly by spreading the word to a number of talented poets worldwide; since then we’ve had great contributions — both in poetry contests and in non- — from a number of them, including (to name but a few) Melissa Balmain, Chris O’Carroll and Frank Osen, who’s in the news this week for winning the Able Muse Book Award, which comes with a book contract, for his poetry collection “Virtue, Big as Sin.”

I got my second-place prizes out of order last week: THIS was supposed to be the week of the Porkin’ Pigs banks, and last week was supposed to be the week of the Talking Toilet. But what do you know: Both prizes ended up going to David Garratt. (Really, I swear, I had no idea. If I were that well organized, I wouldn’t have awarded the wrong prize last week.)

Kevin Dopart had one of those classic Dopartean weeks, with a ridiculous five blots of ink for a total of some huge number. But it’s Ink No. 1 for John Huber, our only First Offender this week. Along with his FirStink for his first ink, John gets a choice of a Grossery Bag (“Almost Valuable Player”) or Loser Mug (“My Cup Punneth Over”) plus an invitation — nay, an order — to enter again.

Sunday Style Editor Lynn Medford is still away, so no Haw today. The favorite of the Czar was, I think, the Dave Matthews/ Chris Matthews comparison by David Genser. (I asked both the Czar and the Royal Consort to opine on my short­list this week, and their choices were almost diametrically opposed; almost every entry that one of them thought should be omitted, the other thought should run. So I had to punt and do the job myself.)


From Bill Verkuilen of Minnesota: Sherlock Holmes and John C. Holmes: One’s a private dick. (This is arguably less risque than Chris Doyle’s made-it-into-print — as of this afternoon — John C. Holmes joke, but it contains a word that just won’t be allowed to run.)

From David Genser: Calvin Klein and Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein: One provides a model of wonkery; the other provides models for wankery. (Ditto. David, realizing this, provided a tamer alternative, but it wasn’t as funny.)

From Chris O’Carroll: Jenny McCarthy and Joseph McCarthy: When guys look at her pictures, his “I have here in my hand . . .” takes on a whole new meaning.

And in our ongoing series of tasteless (is there any other kind?) humor about physical disabilities ...

From Brendan Beary: Teddy Roosevelt can and did eventually win a Presidents’ Race at a Nationals game ...


And it’s so fittingly at Kilroy’s, the military-paraphernalia-themed pub just outside the Beltway at the Braddock Road exit in Northern Virginia. I’m looking forward to seeing you at 10 a.m. (on a Sunday); when we went last year, we all seemed to enjoy the buffet, including the chocolate fountain and nearby strawberries. RSVP to Elden Carnahan at the new temporary home of the Losers Stats and Brunch Info, , confusingly labeled “Flushies 2009.”

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