Some reward! The Invitational’s coolest prizes


The current pair of loser magnets for honorable mentions, created by Bob Staake from ideas by Beverley Sharp (Discredit Card) and Bruce Carlson. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)
February 28, 2013

Sure, the Losers work hard to provide material for the Style Invitational, seeing as how they have a chance of winning these prizes, almost all donated by Invite contestants and readers:

-- A bottle of Laotian potency liquor with a preserved giant scorpion inside (donated by Tom Witte)

-- Two boluses of dried owl vomit, suitable for extracting bits of whatever animal the owl ate (donated by Cheryl Davis)

— A corrugated metal necktie on which one can play in a washboard band (donated by Russell Beland)

-- An unmcedo, a little “modesty cap” made of palm fronds and worn under the loincloths of Zulu tribesmen (donated by Robin Diallo)

-- A needle-size baculum, or penis bone, of a mink (donated by Mike Creveling)

-- A coin purse made from a kangaroo scrotum (donated by Dave Letizia)

-- An elaborate mini-sculpture of four poker players, entirely made of little seashells (donated by Cheryl Davis)

-- A keychain that spells out “Loser,” custom-made by a metalworker in a Bangkok market (donated by Larry Yungk)

— A necktie festooned with images of colons and rectums, promoting colorectal cancer awareness (whoever gave up this priceless item got no credit in 2003)

— An orange cloth belt decorated with totally misspelled titles of Rolling Stones songs, such as “Ruby Tcesday” and “Get Off Df Hycolud,” sent from New Delhi (donated by Robin Diallo)

-- A genuine rubber-band-type calf castrator (donated by Elden Carnahan)

-- A book of paper dolls of “George H. Bush and His Family,” starting with the elder Bush and wife Barbara in their underwear (left anonymously at the Empress’s desk many years ago)

-- A set of art prints depicting each of the four “Golden Girls” as a zombie (donated by Denise Sudell)

-- A salt-and-pepper set consisting of a ceramic man in a thong; his butt cheeks are Salt and Pepper. (It is not clear, from his position, whether he is wearing a condiment.) (Donated by Elden Carnahan)

-- A set of gold lamé stripper’s pasties with tassels (fished out of a wastebasket in the Post’s mailroom by the Empress; they were some sort of promotion)

-- A custom-made ear picker in the shape of a hand making the “L for Loser” sign (created and donated by Kyle Hendrickson)

-- A 100-trillion-dollar bill in Zimbabwean currency (worth about $3 at the time) (donated by Rick Haynes)

And that’s just for second place. Since last year, the winner each week receives the Inkin’ Memorial, a little bobblehead of the Lincoln Memorial statue. Before that, starting with the Empress’s ascension, the trophy was the Inker, half of a pair of bookends in the form of Rodin’s “Thinker,” but with a paper bag of shame over its head. (During the Czardom, the winner got the crazy prize.)

Third- and fourth-place winners, along with honorable mentions, receive what we could accurately call limited-edition reproductions of Bob Staake designs, but we really call yearned-for Loser Mugs, ardently desired Grossery Bags and, for the HMs, lusted-after Loser Magnets.

Be sure to check out the many other segments of this 20th-anniversary Style Invitational retrospective: classic limericks; song parodies; neologisms (new words); horse “breeding” and “joint legislation”; and dozens of other winning entries from the past decade. Plus how to enter this week’s new contest, and a look at the Losers and their remarkable subculture. And more! See the index of articles here.

Next: The World’s Ugliest Painting, and other Invite ‘art’

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