Style Invitational: Foaling around, plus the Losing limericks on the news


Bob Staake cartoon for Style Invitational (4/7/13) (Bob Staake)
April 4, 2013

Python x Just Win Baby = Snaked Ambition

Fear the Kitten x Overanalyze = Felis Envy

While those pink-and-red equal-sign icons continue to pepper the pages of Facebook, what a fitting time to pony up our annual horse-“breeding” contest — in which virtually all 100 racehorses on our list are, as usual, male.

This contest, which has been one of the Invitational’s most heavily entered since it debuted in 1995 — some people enter this contest, and only this contest, every year, and the Empress routinely gets thousands of entries — works like this:
On this page is a list of 100 of the horses nominated for this year’s Triple Crown races (see the chart below to the left; click on it or click here for an enlarged and printable verson). “Breed” any two and give the “foal” a name humorously reflecting the names of the parents, as in the examples above. As in the real thoroughbred registry, a name may not exceed 18 characters including spaces. You may use numerals and/or punctuation, but they count as characters. The usual limit of 25 entries per week will be rigidly enforced. Take care to spell the parents’ names correctly, since the Empress will be searching for only those names during the judging. And do the E a favor and double-space your list of entries, if you’re sending a bunch. Don’t bother making a three-way combination, or using a name from the list as a foal.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the book “Political Babble: The 1,000 Dumbest Things Ever Said by Politicians.” (Examples: “When many people are out of work, unemployment results.” — Calvin Coolidge; “I would have made a good pope.” — Richard Nixon.) Donated by Loser Amanda Yanovitch.

Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, April 15 (since you won’t have anything else due around then); results published May 5 (online May 2 — just before the Kentucky Derby). Include “Week 1016” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviterules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Tom Witte; the alternative headline for the “next week’s results” line is by Jeff Contompasis. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
Still running — deadline Monday night — our contest for musical fictoids. See bit.ly/invite1015.

Report from Week 1012

in which we asked for limericks about topics in the news: A dismaying number of the close to 1,000 entries lacked the “hickory-dickory-dock” rhythm essential to a limerick, but we knew there’d be plenty of gems.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

6-year-old suspended for pointing his finger like a gun
Because hand-“guns” make principals fret,
Here’s a tip you must never forget:
Do not stick your first digit
Up your nose while you fidget
Or they’ll swear you’re a suicide threat.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

2. Winner of the yellow-goo-popping squeeze ball:
Hugo Chavez dies
In Caracas, the tension’s at boil
As a dictator’s shuffled his coil,
And the foreign states vie
To install their own guy,
Because it’s a small world, after oil. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

3. Pope Benedict dressed to the hilt —
Prada shoes, golden threads in his kilt —
But for Francis, no-flair
Vestments simple and spare:
Say! A Catholic without any gilt! (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

4. Horsemeat labeled as beef in Europe
In a Paris cafe I’m alone,
Eating steak, when I call the garçon,
“Got a question here, chief.
Is this meat really beef?”
Non, monsieur, zat’s zee filly mignon.” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Lamericks: honorable mentions

Little knives on a plane are now fine
Since the TSA says they’re benign,
But the agents on guard
Are now forced to work hard
To keep people from cutting in line. (Kevin Dopart)

Republicans seek to broaden constituency
Since with women, the GOP’s found,
Their support’s on the shakiest ground,
They’ll shore up their image
before the next scrimmage,
To make certain it’s all ultra-sound. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster
If you’d scuttle a measure on cloning,
Marriage rights, or assault-weapon owning,
Make them fall, one and all!
Take a tip from Rand Paul:
The deadliest weapon is droning. (David Smith, Stockton, Calif.)

Dennis Rodman visits Kim Jong-un
Dennis Rodman has made a new friend,
Though the guy may have gone ’round the bend.
While he’s not very tall,
Un loves basketball.
He could play horse or be its back end. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

Weary was House Speaker Boehner
When he noted, “It couldn’t be ploehner
That we’d get much more done,
And might even have fun,
If my colleagues were just a bit soehner.” (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

Lululemon’s too-sheer yoga pants
I was wary and, yes, a bit frightened,
But my interest in yoga’s now heightened:
I just stare, in a trance,
Since my classmates’ new pants
Became sheer, or as I say, “enlightened.”
(Seth Tucker, Washington)

Rep. Rob Portman supports gay marriage
“Same-sex marriage?” cried Portman. “No way!”
Till he found out his own son was gay.
If he’ll only act on
Bills affecting his spawn,
Let’s sequester his kids for a day. (Denise Sudell, Cheverly, Md.)

Budget trouble I
Through the fiscal mess, congressmen showed
They deserve every cent they are owed.
They still merit their pay
For the diligent way
They keep kicking the can down the road. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Budget trouble II
No tax rise, so voters won’t grudge it--
That’s how we’ll come up with our budget.
Closed loopholes we’ll use
To increase revenues.
And the rest of the deficit? Fudge it. (Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)

Budget trouble III
“Though more Medicare cuts won’t appeal,”
Said the president, “let’s make a deal.”
In Washington jargon,
That’s called a “grand bargain,”
And it certainly sounds like a steal. (Frank Osen)

“News in Brief,” March 13 Post
In Rome, a new symbol of hope;
In Springfield, a serial grope;
In Arundel, that “stag”
With his catheter bag:
Just a pervert, a pope and a dope. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

Benedict XVI resigns
“You should stay. With our help you can cope.”
But this man was not swayed, and said, “Nope.”
Have to give him his props
Getting out ’fore he drops,
For this pontiff’s too pooped, thus, to pope. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

Administration justifies drone strikes
Though Obama can move you and thrill you,
You won’t grasp his full power till you
Have finally known
What it’s like when a drone
Swoops down from the heavens to kill you. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

Chavez dies
“Lord, by gringos my nation’s been cursed.
I’ve been bullied, traduced and coerced.
In Hell’s fire they should fry!
Make them die! Make them die!”
Came a voice from on high: “Hugo first.” (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)

Chavez’s body cannot be preserved
El Comandante gets put in a grave,
Not displayed with a permanent wave.
You can’t be caught stallin’
Once a body has fallen;
Seems now Hugo’s too rotten to save. (Kevin Dopart)

Senate Republicans try to scuttle Hagel nomination
When senators (for reasons vague)’ll
All whine, filibuster, finagle
To try to deny
Their own party’s guy,
That’s a half-witted scheme to chuck Hagel. (Danielle Nowlin)

Woman charged with fatally shooting, stabbing, slashing boyfriend
There was a young woman named Arias
whose sex life was somewhat nefarious.
But her man wasn’t nice,
So she bumped him off thrice.
Now her future is highly precarious. (Nanci Johnson, Manassas, Va., whose only previous ink was for Week 313, 1999)

Man charged with beating relative with burrito
First you take a tortilla and slap in
Some cheese, then put other cheap crap in;
Throw this thing at a kid
(One guy recently did),
It’s assault with a half-deadly wrappin’. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

N.Y. ban on large soft drinks overturned
Mayor Bloomberg’s a modern-day nanny;
His words to the press are so canny,
But I say to this scold:
“You can kiss and behold
Sixteen ounces tacked onto my fanny.” (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Armstrong finally admits to doping
Lance Armstrong? Oh, man, what a phony!
No doping? A bunch of baloney!
The whoppers he told
Were so brazen and bold,
I have doubts he’s got just one cojone. (Chris Doyle)

Thousands of dead pigs found in Chinese river
In Shanghai, a mysterious slaughter
Means that even a young son or daughter
Can obtain full nutrition
With great ease in the kitchen:
Pork soup flows from the tap just like water. (Seth Tucker)

Predicted D.C. snowstorm fizzles
“Snowquester” had so much appeal,
Our hopes for a big one surreal.
But “eight inches or more”
Soon became less than four;
Now I know how my dates always feel. (Brian Cohen, Lexington, Va.)

15,000 crocodiles escape from S. African farm
Said the girl, “I’ll swim out to those rocks!”
So she took off her shoes and her socks.
But the rocks-in-disguise
Had huge jaws and mean eyes;
(. . . On the plus side, she gets to wear Crocs.) (Beverley Sharp, vacationing in South Africa)

Carnival cruise ship breaks down, systems fail
The “fun ships” have lost their allure
When they have a disaster du jour.
See, we tend to feel frantic
(And not so romantic)
When up to our ears in manure. (Beverley Sharp

Shark migration shuts down Florida beaches
When the sharks got me, I feared my murder, see?
Then their leader called out, “Guys, don’t hurt her! See,
This one here’s an attorney;
So just go on your journey:
We owe her professional courtesy.” (Nan Reiner, Esq.)

And Last: The Style Invitational’s 20th anniversary
I’ve spent hours on each witty crack,
Been rewarded, in essence, with jack.
The Invite turned 20;
Times 50, that’s plenty
Of weeks that I’ll never get back. (Brian Cohen)

Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, in which the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at losers@washpost.com (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.

Next week: Har monikers, or Punzi schemes, our contest for riddles based on puns on people’s names.

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