Style Invitational Week 1003: Just do it: Repurpose an ad slogan; plus a sampling of this year’s contests


Otis Elevators: Good to the last drop. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
December 27, 2012

For Otis Elevators: “Good to the Last Drop”
For Crest fluoride toothpaste: “Tastes Great, Less Filling”

The first is an old joke, the second maybe not. In any case, we were surprised that we couldn’t find this contest — suggested by Loser Jeff Contompasis — on the list of our previous 1,002 columns kept by Proto-Loser Elden Carnahan. (We’d had one recently for altering a slogan, but not for using it as is.) Your mission is pretty clear: Use a well-known advertising slogan for a different company, organization or product to humorous effect, as in the Maxwell House and Miller Lite slogans above.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an amazing self-published large paperback book sent to the Post newsroom presumably by its author, Steven Discenza, “New Boss of All Bosses on Staten Island.” Its title inexplicably refers to a “magical” sex organ, while the subtitle is “Knowledge Is Power and Education Is the Key to Success.” It’s not easy to discern the point of the book, but it seems that Mr. Discenza is very angry with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Lavishly illustrated, though fortunately the title character is nowhere to be found.

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, Jan. 7; results published Jan. 27 (online Jan. 24). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1003” 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 Chris Doyle; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Jeff Contompasis. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.

Report from Week 999

in which we let you enter, or reenter, just about any of our contests from the past year, updating the material for current-events contests:

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

From Week 946, cynical definitions:
Date night: A dinner out at which a husband and wife pretend they haven’t seen each other on the toilet. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

2. Winner of the can of genuine dehydrated water:
From Week 982, song parodies including a line from the original:
To “Hit the Road, Jack,” as sung by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the Graylettes: (start clip at 0:34)
“Oh, people, my people, don’t you fuss and complain;
I didn’t know nothin’ ’bout my campaign.
Don’t know Jeffrey Thompson or Sulaimon Brown,
Or rakin’ in cash without writin’ it down.
But I guess if you say so, I’ll have to pack my things and go.”
“That’s right! Hit the road, Vince. You suckered us since Day One, Day One, Day One, Day One!
Hit the road, Vince. You played us but now you’re done.” (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

3. Week 989, combine two professions: A Tlingit carver stars in “Death of a Salesman” because he always wanted to be Loman on the totem pole. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

4. Week 975, debunk a myth: It is not true that the American Dream is for a chicken in every pot. Actually it is in a large paper bucket. With a 32-ounce soda. (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.)

Much redo about nothing: honorable mentions

Week 946, cynical definitions: Mistress: A miss who can only lead to stress. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

Blogger: Someone with high self-esteem and a keyboard. (Jeff Hazle)

Genius: One percent inspiration, 99 percent PR. (Lawrence McGuire)

Week 951, double a word or pair it with a homophone: Jerk jerk: Any dance created by Chris Brown. (Mike Gips)

Role roll: Casting couch audition. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

Claus clause: “If the party of the first part fails to check his list twice, all parties of the second part are to be considerd ‘nice’ and entitled to presents.” (Matt Monitto, Elon, N.C.)

Week 952, poems about people who died in 2011:
“Death, be not proud,” John Donne said,
But today he might tell us instead:
“Death, you’re allowed
Just this once to be proud,
For Osama bin Laden is dead!” (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

Week 955, pair a word with its anagram: Website eewbits: Icky stuff that pops up on your screen when you were searching for something else. (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)

Kilned Kindle: What you find at a book burning these days. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Week 958, wellerisms (wordplays featuring quotes): “It totally failed to deliver,” the critic griped about the “Silence of the Lambs” remake. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

“Darling, I’ve removed my trousers,” he whispered expansively. “And I, my bra,” she cooed expertly. (Frank Osen)

“Do not go forth and multiply,” said the pastor, preparing his flock for the end of times. (Chris Doyle)

“He makes no bones about it,” she explained as she returned the negligee to the store. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Week 959, move a TV show to another channel: “Finding Bigfoot” moves to TruTV, is renamed “Not Finding Bigfoot.” (Dixon Wragg)

Week 963, “before and after” names: John Milton Bradley: Pair o’ dice tossed. (Nancy Schwalb, Washington)

Marion Barry Goldwater: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. But I know a few others . . . (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Week 965, “breed” two horse names from a list: Verne + I’ll Have Another = Mini the Moocher (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

A Boy Named Em + Souper Speedy = Step on LaGasse (Paul Burnham, Gainesville, Va.)

Week 967, “before and after” phrases: Fiscal Cliff Notes: In a nutshell, it’ll cost you. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

Week 970, finish a couplet: When you are old and grey and full of sleep (W.B. Yeats) / I know a nursing home that’s really cheap. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

The moving finger writes, and having writ (Omar Khayyam/Edward Fitzgerald)/ Moves on, despite the disbelief of Mitt. (Robert Schechter)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds (William Shakespeare)/ Admit impediments . . . whoa, they’re both guys? (Rick Santorum) (Steve Honley, Washington)

Week 971, two-in-one books: “Scoop” by Evelyn Waugh with “Go, Dog, Go” by P.D. Eastman. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

“Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Color of Money” (Vera Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va., a First Offender)

Week 976, combine the beginning and end of two words in that week’s Invitational: Bobblehead + Politburo: Bobbleburo, a cabinet of yes-men. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Birthward: In the past. And Deadward: In the future. (Tom Witte)

Week 977, run a phrase through Google translator and back to English: Original: Be all that you can be.
Via English-Tamil-Swahili-English-Kannada-Chinese and back]: You can not. (Kevin Dopart)

Week 979, how to tick people off: Guess people’s weight as they get on the elevator, and then press the corresponding floor button for each number. (Kevin Dopart)

Week 981, test questions for job applicants: Q: How many years have you been a horse trainer? A: [Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.] (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

Week 982, song parodies including one line from the original:

To “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” as sung by Paula Broadwell (start YouTube clip at 0:40):

When I wear a frock that’s sleeveless,
And my arm muscles I unfurl,
It’s not so that I’ll achieve less;
I enjoy being a girl.

My project entails the Army,
And a general whose toes I’ll curl,
And I don’t think it one bit smarmy
To employ being a girl.

Who cares that we’re both already wedded?
I flash him a coy and smoldering glance,
And soon I’m successfully embedded,
’Cause the general can’t keep his privates in his pants!

And should some conniving female
Try to pilfer my purloined he,
I’ll send her some threatening e-mail.
What’s the diff? It’s not as if she’ll sic the feds on me! (Nan Reiner)

If I had a Hummer, I’d drive it in the morning.
We’d guzzle up the gallons wherever we’d go.
It’s the symbol of power, it’s the symbol of money, too.
And it’s all about intimidating drivers
All – over this land. (John Shea, Philadelphia)

Week 983, limericks featuring words beginning with E:
Some people drink to Queen Bess,
Some, to the beast of Loch Ness.
Some drink to wealth
Or perpetual health,
While others just drink to excess. (Mae Scanlan)

Will and Kate are expecting an heir,
So they’re now in the media’s glare.
Imagine their fate
Should Kate replicate
And produce both an heir and a spare! (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)

Week 986: homophone humor: Bill O’Reilly’s rants carry such a foul odor that guests call his show “The Nose-Pin Zone.” (Chris Doyle)

“Mr. Nguyen, your soup line is so long and I’m in a hurry — can you make an exception for me?”
“Sorry, lady, you get the same pho queue as everyone else.” (Mark Richardson, Washington)

Week 987, bank heads: Post’s headline: Frederick man’s body found in a trunk. Fake bank hed: National Zoo elephant’s respiratory problem solved (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring, Md.)

Headline: Va. party chair looking ahead to 2013; bank: Hopes Clint will be available for chat at GOP conference (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

Week 989, a person with multiple professions: Motocross racer/basement repair specialist/astrophysicist: That new job is going to be wheelie sump’n spatial. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)

Week 993, Epic Rap Battles:
Moby Dick: I wanted only peaceful seas where I could freely swim
But then you tried to kill me so I chomped your lower limb
And now you rant and rave and cry for vengeance just as though
It wasn’t you who started it? Now who’s the real [moby], bro?

Captain Ahab: Oh Moby, you’re a big fat fish with blubber for a brain,
But you’re correct my hate for you has driven me insane,
And though my monomania is nothing I had planned on,
I’ll hunt you down as long as I have one leg left to stand on. (Robert Schechter)

Week 996, combine two magazines: The Economist + Automobile: “Our Annual Camry Issue!” (David Ballard)

And Last, from Week 967: Washington Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A condition that afflicts untold thousands whose surefire Style Invitational entries were not published. Currently there is no treatment, but wine may help a little. (John Shea)

And Really Last, from Week 970: Breathes there the man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, (Sir Walter Scott)/ “I’d all my couth and scruples shed to win a Lincoln bobble-head.” (Nan Reiner)

Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest to make up your own meanings for obscure words. See bit.ly/invwk1002.

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’s results: Four Digits, Seven Letters, or Witsunday, in which we celebrated reaching Week 1000 with a contest in which you chose a word beginning with T,U,V,W,X, Y or Z and changed it by one letter.

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