Rick Santorum: It’s a crisis! Am I crass? I’m not. Man ’n’ man is tantamount to man ’n’ mutt. To man ’n’ cat. To man ’n’ rat. To man ’n’ trout! TO MAN ’n’ STORK!!! ICK!
As the Empress continued to dip into the archives to dig up classics for the Invite’s 20th-anniversary retrospective — look here in two weeks — she couldn’t wait to give another go to this contest, one that yielded some of our best results ever in both Week 341 (2002) and Week 617 (2005). [See the results of those contests here.]: Write something about some person, real or fictional, using only the letters in the person’s name, as in the example above from 2005 (yes, Santorum has been very good to the ’Vite for many years). You might use the person’s middle name if the person uses it himself, or a woman’s maiden name along with her married name, or “Jr.,” or, ahem, “III,” but not a title or description along with the name. Obviously, it’s less impressive to come up with something from a long, long name. You don’t have to use all the letters, and you may use any letter in the name as often as you like. Really long passages have to be worth the space; you don’t get brownie points just for generating a zillion ho-hum words.
The Style Invitational
The Style Invitational is The Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest, serving up since 1993 an irreverent mix of highbrow and lowbrow -- haughty and potty -- in genres ranging from neologisms to cartoon captions to elaborate song parodies. A new contest appears at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational every Friday.
The cane toad coin purse, this week’s second prize: It’s our second coin purse made from an Australian animal; the first was from a kangaroo scrotum.
A special honorable mention for this entry by Scott Shields, 7, of Falls Church, Va. Scott clearly has a future in the Style Invitational.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a fabulous coin purse made from a genuine Australian cane toad. Donated by not-yet-a-Loser Marilyn London.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for “My Cup Punneth Over” mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag (“Almost Valuable Player”). 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
or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday night, Feb. 25; results published March 17 (online March 14). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1009” 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 in the “next week’s results” line is by Beverley Sharp. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
Report from Week 1006
in which we asked you to come up with a novel superhero (or not-so-superhero):
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
The Green Intern: Wields extraordinary powers to embarrass and screw up while performing ordinary tasks. (Michael Reinemer, Annandale, Va.)
Winner of the Tiny Kung Fu Fighter figure:
Stuporman: Activates his Bore-Ring to render criminals unconscious. So why isn’t he heading the Justice Department instead of State? (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Taximan: Can magically hail a cab anytime, in any weather, in any neighborhood — and he’s black. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
Swap Thing: Possesses the power to take a dusty, moldy art box and turn it into a dusty, moldy fly rod. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)