The Style Invitational
The Style Invitational
By the Empress

Style Invitational Week 1045: The B-side — ask a question that a song will answer

Bob Staake for The Washington Post - For Trevor Kerr’s winning entry for Week 1041: See the results below.

Today’s results to Week 1041 are so much fun that we’re taking up Loser Chris Doyle on his suggestion that we do the converse of that contest for Week 1045. That one was to find a question in a song lyric or title and answer it; this week, take a sentence, phrase or title from a song and provide a funny question it might answer. There’s not a minimum or maximum length for the phrase, but it’ll probably be funnier if it’s clear which song it’s from. The answers will run in our “Ask Backwards” format, with the phrase first, followed by the punch line in the form of a question. As with Week 1041, please give the name of the song you’re quoting from, and do your best to make sure that the words are accurate.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives yet another in our series of toilet-shaped coffee mugs, this one a promotional item for, I swear, a cable reality show about remodeling “boring, old and downright disgusting bathrooms into over-the-top prized potties.” The name of the show is “King of Thrones,” but I think they should have gone with “Vast Wastelands.” Donated in an act of enormous personal sacrifice by Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever, who knows what I like.

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.

Archive

(Pat Myers/The Washington Post) - The latest of several commodious toilet mugs that we’ve used as second-place prizes.

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, Nov. 11; results published Dec. 1 (online Nov. 28). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1045” 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 Beverley Sharp; 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, and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of the Day at bit.ly/inkofday .

Report from Week 1041

in which we asked you to find a question that was part of a song, and supply a humorous answer. Most frequently submitted, in response to “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” Two, because by then you realize that he’s lost and not asking for directions. Below, you can click on any of the question-lyrics to see a video or the lyrics of the song it comes from.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

Can you do the fandango?
Spare me some dignity, officer, and just let me mangle the alphabet while stumbling over the curb like a regular drunk. (Trevor Kerr, Chesapeake, Va.)

2. Winner of the six animal-butt magnets:
“What child is this who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?”

“The DNA results are in, and Joseph . . . you are NOT the father!” — M. Povich (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

3. But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
Oh, don’t mention it — I could just sort of tell that this was your first time in a Wal-Mart Supercenter. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

4. Don’t you know, little fool, you never can win?
What slogan was quickly rejected as the replacement for “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? (Harold Mantle, Lafayette, Calif.)

What kind of fools are they? Honorable mentions

What rhymes with “hug me”?
“Dumb lyrics bug me.” (Jeff Contompasis)

Where’s the jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker-bag?
“I think you said, ‘Where’s the jaw legion baklava tenured underdog?’ If that is incorrect, please press 2 and repeat your question.” (Trevor Kerr)

Does anybody really care about time?
Fine, I’ll take Mr. Hawking’s book to another publisher, but you’re going to regret this! (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

Why don’t we do it in the road?
I would not do it in the road,
Nor would I within your abode,
I would not do it in your car,
Nor with you out behind a bar,
I’m not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am,
So let me be, please, Sam-I-Am! (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

How do you speak to an angel?
Step in front of a locomotive. (Roger Dunn, Dartmouth, England)

What if God was one of us?

He’d probably use the subjunctive properly. (Danny Bravman, Chicago)

Have you ever seen the rain?
Most. Boring. Elevator. Conversation. Ever. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Isn’t she lovely?
“For goodness’ sake, Stevie Wonder, can’t you see for yourself that . . . oh, sorry.” (Rob Huffman; Kel Nagel, Salisbury, Md.)

What’ll I do when you are far away and I am blue, what’ll I do?
Get out of the walk-in freezer, you dodo. (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
“You should have thought of that before you starting dating me.” — T. Hedren (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Start again as what? A plastic bag? (Jeff Contompasis)

What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?
What question has never been overheard at a Tea Party rally? (Rob Huffman)

How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky?
In China these days, a lot. (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn’t see?
Every Sunday if he’s a back judge in the NFL. – M. Shanahan (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)

What would you say if I sang out of tune — would you stand up and walk out on me?
Just stick out your tongue and twerk, and it’ll be fine, Miss Cyrus. (Randy Lee, Burke, Va.)

How much is that doggie in the window?
This may be Amsterdam, but even we’re not that liberal. (Edward Gordon, Austin, Tex.)

Now, what’s the matter, buddy, ain’t you heard of my school?
That’s entirely beside the point, Mr. Sandusky. (Bruce Alter, Fairfax Station, Va.)

Is that all there is?
What is the wrong thing to say to your husband on your wedding night? (Carol Passar, Reston, Va.)

Has anybody seen my gal?
Manti Te’o, that’s kind of why we’re all here. Have you seen her? (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far?
Actually, that’s the subject of today’s GOP caucus meeting. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

What becomes of the brokenhearted?
They purchase laxatives. (David Leveton, Gainesville, Va.)

Hello, is there anybody in there?
Very funny, Dr. Fridley. Now please get on with the Pap smear. (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)

Will you still love me tomorrow?
That depends — will you sleep with me tomorrow? (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

Listen, do you want to know a secret?
We already know. — Uncle Sam, Fort Meade
Me, too. – J. Assange, London (Pam Sweeney)

If I were a carpenter and you were a lady, would you marry me anyway?

We agreed, David, no Village People-themed wedding! — Neil Patrick Harris (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Do you know the way to San Jose?
Um, if you don’t know how to use a GPS, may I suggest that Silicon Valley might not be for you? (Mike Gips)

What do you get when you fall in love?
[sung] A guy who leaves the toilet seat up,
Or like me, you might get beat up. . . — Rihanna (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
[sung] Don’t ask the Congress: they’ve escaped from reality.
Boehner the Clown has gone and shut down D.C.:
“You’re just the poor folks; you get no sympathy.
You have a federal job? Off you go! Mortgage, yes; paycheck, no.
Faithful public servants? You don’t really matter to me . . . now flee.” (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

Must it be forever inside of me?
Smedley, I’m afraid you’re not quite right for the rectal-thermometer quality control team. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.).

How long has this been going on?
Four and a half billion years — or for some of my neighbors, 6,000 years. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Actually I’m Ned. Alfie has franchised his mountaintop consulting racket. (Phil Frankenfeld)

When will I be loved?
You’re next, Mr. Spitzer — I mean Client 9. (Bird Waring)

Why don’t we do it in the road?
The road doesn’t have cable. (Madeleine Begun Kane, New York)

Wasn’t it yesterday we used to laugh at the wind behind us?
What do you mean “yesterday,” honey – fart jokes never get old around here. (Brendan Beary)

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon, or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Wow, they told me a Sierra Club interview would be weird – really, sir, I’m just a finance major. (Brendan Beary)

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
[talk-sung à la Rex Harrison; start video at 1:00] Men are disgusting; they’re boorish and crass.
They belch at the table, or else they pass gas.
At work they pride themselves on subterfuge and meanness.
The average man treats his surroundings like a rat.
Each spends his lifetime in the service of his penis!
Why would a woman be like that? (Nan Reiner)

And Last: All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
www.facebook.com/groups/style-invitational-devotees (Gary Crockett)

Still running — deadline Monday night — is our Week 1044 contest for funny safety rules. See bit.ly/invite1044.

See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational (published late Thursday), in which she 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, sign up here or 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 there.

Next week’s results: Go SANE, or puNEASiness, our 10th annual Tour de Fours contest, in which we seek new terms — and, this year, also funny definitions of existing ones — that all include the letter block SANE, in any order.

 
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