Engraved inside every Super Bowl ring is a handy chart for translating Roman numerals.
When Albert Einstein was at Princeton, he became a rabid baseball fan and, as a favor to the major leagues, wrote the Infield Fly Rule.
A vial of Gaylord Perry’s spit is on display in Cooperstown.
No, not really. No and no. But yes, it’s time for another of the Style Invitational’s fictoid contests, this one suggested by Amazing Invitational Fixture Tom Witte, of the 1,267 Blots of Ink Since Week 7. In the past, we’ve shared totally bogus facts about movies, medicine and physiology, history, and just whatever; this week, as the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics are upon us: Give us some fake sports trivia. The fictoids can be about anything relating to sports or the people who play them, but the point is to be funny in some way, not just to be bogus, and they shouldn’t be understandable only to sports-obsessives. (By the way, the Style Invitational may be a cutthroat competition, and it may feature large numbers of trash-talking, sweat-soaked participants, but we’re not considering it a sport.)
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place, in keeping with this week’s athletic theme, receives a cheap novelty product called Nose Aerobics Basketball, donated by Loser Nan Reiner. It consists of a pair of empty black nerd-eyeglasses to which is attached, right between the eyes, a little arm that sticks out and, on its end, a two-inch-high basket and, attached to that, a tiny string and a little plastic basketball. You’re supposed to nod your head vigorously at just the right speed until you can get the basketball to jump into the basket in front of your face. We don’t know if you’d be able to master this feat — the Empress didn’t come close on a trial run, but her Royal Consort scored repeatedly — but we absolutely guarantee that you will look pathetically ridiculous.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug — the new one announced today — or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate or Puns of Steel. First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to email@example.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 3; results published Feb. 23 (online Feb. 20). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1057” 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/InvRules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Beverley Sharp; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results” line is by Tom Witte. 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.
This week we introduce the new Style Invitational Loser Mug, our third in a series of coffee mugs that we offer to third- and fourth-place Losers. The idea was an honorable mention in our 2011 contest for ideas for the previous mug (we ended up going with “My Cup Punneth Over”) and was submitted independently by Drew Knoblauch, Peter Jenkins and Suzanne Cross. And of course, it’s our own Bob Staake who did the artwork — in homage, of course, to Robert Indiana’s iconic, basically uncopyrighted image.The actual mug will say “Runner-Up, The Style Invitational” plus the Post masthead and the Invite’s Web address.
in which we asked you to quote a sentence from The Post or any other publication printed during the contest week, and pair it with a question that the sentence might answer:
Sentence in The Post: “I think it’s a shame. The whole process of buying a record was so special.”
Q. What was Mark McGwire’s reaction to baseball’s latest steroid suspensions? (John Folse, Bryans Road, Md.)
2. Winner of the oven mitt that looks disturbingly like Gene Weingarten:
A. The first Christmas she can remember was 52 years ago, when she saw her father coming down the stairs of their house, his arms wrapped around two blond dolls.
Q. Does Christie Hefner have any special Yuletide memories? (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
3. A. You can insert a chicken soup recipe and no one will notice.
Q. What did the disillusioned rabbi remark to his assistant as they were drafting the Dead Sea Scrolls? (Michael Greene, Alexandria, Va.)
4. A. They will have instant replays, Jumbotrons and lots of television cameras.
Q. What are Kim and Kanye’s plans for conceiving another child? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
A. You can insert a chicken soup recipe and no one will notice.
Q. What’s the best thing about visiting a bar with blind strippers? (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
A. Half the Republicans in the House have served three years or less.
Q. Why do you say criminal sentencing guidelines are skewed to favor rich white males? (Brendan Beary)
A. Your voyage is sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Q. What did the captain of the Costa Concordia say as the ship set sail? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
A. It sucks, but I have to deal with it, and it’s for my own safety.
Q. What was Mayor Ford’s reply when the Toronto City Council ordered his jaws wired shut? (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
A. It’s going to be really tight this summer for U.S. cotton, there’s no doubt about it.
Q. Is America’s eating binge over the holidays likely to have any lasting consequences? (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
A. “Malia and Sasha , they’re like weeds,” Obama said at a November fundraiser.
Q. Why did the president decide to sell his stock in Monsanto? (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)
A. She’ll respond pretty fast and promises not to mock you. Too much.
Q. “What’s new with the iPhone’s next-gen navigator, Sirisly? (Tom Kreitzberg, Silver Spring, Md.)
A. They generally eschew strenuous chest, arm and back exercises to avoid, in technical terms, looking like a dude.
Q. What is a New Kids on the Block workout like? (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)
A. I was reluctant about having a shower, opted for a small book-themed shower, and was unexpectedly moved by the feeling of community.
Q. Have you had any notable experiences in prison, Mr. Madoff? (Mark Raffman)
A. It was seventh grade and all the cool kids could do it, so I set out to learn.
Q. How did you decide to become a bully? (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
A. There’s a series of things we have to do.
Q. Jenna Jameson, can you describe your and your colleagues’ typical day on the movie set? (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)
A. The piles can stretch on for 10 feet to 16 feet.
Q. Why do Great Dane owners quickly switch from paper to Lowes dumpster bags in the training process? (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
A. Spend the day relaxing and gently swinging in the back yard.
Q. What was the last item on Saddam Hussein’s to-do list? (Michael Greene)
A. He came outfitted for the occasion, wearing a bright red Adidas track suit, complete with a white headband, and carrying a bottle of Rolaids.
Q. After bingeing on cookies all Christmas Eve, how did Santa recover? (Jeff Contompasis)
A. “The guy is obviously a jock sniffer.”
Q. “Who’s that man who’s always last to show up at the Sochi security gate? (Mike Harbert, Leesburg, Va.)
A. Begin by sweeping up as many of the needles as you can, then use either a sticky adhesive lint roller or duct tape wrapped around your hand to pick up the rest.
Q. How do you clean up Barry Bonds’s locker? (Roy Ashley, Washington)
A. From time to time he’d pull it out and review it to make sure he wasn’t being distracted from his mission.
Q. Did Anthony Weiner ever have doubts about what he was doing? (Brendan Beary)
A. Scott was strange, to be sure.
Q. What did even the Hatfields and the McCoys agree upon when commercial toilet paper arrived in the holler? (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
A. Wallach is among a small but growing number of Jews who are slowly altering what has for millennia been considered perhaps Judaism’s core rite.
Q. What do you mean he didn’t go out for Chinese on Christmas Day? (Ira Allen)
A. A dog’s pant, by comparison, is mostly bad breath and drool.
Q. How is a dog’s pant better than a Senate filibuster? (Mike Harbert)
A. Men rule at pull-ups.
Q: Is there any phase of the potty-training process in which dads outperform moms? (Mark Raffman)
A. According to the composers of the musicals scrolling through the Kennedy Center, it ain’t necessarily so.
Q. In the controversial new staging of “The Sound of Music,” what note is between fa and la? (Brendan Beary)
A. Sometimes when people die, their benefit payments live on.
Q. What was the theme of the keynote address to the Necrophilia Convention? (Steve Brevig, Springfield, Va.)
A. Iranians love the American style. The grass is greener in the U.S.
Q. Why are Tehran, Seattle and Denver now sister cities? (Steven Alan Honley, Washington)
A. No surgery was required, and he’s feeling well.
Q. What did Rob Ford’s press secretary say about his boss’s latest attempt to place his head up his rectum? (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)
And Last: A. What we want to know is how Nan knew the Czar’s nipple rings are actually star-shaped and have tassels dangling from them.
Q. Are there any loose plot threads in the conclusion of “The Bobbsey Twins Go Goth”? (Brendan Beary)
And Even Laster: A. Some people start losing, and that’s all they focus their mind on is, “I’m a loser now.”
Q. Is it true that there are pathetic individuals who’ve entered the Invitational with a long string of entries every single week for more than eight years? (Kevin Dopart, who has)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest for new weather-related terms. See bit.ly/invite1056.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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: Dead Letters, or Heaven and Mirth, our annual obit-poem contest. See bit.ly/invite1054.