We’ve managed to lure Bob Staake away momentarily from his next volume for children, the ambiguously named “My Pet Book” (spoiler: it’s not a book about different pets), not to mention his next 23 projects, so that once again he can ask your help in figuring out what’s going on in these pictures, because he sure has no idea. This week: Write a caption, or captions, for one or more of these cartoons. Please indicate which cartoon you’re captioning; you’d think I could figure that out, but believe me, I’ve judged at least 24 Invite cartoon contests, and your thought processes aren’t always much clearer than Bob’s. (Yes, I’m talking to you personally.) For larger versions of the four individual pictures above, click on No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place — in honor of Valentine’s Day — receives a little gadget called the Karleks Band, brought back from romantic Sweden by Loser Mike Gips. If you’re in a hotel room and feeling amorous, and the room has two beds pushed together, you hold them together with this thing so your romance doesn’t fall through the cracks, as it were. We will even throw in, for our European travelers, a roll of toilet paper imprinted with the design of euro bills. Donated by Inge Ashley and, amazingly, declined by the recipient the last time we tried giving it away.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug 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. 24; results published March 16 (online March 13). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1060” 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. This week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by William Kennard; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Danielle Nowlin. 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.
in which we asked for some novel meteorological terms:
Geiclone: Windstorm followed 15 minutes later by a deluge of insurance claims. (Megan Durham, Reston, Va.)
2. Winner of the cow-on-motorcycle “snow” globe:
Tropical repression: Stifling high-pressure system that has stalled over Cuba for the past 55 years. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
3. Snowed in: Stuck in Russia and unable to come in from the cold. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
4. Wintry meeks: People who refuse to leave home if there’s even a chance of snow in the forecast. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Driptease: Amount of rain that taunts you by being too much not to use your windshield wipers, but too little to use them continuously. (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)
Typhool: A TV reporter standing in the middle of a hurricane to tell us it’s windy out. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Chris-T-storm: A wind so blustery that it renders bridge travel nearly impossible. (Dave Silberstein, College Park, Md.)
Winter feather advisory: Time to pull out the down quilt. (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)
Molar vortex: Wind so cold it makes your fillings hurt. (Doug Montgomery, North Potomac, Md., a First Offender; Tom Witte)
Polar cortex: The result of venturing out in subzero weather without a hat. (Laura Remaly, New Windsor, Md., a First Offender)
Metropical front: A line of city building facades from which a pedestrian in summer will be steadily rained on by air conditioner drips. (Ring Alexander, New York)
Mai tai phoon: Get your umbrellas out for this one. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.; Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
Borometric pressure: The force keeping you tuned to the Weather Channel, even though you’ve heard the forecast for the entire world 12 times. (Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)
Monsooner: A wind that comes sweepin’ down the plain. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Blizzard of Oz: Two inches of snow in Sydney. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
Flash food warning: Probably it’s going to be nothing, but you should run to the store before they’re out of bread, milk and toilet paper. (Heather Spence, New York)
Tornudo: A sudden gust of wind that whips up a woman’s skirt. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Salt shaker: A snowfall in which the amount of salt dropped on the roads exceeds the amount of snow. (Dale Newbury, Gaithersburg, Md., a First Offender)
Foot of snow: A never-seen part of a snowman’s anatomy, the mere mention of which sends shivers down the spines of Washingtonians. (Jean Smith, Clinton, Md., a First Offender)
Showdownpour: Torrents of rain that drench the hero at the climax of nearly every ’80s action movie. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
Terpulence: Long-term trend of bad season after bad season. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)
Meatierologist: Al Roker, before the gastric bypass. (Chris Doyle, The Villages, Fla.; Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Tush sheets to the wind: The effect of a windstorm on unlatched port-a-potties. (Sylvia Betts, Vancouver, B.C.)
El Nino: Cause of a rightward shift in jurisprudential currents over the past three decades. (Mark Raffman)
Isobra: Garment to protect against cold fronts. (Gary Crockett)
Car barf: The gushes of post-storm street sludge thrown up by passing vehicles. (Greg Arnold, Herndon, Va.)
Enlightning strike: An atmospheric discharge that teaches you safety is more important than sinking a putt. (Jeff Contompasis)
Presip: A bracing swig of liquor in anticipation of a day spent not going out in that storm. (Ring Alexander)
Oratornado: A blowhard, but a master at spin. (Steve Shapiro, Alexandria, Va.)
Honey-do point: When you realize that the game is so boring that it’s not worth arguing about repainting the shutters. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
Charmin offensive: The run on toilet paper in advance of a snow flurry. (Ira Allen)
Relative tumidity: An indication of comfort in the lower latitudes. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Deep frieze: High relief from the heat. (Dudley Thompson)
Hermancane: A tropical storm that spreads rapidly across the United States, but quickly subsides after damaging only itself. (Danielle Nowlin)
Wheahter: The worst spell of weather we’ve seen in a long time. (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
A number of entries coined names for a predicted storm that never materializes. They include Nonsoon (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.); Snor’easter (Jeff Contompasis); Typhooey (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.); Tornada (Nancy Schwalb, Washington); Ice charades (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.); Fizzard (Dan Ramish, Washington); and, when CNN does it, Wolf Blizzard (Gary Crockett).
Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest to add parentheses to song titles. See bit.ly/invite1059.
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: The Sportin’ Lie or Fake One for the Team, a contest for bogus sports trivia. See bit.ly/invite1057.