Style Invitational Week 926: Tell us your fortune; winning anthem parodies

June 30, 2011

We did this contest a million years ago (well, 824 weeks ago), but we were prompted to do it again at the suggestion of Loser Andrew Hoenig, who showed us some of the “Worst Fortune Cookies You Can Get” posted on Smosh.com by Francesco Marciuliano — the guy who’s turned the “Sally Forth” comic strip family into borderline nutcases. Can we top Francesco’s best effort (pictured in our cartoon this week)? This week: Come up with a fortune cookie line that you’d like to see.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a little bottle of Loo-pourri, a “preemptive bathroom scent” spray aimed to keep people from knowing what you’re capable of producing behind the bathroom door. At least they didn’t name it Poo-pourri. Donated by Dave Prevar.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 11; results published July 31 (July 29 online). Include “Week 926” in your e-mail subject line, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised title for next week’s results is by Kevin Dopart; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead was submitted by both Jeff Contompasis and Kevin Dopart.

We did this contest a million years ago (well, 824 weeks ago), but we were prompted to do it again at the suggestion of Loser Andrew Hoenig, who showed us some of the “Worst Fortune Cookies You Can Get” posted on Smosh.com by Francesco Marciuliano — the guy who’s turned the “Sally Forth” comic strip family into borderline nutcases. Can we top Francesco’s best effort (pictured in our cartoon this week)? This week: Come up with a fortune cookie line that you’d like to see.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a little bottle of Loo-pourri, a “preemptive bathroom scent” spray aimed to keep people from knowing what you’re capable of producing behind the bathroom door. At least they didn’t name it Poo-pourri. Donated by Beverley Sharp.


Bob Staake/For The Washington Post

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers @ washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 11; results published July 31 (July 29 online). Include “Week 926” in your e-mail subject line, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised title for next week’s results is by Kevin Dopart; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead was submitted by both Jeff Contompasis and Kevin Dopart.

Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, where the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community. 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 increasingly lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.

Report from Week 922

in which we asked you to write a song — on any subject — set to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner”: The writers of the Inker-winner and the third-place entry sent their own video clips, each of them sung impressively by the entrant’s voice-major daughter; the videos for Nos. 2 and 4 were put together and sung by the Empress’s personal daughter, the Dauphine. (The songs were judged on the quality of the lyrics, not on the videos.)

The winner of the Inker (See the video at the top of this page):

Send your tired, your poor,
Huddled masses also,
And your refuse that’s wretched
From shores that are teeming.
If to breathe free they yearn,
Here’s the place they should go,
Send them here, to the land
Of which they have been dreaming.
And we’ll send them away,
We’ll deport them today
(Unless they’re from Cuba,
In which case okay).
We’ve all gone xenophobic,
All foreigners we now eschew.
We’re afraid they’ll take our jobs —
Jobs we don’t want to do. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

2. Winner of the fake brake pedal for a back-seat driver:
(Video with slide show) Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Alabam’
Let you buy some cool things that up here are illegal.
Some of them go kaboom and some others go blam,
As American as Uncle Sam or the eagle.
Bottle rockets so gay, cherry bombs they purvey
That can cremate your thumbs or ignite your toupee;
They’ll fly up your pants leg or put out your eye
To proclaim our liberty on the Fourth of July. (Valerie Matthews, Ashton, Md.)

3. (Video with slide show) Oh, Dan, can’t you see why the fans are irate?
Our once-dominant team is now just barely breathing.
We’re the joke of the league, being last is our fate,
And the choices you’ve made have us silently seething.
And the parking lot sucks! And a beer costs 1o bucks!
Each team that comes here thinks we’re all sitting ducks.
So hey, is our Redskins team past the point of ever savin’?
Should I finally drive up north to the home of the Raven? (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)

4. Anthem of the USA . . . Network
(Video with slide show) Oh say, can you see: All our programs will work
With a formula used that is never defective.
Take an average guy, then you give him a quirk;
If he needs a good job, he should be a detective.
This one’s got OCD, this guy fakes ESP;
A felon-turned-cop — all are found on TV.
Oh say, won’t you honor this Independence Day;
Sit back upon the couch and turn on USA! (Matt Monitto, Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

An’ them: Honorable mentions

Hey, I think I could see, when I squinched my eyes tight,
The Siberian shore with its snow-covered ice floes.
I could watch like a hawk, every morning and night
For the Soviet threat (they were not very nice foes).
Since there’s no more red scare, I don’t have to watch there:
I’ll head farther south to the sun and warm air.
So say, if you watch from my Scottsdale balcony,
What Juanita, Marisol or Jose can you see? (David Schildkret, Chandler, Ariz., a First Offender)

Howard Camping’s Sorry Summer
Oh, how can it be that the world is still here?
I was so sure that we wouldn’t live to see Sunday.
Now the world’s all abuzz that I’m quite a poor seer,
And the day after naught was a rather un-fun day.
So the sandwich-board guys are all rolling their eyes
That I was mistaken predicting our demise.
I pray please forgive me, I made a bad call.
But I know this time I’m right — we’ll be raptured this fall. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

Oh, hey, can you see by the congressman’s tweet
How he proudly displays his insanely buff body?
Sculpted pecs and tight abs seem a tad indiscreet,
But his package? Oy, vey! That goes way beyond naughty.
It’s a sexting affair in the media’s glare.
This goof’s a big joke on the news everywhere.
Oh say, has that Anthony Weiner no shame?
Here’s a man who found a way to live up to his name. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

The Star-Spangled Flag Lapel Pin
Politicians agree — when they’re on the TV
Their flag lapel pins get a rousing reception.
With a flag near their heart, no one cares if they’re smart.
They’re pandering to patriotic perception.
It’s about what pols wear.
What they say, we won’t care.
When speaking of facts, politicians might err.
Oh, see the GOP and the Dems both love cloisonne.
Their made-in-China pins mean “I HEART USA.” (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)

(Video) Oh, say, can it be that a lockout or strike
Will deprive football fans of the upcoming season?
Billionaires who own teams do whatever they like,
But to kill Super Bowl surely constitutes treason!
Watching athletic feats though we can’t afford seats,
Vicariously, we’re among the elites.
To validate our manhood we need a team that underscores
That our billionaire can hire . . . better players than yours. (Gary Crockett)

The SEALs’ Anthem:
At 10 after 3, in the dead of the night,
He was mighty surprised when we blew out the ceiling.
He’d been watching “El Cid” and got really uptight;
We were “infidel dogs!” (He expressed this with feeling!)
He was right to be mad. Though the dad of jihad,
He’d not felt this bad since skedaddling Riyadh.
No way did we give him a fond parting wave,
Just a head full of lead, and a watery grave. (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)

Oh, say, can you see you must shop loyally,
For so proudly to spend is your citizen’s duty.
Buy a new SUV or an Xbox or Wii,
Buy a mattress, an app, or some products for beauty.
See the SALE banners wave o’er the bargains you crave;
With the prices so low, think how much you will save!
Oh, jobs you’ll create when you go out and buy
In the nearest shopping mall on the Fourth of July! (Valerie Matthews)

“Oh say, can you see my ideas are great!
My opponent is dumb, spouting verbal pollution.”
“Au contraire, stupid twit — you call this a debate?
You’re just blabbering tripe, you’ve got no elocution.”
“Nowhere else will you find any fool of your kind —
“You’re dumber than Bush, Quayle and Palin combined!”
Through all this name-calling the tables have turned —
Yes, they literally have! — so this meeting’s adjourned! (Matt Monitto)

Oh my God, did you see, on the beach in midday,
That guy jogging along wearing only a Speedo?
Whose broad gut and tight stripes filled the crowd with dismay?
O’er his manparts we watched as he tanked our libido.
And the young mother’s glare at his flossed derriere
gave way to plain shock at his thatch of back hair.
Please give that guy a towel before that “budgie smuggler” splits —
He is not a Michael Phelps or a younger Mark Spitz! (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)

The Star-Spangled Boehner
Up on Capitol Hill, in a room filled with smoke,
The left and the right are engaged in fast dealing.
And what once was dismissed as a terrible joke
Now sadly is true — we have reached our debt ceiling
“Obama’s a sap” might not be a fair rap,
But they don’t seem to care if our bonds are worth crap.
O! say has the Fed now been brought to its knees,
And can we still get loans, from our friends the Chinese? (William Lasser, Taylors, S.C., a First Offender)

Rebecca Black’s version:
The alarm clock goes off, it is 7 a.m.
I’ll get fresh, grab my bowl, eat some food, go outside now.
See my friends at the bus stop, I’m waving to them,
They pull up in a car, I’m accepting their ride now.
But I must pick a seat; it’s a difficult feat.
The front or the back? Now some words I’ll repeat.
It’s Friday, it’s Friday, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun;
For the weekend I await once this Thursday is done. (Matt Monitto)

Lyrics for Olympic gold medalists to sing on the podium:

Hurray, U.S.A.! I have just won the gold!
I’m getting the medal most shiny and gleaming.
I just can’t hide my pride, this will never grow old.
My parents, my coaches and agents are beaming.
Now I hope there won’t be any dope in my pee,
And I won’t be withdrawn if I’m on TMZ.
Oh, hey, I say winning this gold medal really rocks
’Cause soon I’ll be the face of the new Wheaties box. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman)

(Video) Can you see any way that we ever can pay
For the national debt with the deficits mounting?
“Not a problem.” I say, “Take a tip from Ken Lay.”
Fiscal woes can be cured by creative accounting.
All our checks we’ll postdate, let the dollar inflate,
And if push comes to shove, claim that China’s a state.
Keep living on our credit, don’t fret over how it looks,
Because when you’re Uncle Sam, no one audits your books. (Gary Crockett)

O! say, can you see past your girth to your shoes?
Is your dining commandment “Thou shalt super-size it?”
O! ’Tis nary a sprout or a carrot we choose,
If it’s sugared or fried, an American buys it.
And scarf it we must, till our buttons we bust,
In our gastro-psychosis, disgust mixed with lust.
Then we drive two blocks home in our extra-wide SUVs.
We may die at 45, but we’ll eat as we please! (Nan Reiner, Alexandria)

Oh, say can you see that Confederate sight
Which so proudly we hail as our birthright’s past gleaming?
Thirteen stars and three stripes cast in red and in white
O’er the statehouse we watch for the Stars and Bars streaming.
In this Southern affair, Georgians did not despair,
Held firm in the fight that our flag should fly there.
Today in Atlanta a Rebel banner still waves
O’er the land of the peach and the home of the Braves. (Chris Doyle)

On the proposed law in San Francisco to prohibit all circumcisions:
Oy vay, woe is me! Could I really be stopped?
No more cutting the skin from my baby boy’s wiener?
I am sure God proclaimed that my kid must be cropped,
And my son will be able to keep it much cleaner.
Is it really so bad just to cut off a tad,
A small snip of skin from an 8-day-old lad?
Oh, pray we can still give the mohel his knife —
May he bless my baby boy on his eighth day of life. (Barbara Sarshik, McLean)

Good God, what’s that noise? Is that “William Tell”
That so loudly we hear, interrupting our dreaming,
That some idiot chose as the ring on his cell,
With the volume turned up, till we all feel like screaming?
And the midi’s shrill blare permeates through the air,
Announcing to all that he just doesn’t care.
Oh! Say does that jerk’s jangling ring tone yet play?
Turn off your bloody phone, and then please go away! (Barrie Collins, Long Sault, Ontario)

o say can U C our gr8 flag in the sun
its from some kinda war, with the British im thinkin
they were charging us taxes and taking R gun
Paul Revier rang the church bells to warn old Abe Lincoln
when he heard the bells peal, Lincoln sent in a SEAL
who freed all the slaves! Way 2 go USA!
i know theres a lot more of our flag history,
i 4got it OMG – can U txt it 2 me? (Carol Uri, Alexandria, a First Offender)

Next week: Chemical wordfare, or Laughing matter

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