Style Invitational Week 929: Now sit right back and write a TV theme song

July 22, 2011

We wouldn’t usually spring two song parody contests on you in the space of two months, but fate intervened: We mourn the passing here of the wonderfully named Sherwood Schwartz, creator of “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch,” among other TV classics — and, more pertinently, composer of their theme songs, whose lyrics introduced the show by explaining the setup for the story. Not Yet a Loser Fred Singerman suggested a neat idea: Write a funny song introducing a TV show, past or present. The more obscure the show is, the more you’ll have to explain and still be funny. The song may be set to a Schwartz tune (“Gilligan”; “Brady”) or you can use any other tune (even your own, if you want to sing it in a video you post online).

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a box of Lunch Bugs, a pack of 24 sealable sandwich bags with a realistic-looking photo of a roach or beetle embedded in each one. Nobody will steal your burrito from the office fridge if it’s wrapped in one of these babies. Donated by Loser Nan Reiner.

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” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers @ washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 1; results published Aug. 21 (Aug. 19 online). Include “Week 929” 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 Chris Doyle; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and Judy Blanchard.

Report from Week 925: A remeaning task,

in which we asked you to come up with a new definition for an actual word beginning with I through O. We had at least 300 good entries from among the more than 2,500 submitted; believe us, you don’t want to read 300 entries, but the Empress did let the list of honorable mentions run on longer than usual online. (We’ll also run a few more next week.) Some of the entries below require you to pronounce the word differently from the original.

The winner of the Inker:

Knothole: Someone who isn’t a jerk. (Jamie Pazur, St. Simons Island, Ga., a First Offender)

2. Winner of the cowboy boot mugs and the glass boot filled with drink mixer: Linguine: A person who insists on correcting someone’s grammar or pronunciation when others are present. (Theresa Kowal, Silver Spring, Md.)

3. Ignorant (n.): A typical blog post. (Kevin Dopart, Washington; Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

4. Megawatt: A state of total bewilderment or disbelief. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Meaning-less: Honorable mentions

Lassitude: “Timmy can get himself out of the #*@!@ well. I have better things to do.” (Steve Langer, Chevy Chase; Laurie Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)

Incantation: Singing on the toilet. (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)

Magnesia: “I don’t recall buying any Playboys.” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Increase: Where the thong went. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)

Indigo: Harrison Ford’s epitaph. (Doug Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

Open-pit: Describing a sleeveless dress. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Newsletter: The man controlling Internet access in China. (Hampton DeJarnette, Silver Spring, Md., a First Offender)

Mouthwatering: Euphemism for waterboarding. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

Juniper: A mohel. (Laurie Brink)

Kaleidoscope: The doohickey the body shop uses to inspect your wrecked car. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Kidney: A common place to put bandaids. (Mike Inman, Lewes, Del.)

Opportune: What them ladies with the horn-helmets sing. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

Orangutans: People who try to look like Snooki. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)

Lackadaisical: What Donald Duck was after his divorce. (Xin Yu, Columbus, Ohio)

Lapidary: A miniature pet camel. (Todd Carton, Wheaton, Md.)

Kilogram: A letter bomb. (Chris Doyle)

Lambaste: What Gordon Ramsay does when the meat’s too tough. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)

Infatuation: XXL-rated lust. (Rick Haynes, Potomac, Md.)

Intimacy: The new name for what used to be Hecht’s lingerie department. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Impervious: What convicted sex offenders are required to tell everyone. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

Implore: Stories like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

Karma: The woman destined to chauffeur half the frickin’ neighborhood to soccer practice. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

Mammaries: Embarrassing stories from your childhood that your mother never fails to recount. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Navigate: Scandal on the high seas. (Nancy Israel, Bethesda, Md.)

Microwave: One guy standing and waving his arms in a stadium. (Leigh Giza, Gainesville, Va.)

Jamboree: Someone who yawns through a Grateful Dead concert. (John Shea, Philadelphia)

Manifesto: A bachelor party. (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)

Locomotive: The insanity defense. (Theresa Kowal)

Maddening: Commenting on football games. “Joe wouldn’t stop maddening for the entire second quarter.” (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Indian summer: Bangalore accountant. (Pam Sweeney)

Installer: A quickie in the restroom. (Craig Dykstra)

International date line: Su place ou meine? (Chris Doyle)

Logarithm: A series of exertions on the john. (Vic Krysko, Surat Thani, Thailand)

Lumberjack: Slang for ED medicine. Also: forklift, upkeep. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

Macaroon: Someone who is one-eighth Scottish (Mike Gips)

Marathon: An all-day vandalism spree. (Jeff Contompasis)

Maximize: Enlarged pupils from reading men’s magazines. (Mike Inman)

Mediocre: A very specific but rather dull crayon hue. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

Melodious: Australian slang for raving drunk. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)

Metaphor: How you described your blind date who had a, um, very nice personality. (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring)

Monsoon: Jamaican farewell. (Chris Doyle)

Obscene: Doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist and some idiot with a video camera. (Ward Kay, Vienna)

Indiana: Birthplace of Prince William. (Craig Dykstra)

Orthodox: Dentists. (Matt Monitto, Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

Lasso: The Marx sister. (Judy Blanchard)

Midwife:Bride bridging Marriages No. 1 and No. 3. (David Klann, Washington)

Itself: Customary phone greeting in Middle Earth. (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)

And last: Nutmeg: A million Losers. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman)

And even laster: Invitational: A contest anyone may enter. (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)


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 — 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, 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 lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.

Next week: Outrageous fortunes, or Yuan smart cookie

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