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 email@example.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Sept. 26; results published Oct. 16 (Oct. 14 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 937” 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 Craig Dykstra; this week’s honorable-mentions name is by Tom Witte.
Report from Week 933
in which we asked, in “homage” to the 55 Fiction contest given by the California alternative weekly New Times, for 56-word humorous stories. We had a hunch that this one would be difficult. It clearly was. No Inker this week; we’re starting with second place. By the way, we’re counting two words joined by a hyphen as two words; a number written in numerals counts as one word.
Winner of the “Welcome to Loserville” sign:
“Frank, your mother is back from the dead and knocking on our front door.”
“Are you sure?”
Gillian invited him to peek through the peephole.
“Well, let’s invite her in.”
“Frank, I see fangs.”
“She’s a vampire. If we invite her in, she’ll suck the life out of our family.”
“And this is different how?” (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
3. “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Henry!”
“Oh, Liza. We’ll fix it. In the meantime, I’ll tell you a story:
Star-crossed sweethearts determine to spend
On each other, but – Heaven forfend –
Each one sells, for his deeds,
What the other’s gift needs.
Empty pockets, full hearts. That’s the end.”
“Oh, Henry, what a tale!” (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
4. The president had a problem: His dark secret would be exposed in Woodward’s book. It was a youthful mistake. In Hawaii. But would it become a metaphor?
Could he cover up the incident? No, Nixon had tried that. Best to confess: “It’s true: In a high school hoops game, I did blow an easy breakaway layup.” (Ron Shafer, Williamsburg, Va., a First Offender)