If you failed to embarrass yourself over the past year with ink in one of our previous contests — or if you couldn’t manage even that — here’s another chance.
This week: Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 891 through Week 945 (except for Week 896, which was the same contest for the previous year). You can send multiple entries for a single contest, as long as you don’t send more than 25 entries in all. You may refer to events that have occurred since the contest was published; for contests that ask you to use The Post from a certain day or week, use today’s or this week’s. (For the “Dead Letters” of Week 901, the poems should still be about people who died in 2010, not 2011; the Week 898 predictions should be about 2012.) Since there’s so little space in the print paper, longer-form entries are likely to run only online. You can find links to all the contests at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational (note that there’s a single link to a page of other links for Weeks 891-915, and that they’re listed first).
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the book “Thank You for the Giant Sea Tortoise,” a 1971 compilation of entries from the New York Magazine Competition, which the Style Invitational was created to “honor.” The Empress was shocked, but not saddened, to discover that many of the entries were, well, lame-o (e.g., recast a movie: “Royal Wedding” with Alan King, Steve McQueen and Patty Duke). Donated by Terry Reimer.
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 tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 12; results published Jan. 1 (Dec. 30 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 948” 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 is by Chris Doyle; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Tom Witte.
in which we asked you to finish an “Is it just me . . .” sentence. There were two basic categories of just-mes: the self-effacing entries saying, “I’m so pathetic/clueless/nerdy/weird” and those that served as an excuse for snarky observational humor. We got good entries in both categories. And many people wrote in: “Or is it just I?” Each of them wins a one-year subscription to Pedantic Monthly.
Is it just me, or do you also think Texans must have had to sign a pledge to reinforce their stereotype when they’re in public? (Neal Starkman, Seattle, a First Offender)
2. Winner of the lobster-tank fart-joke mug: Is it just me, or are more women becoming immune to charisma? (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge, Va.)
3. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it hypocritical that Certain Media Outlets won’t cover third-party candidates who have zero chance of winning — but still continue to cover the Baltimore Orioles? (Gregory Koch, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
4. Is it just me, or does anyone else think movie trailers should include the disclaimer “You have just seen all the best parts of this movie”? (Susan Geariety, Menifee, Calif.)
Is it just me, or do other people arrive early at the dentist just to catch up on Goofus & Gallant in the waiting room? (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
. . . or do other people like to have pretend cellphone conversations with their proctologists while on crowded elevators? (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
. . . or is popcorn too loud for the movie theater? Shouldn’t we be eating pudding at the movies instead? (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
. . . or do other people get excited passing through Yonkers, N.Y., and realizing it’s the home of Consumer Reports? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
. . . or are all porn videos unnecessarily long? (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)
. . . or do all Catholic kids growing up in Rhode Island think “INRI” is atop the crucifix only in that state’s churches, and that, say, the ones in Pennsylvania say “INPA”? (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City, who wasn’t set straight till age 12 or so)
. . . or are caterpillars getting saltier? (Chuck Smith)
. . . or does the voice on your GPS system appear barely able to contain an increasing rage as you continue to miss exit after exit? (Susan Geariety)
. . . or do other listeners wonder why WAMU-FM keeps announcing that “the mind is Armenian”? (L. Suzanne Gordon, Takoma Park, Md., a First Offender)
. . . or do other guys face the same direction when they use the toilet sitting down as they do when standing? (Kevin Dopart)
. . . or do other women take an extra birth control pill every time they see that gushing mother of eight in the Giant supermarket ads? (Diana Todd, Silver Spring, Md., a First Offender)
. . . or do you think Dave Barry would be a good name for a rock band? (Christopher Lamora)
. . . who thinks “seafood” from lakes and rivers should be correctly labeled littoral-watersfood? (Jeff Contompasis)
. . . or are other goyim just as skilled in using Yiddish without sounding like some zaftig pesadich schmaltz? (Roy Ashley, Washington)
. . . or do all the smiling animal skeletons at the museum know something about extinction that we don’t? (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
. . . or does Siri tell everyone to “just shut up for a change”? (Robert Schechter)
. . . who thinks it would be way safer to put up signs saying “No Deer Crossing”? (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)
. . . or does the coating on Hanukkah gelt taste kind of metallic? (David Genser)
. . . or does everyone think that illustrations of peaches look like butts wearing green thongs? (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)
. . . or do other people think the previous 943 Style Invitational contests were better than this one? (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)
. . . or do I sometimes get ink when I don’t really deserve it? (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
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 email@example.com (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.
Next week: Laugh-baked ideas, or Ha la carte