“They also spent the most time in elite undergraduate and law school settings.” (Washington Post, March 5, in an article about the current Supreme Court)
Q. I’ve heard your lab rats are the healthiest, but why do you say they’re the smartest on campus?
Here’s a contest we’ve run at least nine times already, but not for more than two years. It was requested by Biggest Loser Ever Russell Beland, who, incredibly, seems to have found life outside the Invite and hasn’t had an entry published since his 1,505th blot of ink 30 weeks ago. This week: Take any sentence (or a major part of it) that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from March 9 through March 19 and supply a question it could answer. For stories and ads in the print Post, include the page number; for online articles, please copy part of the story or the URL of the page where you found the sentence. More guidelines for this contest appear in the Style Conversational, the Empress’s weekly column about the new contest and results.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives — directly from India, where it was picked up (gingerly) by Loser Beverley Sharp — a very pretty little blank-page journal of paper made with cow dung (it’s very fibrous, evidently). We will accept snail-mail entries to the Invite only if they are on cow-dung paper.
The Style Invitational
The Style Invitational is The Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest, serving up since 1993 an irreverent mix of highbrow and lowbrow -- haughty and potty -- in genres ranging from neologisms to cartoon captions to elaborate song parodies. A new contest appears at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational every Friday.
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 email@example.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 19; results published April 8 (online April 6). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 962” 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 washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised title for next week is by Kevin Dopart; the subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Samuel Enriquez of Annapolis, Md., a First Offender. Join the Style Invitational Devotees on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
Report from Week 958
in which we asked for wellerisms, wordplays that take the form of a quotation followed by something that usually makes the reader see a different meaning in the quote:
The winner of the Inker
“God bless us every one!” said the president of the Allergic Rhinitis Society as the banquet began. (Jason Russo, Annandale, Va.)
2. Winner of the little bobble-butt bucking horse:
“Give me a ballpark figure,” Greta said, asking the vendor for six hot dogs with the works. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
3. “No, I’m not free tonight!” responded the indignant prostitute. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va..)
4. “Drop dead,” ordered the pilot as the Ashes to Ashes plane flew lazy circles over the target zone. (Dan Steinbrocker, Los Angeles)
Well . . . er: Honorable mentions
“Heads will roll,” vowed the bulldozer operator before clearing a row of port-a-johns. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)