1. The poem must be either a couplet (two rhyming lines, “AA”) or two couplets (“AA/BB”).
2. Each line starts with an accented syllable and runs for nine syllables in an iambic meter: BA-da-BA-da-BA-da-BA-da-BA.
3. The FIRST syllables of each couplet also rhyme with each other.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins the novel “Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder: Bubble in the Bathtub,” donated by 11-year-old Loser scion Saralinda Contompasis, who found it entirely too juvenile and clearly better suited to her father’s crowd.
Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt, a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. 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
or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 9; results published July 29 (online July 207. No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 978” 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 wapo.st/StyleInv. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline in the “Next Week” line is by Tom Witte. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
Report from Week 974
in which we asked for limericks about a play, book, movie or TV show: We had so many fine entries that we might also run more of them later this summer.
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
Why does Greece’s Odysseus roam
For so long while Penelope’s home?
It could be he won’t ask
For directions — a task
That’s too tough for his Y-chromosome. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Winner of the kangaroo-scrotum coin purse:
When viewed with objective lucidity,
This film is of doubtful validity
Because it’s notorious
For saying it’s glorious
To live a life based on stupidity. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
“Pride and Prejudice” (1995)
Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s low birth,
No connections and little net worth,
Mom a twit, sis a skank —
It’s a stretch (let’s be frank)
To suggest she could land Colin Firth. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)