Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a Superfly Monkey, a stuffed animal that catapults from your fingertips when you pull back on its elastic arms and sails a remarkable distance while letting loose an annoying scream. This prize would have been a big hit when we gave it out for Week 826, except that its donor, Lois Douthitt, managed to win it back (this has happened to Invite prize-donors more than once; we don’t use the term “Loser” for nothing). This time Phil Frankenfeld is the donor; let’s see if he’s luckier. See a video of Superfly in action at bit.ly/monkeyslingshot.
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” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to
or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Sept. 10; results published Sept. 30 (online Sept. 27). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 986” 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/inviterules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Tom Witte; the alternative headline for the “next week’s results” line was submitted by both Jeff Contompasis and Nan Reiner. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
Report from Week 982
Our annual-or-so song parody contest: This time the restriction was that you had to include an actual line from the song you were parodying. Click on the link in each song to hear the melody on YouTube; I’ve found that the best way to do this is to click on the link, start up the video at the specified point (on some of them, you have to wait five seconds so you can skip the rest of the commercial) and then go back to the parody lyrics while you hear the music — it’s fun to sing along, too, although this is not recommended during certain religious services.
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
The Congressional Theme Song
(to “I Won’t Grow Up,” from “Peter Pan”)
We won’t grow up!
We don’t wanna legislate.
We are always out campaigning
Till the next election date.
We just cast votes for special perks;
On all the rest, the filibuster works.
We’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up —
We won’t grow up!
We will never compromise;
To obstruct the other party
Is our one and only prize.
We’ve pledged to veto every tax
For Grover Norquist and the super-PACs.
We’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up –
We’re hacks! (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
Winner of the cute plush ulcer bacterium:
(To “Another Brick in the Wall”)
We don’t need no education,
Texas is a thought-free zone.
No evolution in the classroom:
Teachers leave them kids alone.
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
We’ll stop y’all with another brick in the wall.
Our kids will all be just another hick in the mall. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Friday, Maybe: The Derecho Song
(To “Call Me Maybe”)
I like electrical stuff, I never can get enough,
Not having power is rough, can’t stand the dark and heat.
I like to turn on a light, have AC running at night,
Make sure my fridge is all right so I won’t lose my meat.
The rain was flowing, thunder sky was glowing,
Hot night, wind was blowing,
Not again, our power’s going!
Hey, I call Pepco, and then they say we
Won’t get back power till Friday, maybe. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)
(To “Born to Run”)
In the day we work out on the streets, guaranteeing the American Dream.
At night we glide through mansions of donors, basking in their esteem.
Stung in the pages of the New York Times:
We’re well heeled, well connected, not deigning to explain old crimes.
Ann, this task rips the stories from our past.
Your horse and Seamus, they always wanna blame us.
We’ve gotta hit Barack till we’ve won
’Cause champs like us, baby, we were born to run. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
Subpar-odies: Honorable mentions
(To “Let It Snow”)
Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
Summer’s hot both day and nightful.
Every winter leaves us aglow:
There’s no snow! There’s no snow! There’s no snow!
[Bridge:] But the scientists can’t be right.
Climate studies don’t fool me, folks.
Phony data’s been brought to light.
Global warming is just a hoax!
Soon the heat will show signs of stopping,
Average temps will start to dropping.
That’s the truth ’cause a Fox News show
Tells me so, tells me so, tells me so. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
(To “The Hokey Pokey”)
You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out;
You’ve trashed your brand-new shoes, and profanities you shout;
A steaming pile of excrement has turned your plans around;
Who let the Great Dane out? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
(To “White Rabbit”)
One pill makes you larger
And two pills wow the gals
And with the lift we’ll give you
You’ll be the envy of your pals.
For Cialis, click this link now. (Mike Gips)
Aboard US Airways Express 3329 Into National
(To “One” from “A Chorus Line”)
One — runway at the airport all the planes have got to use.
Two – opposite directions air controllers can choose.
Sometimes a change in the weather may flip your sights,
But don’t you think you should notify all the flights?
One – moment till collision, time to kiss our butts goodbye.
Choose a plane to turn and fly away – Hey,
You! Try — accident prevention!
Do I really have to mention
We’re the one! (Nan Reiner)
To “Castle on a Cloud” from “Les Misérables”
(sung by the adorable waif Bruce Yanovitch, age 7)
There is a castle on a cloud;
Mom has to work there while I sleep.
So many floors to scrub and sweep,
Big, dirty castle on a cloud.
There is a man dressed really nice;
I asked him one time for his advice.
I’m just a kid, but I kid you not:
He said, “You’re poor. Get rich. You missed a spot.”
I know a place where mom stays home.
There is a lift in that garage.
Dogs in the car are not allowed.
Poo trickles down here from that cloud.
(Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
To “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”
(start at 0:23)
His bevy of homes can be quite satisfying;
Oh, Money is Mitt Romney’s friend.
His large pleasure domes leave observers oh-mying,
Also, crying “Oh, my stars!”
At elevators for his cars.
He should know, things come and go,
And we all lose our charm in the end,
But meanwhile his kitty has him sitting pretty;
Money is Mitt Romney’s friend.
A trip to New Hampshire is quite energizing;
Money is Mitt Romney’s friend.
And his “summer camp” you would not find surprising;
All creature comforts within reach,
And many feet of private beach.
He’s your guy when stocks are high,
But the man simply can’t comprehend
That we are just plain folks; we’re not like his Bain folks;
Money is Mitt Romney’s friend. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
(start at 0:45)
H. pylori, where you wind up weepin’ from the pain
And the meals you eat can have no heat
As an ulcer makes your life insane!
H. pylori, every night I feel I’m gonna die--
Chew a lot of chalk and call the doc,
Hopin’ he’ll have somethin’ else to try.
Don’t know how much more I can stand,
And I stand to consume food that’s bland.
So when I cry, Yeeow! Ayipioee-aiiieee!
I’m only cryin’, Please, let me dine, H. pylori,
H. pylori. H. py-! (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
To “Master of the House” from “Les Miz” (start at 1:00)
Master of the house, Keeper of the zoo:
Speaker Boehner has an awful job to do.
Dealing with the nuts. Holding down debate;
Has to keep tea party crazies voting straight.
All House members loathe each other,
Eric Cantor wants his spot,
Anger causes facial flushes. So to cover up he tans a lot. (Travis McKinney, San Antonio)
To “Do You Hear the People Sing?”
from “Les Miz”
Do you hear the people sing?
It’s a relentless Broadway tune
That you pay a hundred bucks to hear
On Sunday afternoon.
When the thumping in your ears
Causes your head to start to throb,
That is the time to up and leave “Les Misérables.” (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
To “Love and Marriage” (start at 0:30)
Same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage,
An institution that we must disparage!
Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy is proud to say it’s psychopathy.
[Bridge] Try, try, try to celebrate it, it’s an illusion.
Try, try, try, and you will only come to this conclusion:
Guy-guy marriage, gal-gal marriage,
Same-sex weddings are a gross miscarriage.
God has told us, brother, you can’t have one spouse like the other. (Chris Doyle)
To “Blowin’ in the Wind”
How many roads must a man walk down
Before he can flag down a cab?
How many squats must a fat man perform
Before he can work off his flab?
Yes, and how many weights must he lift up and down
Before he can strengthen an ab?
The answer, my friend, is one more than he can,
The answer is one more than he can. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
“Fugue for Tinhorns” (from “Guys and Dolls”)
I got the horse right here,
Her name’s Rafalca, dear,
It’s your Olympic sport but I’ll be nowhere near.
Can’t do, can’t do. Can’t be at Grand Prix with you.
Won’t watch on TV to see
How well she’ll do.
The London games are nice,
But Ann, I’ve good advice
Because the press has burned me once or twice.
Can’t view, can’t view dressage like the rich folk do
And win the election too. Can’t do. Who knew? (Chris Doyle)
To “That’s Entertainment!”
The clown with his pants falling down
In a trance while he dreamt of romance,
Taken in to explain it’s no sin
At his arraignment.
The light’s on Fred Willard tonight
As he’s tried with his lawyer beside,
Standing tall when he gives it his all
At his arraignment! (Jeff Contompasis)
To “Crying” by Roy Orbison
I mulled Jindal for the spice;
There was Rice, she’d be nice;
And you, Portman, were first,
But the right wanted worst.
So I stopped and said, “No, no”
Oh, you wished me well
En route to hell
Since I’d picked Ry-y-y-an over you ... (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious,
Secret bundled megabucks can make a roar ferocious:
When I was just a lad in school I learned this truth by rote:
The thing that makes this country great is called “one man, one vote.”
But Citizens United has changed everything we teach:
“Look, boys and girls! A corporation can buy extra speech.” Oh. . .
To “Bennie and the Jets”
Hey, Tim, what’s the news this morning?
They signed you as a backup, so you should have seen the warning.
Did Jesus really want you coming over here?
The media will watch your actions all throughout the year.
You say that you’re happy, you’ve got no regrets;
Ooh, but your team’s spaced out, T-T-T-Timmy and the Jets.
Oh, but they’re weird and they’re wonderful,
They’re any newspaper’s dream.
You throw just like my mom, but fans are calm,
For you’ve brought God’s approval on this team.
Oh, Timmy and the Jets . . .
(Matt Monitto, Elon, N.C.)
(To “Oops! I Did It Again”; start at 0:51)
Oops! I did it again!
I dropped the F-bomb and thrilled the newsmen.
Obama’s boiling –
Oops! Told bunker’s locale,
No PR knowhow,
I’m not intelligent! (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)
To “I’m Flying” from “Peter Pan”
Over bars, over vault;
Can I land without fault? I’m trying.
On the beam, on the floor;
No one can touch my score. I’m winning!
I just beat the best from everywhere,
So give it a rest about my hair!
Ponytail held with clips we all wear to do flips.
I don’t sport a weave – but somehow I achieve.
When you can do the same, I might receive your catty peeve.
I’m flying! (Nan Reiner)
It’s true! It’s true! The GOP stands firm:
For President Obama? Just one term. . .
A law was made a distant moon ago here,
But now it seems that there are almost none
Since “compromise” became a dirty word here
In Washington . . . (Dave Hanlon, Woodbridge)
“R” is red, on Mars it’s everywhere,
“O” is OMG, we made it there!
“V” is very, very extraordinary
“E,” I’ve got my eye on “R” that rockin’ Mohawk Guy.
Oh, Cur-iosity, three cheers to you!
Sure shows what the U.S.A. can do.
Works much better than we
Ever thought, and now we can see
Uncle Martin’s point of view. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman)
To the “Barney and Friends” theme
I love you, you love me,
Though we’re not a “biblical family.”
And we’ll celebrate our love in a non-biblical way,
Making out at Chik-fil-A.” (Mark Raffman, Reston)
To “Point of No Return”
You know that once upon a time
I hoped to run for veep,
And gave 10 years of tax returns
McCain would read and weep.
But now there’s no getting me
To show the world the facts.
I’m at the point of no returns,
And you won’t learn what I paid in tax. (Chris Doyle)
Prescriptions for Disaster
Nowadays, I take Viagra,
’Cause it always causes aggra-
vation when I flop again,
And need to stop again . . .
Constantly I have conniptions,
Fretting over my prescriptions.
I got four score; soon I’ll get more.
Here in Manhattan, I’m havin’ statin overload.
All over my abode they’re stowed.
So much ingestin’ in my intestine
Twelve times a day I go,
When balmy breezes blow, to and fro.
(chorus) I’m gonna keep taking every med,
Till finally I am dead.
Now where’s the Prozac? It’s just a vial of joy. (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)
To “Seventy-Six Trombones”
Seventy-six grams fat in the chocolate mousse
And a hundred and ten more grams in the pie.
It is easy to stuff, of course, quite enough to choke a horse
In the merest twinkling of an eye.
[bridge] They’ve a list of all the luscious things that we should eat:
Turnip greens, fava beans, yogurt and tofu,
Wilted kale and turkey tail and soup of beet;
No red meat; it isn’t good — for — you.
So our conscience nags us constantly with healthy tips,
Thundering, thundering, louder than before.
We chomp a couple bacon strips, and feel them settle on our hips,
And think, what the hell, let’s have some more! (Mae Scanlan)
The Empress’s Invitation
(To “Side by Side”)
Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money,
Even for jokes that are funny,
But we’ll send you a shirt;
Send us your dirt;
Snide! Be snide! (Beverley Sharp)
Still running — deadline Tuesday night — is Week 985, our contest featuring the cartoons of Bob Staake. See bit.ly/invite985.
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, in which 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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’s results: Limerixicon IX, or, more succinctly, LimerIXicon, our annual contest for limericks focusing on words from one sliver of the alphabet (this time Eq-Ez).