New contest: Come up with a double or multiple profession, and explain how each job complements the other(s), as in the examples above — each of which gets an honorable mention for Week 985, whose results we run today. In that contest, we published these five typically weird cartoons created by our go-to maniacal genius Bob Staake, and asked you to tell us what Style Invitational contest any of them might be illustrating — either an actual previous contest or one you made up. Perennial Losers Gary and Lawrence sent in pretty much the same contest idea, which the Empress found highly promising, though neither of their entries for it wins more than a magnet. (We don’t want the contest examples to be unmatchably good, anyway.) Maybe they’ll do better next time.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a charmingly highbrow practical-joke device called Talking Toilet, which you install under the seat; when someone sits down, the box starts shouting things like “Hey, I’m working down here!” Donated by Nan Reiner.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to
or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 1; results published Oct. 21 (online Oct. 18). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 989” 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 Beverley Sharp; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Jeff Contompasis. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
Report from Week 985
in which we asked you to name a real or imagined Style Invitational contest that any of these cartoons could illustrate:
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
plus a copy of today’s Invitational autographed and dedicated by Bob Staake himself: Week 982, song parody including one line from the original:
Picture E: To “Fugue for Tinhorns” from “Guys and Dolls”:
I’ve got the horse right here,
He’s in the bathtub, dear,
But all the lights went out, and he’s toast, I fear.
Boo hoo, I’m blue;
The horse blew a fuse, it’s true;
It looks like the horse is through;
(The toaster, too.) (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
2. Winner of another Bobographed page plus a tin of Zombie Mints: Picture A: New contest: Change a rule for a well-known game to reflect today’s society: If you are playing the banker in Monopoly and are about to go bankrupt, you get to keep picking cards from the Community Chest until you are solvent. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
Picture D: Our perennial “joint legislation” contest: The Eschoo-Boozman-Kildee-Foxx-Udall-Reid-Moore Act to increase American IQs by eliminating the two leading brain cell destroyers. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Picture B: New contest: Come up with an invention incorporating a live animal: The new Croc-o-Bile Crapplicator for Political BloggersTM. (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.)
Looking a bit drawn: honorable mentions
Week 913, move a word’s last letter to the beginning: U-sham: What a whale says to someone who cheats. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
Week 458, Asterisky Business, jokes requiring particular knowledge to understand:
The dolphin knew Bob’s victory would be short-lived, as it smugly bid him farewell with “a double-backwards somersault through a hoop whilst whistling ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ ”*
*In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” this gesture translates as “So long, and thanks for all the fish,” foreshadowing Earth’s imminent destruction. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
New contest: Limericks about pets:
While fishing, a man from Nantucket
A dolphin calf caught in a bucket.
It grew up, you see,
To be smarter than he,
But he somehow could always out-luck it. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
New contest: Invent an expression that sounds risque, but provide the “real,” G-rated meaning. “Shakin’ the gator”: Thoroughly mixing the contents of your sports drink bottle before drinking. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)
New contest: Ways that old-fashioned technology could be made more appealing today: The Monster Gator Correcto-Pen holds enough Wite-Out to repaint the Beltway. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
Week 939, combine two movie titles: “There’s Swamp Thing About Mary”: A young woman has many suitors, but none can get past her friend Snappy. (Christopher Lamora)
New contest: Combine two publications and create their marketing pitch:
Gourmet and Cat Fancy: How to prepare the finest meal Tabby will never eat. (Kevin Dopart)
Week 429, evidence that some institution has jumped the shark: Garfield becomes anorexic. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
Week 947, Tour de Fours VIII, neologisms containing the word block N-O-E-L in any order: Abaloney: Mock shellfish found in “premium” cat food. (Jeff Contompasis)
New contest: Write a parody of a famous poem as a cartoon caption:
Whose food this is I think I know,
His house is in the back yard, though;
You will not catch me dining here
On way-beneath-me canned Alpo. (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
New contest: Create a sentence where the last letter of each word is the first letter of the next word, as in this pointless example: “Covered dish holding giant tarantula angered domestic cat.” Make it funnier than this one or you’ll be writing limericks again. (Ned Bent, Erie, Pa.)
Week 212, products that the world doesn’t need: Coffee concentrate, for when you can’t be too highly strung. (Martin Bancroft, Rochester, N.Y.)
New contest:How people’s lives are influenced by TV shows: By closely watching “Dancing With the Stars,” Matilda was determined to master the step-left-kick-right, even though her “medicine” made it more challenging. (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring, Md.)
For the annual racehorse-“breeding” contest: Toastmaster x Bathing Beauty = Electro-Cute (Peter Shawhan, Silver Spring,a First Offender)
Week 442, slightly changed movie titles: “My Friend Flickered”: Mrs. O’Leary’s granddaughter’s horse starts the 1965 East Coast blackout. (Kevin Dopart)
New contest: Candidates’ deep, dark secrets: Rafalca once tried to commit suicide. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Week 768, fictitious movie trivia: The original script for “The Godfather” had the horse discovered in the bathroom. (Mike Gips)
New contest: Inbreeding: Mate two horses whose foal will end up at the shallow end of the gene pool: Uncle Mo x Brilliant Speed = Slow Mo; Supreme Ruler x Empire Way = Hemophilia (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)
Week 110, warning labels: On a bottle of champagne: If you’re bathing in champagne to celebrate a big win, do not make your own toast points for the caviar. (Gary Crockett)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is Week 988, ways to make sports and other activities more exciting. See wapo.st/invite988.
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:
Week 986, Hear here,
or Litellagrams, humor with homophones.