’Tis the season for newspaper articles to begin with “ ’Tis the season,” and this week we’ll do our part and remind you to support any or all of the literally thousands of charities you can assist through United Way or the Combined Federal Campaign. On the Style Invitational Devotees page on Facebook, Not-Yet-a-Loser Daphne Steinberg noted that the CFC “Catalog of Caring” (bit.ly/cfc-2012) lists such diverse organizations as the National Speleological Society (preserving caves) and Dogs Finding Dogs (using dogs to find lost dogs, duh). Yes, we know that all of those causes are worthy ones, so Daphne thinks the Loser Community ought to come up with some that aren’t: This week: Name a dubious charity and describe its mission. You might also want to include a line from its pitch to potential donors.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a prize we’ve been waiting all year to give out: a genuine caganer, brought back from Barcelona by Loser Elizabeth Molye. A caganer is a traditional figurine that’s placed in Catalan Nativity scenes and depicts a cherubic child who is blithely, well, pooping away in a manger. This one is only about two inches high.
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, possibly the new model whose slogan will be determined in the Week 994 contest. First Offenders receive a smelly, 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, Nov. 26; results published Dec. 16 (online Dec. 13). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 997” 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 was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and Chris Doyle.; the alternative headline for the “Next week’s results” line is by Tom Witte. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
in which we asked you to engage two historical or fictional figures in a mini-version of Epic Rap Battles of History, the immensely popular video site. It won’t shock regular Invite readers that we ended up not caring so much if the cleverest rhymes hadn’t so much a phat beat as a fat beat.
Aunt Jemima vs. Mrs. Butterworth:
Aunt J: You got an old-lady voice that always sounds so proper!
Always hating on the leading runny pancake topper!
You say you’re thick and rich, now that’s hard to chew —
You’re just a talking plastic bottle! I’ll recycle you!
Mrs. B: You’re better than me, huh? You’d better check your label:
It’s not just me who’s putting hexametaphosphate on the table!
You’re just jealous of the squeezing that I get every day—
You’re an aunt, but I’m a Mrs., and that’s all I’m gonna say! (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
2. Winner of “Now Wash Your Hands,” a book about toilets:
First Witch from “Macbeth”: You wrote a few old cookbooks. So? Big freakin’ deal!
In my cauldron I am makin’ a more exotic meal!
Julia Child: I spit upon your bat and on your tongue of dog;
(But I confess: That there is one luscious-looking frog!) (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
3. Pontius Pilate: We’ve been at this for hours, and I’d like to go home.
Traffic’s getting pretty heavy on all roads that lead to Rome.
Jesus: You need to practice patience and become more unselfconscious
That my Father named me Jesus and your father named you Pontius.
Pilate: Naming is irrelevant! They say you walk on water!
(My life’d be so much easier if Mary’d had a daughter!)
Jesus: Have you seen my halo, Pontius? It’s as if my head were sky-lit!
The biggest diff between us, bro, is that God is my pilot. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
4. John Grisham: My immense success just goes to show what’s achievable
When you have no talent — it’s really unbelievable!
Dan Brown: You think you have no talent? Let me tell you, suckah,
I can’t write for dirt and I can’t even rhyme! (Andrew Ballard, London)
Abominable Snowman: You think you’re gross? I’m grosser, and indomitable!
And furthermore, folks tell me I’m abominable.
Medusa: My snaky locks are writhing like spaghetti;
Come take a look! You ain’t seen nuthin’, yeti! (Beverley Sharp)
Adam: “Try this fruit!” says you, my rib-stealing be-otch!
Now the Original Sinna’s gotta fig-leaf his cre-otch.
Eve: For the very first man, yo’ head is way second-rate —
You’d be outta luck, playa, if I’d a choice in my mate. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Easter Bunny: “Your North Pole ice is melting fast, and Mrs. Claus has sung at last!
Your slave-kept elves will all applaud when kids find out that you’re a fraud.”
Santa Claus: “I have no fear, you furry freak, who lays the eggs for hide-and-seek!
When those kids learn the same ’bout you, in no time you’ll be Brunswick Stew.” (Mark Raffman, Reston)
Santa vs. Raffi (Amanda Yanovitch, featuring James and Bruce Yanovitch, ages 9 and 7)
Kanye West: Interruption! Interruption! I gotta get a word in!
The fact you beat Beyoncé’s just a little bit absurd, an’ —
Taylor Swift: Yo, Westie, maybe country music’s not your thing,
But there’s two of us on stage right now, and only one can sing. (Christopher Lamora)
Neil Armstrong: You presidents, you’re all the same,
But one small step assured my fame!
Gerald Ford: I run the show, command our troops;
I’ve taken LOTS of steps, and (OOPS!) . . . (Beverley Sharp)
Julia Child: You baked your aunt in a brioche? Your taste in food, mon Dieu, très gauche!
Dear gastro-fool, when eating Auntie: Pecorino or Chianti?
Hannibal Lecter: I’ll carve your face in bas-relief, you massive, pompous side of beef!
Take heed or I’ll remove your heart, frappé it in my Cuisinart! (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)
Thomas Edison: Nikky-boy, you worked for me, I am the boss.
I got Direct profits, you pulled a loss.
I’m the Wizard of Menlo, with patents that burgeon,
You’re a footnote of history, and you died a virgin.
Nikola Tesla: You may have done some experiments but I did all your math.
Maybe you should experiment with a light bulb in the bath.
It may be a shock to you, we’re Alternating today:
Your current gets a D, while my current gets an A. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)
Thor: You’re still just a human; I’m a legendary god.
Get as tall as you like; you’ll make a nice lightning rod.
Bruce Banner: Go ahead, bring your lightning and you’ll lose in a flash
As I grind you to . . . oh, forget the rap. HULK SMASH! (Stephen Gilberg, Washington)
Calvin Coolidge: I’m Silent Cal. What’s your name, pal?
Marcel Marceau: (Beverley Sharp)
Kurt Cobain: You’re called prophet of the people, the apex of folk,
But your voice and your image are truly baroque.
Profit OFF the people is a title more deserved;
Go say a prayer, you’ve now just been served!
Bob Dylan: Your tired old gimmick, what they called grunge
Took no time at all for the world to expunge.
My words ring true, spare and with verve.
Smells like you’re passe — oops, did I hit a Nirv? (Mike Gips, Bethesda)
Mozart: I dropped my first song when I was just 5,
Had more hits than anyone alive!
Beethoven: So what, punk, you know who I am?
I’m the OG who made the first Deaf Jam! (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
Tycho Brahe: I can take the true measure of any old star
And noseless or not, I describe you bizarre.
Michael Jackson: A phony-nosed white guy, well it couldn’t be clearer —
I could get those same views from the man in the mirror. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
The Empty Chair: You made yourself ridiculous, but people laughed by dint
Of the fact that after all is said and done, you still are Clint,
The macho hero action star whose life is an adventure,
And so they cheered as if your words were wit and not dementia.
Clint Eastwood: You wussy piece of furniture! You bentwood empty fool!
You think that you’re a chair but you are just a hunk of stool,
A castoff dumped in garbage bins, and certainly you’re not a man.
My butt will squash you when I sit. Hey, Romney! Bring an ottoman! (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Barbie: You look like me now and I think that’s fantastic.
Your best parts could be mine — they’re all made out of plastic.
Heidi Montag: Well, now, speaking of parts — and the guys you’ve been dating:
Mine come fully equipped, not some neutered G-rating. (Kevin Dopart)
Mitt: Young lad, we’ve had our fill of you; my bottom line’s unhealthy.
Our land can prosper still if you just leave it to the wealthy.
Barack: Old man, your kind of gladder day is ancient and passe; Annette
The Mouseketeer has had her day, just like the horse and bayonet. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria)
Richard Dawkins: If it weren’t for your religion, we’d be saying, “Tebow who?”
The Virgin Mary has a better throwing arm than you.
So bow to the inevitable, get down on one knee,
And pray that you evolve into a better QB.
Tim Tebow: Jesus said, “Love your neighbor; perfect love casts out fear,”
So remember that I love you while I’m kicking your rear.
Stop insulting all religions, and please don’t be a hater.
I’ll beat you with the power of Christ (and Matt Prater). (Matt Monitto, Elon, N.C.)
Michele Bachmann: Yo, Matthews, does your leg still thrill to Barack Hussein Obama?
I hear he thrilled more than the leg of the slut you call your mama.
If only he were half as good at acting presidentially.
He fooled the voters but we’ll bring Obama down eventually.
Chris Matthews: Michele, you right-wing zombie, can’t you see your guy Mitt Romney
Would have screwed the 99 percent the way he screwed your mommy?
So go now, sit in Congress on your skinny wing-nut rump.
You may have better hair but you’re a bigger clown than Trump. (Robert Schechter)
Paris Hilton: “Uh . . . what?”
Kim Kardashian: “Huh?” (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest to combine two magazines. See bit.ly/inv996
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: Stick It to Us, or Keeping Up With Adherences, a contest for slogans for our new pair of Loser magnets for honorable mentions.