We’d been calling this annual contest “Look Back in Inker,” referring to our old “Thinker”-spoof trophy, but “Look Back in Inkin’ Memorial” doesn’t have that same zing.
In any case, this is your big chance to send in that fabulous entry that you thought of when you were reading the results of another contest, or the one your computer ate a few months ago: This week: Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 946 through Week 995, except for Week 948, this week’s counterpart from last year. You’re free to reference events that have happened since those contests. Use as few or many contests as you like, as long as your entry total doesn’t exceed 25. You may refer to events that have occurred since the contest was published (except for the Week 952 obit poems, which should still be about people who died in 2011); for contests that ask you to use that week’s Post, use this week’s. Since there’s so little space in the print paper, longer-form entries are likely to run only online. And you don’t even have to clean out your birdcage: Links to all the contests are at wapo.st/StyleInv
(note that there’s a single link to a page of other links for Weeks 946-951, and that they’re listed at or near the top of the list).
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a can of genuine dehydrated water, donated by Loser Edward Gordon. The label advises that the dried H2O is useful for a long list of pursuits, including dry-mopping floors, adding VW Bug coolant, and humidifying saunas. We guarantee that it will not spill.
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, Dec. 10; results published Dec. 30 (online Dec. 27). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 999” 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 Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline in the “Next week” line is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
Report from Week 995
our perennial Ask Backwards contest, in which we offered a dozen phrases and asked what questions they could be answering:
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
A. The La Brea Tar Pits.
Q. Other than the Cuban politburo, where is the best place in the Western Hemisphere to find a bunch of Pleistocene fossils? (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Winner of the baculum, or penis bone, of a mink:
A. A mink baculum.
Q. What does Donald Trump give his fired employees instead of a golden parachute? (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
3. A. The thing that goes “woo”
During one of his senior moments, what did Joe Biden call his beloved Metroliner? (Kevin Dopart, Washington; Susan Thompson, Cary, N.C.)