The cork let’s pop, the wine decant
For the father of the cochlear implant.
Glasses raised, let’s give a cheer
To William House, we say, “Hear! Hear!”
In the wake of the days of revelry as we finally kicked 2012 goodbye, we pause a moment — as we’ve done for the past nine years — to remember those whose lives were lost, and then of course get busy writing irreverent little verses about them. This week: Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2012, as in the example above by Washington Post Senior Silly Tweeter Gene Weingarten. It doesn’t have to rhyme, but in the Empress’s experience, rhyming verses tend to be funnier. (They also tend to scan a bit better than the second line of the above.) Short verses are more likely to make the print paper, but the best longer poems (including song parodies) will be published in the online Invite. You can find various lists of “notable deaths of 2012,” etc., online. Compared with some of our other contests, our obit-poem challenge does call for a certain restraint in content and tone: Unless you’re talking about an Osama-level evildoer, don’t give three cheers that the person has met his demise, or predict that his soul is heading netherward.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a toilet-shaped ceramic coffee cup that, set out on your breakfast table, could help you in your resolution not to overeat. Donated by Andrea Kelly.
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 email@example.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Jan. 14; results published Feb. 3 (online Jan. 31). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1004” 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 Chris Doyle; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Tom Witte. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
Report from Week 1000
in which we celebrated that milestone with our most renowned contest: to create a new term, or neologism, by changing an existing word by adding a letter, subtracting a letter, substituting a letter, or transposing two letters: And this time the original word (not necessarily the resulting word) needed to start with a letter between T and Z.