The Style Invitational
The Style Invitational
By the Empress

Style Invitational Week 1013: The lame(?) game of the name

Bob Staake/For The Washington Post - Who was postwar Germany’s great champion of daylight-saving time? Adenauer!

Who was postwar Germany’s great champion of daylight-saving time? Adenauer! (Elden Carnahan)

Is that CNN anchorwoman hot, or what? Oh yeah, Paula Zahn fire! (Dave Zarrow)

The Style Invitational

The Style Invitational is The Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest, serving up since 1993 an irreverent mix of highbrow and lowbrow -- haughty and potty -- in genres ranging from neologisms to cartoon captions to elaborate song parodies. A new contest appears at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational every Friday.

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(GAGSANDGOODS.COM) - A penny for its, um, thoughts: For second place this week, a noisy bank

What did the feminist singer say to Sadat? All Liz Phair in love, Anwar! (Chris Doyle)

In the Empress’s earlier incarnation as a copy editor in The Post’s Style section, part of the job was to write headlines containing puns and other wordplay (one of her proudest achievements: For a story about someone whose job was to monitor people who were giving urine samples for drug testing, she wrote “Looking Out for Number One”; and the same day, for a story about someone who had to clean out portable toilets, “Waste Is a Terrible Thing to Mind.” Thank you). But even in Style, the copy editors were warned: Don’t make puns on people’s names. It’s lame and tacky.

This week, write a riddle that uses a pun of a person’s name in the answer, as in the gleefully groany examples above that got ink in our previous go at this contest in 2002. You can see the original answers on the Master Contest List at NRARS.org, the Losers’ Web site (click on Week 442, where the results are); you won’t risk duplicating them if you use people who’ve gained their fame in the past decade.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the very fine Fanny Bank, which consists of a pair of plastic jeans with something resembling a plastic butt sticking out of the top; dropping a coin in the slot (conveniently located in the something-like-a-butt) generates an electronic fart noise. Donated by Loser Cheryl Davis, who seems to possess hundreds of prize-worthy pieces of embarrassiana. (See the Style Conversational at bit.ly/conv1013 for a video clip.)

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 losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 25; results published April 14 (online April 11). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1013” 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 Brad Alexander; the alternative headline for the “next week’s results” line is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.

Report from Week 1009

in which we asked for passages written about a person using only the letters in his or her name: Lots of responses, including a few that someone could actually manage to read. And out of 60 entries on her short­list, 11 of them were found to contain letters that were not in the person’s name — as many as three different wrong letters in a single entry. Thanks to Losergeeks Steve Langer and Jeff Contompasis for coming up with fast, nifty ways to check for invalid letters.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

Ke$ha: $he $hake$ a$$, ha$ $$. (Matt Monitto, Elon, N.C.)

2. Winner of the coin purse made from a whole Australian cane toad:
Angus MacGyver: Uses sunscreen, a car gauge, mucus, an eraser, mascara, a cane, garage grease, a N.Y. egg cream, gum — unarms a gang, rescues a granny, saves a nun. Vacuums mess. Cures cancer. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

3. Brigham Young: Bigamy? Ha! I’m marrying Miriam, Mary, Ann, Hannah, Amy. . . [all were Young’s actual wives] (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

4. Hillary Rodham Clinton:
Lay road to nomination: To Do:
●Find rich, rich donor (critical!)

●Traction on Hill? Am I too chilly to Harry and Nancy?
●Mr. Clinton? Hard to ditch (control him!!)
●Call in additional chit (or many, ha ha)
●Command military. Cool! Rarin’ to do it.
●Lid on it till May. Told CNN to chill.
●Man, I can nail it!
(David Messing, Washington)

Of nominal interest: Honorable mentions

George Washington: He was a great one, a wise one, the shining star o’ the new nation. OTOH, tho there was no terror on his estate, there were no wages either. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)

Anthony Weiner: A horny tweet: “Hey there, honey. Hot to trot here.” A wiener on Twitter! Heh-heh. What a hoot!
Oh-oh. A writer on the horn.
I tarry: “What? No way, no how! Not I!” Then I wait, try not to worry.
Whoa. Another writer, an ornery one. I rant, threaten to hire an attorney.
Oy, yet another. . . . They’re on to it. I won’t win.
Weary, I retreat: “Yeah, I hit on her.”
What now? I retire in notoriety — an Internet nitwit. (Chris Doyle)

Seth MacFarlane: A shameless, tasteless telecast falls flat. “Tee-hee — men see actresses’ ta-tas!” (The real threat: Letterman feels he earns a fresh chance.) (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Manti Te’o: Main man on team. Neat tattoo. Mania! Nominee! Mention intimate emotion (“Te amo!” — inanimate mate). No, no, no — an imitation! It ain’t no one! (Am I into men?) (Ben Aronin, Arlington, Va.)

William Howard Taft: What? Too fat? A load of lard? Hah! I will root for him to roar, to dart forward, to thwart T.R. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Katniss Everdeen: A teen starves in a stark area in need. Saves sister, stands in instead. Trains in intense events. Starts dire test. Stranded in tree, severs nest. Kids die via nest, knives, stakes. Kisses, saves ardent kid near river. Kat and kid end in tie, are saved. State desires Kat dead. At end, ardent kid never skins a Kat. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

Vladimir Lenin: Madman. Animal. Rivaled Idi Amin in evil. And never, ever, delivered marmalade in a lavender minivan. (Joe Neff, Warrington, Pa.)

Joseph Ratzinger: So, I retire as pope — it’s not right to phone it in, so I resign. To raise pet rats in a spare garage? To open a retro Gap store in Pretoria? To sponsor aspiring rappers in Ephrata, Pa.? To terrorize priests in Paris or inspire neo-Nazi rioting in Tanzania? Nein to that, nein! Prepare to see the Great Joe Zero-G, trapeze artist! (Elden Carnahan)

Sarah Palin: A shrill pain in la panini. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

Gordon Ramsay: Madman? Says yo mama! My angry moods? My drama? Among goons and morons, and gassy odors and gross mango/mayo aromas — AGONY! So, sorry? NO! Yo mama may go gag on dog gonads! (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

Lance Armstrong: Testosterone! More testosterone! (Steve Langer, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Genghis Khan: Asian seeks geishas, sake. (Ha!) Gains neighing nags, nagging hags, shanghaing gangs. Sees shahs, sheikhs, kings. Assassin sinks his aging heinie. (Kevin Dopart)

Mel Gibson: Me? Imbibing on binges? Loosing noisome libels? Ogling bimbos? No! I’m noble! I’m Mel being Mel! (Mark Raffman)

Clarence Thomas: Ne’er a comment (other than that one snort at the ol’ alma mater). No one’s loss. (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

Herman Cain: I’m an ace in an American chain, a mean machine. I ran in a race, each man an anemic, harmin’ arch-enema — ha ha! I am merrier, richer — and inane! Hear I’m a cinch? Hear I care? Merci, ami! (Cameraman, reach an’ enhance me here.) Her main charm? Her chin, her carmine mane. Her niece? Nicer. Her mama? Hairier. Rein me in, I’m a chimin’ ham! (Diane Wah, Seattle, a First Offender)

Rush Limbaugh: A big, shrill, gas-bag humbug: “Blah blah librulls blah rama lama ’Bama blah blah blah!” (Doug Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

Kate Middleton: At nineteen I met and dated a man, an eminent man. It entailed immediate media attention — a lot. Tittle-tattle made me into a national idol. (I liked it!) Meantime I modeled. I initiated an intimate tete-a-tete (i.e., a little naked nookie). It led to a diamond, a tied knot and an elated nation. A title, too! (Chris Doyle)

Rush Limbaugh: Shhhhh. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Gene Weingarten: Engaging, winning writer? Entertaining, nattering wag? Irritating, grating ranter? We agree. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

And last: Pat Myers: Empress sees my mastery? Rates me as a star? Mm-mm . . . Spears me, tears apart my art, reaps my tears? Yes. (Mark Raffman)

Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest for current-events limericks. See bit.ly/invite1012.

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 losers@washpost.com (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: Picture This, or Arty Har-Hars, our Week 1010 contest to write captions for any of five cartoons by the Invite’s Bob Staake.

 
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