Okay, smart cookies: Send us humor we can eat. Well, photos of humor we can eat.
Every weekend for almost 19 years, the Style Invitational — The Washington Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest — has brought readers smart, irreverent wit both highbrow and lowbrow, from haughty to potty. And this week, as the holiday baking season gets underway, we’re hungering for more than the Invite’s usual lists of puns and one-liners: We want something we can sink our teeth into.
This week: Cleverly depict a person, event or phenomenon of the 21st century — real history as well as scenes from movies, books, videos, etc. — using edible materials, and send us a photo of your creation. All visible parts of your entry, except a backdrop and a base, must be made of something edible — and we mean people-edible, not your-destructive-dog-edible. (On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be tasty; we’re not eating your photo.) If you’re using a piece of produce or a nut, you don’t have to peel it.
Your entry may be anything from a single decorated cookie to an elaborate gingerbread diorama. It can be of any size. You have to make the significant elements yourself; for example, you can buy a plain gingerbread man and decorate it as President Obama, but you can’t use a Gingerbread Obama you got at the bakery. (While the foods you use don’t have to be traditional winter-holiday items, don’t use Peeps – save them for WP Magazine’s popular springtime diorama contest.)
You may not use Photoshop or other editing to materially change the appearance of your creation (rather than to fix lighting, etc.). And you can’t enter something that’s already been published online or in print.
Send your photo by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 — we’re extending our usual deadline past Thanksgiving weekend — as an attachment to an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Week 945” in the subject line. Most likely it’ll be your own photo that we print or publish online, so make sure that it’s a high-resolution JPEG (200 dpi, 6 to 8 inches wide or tall)and that it makes your entry look its best. We are not accepting snail-mail photos for this contest.
In your e-mail, include the following:
●No more than two photos as high-resolution JPEG attachments (200 dpi, 6 to 8 inches wide or tall).
●A clever title, if you have one. The Style Invitational is renowned for wordplay.
●A list of the materials you used for the various elements of your entry. Creative choices are a plus.
●Your real name(s) — no pseudonyms. The Invitational usually discourages entries sent jointly, but this week is an exception; feel free to have your family or friends contribute. We’re extending the deadline till Nov. 28 so you can play around with this over the Thanksgiving weekend.
●The postal address of the first person you’re crediting; the best phone number to reach you; and the best e-mail address to reach you. The Empress may have to talk to you about your photo.
●Anything else you’d like to include to convince us how goshdarn cool and clever your entry is (except, you know, bribes).
The contest will be judged as usual by yours truly, the Empress of the Style Invitational. This time, however, the E will consult with staffers of The Post’s Style and Food sections. Entries will be judged for humor, originality, craft and ingeniousness. You may submit as many individual entries as you like; send each entry on a separate e-mail with all the requested information.
Winners will be announced and several of them pictured in the Dec. 18 Sunday Style section — and if we have something fabulous, we’ll put it on the cover. (They’ll probably be posted online Dec. 16.) The honorable mentions will appear online in a photo gallery.
Entries must be submitted to email@example.com by 11:59 Eastern time on Monday, Nov. 28. Include “Week 945” in your e-mail subject line or it may be ignored as spam. You should receive an auto-reply within an hour of your submission. If you don’t get the auto-reply, please e-mail the Empress at firstname.lastname@example.org by the next morning, and she’ll make sure your entry comes through. (The text of the auto-reply refers to regular Invitational contests; the rules listed here overrule anything on the auto-reply that contradicts them, such as an entry limit.)
The prizes are primarily Fame and Glory — not available in stores! There are also these more tangible but monetarily worthless items, the regular Style Invitational prizes:
The winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. (Having an entry published in the Invite is called “getting ink,” and the [oxy]moronic “Winning Loser” on the head bag refers to the community of Invitational regulars, the Losers, named after the coveted runner-up prizes.)
Runners-up will receive the lusted-after Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. We usually have three runners-up but we may be more magnanimous this time, depending on the fabulousness of the entries. Honorable mentions will receive a colorful Style Invitational magnet designed by our cartoonist, Bob Staake: either the “Sunday Drivel” or the “Middle-Wit Champion.”
Contestants must be 13 or older to enter indivually. If you are younger than 13, please have a parent, guardian or teacher submit your entry along with you. Employees of The Washington Post or their immediate families are not eligible to enter. See the rules and guidelines for the Invitational in general (some rules on that list, such as an entry limit, are overruled by the rules above), as well as dozens of earlier contests, at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational.
If you have a question about the contest, you may e-mail the Empress at email@example.com — please include “Week 945” somewhere in the subject line so it will be read promptly. She’ll get back to you within a day or two.
in which we asked you to tell us some quotes that someone in particular (real or fictional, past or present) would NOT say: Among those too frequently submitted were “But enough about me,” etc., for such modest figures as Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, Oprah Winfrey and Alan Dershowitz; Christopher Hitchens saying, “God bless you.” “Please, no photos!” for the reclusive Kardashians, Paris Hilton and the like. Donald Trump asking for a little off the top. And from James Bond: “Stirred.”
“Well, I’m no Einstein, but . . .” — Einstein (Larry Flynn, Greenbelt, Md.)
2. Winner of the Mr. Bill doll that seems to say “Oy, vey” instead of “Oh no”: “Pass me the rock! I’m open in the low post!” – Danny DeVito (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)
3. “Keep it simple, stupid.” — Rube Goldberg (Chetan Sabnis, Rockville, Md., a First Offender)
4 “Thx fr the gift! ;-)” — Miss Manners (Trevor Kerr, Chesapeake, Va.)
“Love, love me do. You know I love you. I’ll always be true . . .” — Bob Dylan (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)
“Just call me B.O.” — Barack Obama (David Garratt, Glenn Dale, Md.)
“Give him a break — he’s had a rough day.” — Gen. George Patton (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
“Oh, well, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.”— Ahab (Steven Seymour, Clarksburg, Md.)
“I’m speechless!” – Fidel Castro (Rich Laska, Bartow, W.Va., a First Offender)
“Remember: 999. That’s 666 upside down.” — Herman Cain (Fred Dawson, Beltsville, Md.)
“Hey, watch me spray this whole jar of Cheez-It into my mouth!” — Michelle Obama (David Genser)
“Hi! My name is Joe, and I’d love to have your vote.” – Stalin (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery Ala.)
“I play for the other team, Moneypenny.” — James Bond (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
“I need to tell you: I’m seeing someone else.” — Adam (Larry Flynn; Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
“Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.” — Daniel Snyder (Kevin Tingley, Vienna, Va., a First Offender)
“Have you tried counting sheep? You’d be surprised how well it works.” — Conrad Murray (Kathye Hamilton, Annandale, Va.)
“That virago inveigled me.” — Marion Barry (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” – Cicero (Nandini Lal, Bethesda, Md.)
“I’m just gonna try my best and hope I don’t embarrass myself.” — Muhammad Ali (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.., a First Offender)
“Ha! That’s a good one — I’ve never realized my name sounded like that! — Albert Pujols (Richard Wong, Derwood, Md.)
“Don’t get me started.” — Calvin Coolidge (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)
“O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming” — Christina Aguilera (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)
“If you want to know more about what I stand for, just Google my name.” – Rick Santorum (Robert Schechter)
“I did not have sex with that woman.” — Hugh Hefner (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)
“Get your cooties off me!” — Mother Teresa (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)
“For quality assurance and training purposes, this call may be monitored or recorded.” — Rupert Murdoch (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
“And they lived happily ever after” — Stephen King (Michele Uhler, Fort Washington, Md.)
“Why, yes, I would like fries with that.” — Julia Child (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)
“Do these chaps come in size 6?” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Diane Carr, Arlington, a First Offender)
“I would like to thank the Academy . . .” — Keanu Reeves (Wayne Rodgers, Satellite Beach, Fla.)
“Man, I could just kill for a steak right now.” — Gandhi (Perry Beider, Silver Spring; Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
“Look at all these freakin’ leaves! I’m gonna cut that darn thing down.” — Joyce Kilmer (Beverley Sharp)
“I’m of the opinion that those who question American hegemony are being either disingenuous or facetious.” — Snooki (Doug Frank, Crosby, Tex.)
“Do these jeans make my butt look too big?” — Jennifer Lopez (Carole Long, Laurel, a First Offender; Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Ill.)
“Do these jeans make my butt look too big?” — John Wayne (Bonnie Speary Devore, Gaithersburg)
“This body is a temple.” — Chris Christie (Dale Hample, Silver Spring, Md.; Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
“This is a pile of $#@$%#$! And you can quote me!” – Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.; Christopher Lamora)
“I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness.” — Martin Luther King Jr. (Jay Cummings, Greenbelt, Md.; Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.; Ted Weitzman, Olney, Md.)
“All the winning entries are way funnier than mine were — no wonder I didn’t get ink this week.” — Style Invitational contestant (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
(Next week’s revised title is by Chris Doyle; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Kevin Dopart.)
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, where 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: Singular Ideas, or Levity: The Solo Wit