March 8, 2013

Regarding the March 3 Sunday Style article, “Cheers to the Losers”:

I was dismayed to see your journalistic standards cast to the wind in your self-serving and uncritical review of the past 20 years of the Style Invitational.

How could you overlook the myriad reports of cheating and substance abuse that have long swirled around this “contest”? It’s common knowledge that some contestants get all hopped up on absinthe and prune juice whenever a snappy flatulence joke is needed. Did you have anyone investigate the plethora of reports of doping with pints of Dave Barry’s blood before particularly arduous contests? And has anyone ever really seen Chris Doyle of “Ponder, Tex.,” No. 2 on the all-time winningest Losers list? Most believe that he is not a human at all but rather a humor algorithm — the spawn of Deep Blue and a man from Nantucket.

No, you chose to make the whole cabal sound like a family of feel-good chuckle-meisters and to completely hide from the public the cutthroat, stats-obsessed whiners that they are. Losers who will stop at nothing to feed their insatiable “ink” habit. Shame on you, Washington Post.

Larry Yungk, Arlington