The Style Invitational

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sept. 1, 1939: The Dawn of History Channel Documentary Footage.

Death in Dallas, 1963: A Triumph for Super-8 Home-Movie Cameras.

This week's contest was suggested by ace Post reporter Paul Farhi, who told the Empress of a poster in a graphics editor's office titled "Columbia: The day graphics ruled," referring to coverage of the shuttle disaster. Paul suggests that the Losers produce other absurdly parochial views of historic events, as in the examples above.

The winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up gets a copy of the excellent book "Muslims in the United States" -- in Arabic. Even the page numbers are not in "Arabic numerals," but in Arabic numerals. Fortunately, the book is also available in its entirety on the Internet in English, so you can learn to read Arabic from it and then get a government job.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to or, if you really have to, by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, May 2. Put the week number in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published May 22. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Russell Beland of Springfield.

Report from Week 603, in which we asked you to string together words, in order, from one or two consecutive chapters of Genesis (King James Version) to produce your own sentences. This contest drew a great wail from the Losers, who were sore vexed about having to actually read the Bible for once (though several were pleased to report the discovery of several juicy passages that had been conveniently omitted in Sunday school).

{diam}Second runner-up: Chapter 36: Duke, duke, duke . . . Duke of Reuel. Duke duke . . . Duke of Reuel . . . Duke duke. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}First runner-up, winner of the Bonsai Potato kit: Chapters 8-9: And God made Windows, saying: Go forth and multiply upon the earth. The fear and dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: Chapters 37-38: Being seventeen years old, the lad could not speak peaceably. He told his brethren and mother to "flock off." Father said, "My son's an evil beast -- be pleased the kid is not twins!" (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Chapter 1: In the beginning God created the waters, the fly, and the fish, and he went to the river and slept. (Chris Doyle, Raleigh)

Chapters 2-3: And a man went to the Garden of Eden to dress up as a woman, and God said, Why hast thou taken the flaming way of life? (Chris Doyle)

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