Week 692: Reinkernation

Style Invitational
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Sunday, December 10, 2006

Breed Blazing Rate to New Joysey Jeff and name the foal Toid Degree Boin

This week marks the third anniversary of the Empress's imperium (the "Under New Mismanagement" slogan on the back of the Loser T-shirts might be getting a bit out of date), which is as good an excuse as any to look back at the past year's contests and do them all over again. This week: Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 640 through Week 688. There is only one restriction: Every entry must include the word "three" or "third" or a creative variation, as in the example above from Week 656. You may refer to events that have occurred since the contest was printed; for contests that ask you to use The Post from a certain day or week, use today's or this week's. You can find all 49 contests (and about six months more) online at www.washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational, where the index has been greatly enlarged courtesy of Style Invitational Post.com Superflunky Treena Simington.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up receives a clear plastic coffin promoting "CSI" (pictured, below) and forked over by Post TV writer John Maynard. This sizable tchotchke would make a nice candy dish -- and a tipped-over Inker would fit right in there. We'll also throw in some plastic bugs.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable Mentions (or whatever they're called that week) get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 18. Put "Week 692" 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 Jan. 7. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by John O'Byrne of Dublin. The revised title for next week's contest is by Chris Doyle of Ponder, Tex. The idea for this week's contest is pretty much by Russell Beland of Springfield; the headline is by Jay Shuck of Minneapolis. The Empress is learning to delegate.

Two weeks ago, we awarded the World's Ugliest Painting -- given back to us by Loser Art Grinath of Takoma Park -- to Art himself, who had proved himself literally too funny for his own good. Now he has re-re-gifted the Fred Dawson oil, this time to Michael Canty of Yorktown, Va. Michael was the one who sent in a photo of a painting he'd done himself -- a mirror image of Fred's, but executed with even less flair -- and said he should have Fred's painting so he'd have a matched set for his fireplace.

The "CSI" bug-filled coffin prize. Note: Inker not included.(Julia Ewan - The Washington Post)
We hope Michael plans to decorate his fireplace with the paintings, not feed it.

Report From Week 688

in which we sought six-word stories, in the tradition of Hemingway's "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," but funnier:

This contest drew thousands of entries, which isn't surprising given that it doesn't take too long to write six words. But lots of them weren't stories, in any sense of the word, but just epigrams. The best of these included "Virginia Is for Lovers (restrictions apply)" by Bruce Carlson of Alexandria; "Fantasy is Dior. Reality is Depends," by Duchess Swift of California, Md.; and "Liberty University's geology program: 4004 B.C.-" from J.F. Martin of Naples, Fla. Still, we interpreted the word "story" pretty broadly -- as one would have to to admit the Hemingway example -- allowing not only the entries that told a whole little tale in six words, but also those that implied an intriguing back-story (or future-story).

4. She lied. He lied. They lay. (Liz Fuller, Silver Spring)

3. Words failed him. So did she. (Doug Pinkham, Oakton)

2. the winner of the flimsy Living Dead Dolls lunch box:

My wife's suicide note: ungrammatical, naturally. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

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