Week 781: Our Greatest Hit

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (Chuck Smith, 1998)

Idiotarod: An annual Alaskan race in which morons pull huskies sitting on sleds.

(Chris Doyle, 2003)

The Empress held out as long as she could -- 82 weeks since she last succumbed. But requests -- and even entries -- are still coming in for the contest we first ran in 1998 and have repeated a few times since, most recently in Week 699 (indeed, last week the E received an entry for "Week 699"). Here's this year's version: This week: Start with a word or multi-word term that begins with I, J, K or L; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word, as in the examples above.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives -- courtesy of our secret correspondent in Oman -- two bars of soap: Virginity Soap ("feminine tighten") and Classic Placenta Soap (if the Virginity Soap didn't quite work, we suppose).

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt, classic or current version. Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air freshener (Fir Stink for their First Ink). 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, Sept. 15. Put "Week 781" 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 Oct. 4. 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 results is by Tom Witte. This week's Honorable Mentions name was thought of independently by Chris Doyle and Brendan Beary.

Report from Week 777

Our annual limerick contest that furthers the quest at Oedilf.com to include a limerick about every word in the dictionary. This week, da- words. Once again, limericians contributed more than 700 five-line gems (and not-so-gems) from all over the English-speaking world (look at the place name if you see "calm" rhyming with "charm"). But as you'll see, it's da-rned near impossible to top the work of our own veteran Style Invitational Losers. Anyone who submitted a limerick for this contest is welcome to post it now at http://www.oedilf.com. And 17 more Honorable Mentions -- several of them in the not-for-grandma tradition of the genre -- are at http://www.washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational.

5.The damselfish lurks in the sea,

Self-centered as ever could be.

Hunting food in the deeps;

All it finds there it keeps:

It seems pretty dam selfish to me.

(Hugh Thirlway, The Hague, a First Offender)

4. I'm trying to stay cool and calm . . .

I'm ready to taste her sweet charm . . .

Oh such edible flesh

And I like them this fresh!

She's my date (and she comes from a palm).

(Doug Harris, Stockton-on-Tees, England, a First Offender)

3. The dachshund, each hair and each wart of it,

Serves for the wags to make sport of it.

With a sharp, pointy snout,

He is squat but stretched out.

And that is the long and the short of it.

(Mae Scanlan, Washington)

2. the winner of the downtown Washington-map necktie:

Michelangelo's David, we're told,

Is a fabulous sight to behold.

I'll admit to this crowd

That he's poorly endowed;

But come on, that museum is cold!

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

And the Winner of the Inker

Will our nation be damning its fate

When McCain and Obama debate,

And we choose 'tween a fib

From a lib who is glib

And a lie by a guy who talks straight?

(Chris Doyle,

Ponder, Tex.)

Meter Halfway: honorable Mentions

A heavy girl often went dateless;

She feared that in life she'd be mateless.

A friend warned, "Your inner

Tube has to get thinner.

So when you're at dinner, inflate less."

(Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

Had your fill of McCain and Obama,

Yet still craving political drama?

Though you're not the real thing,

Why not wire Beijing:

"Where's my visa, guys? (signed) Dalai Lama."

(Chris J. Strolin, Belleville, Ill.)

The bridegroom (from Brooklyn, I guess)

Was under unusual stress.

"Hey! Duh bridal gown's red!

Man, I ain't gonna wed

Any damsel," he said, "in dis dress!"

(Sheila Blume, Sayville, N.Y.)

An advantage to baldness, I note,

Is my dandruff concerns are remote.

Now my scalp has no flakes,

And it shines! All it takes

Is a clear polyurethane coat.

(Brendan Beary)

"He was nattily dressed, very dapper,

Yet handsome and rugged -- a strapper.

I stood by the wall

As he entered a stall . . ."

(From "The Memoirs of Senator Tapper")

(Chris Doyle)

I once loved a girl from Darjeeling;

Her beauty and skill sent me reeling.

But my afterglow fled

When she sat up and said,

"Can we do it once more -- but with feeling?"

(Richard English, Patridge Green, West Sussex, England)

D'Artagnan loved wine and good brandy;

With musket and sword he was handy.

But the other three gents

Couldn't stand the guy, hence

He got dropped when they licensed the candy.

(Brendan Beary)

Barack, the most dashing of gallants,

Battled Hillary's blue-collar talents.

He was seen as elite,

So some feared that he'd meet

With defeat -- 'twas a delegate balance.

(Chris Doyle)

When our Gucci-clad neighbors declare

That they're nudists, and ask if we'd dare

To join in, we say, "Ooh!

We were gonna ask you,

But you looked like a clothes-minded pair."

(Chris Doyle)

Like a lamb being led to the slaughter

Or a clam in the hands of an otter,

I haven't a chance

When she gives me that glance:

Yes, alas, I'm a dad with a daughter.

(Mike Dailey, Chantilly)

At the creepy old castle our host

Gave our spirits a lift with his toast:

"Pleasant dreams! Don't be daunted;

Most rooms are not haunted.

You've only a chance of a ghost."

(Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Mona Lisa, though hardly well read,

Was a classmate of Leo's, they said.

We know not her history;

She's mostly a mystery

We call the da Vinci Coed.

(Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

Ahmadinejad asks for a day

Touring Frisco, our town by the bay.

If we schedule it right,

He'll be spending the night

At the Castro Street YMCA.

(Chris Doyle)

I'm dazed by the beauty of Kabul,

A jewel of a place, it's a baubul.

It's considered uncool

To call it Kabool.

That can get you in all kinds of trabul.

(Edward Peck, Chevy Chase, a First Offender)

Daft means you're weak in the noggin,

The runners are off your toboggan,

Your Bic isn't clickin',

Your tape doesn't stick, an'

Your windshield's in need of defoggin'.

(Mae Scanlan)

The Day of Atonement is when

Jews ask God for His pardon. Amen.

When our sins have been purged

(Despite all we've been urged),

We can't wait to commit them again.

(Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland, a First Offender)

And Last:

I'm a dilettante poet, a dabbler,

Just a step above blithering babbler.

For a magnet or mug

Or a shirt that's too snug,

I'm supposed to write what, "Hedda Gabler"? (Brendan Beary)

Read more Honorable Mentions at http://washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational.

Next Week: Tied Games, or Sportmanteaus

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