Week 811: Rock-Bottom Lines

Saturday, April 4, 2009

McMansions still lie vacant, but crowds gather at the grand opening of HooverVillas on the Potomac.

The one aspect of our economy that's been operating smoothly over these months is its deluxe set of no-traction skids. Have we hit bottom? This week: Tell us a sign that would indicate that the economy couldn't get worse, as in the example above.

This contest was suggested by John H. Tuohy of Arlington, who previously got Invite ink in 2003 and 1995, so he's a bit ahead of schedule this week.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a Nunchuck, which is not one half of a pair of nunchucks but a junky little toy consisting of a trigger-activated thing that "catapults nuns up to 15 feet!" -- the nuns being four tiny nun-shaped objects with their hands in the air. Warning: The package specifies that it is "not suitable for children under 3 years"; presumably it's okay for children 3 and older to shoot toy nuns. Donated by Loser Melissa Yorks of Gaithersburg.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. 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, April 13. Put "Week 811" 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 2. 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 Kevin Dopart; the revised title for next week's results is by Beverley Sharp.

Report From Week 807

in which we asked for some original insights expressed as equations, a la those on MoreNewMath.com, written by Craig Damrauer: Craig himself weighed in on the choices for the top winners, proving himself a pretty good sport given that we ripped off his entire concept.

The Winner of the Inker

Ennui = Boredom + thesaurus (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

2 the winner of the Guest-B-Gone Emergency Kit:

Subpoena = Invitation -- RSVP (Robert Gallagher, Falls Church)

3 Surrealism + bowling = Anchor -- chicken (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

4 Entitlement -- experience = Teenager (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

More Unequal Than Others: Honorable Mentions

Fun at 30-year reunion: (Football captain's baldness + cheerleader's obesity)/Yours (Doug Pinkham, Oakton)

Constructive criticism = You suck + here's why (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

B + $8K = DD (Pete Kaplan, Charlotte)

Bird watcher = Voyeur -- sex (Russ Taylor, Vienna)

Big Mac = Special sauce + lettuce + cheese + pickles + onion + cardboard (Lawrence McGuire)

Helpmate = Husband -- recliner (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Sharing + caring + loving support + tears of joy = Girl porn (Sarah W. Gaymon, Gambrills)

Uncle Sam x 24/7 = Big Brother (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Tofu = Protein -- fun (Patrick Murray, Seattle, a First Offender)

Crocs = sandals -- dignity (Charlie Wood, Falls Church)

Religion = Cult + 150 years (Kevin Dopart)

French = Latin + useless silent letters (Timothy Cain, Hyattsville, a 13-year-old First Offender)

Diet program = Anvil -- Feather + Anvil = (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring)

Movie at theater = movie at home + big screen + 120 db + $10/person + sitter + people texting in front of you + not clicking on Pause when you go to the bathroom (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

50 = 30 + 25 lbs. (Patrick Mattimore, Gex, France)

Window of opportunity < door of failure (Ben Aronin, Washington)

2009 = 2004 -- money + hope (David Binswanger, Arlington, a First Offender)

Iranian = Straight -- M. Ahmadinejad, Tehran (Chris Doyle)

Reality TV = Reality -- real life (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)

Chances a Victoria's Secret model will sleep with a guy> 0> Chances a Victoria's Secret model will sleep with you (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

Chipmunk = Squirrel -- rat (John C. Feltz, Fairborn, Ohio)

National debt problem = Whole lot of zeros + their bosses (Alan Hochbaum, Atlanta)

401(k) + (2009 -- 2008) = 201(k) (Mike Czuhajewski, Severn, a First Offender)

Unfashionable = Trendy + 3 months (Kevin Dopart)

Computer = Typewriter + calculator + porn library (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

15 +/- 14 = Express lane (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Prostatitis = The urge/the stream (Chris Doyle)

Eccentric = Insane/kind of amusing (David Kleinbard, Jersey City)

Eureka = Wrong + wrong + wrong + wrong + not wrong (Kevin Dopart)

? + ? + ? + ? + salt = hot dog (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

Greenspan + 90dB -- 40W = Cramer (Jay Shuck)

Tween applying makeup = Clown face -- clown (Pie Snelson)

Husband = Boyfriend + buying feminine items at the supermarket (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

Snail mail = E-mail + punctuation -- instantly regrettable impulse (Frances Hirai-Clark, Columbia, a First Offender)

United Nations = (Lofty ideas -- ability to act) + funny blue helmets (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

Success = Failure + press secretary (Kevin Dopart)

Household budget = Income -- expenses -- Oh, they're having a sale on big-screen TVs! (Drew Bennett)

And Last: Travesty of justice = Total ink awarded -- ink going to me (Jeff Brechlin)

Next Week: Take Us at Our Words, or Made From Recycled Paper

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