Style Invitational Week 877: Quipped from the headlines -- write a 2-line current-events poem

By The Empress
Saturday, July 10, 2010

So "subjects," not "citizens," flowed from Tom's pen --

I guess that's still shorter than "fat rich white men."

Hardly anyone has time anymore -- or at least the inclination -- to read long newspaper stories. Gone are the days of leisurely discursions about The Meaning of It All. Now it's about telling The Meaning of It All right up front, preferably getting in a lot of keywords that the automated "bots" of the Google and Yahoo search engines will notice.

We're not asking for the keywords, but we do demand the Soul of Wit (along with said wit). This week: Write a rhyming couplet about some matter in the news, as in the example above from 50-time Loser Anne Paris of Arlington, who suggested this contest way back in the days of Balloon Boy.

Winner gets the Inker, the Style Invitational trophy.

Second place receives an actual pretty good book called "Are You a Miserable Old Bastard?," a collection of curmudgeonly witty quotes, donated by the pre-curmudgeonly Loser Tom Witte.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Loser 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 or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 19. Put "Week 877" 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 to be published Aug. 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. The revised title for next week's results is by Kevin Dopart; this week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Craig Dykstra.

Report from Week 873

in which we presented a filled-in crossword puzzle grid, minus a few letters from each word. You got to fill in the letters for any of the words yourselves -- forming either an existing word or phrase or one you coined -- and provide a funny definition. The week's most frequently submitted entry was 44 Across: "Mightier than the sword." Oh gosh, you naughty people, you.

The winner of the Inker

36A: GO FOR THE REGULAR: Rallying cry of the mediocre. (Cathy Lamaze, North Potomac)

2. winner of the pooping-horse key chain stuck in poop position:

36A: GO FOR IT MS SALAHI: Michaele's morning mirror mantra. (Randy Lee, Burke)

3. 20A: NIXED: What happened to that 18 minutes of tape. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

CONTINUED     1              >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company