Style Invitational Week 891: Word palindromes, plus limerick results

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By The Empress
Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Downtown? No, wait -- go uptown! GO!!! Wait, no -- DOWNtown!!!!!"

Flush with his success in our recent palindrome neologism contest (Week 886), new but disturbingly successful Loser Gary Crockett suggested a contest he'd heard on NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" back in the 1990s. We're happy to appropriate it for ourselves, and think (or at least hope) that you can even beat out that contest's winner, Peter L. Stein, for ingenuity and humor: His winning entry was "First ladies rule the state, and state the rule: 'Ladies first.' " Or the example above by Our Bob Staake Himself. This week: Write a word-palindrome sentence, i.e., in which the first and last words are the same; the second and next-to-last, etc. There may be a single unpaired word in the middle. And -- since these will be fun to read out loud -- the paired words may be homophones of each other (such as "pear" and "pair"). You may also add an "attribution" afterward to someone who'd fittingly say such a thing.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a Special Loser Twin Snack Pak, consisting of a bag of Rap Snacks potato chips ("the official snack of Hip Hop"), donated by Loser Kyle Hendrickson, and a bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Seaweed Snack, which tastes exactly as good as it sounds, according to non-Loser Angel LaCanfora. Angel was so eager to get rid of her second, unopened bag of these things that she spent $3 to mail them to us from Southern California ("it was that or release it back into the ocean").

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, Nov. 1. Put "Week 891" 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 Nov. 20. 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 subhead is by Roy Ashley; the headline on the supplement ("Limplants") is by Mae Scanlan.

Report from Week 887

in which we supplied six lines, any of which you were to use as either Line 3 or Line 4 of a limerick. As predicted, this made for a lot of limericky variety, and only a little griping.

The winner of the Inker

In debate, you were ever so deft.
I felt small, of opinions bereft.
*And through each passing year
It became crystal clear
That you had to be right -- so I left.
(Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)

2. winner of the junky promotional figurine for the terrible movie "The Love Guru":
A traveling pair from San Bruno
Left their flat for a week up in Juneau,
*They came back in one piece,
And they still had a lease,
But their condo was blown straight to, you know.
(Dave Zarrow, Reston)

3."O Susanna," he texted, "lets flee,
"yr my tru luv ive cm 4 2 c."
*She said, "Never, you cad!
Texted pleas make me mad!
It's my bra size you're wanting, not me."
(Carol June Hooker, Landover Hills)

4. The leaders on whom we've bestowed
All our votes need to carry the load.
And through each passing year,
If they want us to cheer,
They should pee or get off the commode. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

Low fives: Honorable mentions

I parked by the side of the road
Outside her (and her husband's) abode;
We'd just time for a quickie,
But then it got tricky
When I found that my car had been towed.
(Hugh Thirlway, The Hague)

"Cut taxes! More health care!" we roared,
So with Bush and Obama, debt soared.
And through each passing year,
Who's to blame became clear:
We who want what we cannot afford. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

On our orchestra leader, a pox!
He thinks Johann Sebastian just rocks.
And through each passing year
Nothing else do we hear --
He just cannot think outside the Bachs. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

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