Week 905: Make up an 'Editor's Query' anecdote; and this year's winning obit poems

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now that the Invite is back to its Sunday roost, we honor our neighbor The Washington Post Magazine, specifically its "Editor's Query" for readers' anecdotes. While the Magazine requires that the recollections be true, the Empress asks only the opposite. And that it be funny and that she not get sued: Give us an untrue anecdote responding to one of these past Editor's Query topics: Fifty words or so max! Tell us about:

A time when you misunderstood an advertisement.
The moment you knew you were in love.
A time you should have said yes.
A time when a piece of clothing changed your life.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a colorful medical poster depicting various types of ulcers, including that of the eye, donated by Jeff Contompasis (he gave up the poster, not the eye).

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 7; Results to be published Feb. 27 (Feb. 25 online). Put "Week 905" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See more rules here. The revised title for next week's results is by Tom Witte. The honorable-mentions subhead is by Nan Reiner. Tom Witte contributed the term "crypt-ograms."

Report from Week 901

our annual contest for poems about people (and the occasional animal) who died in the previous year: We had an especially strong group of, um, crypt-ograms to choose from this year: See more fine poems in our Web-only supplement here.

The winner of the inker

4-foot-3 actress Zelda Rubinsteinand
7-foot-7 Manute Bol:
One can hardly compute that like Zelda, Manute
Was seen just for his size at the start.
Their success was their pride, but last year, well, they died
Just six months and a yardstick apart. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

2 Winner of the Flarp electric noisemaker:
Humbledy, fumbledy, Theodore "Ted" Sorensen, Kennedy speechwriter's
Put on the spot.
Pressed for the author of
"Profiles in Courage," he
Counsels, "Ask not." (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

3 Alexander Haig:
St. Peter pulled General Haig to one side,
"Considering things from your prior profession,
This bit of advice I'm compelled to provide:
You're VERY far down in our line of succession." (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

4 Elizabeth Post, etiquette expert:
Mrs. Post regrets that she is truly quite unable
To accept your generosity and grace your dinner table.
Seems a pressing invitation couldn't be ignored;
The honour of her presence was requested by the Lord. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Further adieux: honorable mentions

Leslie Nielsen:
O, Leslie of the platinum mane,
Although you've flown too early,
Your wit won't cease to entertain.
You'll be remembered, Shirley. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria)

The inventor of the neutron bomb, which destroys people but not buildings:
Sam Cohen invented the famed neutron bomb;
His demise, of course, mourned by his spouse.
It should also be noted, if only in passing,
He was also survived by his house. (Mike Hammer, Arlington)

Alas, Richard Holbrooke has met his fate,
The one thing he couldn't negotiate. (Steve Ettinger, Chevy Chase)

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