Style Invitational Week 909: New uses for old prizes; the winning new Loser Mug

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Loser T-shirt
Loser mug
Loser magnet
The FirStink air "freshener"
Pantyhose with a run
Old National Geographics
A handful of pennies
A charger for your previous cellphone
One perfectly good shoelace
Tattered underwear.

Fewer than 5,000 people anywhere in the Milky Way galaxy have won even a single Style Invitational prize in its 18 years - this week! - of existence (the Invite's, that is; the galaxy is dozens of years older).

But a handful of the truly obsessed Style Invitational Losers, reputedly residents of Planet Earth, have accumulated hundreds or more: enough to crash the mantel to the floor, to make the refrigerator door sag on its hinges. While Loser Mike Gips boasts a mere 23 prizes - including the Inker and mug he scored in this week's results - he suggests a contest to make use of these otherwise worthless objects.

We've filled out the list with a few other items that end up lying around the house. This week: Suggest humorous uses for one or more of the items above, alone or in combination. You may use any quantity of each item, except the one shoelace, the pennies and the FirStink for First Ink, since you can win only one of those. If you want to construct some physical thing, send a photo of it as an attachment to your e-mail.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the Style Invitational Breakfast Set, consisting of Inflatable Toast plus a whole Inflatable Fruitcake all atop a bacon-motif place mat (utterly nonfat). Food donated by Jeff Contompasis, the place mat by Russell Beland.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions win a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). E-mail entries to or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 20; results to be published April 3 (April 1 online). Put "Week 909" 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 at The revised title for next week's results is by Chris Doyle; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Russell Beland.

Report from Week 906

in which we asked for ideas for Loser Mug 2: The Next Generation, a prize for third- and fourth-place finishers that replaces the design we've used since 2007.

The winner of the Inker

My Cup Punneth Over: (Mike Gips, Bethesda; Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.; Howard Walderman, Columbia; they also win the mug)

Winners of the mug with someone else's idea on it:

2 One Ounce Short of a Pint: Runner-Up, the Style Invitational (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn; the mug is indeed a 15-ouncer)

3 [Front] Sometimes You Lose . . . [Back] . . . and Sometimes You Lose (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

4 Middle-Wit Champion: Runner-Up, the Style Invitational (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

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