This week's contest: After our experiment in Week 616 with a cartoon contest that left most Losers scratching their heads and elsewhere in frustration, we'll get back on the wall this time with the plain-old: What's going on in any of these cartoons?

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up receives the fabulous Fandex Family Field Guide to the First Ladies, which features a stack of riveted-together . . . well, the Empress would never say "phallic," so let's say columnar flash cards, each topped with the head of a president's wife, complete with fun facts. This item was actually purchased by Russell Beland of Springfield and donated to the Empress months ago in a flagrant attempt to buy his way into Invitational print.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to or, if you really have to, by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 17. Results will be published Nov. 6. Put "Week 631" 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. Entries 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. 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 contest is by John O'Byrne of Dublin.

Report from Week 627, in which we asked for verses that comically failed to rhyme. Some people couldn't help themselves and kept sending in actual rhymes! One rhyme much too good for this contest was submitted by both Chris Doyle of Forsyth, Mo., and Ross Elliffe of Picton, New Zealand: "Roger Federer / Plays tennis betterer." As far as we know, no one re-sent a lousy poem originally submitted for our recent limerick contest -- though some definitely would have qualified.

{diam}Third runner-up:

In her kitchen, where we fell in love,

I decided to make the first move.

So I then made a pass

While admiring her as

She was leaning there over her stove.

(Katherine Hooper, Jacksonville)

{diam}Second runner-up:

Men seldom make passes

At girls with prostheses.

(Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

{diam}First runner-up, winner of the Alfie the Liver coloring book:

The newlyweds who live above me

Romp all night, so lovey-dovey.

I wish they'd cease to copulate,

So I could see Ted Koppel late.

(Tom Greening, North Bethesda)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker:

Hal had plenty of presence and poise,

And a longing to leave Illinois.

He decided to go

Out to Idaho; now

Our pal Hal is a man among Boise.

(Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

"I'm in love, girl! My Kate is divine!"

Gushed Tom Cruise, from atop Oprah's divan.

To Matt Lauer, he'd later decry

All believers in psychiatry!

Said Brooke Shields: "He's one shrimp I'd love to devein!"

(Gerard Zarchin, Annapolis)

Bill Shakespeare stole my plays, so how come no one sees

He's a bloody rotten poet, I'm a better man than he is.

My only hope's posterity will recognize the fraud

And realize that Billy Boy wrote not one single word.

-- Earl of Oxford (attrib.) (Bob Hale, Bilston, England)

NCAA's trail of tears,

Atoning for its racist sins,

You can be Wolves or Bears,

But not Native Americans.

Without a tribe's official blessing,

Your mascot can't be Tonto.

It's vital that you learn this lesson,

Especially if you don't want to.

(Tom Greening)

That "Sideways" guy thought he had class,

As he swirled wine like a king in a palace.

You tell him I bought

A case of merlot,

And shove pinot noir up his foie gras.

(Tom Greening)

You didn't divulge your positions;

You stayed, for the most part, inscrutable.

The Dems are now having conniptions;

Judge Roberts, your hearing was beautiful.

-- Sen. O. Hatch, Washington (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

A pun should be met with a groan,

A roll of the eyes, or a frown.

But never with laughter!

That is a disaster

For which one should be gagged and bound.

(Greg Arnold, Herndon)

It's been my experience that fears through life abound.

Our childhood's an example. What kid's not afraid of clowns?

But, when we hit adulthood, we can feel true life's sad crush.

For me, a real-life boogeyman is George W. Bush.

(Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City)

They say In English, new or hoary,

There is no word that rhymes with orange,

To disillusion you I'm sorry,

There's sponge, and estrange, and the Age of Bronzge.

(Richard Lempert, Arlington)

What edgy product placement

Right here in the Sunday comics:

"AAACK!" cried Cathy. "The dog just pooped

In my new Manolo Blahniks!"

(Brendan Beary)

There was once a young man from Potomac,

Who heard voices from inside his stomach.

He knew not the language --

It could have been Spanglish --

But it gave him one terrible tummy ache.

(Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Of English I do not approve:

For the past tense of cleave is clove,

Since language is modal,

Then using this model,

The past tense of leave should be love. (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick)

My remarks, they must always be pithy,

Don't wanna seem wussy or chichi.

When I make a mistake,

Folks won't leave it lay.

They all go have fits like a hissy.

-- Name withheld by request, Crawford, Tex. (Marty McCullen)

If your hobby's to ski in your Speedo,

Please refrain here in Vail, Colorado.

We have rules to enforce,

And we will. Park your arse

Right at home, perv, and play the piano.

(Ed Graham, Cupertino, Calif.)

You can call this a new art form, of course,

Making poems with poor rhymes on purpose.

This bastardized rhyme scheme:

Is it not just the same thing

That non-literati call Free Verse?

(Douglas Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

It's so easy to write a good rhyme,

You just put the same sound on each line.

When the going gets rough

You can simply plough through

And then use random words from your brain. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

And Last:

For this poet's end-all and be-all

(A runner-up T-shirt in bright teal),

Here's a rhyme scheme that misses,

Without puns, jokes, or twists,

And a topic too self-referential.

(Steve Fahey, Kensington)