Before we get to this week’s contest and results, I want to make sure you all knew that the Losers have postponed their Flushies potluck and awardsfest one week; the new date is Saturday, June 29, noon to 4. The organizers decided to change the date so that they could attend the June 22 memorial service for Anne Creveling, wife of Mike Creveling. Mike is an occasional Loser but a frequent Loser Brunch-goer and a belovedly wacky participant in the Style Invitational Devotees Facebook group. Anne suffered a sudden stroke on June 3 and was taken off life support the next day.
Everything else that I originally announced about the Flushies is still on: It’s in the 20th-floor glass-walled party room of Devotee Kathleen Delano in Crystal City, only two blocks from the (open!) Metro station. If you didn’t get the Evite and would like to come — if you read this column, you’re enough of an Invitational fan for us — here’s your invitation on this here link. If you had RSVP’ed Yes earlier but can’t make it on the 29th, please update your reply. All the details should be on the Evite, but feel free to contact me with any more questions.
Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say some more: This week’s contest
I’m truly blessed to have Alex Blackwood as co-admin of the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook. Alex, who lives in Houston and whom I have never met in person, had learned about The Style Invitational and the Empress when Gene Weingarten mentioned them during his weekly chat. Though she didn’t become a regular entrant to the contest, she quickly became a favorite among the Devotees with thoughtful as well as witty posts.
And as an eagle-eyed former quality assurance person — a sort of copy editor for computer code — Alex would often give me a heads-up about mistakes I’d made in the Invite or the Conversational, and also point out various issues with the swiftly growing Facebook group. And eventually she offered to help me out as a co-administrator — a suggestion that I of course accepted instantly. And so Alex checks out almost every request to join the group, which now numbers more than 1,800 Losers, Invite fans and general humor/wordplay buffs, and, with me, introduces the new members to the group (at which point the Devs commence to anagram the newbies’ names).
Alex also enjoys posting items or questions that might get a funny discussion or some wits-trading going. And this past Sunday, she asked the Devotees this: “What’s a phrase you can say both among Losers and during sex?”
One hundred twenty-four comments later — none of which I’d seen because I’d been doing actual non-Empress stuff — Alex messaged me with a link to the comments: “This turned into a fun thread. Might make the basis for a contest: Things you can say during X and Y, perhaps from a list?” And ta-da, Style Invitational Week 1336.
My standing offer to the Loser Community: If I use your contest suggestion, I will take you out for ice cream. Since Alex lives 1,400 miles away, I guess I’ll mail her a cone.
Acrost the unique verse*: The results of Week 1332
*Non-inking headline by Jon Gearhart
Well, that was a toughie. Week 1332′s steep challenge to write a limerick acrostic — in which the first letter of each line spells out a word or name — brought in just a few hundred entries instead of the close to 1,000 that I usually see in a Style Invitational limerick contest. And, to be honest, my shortlist wasn’t a whole lot longer than the 21 limericks that got ink in this week’s results.
But as always, what matters are only the entries that do see ink, and I had no problem filling the page with clever, zingy and well-crafted lims, some of them finding fun right in the choice of five-letter “word” for the acrostic.
It’s the eighth win and 15th ink “above the fold” for Hildy Zampella, and her 118th (and 119th) blot all-time, for her limerick about how the blur of Democratic candidates is so confusing and overwhelming to the populace (and even the news media) that people are turning back to the people they remember from four years ago — even, maybe . . .
Gary Crockett, who usually declines any Invite prizes these days, given his almost 400 blots of ink and 45 above the fold, understandably dropped his Marie Kondosity to welcome the rattlesnake mug that he won for “Whiny the Pooh,” his limerick on “tweet.” Meanwhile, this week the phenomenal Duncan Stevens boings right over that 400-ink mark — almost all of them in the past four years — with four limericks, including two runners-up.
(I understand that while Duncan can’t make it to this year’s rescheduled Flushies, I understand that he has written a song that we’ll be singing in “honor” of his successor as Loser of the Year.)
What Doug Dug: Ace Copy Editor Doug Norwood said his favorite joke in this week’s column was one of the examples for what might be said both among Losers and in bed: “Not bad, but you’re no Jesse Frankovich.” — Jesse Frankovich. (I assume that Jesse was not quoting Mrs. Frankovich, as flattering as the sentiment was.) Doug also liked Dave Zarrow’s BRYCE and Brian Allgar’s wicked limerick on Trump that used five different letters -- and I’m relieved that he didn’t feel it necessary to seek approval from Management Taste Police.