(The headline “Terrible Twos” is by Jon Gearhart.)
Shortly after I announced the categories in The Style Invitational’s double-entendre contest of Week 1336 — one of them being “in bed” — one of the Losers predicted confidently that I’d end up with a longer list of unprintable entries than the ones that would actually get ink in this week’s results.
The Post’s written and unwritten rules about what words and jokes are acceptable to publish are continually in flux, and depend on context and importance (this excellent story about racist graffiti got to use all the bad words, spelled right out), but there’s no doubt that I have more freedom to use risque and crude humor than I used to. (Among the terms banned by various former editors over the years: “ass,” “schmuck,” “crap,” “hillbilly,” “scumbag,” “douche,” “Yo Mama.”)
And unless someone kills them later, this week’s results include dirty-minded plays on “entry,” “submit,” “bang,” “gel,” “sticky,” “staff” and more. But I’m sure that my continued ability to run such humor depends on my not getting in trouble for going even further. So instead, I’ll share some of the unprintables at the bottom of this Invite-insiders column.
First, let’s celebrate this week’s winners and Losers. It’s the second win — the first was in 2008 — for Rob Cohen. His pithy “Can we get it to go?” for both “at a restaurant” and “when Trump visits your country,” is his 76th blot of ink all-time, 10th ink “above the fold.” By the way, Rob continues to hold a healthy in-your-face lead over 43-time Loser Brian Cohen, his son. (Some other two-generation Losers: Steve McClemons, 24 inks, and dad Larry, 19; horse-namer Laurie Brink, 61 blots, and horse-namer father Bernard Brink, 17; and Heather Spence, 14 inks, who learned about the Invite from her father Brent, who inhabits the One-Hit Wonder list. Don’t have enough familial resentment in your life? I can help!)
The rest of the Losers’ Circle are even better acquainted with Losing at the top: Kevin Dopart (“You gonna finish that?” — restaurant/bed) now has 91 runners-up, in addition to 27 wins; Frank Osen (“What a hideous orange rug” — Ikea, You Know Who), 49 RUs, 21 wins; and Lawrence McGuire (“Short-staffed a bit tonight, are we?” — restaurant/bed) 28 RUs, 7 wins.
Ace Copy Editor Doug Norwood is vacationing this week and next, so he won’t be able to tell us What Doug Dug. I did, however, bounce my shortlist off both my predecessor, the Deposed Czar of The Style Invitational, and my co-admin of the Style Invitational Devotees Facebook page, Alex Blackwood. Both enjoyed the results and each sent me a list of faves — which were almost diametrically opposed. Your results may vary as well.
Most entrants understood what I was looking for in Week 1336; I wish I had specified, in addition to the examples, that when I asked, “What’s something (printable) you could say in two — or more — of these  situations,” I also wanted you to you tell me which two situations they would be; when you’re looking at well over 1,000 entries, you don’t want to puzzle them out one by one. Some people, however, didn’t supply a quote but instead just wrote a joke. Then there were some people who made up their own situations, just as someone supplied different horse names for the foal contest. Some funny ideas didn’t work because they couldn’t apply in both situations, like this one for Ikea/job interview that jokes about how easy it is to get lost in the labyrinthine store: “Where do I see myself in five years? Well, unless somebody shows me the door, still here!” Why would someone have asked that question in an Ikea?
I did bend a little for one sentence that someone wouldn’t really say at either a restaurant or a job interview: “I always give 118 percent,” from Greg Dobbins. Just a good joke that applies to both contexts in different ways, even if totally unrealistically. And I just ignored the fact that President Trump does not technically wear a “hideous orange rug.” That’s his own hair, however bizarrely it is colored, arranged and sprayed, and coming out of a scalp that he had cut apart and pulled closer together.
One entry that almost got in was by Dave Komornik: At Ikea/Among Style Invitational Losers: “Does that really say ‘MILF’?” The picture of the MILF desk lamp is all over the Internet, part of a buzzfeed list and included in a list of funny Ikea names in some book. But I was suspicious, and Hailey Mayer of Ikea North America killed the buzz: “IKEA has not released a lamp by the name of MILF in the past, we did however once release a desk lamp which matches the picture below called MIL. It seems that an F was likely doctored on the instruction sheet below. In Swedish, MIL is a word for measuring distance.” Oh, well.
The easiest contest ever? Bring on the Week 1340 entries!
When I predicted to Gary Crockett that the contest he suggested, Week 1340, would draw a huge number of entries, he apologized for the eventual “heavy judging load.” Oh, no, I’m always excited to get lots of entries, especially from lots of new entrants, and I do think that a boatful of readers will think of some way to alter someone’s name and send me a little joke about it. (Summer school teachers, need an extra-credit assignment?) Some recent Invites have required significant time and effort — very few people took me up on my challenge to combine two words from the Mueller report, or to look at word lists from the National Spelling Bee and write a poem — so Week 1340 should provide welcome balance.
This is a very straightforward contest with almost no rules. While of course I love clever descriptions, I predict that the crucial first hurdle will be to come up with a funny name, and definitely one in which the original name is totally clear. But even when your source material is All the People Who Have Ever Lived and Even Those Who Haven’t, there’s bound to be a lot of duplication. So we’ll need clever along with the funny.
Multi-tsking: Unprintables from Week 1336
If you somehow arrived on this page and are offended by crude humor, please do us both a favor and switch to this other page. Thanks!
Some of these jokes were sent by several people; if you didn’t also get “credit” below, your reputation thanks you.
When Donald Trump visits your country and in bed: Honey, have you ever seen a bigger prick? (Hall of Famer Stephen Dudzik, who didn’t get those 500 blots of ink by being prim)
During a haircut and in bed: “When you’re done, I don’t want any of that goop in my hair.” (John Hutchins)
In bed and in a job interview: Perhaps you have some other openings I could fill. (Warren Tanabe)
Job interview and in bed: “You’re in luck – a slot just became available.” (Tom Witte)
Haircut and in bed: “Could you hold your head a little higher, please?” (Tom Witte)
In bed and at the supermarket? “I’m so tired of boneless loins.” (Tom Witte)
Supermarket/ bed: Bone-in is always better. (Jeff Hazle, Pete Morelewicz)
Interview/bed: “I have both front-end AND back-end experience.” (Pete Morelewicz)
Game show/Ikea: “Yes, I’m sure I want to take door number 3” (Harold Mantle)
At Ikea/In bed: “At least there’s something to eat here.” (Jeff Hazle)
Ikea/bed: “You could lose an army in here!” (Tom Witte)
During a haircut/in bed: “Once you go black …” (Jon Gearhart)
At a doctor’s office/When Donald Trump visits your country- “I’m sorry but the cancer has come back.” (Jon Gearhart) I almost ran this but felt it was just too tasteless.
Among Style Invitational Losers and in bed? “Quit complaining – didn’t you get in just two months ago?” (Tom Witte)
At a doctor’s office/In a restaurant- “So, what exactly is spotted dick?” (Jon Gearhart)
Restaurant/Trump: “Is that spotted dick supposed to be orange?” (Dori Moura)
Restaurant/bed “You gonna eat that?” (Art Grinath)
Ikea/bed: “Which hole does this goes in?” (Art Grinath)
Restaurant/bed: “I’ve always wanted to try that. Can I have a bite of yours?” (Jon Gearhart)
Not the right form, but it wasn’t going to run anyway: When Donald Trump visits your country and in bed: “tweets ‘I’m cocked and loaded’ then abruptly pulls out before the big climax.” (Stephen Dudzik)
See you next week -- and some of you at the Loser Dinner on Saturday to welcome New Zealand Loser Andy Bassett, who’s stopping by D.C. on a worldwide rockconcertgoing tour. (Last-minute RSVPs here.)