Hi, everyone! I’m feeling happy! How about you!

I was going to do an Inauguration-themed contest this week, but it didn’t work with my deadline to get Style Invitational Week 1420 to the copy desk. Next week we’ll do something.

Anyway, it’s definitely time to do a song contest, which we usually run twice a year. When I was preparing Week 1416, a second shot at 25 contests from June through November 2020 (whose results run today), I realized that there was no song parody contest per se, though some intrepid souls recently accompanied their anagrams of a song title with a whole song reflecting the anagram: See today’s results, in which Mark Raffman rearranges the letters of “Stairway to Heaven” to make “I Vote, He Rants Away,” following it with a parody about the person we can now call Florida Man; and, at the end, Jonathan Jensen turning “La Vie en Rose” into “A Seine Lover,” complete with the mademoiselle jilted by her philandering beau.

Indeed, our last real song contest was Week 1378 last April, for “songs about Life in the Age of Corona.” Who could have imagined that we’d still be in its grip?

This time, the theme is “work songs.” It can have the function (at least in jest) of a sea chantey or prison gang chant, designed to keep everyone working together in sync and to keep spirits up. Or it can be more broadly just on the subject of some job or other.

The Invite, of course, is steeped in topical humor, and I’d think there’d be ways to incorporate current events into your song, depending on what profession you choose to write about.

The Week 1378 results were — as absolutely always with our song contests — terrific, and included a number of videos, ranging from a teenager singing from her bedroom to relatively lavish ones with titles and props. But as always, the lyrics are paramount.

If you’re not a regular entrant of the Invite’s parody contests, take a moment to read the guidelines and tips that I included in the Week 1357 Conversational (which in turn had been lifted from an earlier one). Use this link and scroll down a couple of inches to the subhead “Play it again.” This addresses matters of length, structure, source music, rhyme and meter — what works best for a contest whose results are mostly read in text. Just remember not to use those dates for the deadlines — they’re from November 2019!

Note that you have an extra week to send your songs; the deadline is Feb. 8. Not only will you have more time to work on them, but there’s less chance that they’ll be dated when the results are posted online 10 days later. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at pat.myers@washpost.com; catch my attention in the subject line with “question about song parody” or some such.

Kook’s Tour 2020, Part 2: The results of Week 1416

I’m seeing lots of new entrants in our Joint Legislation contest, Week 1419 (deadline Monday, Jan. 26), so I’m glad they’ll also be treated to such a wide variety of Invite humor in our annual pair of retrospective contests. Just as in last week’s results for the first half of the year, Part 2, Week 1416, featured at least one entry from 19 different contests, this time featuring anagrams, limericks, metaphors for 2020, movie humor and more, in addition to the cartoon captions, neologisms, and foal names that appear once again. Some of the ink I remember reading in the original contests, and regretted not having room to run; others were clearly brand-new, reflecting the topics of the day.

It’s the fourth win — but the first of our new Clowning Achievement trophies — for Jonathan Jensen, who takes the Clowner for his ingenious and Should Be in the Dictionary neologism “maganetic,” which Jonathan defines as “exerting a force so powerful that ordinary citizens can lose their marbles, and senators can lose their morals.”

Actually, it’ll be Jonathan’s only Clowner; if he wins again, I’ll send him a little pennant on a pole, like a flag at a golf course, to mark the repeat win. It’ll have a 2 on it, or maybe a Roman numeral, so it won’t look like second place. I’m calling it the 100 Clowners for 100 Losers program. Jonathan’s win, along with his song parody at the end of the column, give him a total of 85 blots of Invite ink.

And it’s the 112th ink for Ann Martin, who got the second-place dumpster-fire-motif mask for her ivory-tower anagram-name ACADEMIC DEMI-CACA. Dr. Martin, classical scholar, just might know of what she speaks. Mark Raffman’s famed for getting ink with parodies of “Be Our Guest,” as he did yet again just last week, but this week he taps “Stairway to Heaven,” anagrammed to “I Vote, He Rants Away.” And it was a banner week — three blots — for George Thompson, whose ink total boings from seven to 10. But three of them have been runners-up! George gets to choose between the Loser Mug and the Grossery Bag, or he could opt for a Vintage Magnet from before he started scoring ink less than two years ago.

What Doug Dug: Ace Copy Editor Doug Norwood, who read the 34 entries that will appear in the print Post (there are 48 in all this week), singled out five entries from the honorable mentions as his faves: Jon Gearhart’s “sargasm,” the thrill of getting in a good zinger, and also his horse name “breeding” of Cool Runnings x Mr. Kringle = Jamaican a List?; Mark Raffman’s “Aunt Yermama” pancake syrup that’s high in fat but everyone uses — yet another in our long tradition of Your Mama jokes; Kevin Dopart’s anagram of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” to “Big Horny Women? You Bet!”; and Jon Ketzner’s sly joke about the psychiatrist and his patient.

Cut to 'The Chase’ tonight with Loser Sarah Walsh

Even though it was taped in November, you can still cheer on Sarah Walsh tonight on the third episode of “The Chase,” the new and very difficult trivia game on ABC at 9 Eastern time. Sarah, who’s one of the Invite’s leading lights lately, in her rookie year, will be going up against one of the three biggest “Jeopardy!” champs ever (she’s not allowed to tell us ahead of time which one).

Freakishly — or maybe it makes sense, knowing how smart Our People are — last week’s episode also featured an Invite Loser, Beth Morgan of Palo Alto, Calif. Beth and her teammates were put up against the unbelievable trivia virtuoso James Holzhauer, and though Beth did extraordinarily well — despite a defective buzzer — her team couldn’t build up a big enough head start to keep Smirky James from mowing down their lead and finally denying them the $100,000.

Sarah, who’s also been on “Jeopardy!” herself, had to go through four online auditions for “The Chase” before they flew her out to L.A. She did tell me it was great fun.

Loser Andy Schotz has set up a Zoom room so we can chat with Sarah before and after, and type comments during. He’ll open it up around 8:30. Log on with THIS LINK. (Click on “Launch meeting” if it doesn’t come right up.)

And next Tuesday evening: Zoom just to chat

Style Invitational Devotee Ellen Goodman, a longtime fan of the contest and one of the first members of our Facebook group, has once again set up a Zoom chat for anyone who’s interested, It’s an “open house” — drop by or step away whenever — from 7:30 to 8:30 or a little later on Tuesday, Jan. 26. She did the first one as a dry run a few weeks back, and it was fun to meet some Losers for the first time, as well as some loyal fans, and to say hi to some of the regulars. Until we can have our Flushies awards and winter parties again, hey, it’s something.

Here’s the link to Ellen’s Zoom. (Click on “Launch meeting” if it doesn’t come right up.)

See some of you tonight! Any champagne left from yesterday?