The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Style Invitational Week 1477: Thinking outside the big box — review these Walmart products

Plus winning highway signs and barbecue joint marquees

(Bob Staake /Illustration for The Washington Post)
Comment

Click here to skip down to the winning road signs

Field whistle on a lanyard: I am highly disappointed in this product — not a single lovely lady has given me so much as a wink when she walks by. The only good thing is that my spit drains out of it pretty well. ★★☆☆☆.

Over the years, The Style Invitational has invited the Loser Community several times to “review” some mostly boring products listed on a certain shopping portal. This time, though, we won’t have to mention who owns The Washington Post. This week: Send us a humorous “review” for any of the following items listed on walmart.com, as in the example above. Click on the products listed below to see the exact items (there are also links on this week’s entry form). Keep them brief; 75 words would be long for us. The reviews must not cause harm to the manufacturer or seller. Don’t post the reviews online until after we post the results.

Standard shoehorn

Field whistle on a lanyard

White sandwich bread

Digital alarm clock

Roll of Duck brand silver duct tape

Original Slinky

20-quart clear storage box with latching top

“Lion mane” costume for cats

Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1477 (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, March 7; results appear March 27 in print, March 24 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a little book called “How to Rule the World: A Handbook for the Aspiring Dictator.” It’s a witty satire by André de Guillaume, but this copy, found in a used-book store and donated by Loser Richard Franklin, has been greatly improved, humorwise, by some previous reader who — quite seriously, it seems — dutifully underlined such passages as “Surround yourself with directionless and malleable toadies” and checked off items in the diagnostic quiz “The Ideal Personality of a Leader”: “You like giving instructions in a loud voice” — circled “YES.

Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our new lusted-after Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviteFAQ. The headline “Take the Ha Road” was submitted by both Jesse Frankovich and Craig Dykstra; Tom Witte wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late Thursday, Feb. 24, at wapo.st/conv1477.

Taking the ha road: Winning signs from Week 1473

In Week 1473 we asked you for messages for an electronic highway sign or barbecue joint marquee. Today’s winner and second place are pictured with the aid of the sign-generator app at atom.smasher.org.

4th place:

ATTENTION
SELF-DRIVING CARS:
COMMENCE THE
REVOLUTION NOW!
(Jeff Rackow, Bethesda, Md.)

3rd place:

FIVE STARS!
EXCELLENT DELAY!
WOULD SIT THROUGH
AGAIN
(Martin Bancroft, Bellevue, Wash.)

2nd place and the Derriere Repair cream:

(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

Southbound: Honorable mentions

DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE
UNLESS YOU’RE
MAKING FUNERAL
ARRANGEMENTS
(Lenard King, Richmond, Va.)

PUT DOWN YOUR PH- - -
DON’T BE A D-M-Y
WORDLE CAN WAIT
(Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

HWY DEDICATED TO
TROOPER SMITH
POTHOLES DEDICATED
TO SEN MANCHIN
(Scott Richards, Hollywood, Md.)

WHO’S A GOOD DOG?
YOU ARE!
ESPECIALLY IF
YOU CAN READ THIS
(Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)

ENTERING BLUE STATE
WELCOME
SATANIC PEDOPHILES
(Steve Benko, Southport, Conn., a First Offender)

EXPECT DELAYS
IT’S THE LAW
(Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

SPEED CAMERA AHEAD
SO STOP PICKING
YOUR NOSE
(Paul R. Brown, Silver Spring, Md. a First Offender)

NEW LANE
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
YOUR DESCENDANTS
ARE GONNA LOVE IT
(Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)

CRASH AHEAD
PREPARE TO
EXTEND NECK
(Frank Mann, Washington)

SPEED TRAP AHEAD
OR MAYBE NOT
FEEL LUCKY, PUNK?
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

BRIDGE FREEZES
BEFORE HOT LANE
DUH!
(Mark Raffman)

LEAVING PG COUNTY
NEXT 3 COUNTIES
ARE RATED R
(Mark Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)

OVERSIZE LOAD?
DIAPER CHANGING
STATION AT NEXT
REST AREA
(Lori Lipman Brown, Silver Spring, Md.)

REMINDER: YOUR
SENATOR VOTED
AGAINST THE
INFRASTRUCTURE BILL
(David Kleeman, Chevy Chase, Md.)

WINTER WEATHER
ADVISORY: MOM SAYS
PUT ON A SWEATER
(Tom Dickinson, Springfield, Va., a First Offender)

SEE A DISTRACTED
DRIVER? TEXT
‘SAFETY’ TO 73826
(Bill Grewe, Front Royal, Va., a First Offender; Jonathan Jensen)

WELCOME TO DC
IT’S BEEN: 416 DAYS
SINCE OUR LAST
COUP ATTEMPT
(Donald Norum, Charlottesville, Va.)

WHY ARE YOU GOING
TO WORK NAKED?
MADE YOU LOOK
(Frank Mann)

LET’S JUST SAY IT’S
NOT A GOOD TIME
TO GO INTO LABOR
(Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

SILVER ALERT
HAVE YOU CALLED
YOUR MOTHER?
(Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

AIRPORT NEXT EXIT
TSA LINE BEGINS
PREVIOUS EXIT
(Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

AT DUSK
TURN ON HEADLIGHTS
SAVE DEMOCRACY
(Steve Baldwin, Bethesda, Md.; Tim Livengood, Columbia, Md.)

NOW ENTERING
A STATE WITH
LEGALIZED POT —
HOLES
(Jesse Frankovich)

ENTERING THE BRONX
WHADDA YOU
LOOKIN’ AT?
(Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

YOU HAD TO HAVE
THAT LARGE COFFEE,
DIDN’T YOU?
(Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

5 MIN TO NEXT EXIT
WAIT, NO, 15 MIN
EH YOU’LL GET THERE
WHEN YOU GET THERE
(Elizabeth Molyé, Washington)

NO MERGING WITHOUT
ENTHUSIASTIC
CONSENT
(Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

SIRI IS NOT
THE BOSS OF YOU
EXIT WHENEVER
YOU WANT TO
(Terri Berg Smith, Rockville, Md.)

WELCOME TO TEXAS
SET CLOCKS BACK
TO 1971
(Perry Beider, Silver Spring, Md.; Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)

SHOULDER DROP-OFF
NO OTHER
BODY PARTS
ACCEPTED
(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

WAIT, COME BACK!
WE’LL STICK WITH
‘WFT’!
(Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)

‘WE WON’T HIT
TRAFFIC THIS TIME
OF DAY,’ YOU SAID
(Jonathan Jensen)

SEE SOMETHING?
SAY SOMETHING!
NOT YOU, KAREN.
(Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)

FOR THE BARBECUE SIGN

FILL UP ON OUR BEANS
AND GET GAS TOO
(Mark Raffman; Edward Gordon, Austin; Dave Airozo, Silver Spring, Md.)

KERMIE!
SAVE ME!
(Terri Berg Smith)

STOP IN AND SEE
A MAN EATING PIG
(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

JOHNNY CASH SPECIAL
BURNING RING OF
FIRE COMES WITH
EVERY MEAL
(Brett Dimaio, Cumberland, Md.)

BEER, POOL, JUKEBOX,
PLUS HDTV
LIVESTREAMING
PARIS FASHION WEEK
(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Two contests still running — both due Monday night, Feb. 28: Write a song or cheer for the newly named Washington Commanders, or any other D.C. institution (wapo.st/invite1475); and find funny Googlenopes, phrases that get no Google hits, and/or Googleyups, phrases that surprisingly do (wapo.st/invite1476).

DON’T MISS AN INVITE! Sign up here to receive a once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style Invitational and Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete with links to the columns.

Loading...