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