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Style Invitational Week 1493: Frankly speaking

In memory of longtime Loser Doug Frank, a contest for feghoots: story-jokes that end in puns. Plus winners of our contest for rearranging movie titles.

“1995 Earl Change Special,” the punchline of a feghoot story by the late Doug Frank. (For The Washington Post)

Click here to skip down to the winning rearrangements of words in movie titles

Back in 1994, banjo legend Earl Scruggs started a two-year gig at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. About 10 months in, Scruggs took three weeks off to do some charity concerts, so the casino replaced his act with Americana singer Robert Earl Keen, offering a 40 percent discount on tickets.

The successful move became known as the “1995 Earl Change Special.” (Doug Frank, Crosby, Tex., 2014)

The Loser Community — especially the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook — received a shocking blow last week to learn of the sudden death of longtime Loser Doug Frank. Though Doug lived in Houston and hadn’t met other Losers in person, he had been especially active in the Facebook community, and many of its members had developed a special bond as Doug shared not only his sly and sometimes wacky wit, but also the long ordeal of caring for his wife, Diann, as she tried in vain to recover from a severe stroke; of his own recurring health problems; and of his recession-time struggles as a geological analyst in the oil industry. He was just 62.

But to most longtime readers of The Style Invitational, Doug was the author of 85 blots of clever, funny Invite ink from 2005 to 2019, and this week we bring back a contest he particularly enjoyed: This week: Tell a feghoot — a mini-story (a ridiculous one is fine) that ends in a groaner pun on a familiar expression, title, line from a song, etc., as in Doug’s inking entry above from 2014. Do check to make sure your pun isn’t already in a million places on the internet. While it’s fun to tell a long, ever-crazier story, the Empress needs you to keep it to just a few sentences; 75 words will be lengthy for us (Doug’s is about 60). On the other hand, it shouldn’t be a simple one-sentence riddle joke; it should read like an anecdote.

Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1493 (no capitals in the web address). Deadline is Monday, June 27; results appear July 17 in print, July 14 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives What’s That Smell?, described on the box as “The Party Game That Stinks.” Players scratch 'n’ sniff to identify everything from bacon to manure on 48 “mystery whiff cards” plus four “stank cards.” This is the second of these things that Loser Dave Prevar has “donated” to us.

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 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 “Cinemix” is by Kevin Dopart; Roy Ashley 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. Daphne Steinberg suggested a contest in Doug’s memory, Jeff Contompasis this one in particular.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. This week’s features a selection of some of Doug Frank’s classic Invite entries, along with feghoots from two earlier Invite contests. . See it at wapo.st/conv1493.

Cinemix: Rearranged movie titles from Week 1489

In Week 1489 the Empress asked you to rearrange the words in a movie title to make a new one (punctuation could be changed). Many of you offered up “Dreams of Field” as a boy’s fantasy about Gidget and the Flying Nun.

4th place:

Bad News: The Bears: A preview of the Washington Commanders’ game in Chicago on Oct. 13. Sequel to “Bad News: The Titans” and “Bad News: The Cowboys.” (Mark Calandra, Acton, Mass.)

3rd place:

Rush Fools In: The story of Trump’s fast-tracked judicial nominees. (Ryan Martinez, Takoma Park, Md.)

2nd place

and the Pez dispensers of Michael and Dwight from 'The Office’:

2-Toy Story: Ungrateful grandkids get an earful about what it was like to grow up with just a jump rope and a Mr. Potato Head that was an actual potato. (Susan Geariety, Menifee, Calif.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:

Right, Do the Thing …: An absent-minded yes-man tries vainly to fulfill his boss’s order … whatever it was … (Donald Norum, Charlottesville, Va.)

Film naah: Honorable mentions

Thou Art Where? O Brother! Once again, an Elizabethan cobbler has to bail out his ne’er-do-well sibling from the village stocks. (Ed Neveleff, North Potomac, Md.)

Drop the Lemon, Kid!: T-men raid Billy’s lemonade stand. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

50 Dates First: A woman does not want to rush things in her new relationship. (Michael Stein, Arlington, Va.)

First, 50 Dates: The hot-dog-eating competition begins with the Dried-Fruit Preliminary Round. (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)

Lesser Children of a God: In this Don Jr. production, the ex-president recalls his encounters with “Marla’s and Melania’s kids.” (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

Me to Fly the Moon: On Graduation Day, a cap, a gown and a devilish plan. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

Men, Goats Stare at the Who: Rare footage from an early, sparsely attended concert on the Isle of Wight. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

Miller and Mrs. McCabe: The creepy Trump aide ends up in the emergency room and — whuh-oh! — his attending physician is the wife of the acting FBI director Trump fired. (Joel Cockrell, Damascus, Md.)

Park, Jurassic!: A slow-moving senior citizen can’t decide on a spot for his Chevrolet Caprice and is mercilessly heckled by other drivers. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Return of the Planet to the Apes: A monkeypox pandemic wipes out the human race. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

Say “Never Never” Again: Peter Pan 2. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Ted’s Bogus Journey & Bill: A Texas senator introduces legislation making it a crime to film senators on “fact-finding” trips to Cancún. (Chris Doyle)

The Air in “Up”: Spoiler alert! It was helium. (Joe Neff, Warrington, Pa.)

The Curious Button of Benjamin Case: A man’s navel slowly changes from an innie to an outie as he ages. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

The Suspect’s Usual: An eagle-eyed detective notices that his mark always orders two eggs over easy with rye toast, orange juice and a side of turkey bacon. (Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)

Third the Man: Fed up with being sawed in half, a magician’s assistant turns the tables on her boss. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park, Md.)

“Your Name,” By Me! Call!: A ghostwriter trolls for work. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

22, Catch!: Tired of the spotlight always being on Clayton Kershaw, his Dodgers teammates make him play one game behind home plate. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

A Beautiful Neighborhood in the Day: A bitter Mr. Rogers rues urban blight and zoning malfeasance. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring)

Andre With My Dinner: After blowing his trust fund, a spoiled young man learns to make do with cheap champagne. (Terri Berg Smith, Rockville, Md.)

Angry Men 12: Eleven sequels and the jury still can’t reach a verdict! (Frank Mann, Washington)

Of Oz, the Wizard: A snake oil peddler runs for senator in Pennsylvania. (Lori Lipman Brown, Silver Spring, Md.)

Oz. of the Wizard: Bitter rivalries erupt as Harry Potter’s cremains are sold off bit by bit. (Tim Harvey, Montgomery Village, Md., a First Offender)

Fast High at Ridgemont Times: An understaffed small-town paper, fueled by meth and cocaine, struggles to stay afloat. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

Fine! “One Day!” A worn-down mother agrees to a more flexible schedule for her teenage daughter’s room to be cleaned. (Kate Sammons, Ashburn, Va.)

For Country, No Old Men: Nashville finally adopts the Lil Nas X demographic. (Diane Lucitt, Ellicott City, Md.)

Frankenstein and Costello Meet Abbott: A highly unlikely duo helps the baby formula manufacturer solve the shortage. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

French the Connection: A drug dealer does whatever is necessary to maintain his supply. (Ed Neveleff)

He’s Into Just That — Not You: A young woman misinterprets the overtures of a shoe salesman. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Home Spider? No Way, Man: A roommate lays down the law about one prospective pet. (John Klayman, Fairfax, Va.)

House Animal: A day in the life of Rep. Matt Gaetz. (Ryan Martinez)

Hunting Will? Good!: The cycle of violence continues as Chris Rock’s sympathizers seek revenge. (Karen Lambert, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Kiss Bang Kiss Bang: James Bond forgets that Q gave him explosive teeth. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

Launch to Failure: Remembering the Biden inauguration. (Ryan Martinez)

The 2-Part Godfather: Dr. Frankenstein attempts to bring peace between warring Mafia families by assembling a new Don from a pair of recently whacked rivals. (Steve Benko, Southport, Conn.)

Kramer vs. Kramer: In this sequel, the countersuit. (Brian Collins, Olney, Md.)

More honorable mentions in a future Invite.

Still running — deadline Monday night, June 20: Our contest for conservative-leaning humor. See wapo.st/invite1492.

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.

InvisibleInk! Idea:() Examples:(Doug FRank) Title:(Kevin Dopart) Subhead:(Roy Ashley) Prize:(Dave Prevar) VisibleInk!

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