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Style Invitational Week 1503: Sing of your supper—parodies about food

Plus the winners of our Bob Staake cartoon caption contest

A caption for this Bob Staake cartoon took first place in this week's Style Invitational. See it and other inking captions for this cartoon and three others below. (Bob Staake/For The Washington Post)

Click here to skip down to the winning cartoon captions

Along with the recurring song contests that focus on the news, the Empress likes to toss in a few that don’t necessarily play off the headlines (though they’re welcome to!). In the past we’ve done songs on the general themes of animals and work; this year, at the suggestion of both Marcus Bales and, more recently, Mark Raffman: Write a humorous song on the subject of food — growing it, cooking with it, eating it, whatever — set to a well-known tune or your original tune (for that, of course, you’d need to make a recording). Videos are an increasingly popular option in our song contests — we’ve had some fabulous “video ink” in recent years — but lyrics are still the main thing, and parodies that run in our print edition must be set to very familiar tunes. See this week’s Style Conversational column for more guidance on doing songs for the Invite.

Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1503 (no capitals in the Web address). We give you an extra week for songs: Deadline is Monday, Sept. 12; results appear Sept. 25 in print, Sept. 22 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, apropos of this contest, an Invite Gourmet Variety Pack consisting of souvenir bags of chocolates labeled Canadian Beaver Poop (donated by Jonathan Hardis during our Niagara Falls Loserfest trip), Ohio Cow Poop and Cincinnati Pig Poop (both given us long ago by Duncan Stevens) as well as a tin of Alien Poop Mints from Elden Carnahan.

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 “Jest of Drawers” was submitted by both Jon Gearhart and Chris Doyle. 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, Aug. 25, at wapo.st/conv1503.

Jest of Drawers: Inking cartoon captions from Week 1499

Week 1499 provided yet another opportunity to attach ridiculous captions to even ridiculouser Bob Staake cartoons. Among the 1,300 entries the Empress waded through, dozens mentioned “bear necessities” for Picture 2, and many others told Yogi or Smokey that he wasn’t in “a bear market.” The top four captions are listed under their respective cartoons.

Third place: “And how would you like us to arrange your flight: overbooked or canceled?” (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

“Perhaps you meant to say ‘a ticket to Pittsburgh,’ Reverend Spooner.(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

“I’m sorry, but Viking Cruises does not offer a ‘steerage’ option.” (Jonathan Jensen)

“Ah, yes, the Perth Amboy poster. Let’s just say, the Northern New Jersey Tourism Council made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

“Actually, Mr. Greenblatt, I don’t think shoving money up your nose is the best way to avoid pickpockets.” (Ward Foeller, Charlottesville, Va.)

“I’m afraid that given the dimensions of your nose, you’ll also have to reserve the seat in front of you.” (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

“For people who’ve already turned green, Perth Amboy might be lovely!” (Dan Helming, Whitemarsh, Pa.)

“Yes, I’m sure the nose plug filters are efficient, but they still want you to wear a mask.” (Daniel Jarrell, Alexandria, Va., a First Offender)

“Why, yes, we do offer time travel back to when offices had no computer screens.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

“Honestly, I don’t know how the rest of my head stays attached, either.” (Richard Franklin, Alexandria, Va.)

“You’ve seen London? You’ve seen France? Then I’m afraid the ‘Netherlands’ are off-limits to you, sir.” (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

He’d hoped to get out of the country to avoid the subpoena, but Rudy’s fake mustache didn’t fool anyone. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

In the spring of 1945, a travel agent booked passage to Argentina for one “Adolfo Schicklgruber,” who was never seen again. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

Fourth place: “What do you mean you ‘overhibernated’? Now get to work!” (Michael Stein, Arlington, Va.)

“Even if you’re smarter than the average bear, it’s pretty dumb to forget your wallet.” (Jonathan Jensen)

“Ryan, how many times have I told you that your mascot costume scares the customers!” (Jeff Lubbers, Takoma Park, Md.)

“For the last time, buddy, you’re gonna hafta use Cottonelle!” (Terri Berg Smith, Rockville, Md.; Lani Jacobson, Herndon, Va.)

“It’s in the back and on the right … but I thought you guys went in the woods …” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

“Him? We don’t talk about Bruno. No, no, no.” (Duncan Stevens)

“Can’t you read? This lane is for shoppers with FIVE items!” (Cheryl Gracey, Winchester, Va., a First Offender; Steve Smith)

Second place and the Lactation Cookie Bites: “Mom, if I have to run down here every time your screen freezes, I’m going to flunk gym class.” (Allan Zackowitz, Brookeville, Md.)

“I sent the file labeled ‘Fake Electors’ to the ‘Electors’ folder, and the ‘Fake Fake Electors’ to the ‘Really Fake Electors’ file, but then it all got a little confused …” (Lynne Larkin, Vero Beach, Fla.)

“All I did was ask about your enhanced proxy-layered security protocols and you look at me like I’ve got two heads.” (Jonathan Jensen)

“So basically, in Windows 11, you can do all of the same things but they’re all located in different places. No, I don’t know why, either.” (Maier Schreiber, Jerusalem, a First Offender)

“Whose password is thisplacesucks123?” (Carol Lasky, Boston)

“Done. Now he’ll be a panda on his next Zoom call.” (Robert Welch, Atlanta, a First Offender)

“See? Every time I click, the desk gets a little shorter.” (Chris Parkin, Silver Spring)

“There’s your problem. No Pokémon power can evolve a Squirtle to a Jigglypuff.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

“Control-Alt-Delete never seems to work on illegal stuff.” (Mel Simoneau, Gatineau, Quebec, a First Offender)

“Yeah, so, I don’t know what it means for a CPA, but online? Whenever you see ‘Rule 34’ you’re gonna wanna click this little red X right here.” (Donald Norum, Charlottesville, Va.)

“The Empress says only 25 entries, so I use lots of email addresses and pretend my house is an apartment building.” (Sam Mertens)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement: “Well, he did ask if he could take our order.” (Carol Lasky, Boston)

“Will you make me the happiest man in the world and pick up the check?” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

“The owner is really named Chester, but he thought it sounded classier in French.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

“I thought you said you loved cats!” (Lynne Larkin)

“I hear it’s impolite to call a French waiter ‘garçon.’ The preferred term is ‘skippy.’ ” (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)

How did I know what “couilles de mouton” were? (Pia Palamidessi, Cumberland, Md.)

“Just because I voted to strip away your bodily autonomy doesn’t mean we can’t make this work!” (Donald Norum)

“Maybe I shouldn’t ask this on a first date, but has anyone ever told you you have a nose like a heron’s beak and your legs are two different colors?” (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

“Salome, I asked you to help me get ‘ahead with my boss!’ ” (Marni Penning Coleman, Falls Church, Va.)

“Don’t let on that I’m The Post’s ood-fay itic-cray!” (Gary Crockett)

Emma later told Date Lab she appreciated James’s “well-groomed nostrils.” (Steve Smith)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 29: Our contest for limericks featuring a word or name beginning with “hi-.” See wapo.st/invite1502.

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! Winner:(Carol Lasky) Second:(Allan Zackowitz) Third:(Sam Mertens) Fourth:(Michael Stein) Idea:(Mark Raffman; Marcus Bales) Examples:() Title:(Jon Gearhart; Chris Doyle) Subhead:(Barbara Turner; Jeff Contompasis) Prize:(Jonathan Hardis; Duncan Stevens; Elden Carnahan) VisibleInk!

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