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Style Invitational Week 1517: See you next week . . .

(But not after that.) Plus winning greeting-card rhymes for non-greeting-card occasions.

Bob Staake's illustration for Karen Lambert's winning poem in Style Invitational Week 1513 Check it out below our little news flash.
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Click here to skip down to the winning greeting-card rhymes for non-greeting-card occasions

We have some news. There’s no new contest this week, because it’s the next-to-last week of The Style Invitational. The Empress will wrap things up next Sunday, Dec. 11, in print (Thursday, Dec. 8, online), with a little greatest-hits assortment of favorite Invite entries from our past 29¾ years. And we’d like you to help: This week: Nominate your favorite inking entries — your own or someone else’s — to be included in next week’s final edition. But you need to send it soon — no later than Monday night, Dec. 5. Send them on the entry form at

To refresh your memory, or just to enjoy poring over the archives, check out the Master Contest List at the Loser Community’s own website, There’s a drop-down menu for various contest categories, or just scroll or search down the whole main list. If you know some words to search for in an entry, you can look in the All Invitational Text file on the same website (wait a few seconds for it to load). Or just describe it to me the best you can and I’ll probably figure out what the heck you had in mind.

Bonus joke contest! Pictured is a bowl of the 29 remaining little clown heads that won’t become Clowning Achievement trophies. What should we do with them? I’ll run a few ideas (use the same entry form above); winner gets one of the heads.

Losers working on Week 1516, Questionable Journalism: You can stop perusing; that contest is canceled.

The headline “Teasin’s Greetings” is by Jesse Frankovich, “LOLmark Cards” by Kevin Dopart; Jesse also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. The Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook is still active at, as are Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at and @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column will run this week, with some thoughts and thank-yous, and next, with a chance for readers to judge the Ask Backwards contest! See this week’s — published late Thursday, Dec. 1 (the E is still catching her breath here) — at

Teasin’s greetings; LOLmark cards for non-greeting-card occasions

In Week 1513 we asked for greeting-card rhymes for non-greeting-card occasions. Lots of colonoscopy congratulations; sorry, they were all purged.

4th place:

To My Client's Husband
This message is sent to you straight from the source:
The party is over. She wants a divorce.
You’ve used up your chances, you lizard-faced louse.
You’ve taken her heart, but she’s keeping the house.
(Judy Freed, Deerfield Beach, Fla.)

3rd place:

To the Fancy Restaurant Where We Dined Last Night
We waited half an hour even though we got there early,
The maitre d’ was dour and the waitress downright surly,
The wilted Caesar salad featured croutons soft and soggy,
The Steak au Poivre was pallid (wouldn’t serve it to my doggy!).
The chocolate mousse? No winner! And the kicker: indigestion!
(But comp us a free dinner and we’ll see you soon, no question.)
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

2nd place

and the earrings in the shape of toilet paper rolls:

Happy C-section day! Have a ball!
It’s the best birthday party of all,
With no favors to make and/or buy, no
Requests for a layer-cake dino,
No tantrums to rattle your nerves,
And no carpets with ground-in hors d’oeuvres.
(The one downside, of course, is you’ve gotta
Be opened like you’re the piñata.)
(Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is youer than you.
Yet I’ve stolen your wallet, your identity too —
Very soon I’ll seem so much more youer than you!
(Karen Lambert, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Cardy B’s: Honorable mentions

Remember those times in fourth grade
When I shared the box lunch my mom made?
“What’s mine is yours” was our motto.
So congrats now on winning the lotto.
(Pam Shermeyer, Lathrup Village, Mich.)

I’m sending this card and composing this ode
To say that I’m sorry I clogged your commode.
It ruined your party. I couldn’t feel dumber.
But here is the good news: My cousin’s a plumber.
(Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

Dear Mr. Cruz: Although I’m just
A no-good liberal commie,
Accept my deep condolences
On this year’s “red tsunami.”
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

Condolences! Heard you got fired,
And worse, your dismissal was brusque.
Oh, wait … it’s congrats! You’re rehired
To clean up the mess made by Musk.
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

We're sad to say you bounced a check
At our fresh-produce stand.
We want to trust our customers
Don’t want to see you banned.
We like for folks to buy our wares,
But since you did upset us:
We gleefully inform you there’s
E. coli in your lettuce.
(Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

You’re no longer at Fox —
I hear you were sacked —
But congrats that at last
You reported a fact.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Congratulations on Your Conscription
I know you must have been surprised
To find that you’d been mobilized,
But I hope you’ll love your new career.
With warmest wishes — Vladimir
(Stephen Gold, London)

Your DNA tests are complete:
Your health markers aren’t too bad.
And we found your half-siblings in nine different states;
So you might want to talk with your dad.
(Jon Carter, Fredericksburg, Va.)

How funny to see you in Jersey last week —
I rarely head out that direction.
I told all the neighbors! We think it’s just great
That you’ve gone into witness protection.
(Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)

You wrote about trans kids
Growing up in Atlantis,
So congrats on your book
Being banned by DeSantis. (Kevin Dopart)

You failed to scoop
Your best friend's poop
So it’s been sent back.
(See enclosed sack.)
(John Klayman, Fairfax, Va.)

Life is full of ups and downs
A bushel of smiles, a bundle of frowns
But yesterday’s crash makes us all want to tiptoe
So sorry, my dear, for the loss of your crypto.
(Madelyn Rosenberg, Arlington, Va.)

When life gave you lemons, you made lemonade.
We applaud you for your inner grit,
But though you were 8, taxes should have been paid.
Here's your IRS bill. Please remit.
(Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

You’re such a helpful neighbor
Reminding us to mow
To weed, to paint, to rake the leaves
To shovel all that snow.
And thanks for all the tools you’ve loaned us
The rake, the hoe, the ax!
What would we do without you?
Probably relax.
(Frank Mann, Washington)

And Last:
Congrats on your Style Invitational win

Winning Loser in The Post,
Here’s to you! Let’s make a toast:
“Celebrate your witty words,
Lining cages under birds.” (Mark Raffman)

And Lastest (and do we mean Lastest!):

You won the Invitational
Congrats! It was sensational!
You honed your writing every day;
From 9 to 5 you worked away.
And though this means so much to you,
It’s not the job you’re s’posed to do.
The Empress may be quite inspired
But I’m your boss. You Lose. You’re fired!
(Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

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