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Style Invitational Week 1291: Film flam — movie anagrams

Plus possibly our best political song parodies ever (though we always say that)

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to the winning and Losing song parodies about the news)

Batman anagrams to Tab Man: In the sequel, the Caped Crusader switches to diet soda to slim down for his leotard.

Wonder Woman —> Nerd Moan: ‘Wow’! Socially maladjusted guys have a hard time accepting their powerful new female friend.

The Hunger Games —> He Hung Gamester: A narcissistic autocrat tries to punish athletes who don’t observe patriotic rituals to his liking.

This week’s contest was suggested by Seriously Funny Loser Duncan Stevens, who wins yet another free milkshake from the Empress. It’s a simple concept: Rearrange the letters of a title of a movie or play to make a new title, then describe the new work, as in Bob Staake’s and Duncan’s examples above. Even though there are bajillions of movies and plays out there — or at least 1.2 bajillion — there’s an excellent chance that someone else will come up with the very same anagram that you do. And so a funny description will be paramount. Perhaps a line of dialogue could help.

Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1291 (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives two brand-new rolls of Who Gives a Crap “premium” toilet paper made entirely of ecologically correct bamboo fibers. Donated by Loser Barbara Turner, whose name only coincidentally anagrams to Rear-Burnt Arab.

Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better” or “IDiot Card.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Aug. 13; results published Sept. 2 (online Aug. 30). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results was submitted separately by five people; Tom Witte wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational The Empress's weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

RHYTHM & NEWS: SONG PARODIES FROM WEEK 1287

Week 1287 was yet another of our contests for songs about the news, set to familiar tunes. As always, the Empress was deluged with crazy-brilliant lyrics to songs ranging from nursery rhymes to obscure medieval carols to long raps to a full-length reworking of “American Pie.”

Before each of the parodies is a link to a video or audio clip — some are performed by the Losers themselves — from which you can hear the melody of the original song while you read the new lyrics. And right on the page is a new video by Sandy Riccardi, who with husband Richard performs parodies in clubs around the country, but is a First Offender in Loserdom; Sandy’s lyrics are right on the video.

4th place:

Maria Butina (I)
To “Maria” from “West Side Story”

Maria! I fell for a spy named Maria!
With hair of flaming red,
A tiger-cat in bed, ooo-weee!

Maria! I didn’t have any idea
That Putin pulled your strings!
What if tomorrow brings
A plea?

Maria!
Now my hair’s prematurely graying!
For a pardon from Trump I am praying.
Maria . . . I’m done NRA-ing, Maria! (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

3rd place:

Maria Butina (II)
To “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” from “The Sound of Music”
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
What do you with Russian meddling nigh?
How do you find a term that means “Maria”?
An enemy agent? An operative? A spy?
Many’s the things you know you shouldn’t’ve told her,
Now that she’s compromised the NRA,
’Cause when she was there in bed,
she heard all the things you said,
Now how do you strike a deal with DOJ?
Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you keep those Putin goons at bay?
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

2nd place and the squeeze toy of a shark with a foot in its mouth:

To “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me”
Praise me! Praise me!
Lavish me with kudos that amaze me, raise me
Up above my foes and then just praise me, praise me,
Make me think that I’m the greatest prez.

Laud me! Laud me!
Lay out all the ways that folks applaud me, applaud me,
Cite Rasmussen polls until you’ve awed me, awed me,
Show me how I’m loved, like Rudy says.

They told me, “Be sensible in the White House.
This job’s not the easiest you will find.”
But they didn’t know I’d have the right House
To give me what I want and drive the nation out of its mind.

Back me! Back me!
Defend me from the flak when folks attack me, smack me
So I can bigly win again in 2020,
And turn this country back to ’52. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

To "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (Nan Reiner sings her parody here)
My FBI is mean to me,
Ever since we sandbagged Hillary.
They won't screw who I tell them to,
And coverup is hard to do.

So I installed the Keebler Elf
To be loyal, not recuse himself
And eschew my cagey coup!
Oh, coverup is hard to do.

I sold them all a big-league beautiful tale;
Fixed Junior's mail to cover our trail.
Pulled rabbits outta my . . . hat
To keep the feds from getting at my trillion-ruble laundromat.

My goons bought off the girls I sleazed;
Now my fixer's files have all been seized.
That just grew into deeper poo;
Yes, coverup is hard to do.

To send my kids to jail would be very sad!
I'm their dad, but what about Vlad?
He's got me under his thumb; Instead of being my best chum, he'd slip me some polonium!

I can't keep track of every crime,
And pretty soon it will be Mueller Time.
Low IQ is my Waterloo,
'Cause coverup is hard to do.
(Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)

Noise media: Honorable mentions

To “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun” from “Annie Get Your Gun” (written and performed by Sandy Riccardi, Petaluma, Calif., a First Offender, accompanied by Richard Riccardi)

“You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun” (II) with introduction (See Nan Reiner’s video here.)
Oh, in Russia they taught us to defeat U.S.A.,
All you need is a sweet “honey pot.”
I took aim, and I quickly came to beat NRA:
So how did I get what I’ve got?

I fondle the trigger and grow the bankroll bigger
With each needy Republi-cun.
Just a tease with my trifles, and they stand up like rifles;
Oh, you can grab a man by the gun . . .

My arms are for baring, my charms appear for sharing
With each gullible simpleton.
Dressed in camo and flannel, they flock to my back channel;
Oh, you can grab a man by the gun.

By the gun – Bang! He’s done.
Yes, you can grab a man by the gun…

A quick okie-doke’ll make some Dakota yokel
Think that I think that he’s “the one.”
Not a man said to me, “Nix!” I squeezed some GOP-niks.
Putin’s plants see our chance with a glance at their pants.
Yes, you can grab a man by the gun. (Nan Reiner)

To “Eleanor Rigby”
Vladimir Putin
Picks up the phone with instructions for President Trump.
“Go to it! Jump!
And don’t you forget, Don,
All of the dirt that I’ve got on you won’t go away:
Do as I say.”
All the stupid people
Are feeling rather sick —
All those stupid people
Who voted for the idiot.

Half-witted Donald
Has to obey him, whatever his master may ask,
That is his task;
Sneering at NATO,
Treating his allies with scorn and contempt is his scheme,
And Putin’s dream.

All the stupid people
Who voted for the twit,
All those stupid people
Are now in deepest (trouble).
(Brian Allgar, Paris)

The Space Force Hymn
To the Marines’ Hymn:
From the desert sands of Tatooine to the icy planet Hoth
First our sanctions on the emperor cut an economic swath.
Then we taunt, “Hey, Little Death-Star Man, watch our Space Force win this fight!”
Then we have a summit, then it’s fine, we can all sleep well tonight.
(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Into the ‘Woulds’
Into the “woulds” without the “nots”
Ignore the trolls, forget the bots
Everyone knows who called the shots
When I was in Helsinki.

Into the weeds with every word,
The ones I said, the ones you heard,
Even the word I may have slurred
When I was in Helsinki

The jeers and gibes, the harsh reviews
Are nothing more than more Fake News!
I never back down, I never do wrong
(Except perhaps I shouldn’t
Ever skip a “wouldn’t.”)

What are the words the world should fear?
The secret words from Vladimir
When there was no adviser near
To hear us in Helsinki!

He vowed that I’d have hell to pay
If he released the dossier.
I followed each command he gave
And that’s the only reason some may call it treason.

Learn from the tale that I have told
Avoid the showers made of gold
Or you will see how you get rolled
When you go to Helsinki

But into the “woulds,” into the weeds,
Into the words, like Vladimir said —
And home before dark.
(Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.)

Donald’s Favorite Things
Golfing and Big Macs and late-night tweet rages.
Tax breaks for fat cats and babies in cages.
Justices dancing like puppets on strings.
These are a few of my favorite things.

Hounding reporters and calling them traitors.
Pissing off allies and kissing dictators.
Congress like bobbleheads mounted on springs.
These are a few of my favorite things.

When collusion and indictments
Bring things to a halt
I go on TV and say you can’t blame me
For it’s all Obama’s fault.
(Thomas Vincent, Langley, Wash., a First Offender)

‘Trump tweets praises to Russia, threats to Iran’
To “The Bells of Notre Dame” from Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Morning in Washington; citizens wake
To the tweets of Donald Trump.
They count every lie and linguistic mistake
In the tweets of Donald Trump.
Mocking Democrats, brown-nosing Russia,
Calling Mueller a LOSER!!! and CHUMP!!!,
His only endeavor is drivel he never deletes,
These tweets of Donald Trump.

Watch as a threat of a vicious invective
Excretes from Donald Trump.
(Won’t it be nice if his Caps Lock’s defective?
That eats at Donald Trump.)
Since we fear Agent Orange will usher
In a wretched American slump,
We’ll connect him to dial-up, ensuring he’ll pile up defeats:
Czaritza Donald Trump!
(Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

Masterpiece Cakeshop
To “MacArthur Park”

Cavities were all I meant to leave;
I run my bakery shop, ask for payment in advance.
But on a wedding cake, this I believe:
Of the couple up on top, one should not be wearing pants.

Our highest court just gave me its support,
One confusing ruling coming down.
I won’t sell my cake off to the gays,
I don’t think that I could take it
‘Cause it’s just for straights I bake it,
And my fondant might get nibbled by two men.
OH NO!
(Duncan Stevens)

To “O Canada,” the Canadian national anthem,
By The Country Formerly Respected as the United States*
F Canada! Our bitter rival land!
True seething hate you shall in us command.
With hostile hearts we hope you fall,
Northern neighbor cold and weak!
From far and wide, O Canada,
Your destruction’s what we seek.
There is in Hell, hot as can be,
O Canada, a special place for thee..
O Canada, a special place for thee!
*A vast majority of Americans do not approve this message. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

To “Goldfinger”
Helsinki –
Vlad the Man was trained by the KGB — to the nth degree.
Vlad’s cold pinky
Beckoned Trump to swim with the Russian sharks — the oligarchs.

Golden showers in an MP4 file
(Or perhaps something even more vile)
Made the POTUS fearful of detection:
Vlad’s “artful deal” sealed his election.

Helsinki –
Stupid Trump, not thinking to scrutinize
Vlad Putin’s eyes.
FBI, CIA, NSA –
All their knowledge was banished away
When a narcissist’s repudiation
Trumped the honor of his nation.

Helsinki –
On that day, Trump loyalists agonized –
And cut their ties.
He played Putin‘s game,
Lost the game,
Feels no shame.
He played Putin’s game …
But he’ll claim
Dems were to blame!
(Jackie Beals, Staunton, Va., a First Offender)

Stormy’s Nether
to (what else) “Stormy Weather”
(Nan Reiner sings it here)
Don’t know why no one buys the lies I ply.
Stormy’s nether
Has got me into nasty weather:
Keeps raining all the slime.

Sapphire orbs, and she spanked me with my Forbes!
Drove me bonkers,
With her bazongas like Ivanka’s.
She made me feel sublime.

Next to have her say appeared that gal McDougal.
Then, a Summer’s day; she’s gonna blow her bugle.
I said I would pay them, but (wink, wink) you know I’m frugal!
Now here come a dozen more…

I’m a cad, but my prenup’s ironclad.
My Melania
Will never bid me “do svidanya.”
She’s gotta serve her time
Or she gets not one dime. (Nan Reiner)

To “A You’re Adorable”
(Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musician Jonathan Jensen sings and plays the song here)
A you’re abom’nible, B you’re so bigoted, C you’re completely full of crap.
D you’re deplorable, E-vil and horrible, F is your friggin’ stupid cap.
G making nothing great, H teaching us to hate, I you’re illiterate as well.
J just a horrid man, K means you love the Klan, L for the lies you always tell.
Malodorous, Nefarious, Obstreperous, Perfidious -- I could go on all day.
Querulous, Rancorous, Satanical, Tyrannical -- What more can I say?
U fill my life with pain, V means you’re very vain, W, X, Y, Z.
It’s fun to wander through the alphabet with you to tell you what you mean to me.
A B C D E F U!!! (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore, a First Offender)

I’ve Been Good to Me
To “Life’s Been Good to Me” by Joe Walsh)
I have this mansion. It’s not branded Trump.
It’s called the White House, I’ve called it a dump.
I like my hotels, oh, the workers are great.
Most are on visas. The service? First-rate.
Some say I’m pampered but I treat myself well.
I love my base — though their lives look like hell.
I’ve been good to me so far.

At Mar-A-Lago, I have lots of friends,
I get a cut of what anyone spends.
I ride in limos and drive a golf cart;
I never walk far. It’s bad for your heart.

My staff will bring me whatever I need.
They draw me pictures ‘cause I hate to read.
I watch TV when I want to relax.
If I feel cranky I make up some facts.

People agree that I have a great life.
(Everybody say I’m cool, he’s cool)
When I get bored I just pick a new wife.
I’ve been good to me so far.

They say as POTUS, Richard Nixon ranks worst.
(Everybody say oh yeah, oh yeah)
I say it’s time to “Put Donald Trump First.”
I’ve been good to me so far.
(Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

To “Gary, Indiana” from “The Music Man” (Nan sings it here) |
Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani,
Once he had the mayor’s job.
Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani,
Now a mouthpiece for a slob.

Is he suffering from an Alzheimeresque affliction,
Makes him wallow in malevolent malediction,
Spewing folderol and extrajudicial fiction?
Quasi-legal junk that we know is bunk.

Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani, fruity tool,
He honestly believes we’ll buy his guff?
Oh, Rudy Giuliani, stuff your con for Crooked Donnie.
Giuliani, we’ve had enough! (Nan Reiner)

To “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
You spew hot gas and belch out smoke,
Your consequences are no joke,
You’re just as dangerous as a Himalaya,
Yes, you’re Hawaii’s rocky bump--

What’s that? You thought that I meant Trump?
No, no, this song is meant for Kilauea.
Kilauea, Kilauea, Kilauea, Kilaue--e---a. (Duncan Stevens)

To “Anything Goes”
The White House staff, they’ve put some fun in it
But they don’t know who’s runnin’ it
Hey, what goes? Nobody knows.
They’ll bring back coal and start pollutin’
While they’re in cahoots with Putin,
Why love our foes? Nobody knows.


And all of the lies they tell, they know very well, they can cast a spell
On their base while telling the infidels to all go to hell
If they choose to oppose.

Is Putin planning on exposing
A picture of Donald posing with Russian hos?
Nobody knows.
While Trump cavorts in high society
Liberals face more anxiety,
So what goes? Nobody knows.
(Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) wants the Russia meddling investigation finished “the hell up”
To the medieval Christmas song “Gaudete Christus est natus”
Gowdy! Trey!
Gowdy! Trey! Vlad Putin got us.
It’s a real calamity, Gowdy! Trey!

Russia hacked democracy, thwarting voters’ preference.
Trumpster is a Putin pal, showing him vast deference.
Gowdy! Trey! Gowdy! Trey! Vlad Putin got us.
It’s a crapstorm all the way, Gowdy! Trey!

Ranting at the Mueller probe, you have grown delirious.
Whiskey-tango-foxtrot, dude? Cyberthreats are serious!
Gowdy! Trey! Gowdy! Trey! Vlad Putin got us
And Maria! NRA! Gowdy! Trey!

Infrastructure’s getting hacked, water, nukes, and power.
You’ll have fun in Spartanburg when the grid turns sour.
Gowdy! Trey! Gowdy! Trey! Vlad Putin got us.
Pete Strzok might just save your A, Gowdy, Trey.
(Catherine Hagman, Silver Spring, Md.)

Still running — deadline Monday, Aug. 6: our Week 1290 neologism contest. See wapo.st/invite1290.

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