"​S is for Speedo, too small for your size./ T is the Trauma you've done to my eyes." (Bob Staake/For The Washington Post, after Edward Gorey)

(Click here to skip down to the winning protest slogans from Week 1225)

S is for Speedo, too small for your size. 
T is the Trauma you’ve done to my eyes.
(Rob Pivarnik)

U is the Umpire, whom fans like to boo,
V is the Vampire, who wants to suck, too.
(Mark Raffman)

Y is for You, and your what/when/where/how;
Z is for Zuckerberg; he owns it now.
 (Nan Reiner)

Our Bob Staake's homage to the darkly funny artist and kindred spirit. (Art and design by Bob Staake)

This week, for the third time in Style Invitational history, we salute “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” Edward Gorey’s little faux-Victorian alphabet picture book, created in 1963 and composed of rhyming A-to-Z couplets about various grisly demises of various children (e.g., “E is for Ernest who choked on a peach/ F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech”).

The humor in our Invite versions — from 2008 and 2013 — tends to be less morbid but more timely, so that’s one reason to bring it back; we’ll have lots of new folks to stick it to. But the real reason is that we have the Perfect Prize to give to, no, not this week’s winner but to second place: It’s this poster advertising the upcoming “Gorey: The Documentary,” a film by Christopher Seufert that’s still in production. And it’s designed by none other than our own Bob Staake, a fan and former Cape Cod neighbor of Gorey, who died in 2000.

This week: Send us one or more edgy rhyming alphabet-primer couplets, as in the examples above; the pairs are AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, OP, QR, ST, UV, WX and YZ. Feel free to send couplets for all 13 — as usual, you can send 25 entries in all — but make sure each couplet works on its own; you’ll have to publish your full set yourself. See this week’s Style Conversational (published late afternoon Thursday, May 25) at bit.ly/conv-1229 for the earlier results and for more about Gorey.

Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1229 (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy — one of the last few before we come out with a new design. Second place receives the Gorey poster.

Other runners-up win our new “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our new lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind” or “Magnum Dopus.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, June 5; results published June 25 (online June 22). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Jon Gearhart; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Tom Witte. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday.

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 . . .


In Week 1225, in the wake of the Women’s March and March for Science, we asked for some other ideas for marches, along with some ideas for protest signs.

4th place:

The March to Support Team Sports:
We Are the 110 Percent! (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

3rd place:

The Luddite March:
Stop Thinking About Tomorrow! (Dave Matuskey, Sacramento)

2nd place

and the peach-pit elephant:
The March to Support Feline Rights:
Cat Lives Matter, Matter, Matter, Matter, Matter, Matter, Matter, Matter, Matter (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

The Million Middle Managers March:
 If It Were Up to Me, I’d Say Yes (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

March midness: honorable mentions

Signs at the Parents’ March: “Knock it off right now or we’ll turn this country around!”

“We’re not angry, America. We’re disappointed.”

“You’ve really done it now, Administration! This is your last warning! I mean it this time!” (Sarah Jacobs, New York)

At a march protesting the Trump administration:
Agent Orange: Destroying Vegetation in 1967, Destroying Democracy in 2017 (Bill Lieberman, Ellicott City, Md.)

At a march supporting (or “supporting”) the Trump administration:
Resist (Melissa) McCarthyism: Support Spicer

“No one Ever Saw Andrew Jackson’s Tax Returns!” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Trump/Douglass 2020! (Dan Helming, Maplewood, N.J.)

At a march against defense spending:
Say No to the Arms Race/
Say Yes to the Alms Race
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

At the March for Redrawing State Borders:
Please Mess With Texas (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

At the Zombie Rally for a Sustainable Harvest:
A Brain Is a Terrible Thing to Waste (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

At the 540 Billionaires March:
I Sleep Quite Well at Night (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

At the March for Physics Education:
I’m Ohm-Schooled (Chris Doyle)

At the March for Anarchy:
So Why Are We All Walking in the Same Direction? (Mark Raffman)

Palindrome Enthusiasts March for Impeachment:
What do we want? No Don! When do we want it? Noon! (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

To support funding for public broadcasting:
(Support for this march comes from the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, from Lumber Liquidators, and from Viewers Like You.) (Elliott Shevin, Oak Park, Mich.)

Amalgamated Picket Sign Painters Local 537 on Strike! Our Placards Were Produced by Filthy Scab Labor (Elliott Shevin)

The March for National Reform of Marijuana Laws:
I’m With Herb
The March for Polygamy:
I’m With Her and Her
The March to End Binary Gender Assumptions:
I’m With Zir (Seth Tucker, Washington)

The Rally for Regularity (a.k.a. The Push for Poo, a.k.a. The Bowel Movement):
Hell No, We Can’t Go!

Love Your Enemas

This Two Shall Pass (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

We’re Not Taking This Sitting Down! (unfortunately)”
(Edward Gordon, Austin; he also sent “Hell No, We Can’t Go”)

The March for Exotic Dancers:
Twerkers of the World, Unite!

We Have the Best Pole Numbers (Jesse Frankovich)

The March for Standup Comedians:
Shtick Up for Better Pay (Roy Ashley, Washington)

The Million Preteen March:
Leave Us Alone! We Can March by Ourselves! (Kathleen Cross, Silver Spring, Md.)

The March for Organ Donation:
Can’t We All Just Get a Lung? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Please take note at the March for Safety:
Marchers shall wear high-visibility jackets over their life jackets, and shall stay on the sidewalk; that is what it is there for. There shall be no placards, lest one of them puts someone’s eye out . . . . (Michael Rolfe, Cape Town, South Africa)

For the March for Metrorail Funding:
Hey, We’re Gonna Be Walking Anyway! (Perry Beider, Silver Spring, Md.; Mark Raffman)
Hey hey! Ho ho! Drsclsng ffrt nxx torp metter sinnaa. Bing bong! (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

For the Zero Population Growth March:
Life Was So Much Easier Without All You People (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis)

The Millionth Man March, just one guy with a sign hiking up Pennsylvania Avenue:
I’m Him!
(Bird Waring)

Still running — deadline Tuesday night, May 30: our contest for “secret inspirations” for movie titles. See bit.ly/invite1228.