(Click here to skip down to the winners of our Week 1206 retrospective contest)
The Kustoff-Brat Get Off the Lawn Act
The Budd-Beyer Initiative to Celebrate Good Ol’ American Non-Craft Beer
The King-Lee-Banks Repeal of Any Government Control of Wall Street
Like it or not (and it’s not getting too many Likes), the 115th Congress has commenced to make/not-make its contribution to American democracy. And like it or not, that means it’s time for The Style Invitational’s biennial “joint legislation” name-combining contest — always one of our most frequently entered. Most years we present a list of freshman legislators as potential “co-sponsors,” but there were so few new senators and House members this year, the Empress had to augment the roster with the rest of the Maryland and Virginia House delegations plus a bunch of other arbitrarily chosen incumbents, who might or might not have been used in earlier contests.
So: Combine two or more names from the list of members of Congress (the list is at the bottom of this page) to “co-sponsor” a bill based on their combined last names, and state its purpose, as in the examples above. It’s all about their names, not anything about the members themselves. The Empress will permit a slight stretch of pronunciation if it’s clear what you’re getting at — she gave ink in 2015 to David Kleinbard's “Mooney-Kaine-Beyer-Love Act to note that some Beatles lyrics are factually incorrect,” but had no use for “Ashford-Lawrence” as “ass for low rents.” Lest the Imperial Brow furrow unnecessarily, you may translate your effort, but do it on a separate line so the E can try it without a hint.
Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1210 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets, fittingly, one of those foam stress-relieving squeeze balls . . . well, not exactly a ball: It’s in the shape of the Capitol Dome. Donated by Dave Prevar.
Other runners-up win the yearned-for “This Is Your Brain on Mugs” 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, Jan. 23; results published Feb. 12 (online Feb. 9). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The “retro section” headline is by Kevin Dopart; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Tom Witte. 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; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
The Style Conversational The Empress’s weekly online column, published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter the joint-legislation contest, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
THE RETRO SECTION: WINNING DO-OVERS FROM WEEK 1206
Week 1206 was Part 2 of our annual retrospective contest, in which you could enter (or re-enter) any of the year’s previous contests — with the option of writing about events that happened since they first ran. For the song parodies below, click on the link in the title to get a YouTube clip of the original, so you can sing along while hearing the melody.
Week 1159, new board games:
Donopoly: Buying up properties and building hotels in one city is no longer enough. This game expands first to counties, then states, countries, continents and the ultimate goal of owning the world. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Week 1183, if [x] were more honest:
If golfers were more honest, ironically, they’d have worse lies. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
Week 1187, drop the last letter of a word and define the result:
Diarrhe: A daily blog that desperately needs an editor. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)
Week 1171, take a line from a song, then add your own, rhyming line:
With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’, I could be another Lincoln if I only had a brain.
But the rubes loathe “elitists”; with the wisdom of a fetus, I just ran the best campaign. @RealDonaldTrump (Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)
Week 1155, drop the vowels from the title of a work and add in your own:
“Mona Lisa” -> MNLS --> “Mean Lois”: Lesser-known Leonardo portrait, known for its enigmatic scowl. (Ann Martin, Falls Church, Va.)
Week 1160, redefine real words:
Tangling: Lunar native word for “Apollo astronaut.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Week 1162, Onion-style headlines:
Aunt Eleanor Considers Removing Plastic Slipcovers for Papal Visit (John Hutchins)
American Robot Loses Job to Cheaper Chinese Robot (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
Trump Team Backing Away From ‘Make America Great Again’ (Art Grinath)
Week 1165, add one or more B’s: State of the Bunion: A lengthy speech given by Grandma each Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mother’s Day. (Jesse Frankovich)
Week 1170, “breed” two racehorse names and name the foal:
Annals of Time x Caribbean = Age Before Booty (Steve Honley, Washington)
The Lieutenant x Let Me Go First = The Loo Tenant (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)
Singleton x Battery = One Man One Volt (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Week 1171, song “tailgaters”:
When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way (“West Side Story”)
Watching TV every Super Bowl day. – Tom Brady (Chris Doyle)
Week 1172, write something using only words in the song “American Pie”:
The spoken word of the foul jester was caught — about how he touched one girl and more — but he refused to own what is real. (William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)
This’ll be eight years, said the foul jester-king. We clenched our fists in rage. Three years and one, maybe, to break that Satan’s spell. That’s the day we fire him; wouldn’t that be some happy news. (William Kennard)
Week 1175, neologisms whose letters add to 13 points in Scrabble:
Melaniastan: Country that seems to be exempt from the usual immigration rules. (William Kennard)
Week 1177, election song parodies:
To “The Joker”:
Some people call me a base clownboy,
Some call me the gangster of gall.
Some people mock my hairpiece,
And I speak like the pompousest of all.
People tweet about me, baby;
Say I’m sayin’ things wrong, sayin’ things wrong.
Well, I don’t worry, baby, don’t worry,
’Cause I’m white-white-white-white, rich and strong . . . (Jesse Frankovich) (more parodies at the end of the results)
Week 1178, collective nouns:
An ONYMOUS of Internet trolls.(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Week 1179, ABC phrases:
Addition by contraction: Childbirth. (Jesse Frankovich)
Week 1180, quote a line from a comic strip and give a question it might answer:
A. “You can’t rhyme ‘undies’ and ‘munchies.’ ” (“Baby Blues”)
Q. What is the bane of aspiring Losers during Invite poetry contests? (Kevin Dopart)
Week 1187, drop the last letter of a word or name:
Lemmin: The flavor of Kool-Aid that was drunk at Jonestown. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.) [Yes, we know it was really something called Flavor Aid, but that would have just ruined the joke.]
The Mamas & the Papa: Utah dreaming on such a winter’s day ... (Dave Matuskey, Sacramento)
Week 1188, explain a concept with only one-syllable words:
The Rapture: If you have true faith, you get to board with Group One on the last flight out. (Kevin Dopart)
Week 1189, limericks featuring words beginning with “ge-”:
He and she planned to elope;.
He gave her a diamond ring. “Nope!
It’s a nice enough gem,”
She averred, “but, ahem,
I’ve been wanting the one that’s called Hope.” (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
Week 1191, bank headlines::
Real head: Pro-Assad forces eye last sliver of Aleppo
Bank head: ‘Oh, so it’s a kind of cake,’ says Gary Johnson (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Week 1194, fake derivations of words:
Alimony: from Old English, for “all his money.” Duh. (Mark Raffman)
Week 1195, change a movie title without changing any letters:
La-la-land: A man overcomes his insecurities stemming from a stutter to become an air traffic controller. (Brian Cohen, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
No! Country, for Old Men!: The new DJ at the Chattanooga Soldiers’ Rest Home radio station is persuaded to stop playing rap music. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
Scarf Ace: Documentary about the world champion of hot dog eating. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
Ma, Sh!: Back from Korea, “Hot Lips” Houlihan is constantly silenced by her children, who don’t want to hear her war stories. (Drew Bennett)
Week 1177, election-themed parodies:
To “The Purple People Eater”:
Well, the candidate came right out of the blue,
He had great big hair, and small hands too.
I commenced to shaking and I said, “Ooh wee!
It looks like an orange lady-grabber to me!”
He was a big-hair, small-hand, lying orange lady-grabber ...
Sure looks strange to me!
I said “Mister orange lady grabber, what’s your line?”
He said “Making tons of money, and it sure is fine.
But that’s not the reason that I’m here today:
I’m running for prez of the U.S.A!”
Well, bless my soul, taco bowl, narcissistic lady-grabber,
Build a wall, ban ’em all, xenophobic lady-grabber
(Lock that witch up!) chauvinistic lady-grabber
For the GOP!
Then he pulled on his cap and didn’t hesitate
He went upon his way to Make America Great.
Hit the campaign trail, and then wouldn’t you know:
Made the run for president his new reality show! ... (Leslie Horne, Greenbelt, Md.)
Week 1202, parodies expressing hope:
To “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Misérables”
I dreamed a dream November eight:
There was one sensible selection;
I dreamed there was a candidate
Who faced an all but sure election.
She faced a nasty, crude buffoon
Who cared not to be diplomatic,
A hypocritical cartoon
Whose baggage was most problematic.
But results came late at night;
Hope would fade with Pennsylvania,
And Wisconsin was a knife
And my dream has turned to fear.
I had a dream it wasn’t real,
That the electors were refutin’,
That they would certainly repeal
The vote as fixed by Mister Putin.
And now I dream in four more years,
When we’re fed up with all the drama,
The perfect Democrat appears --
Perhaps, just say, Michelle Obama.
I had a dream my world would be
Forever lived inside my bubble,
Protected from reality ...
Now Trump has popped the dream for me. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)
Still running — deadline Tuesday night, Jan. 17: Our contest for bogus tales of how products or inventions came to be. See bit.ly/invite1209.
THE CONGRESSIONAL FRESHMEN (plus various incumbents) FOR WEEK 1210
(Click here for a two-column list)
Barragan (pronounced “barrigan”)
Cortez Masto (mast-O; you can also use just Masto)
Faso (rhymes with “lasso”)