(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to the inking curses.)

Obamian health care is dead.
No prostitutes peed on a bed.
There was no collusion,
Trump’s invented cold fusion!
(Well, that’s what the president said.)

— Well, that’s what the president said.

— If only I’d listened to Mother (or Mom).

— But now I have found fifty-one.

— A strategically placed Oxford comma.

— Somebody please take me home.

— I just like to do things in style.

— And they never saw (him/her/name) again.

Today’s contest was suggested by John “Ed” Edwards of the Style Invitational Southwest London Suburbs Bureau. John/Ed didn’t feel like waiting for our annual Limerixicon contest in August, so he suggested something to tide us over: This week: Write a limerick using one of the above lines as Line 5, as in the example above by Gene “Not John OR Ed” Weingarten of Washington. See wapo.st/limericks2017 for our fairly strict rules on limerick rhyme and meter (in a nutshell: “perfect” rhyme, and a strong “hickory-dickory-dock” rhythm in Lines 1, 2 and 5; a “dickory-dock” in Lines 3 and 4; plus “weak” syllables on either side). 

Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1276 (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a genuine Chia Uncle Si, a “decorative planter” in the shape of “Duck Dynasty’s” long-bearded Si Robertson; you rub the seeds on the little Uncle and he’s supposed to get some bushy green facial foliage. We’re thinking that with a name like “SI,” he ought to be the Style Invitational’s official beardmaker. Donated by Loser Pie Snelson.

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, April 30; results published May 20 (online May 23). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results was submitted by Jon Gearhart; 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 isn't so weekly this week; it'll be back next Thursday. You can reach her at pat.myers@washpost.com or in the Facebook group.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In Week 1272 we asked for updated curses in the Yiddish tradition. Sent by a host of Losers among the thousands of entries: May you get the middle seat between two sumo wrestlers. And may you get to be the next presidential press secretary.

Clever but too death-wishy: “May you confuse your liquid antacid with your liquid ant acid.” No ink for you, Ellen Raphaeli.

4th place:

Win second place and you can get this Si from the SI.

As you travel through barren wilderness, may you find an oasis, only to discover that it is the Sbarro at the Joyce Kilmer Service Plaza at 3 a.m. (Noah Meyerson, Washington)

3rd place

May you and your HOA disagree about the definition of “taupe.” (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

2nd place

and the electric baseball-mitt chip-and-dip bowl:
May you forever see those three little dots indicating that someone is typing but never get a message. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

May Hillary Clinton hear about your problems and think, "Wow, I'm glad nothing that frustrating has ever happened to me!" (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

Dry spells: Honorable mentions

May you on some enchanted evening see a stranger across a crowded room, and somehow you know, you know even then, they’re here to serve you a subpoena. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

May your new parrot be the former pet of Anthony Scaramucci. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

May President Trump insist that you’re doing a fabulous job. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

May you always find an error in your sudoku when you are two boxes from completion. (Steve Brevig, Springfield, Va.)

May you be coming out of the strip club just as the Google Street View car goes by. (David Young, Falmouth, Mass., a First Offender)

May you get trapped in a gondola at a ski resort and have to share body heat to survive and the only other passenger is Harvey Weinstein. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

May you never figure out where that beeping’s coming from. (Daniel Galef, Montclair, N.J.)

May you scratch your phone screen just enough for it to be annoying, but not enough to justify replacing it. (Matthew Zimmer, New York)

May your bare foot always find the Lego. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

May your dentist be behind in paying his gambling debts to the mob. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

May your family always use air quotes when describing your profession (e.g., “Our son Johnny, the ‘writer’ ” . . . ). (Rivka Liss-Levinson, Washington)

On that special first date, may the waiter return and ask if you have a different credit card. (David Young)

May the TSA bomb-sniffing dog be especially interested in the suitcase your cat curled up in right before you left for the airport. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

May your mama hear all those nasty things you have been saying about other people’s mamas. (Kel Nagel, Salisbury, Md.)

May your dog develop commitment issues. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

May Trump’s lawyer use your name as a pseudonym in his next non-disclosure agreement. (Frank Osen)

May all your Amazon purchases be ineligible for Prime shipping. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

May each of your days be better than the next. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

May that girl you loved all through high school get you fired as principal, you perv. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

May the only seats left at your movie theater be in the front row, on the far side. (Matthew Zimmer)

May the only thing you have to read during your filibuster speech be Sean Penn’s novel (actual excerpt: “Behind decorative gabion walls, an elderly neighbour sits centurion on his porch watching Bob with surreptitious soupçon”). (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

May the paths of your life run as straight and true as the outlines of Maryland’s congressional districts. (Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)

May you always have spinach in your teeth — and teeth in your spinach. (Liv Johansson, Alexandria, Va.)

May you be cuckolded before your very eyes. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. (Tom Witte)

May Taylor Swift write a song about you. (Larry McClemons, Annandale, Va.; Kevin Dopart, Washington)

May you finally get “Let It Go” out of your head by replacing it with “It’s a Small World.” (Jesse Frankovich)

May you go bald during your vacation in Mexico, to find that the only available head covering is a “Make America Great Again” hat. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

May you take a long car trip and find that every single public radio station on your route is having a pledge drive. (John Kupiec, Fairfax, Va.)

May your child finally win a first-place trophy — in the condom-snorting challenge. (Nan Reiner)

May your health plan provide only thoughts and prayers. (Frank Mann, Washington)

May your inner monologue take place in Roseanne Barr’s voice. (Mark Calandra, Sudbury, Mass.)

May your new in-laws show up at the wedding reception with matching ankle monitors. (Jeff Shirley)

May your TV broadcast only the disclaimers from prescription drug commercials. (Jim Sullins, Ahoskie, N.C., a First Offender

May the Empress mistake your sincere declaration of love for her as a funny entry and print it. (Tom Witte)

And Last: May you get just barely enough Style Invitational ink to keep you entering. (Peter Jenkins, Bethesda, Md., who has won between one and three blots of ink for 15 of the past 16 years)

Still running — deadline Monday night, April 23: our contest to choose a line from Shakespeare and pair it with a question that the line could answer. See wapo.st/invite1275.

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