Glenn Close, but no ... (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to this week’s winning product disclaimers and warnings)

GLENN Close, who’s a popular star,
Went into a Hollywood bar.
They told her, “My dear,
You can’t smoke in here.”
And so it was Close, no cigar. (Mae Scanlan, Week 726)

We return once again to our Augusty drop-by at, where, year by year, letter by letter since 2004, founder Chris Strolin and more than 1,000 contributing authors have been creating an Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form, starting with “The very first word here is a . . . ” and inching through the alphabet (predicted completion date: Sept. 25, 2076, a target that has not changed in at least two years). Chris & Co. are right on the edge of the 100,000-limerick mark as they’ve made it through GI-. Let’s help put them over: This week: Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with “gl-” through “go-,” as in the example above by Mae Scanlan that got ink in the cl-to-co- contest in 2007. (Okay, maybe it’s not quite OEDILFish to use a first name as the pertinent word, but the Empress doesn’t care, and Bob Staake, when she showed him this limerick, noted that “my longtime nickname for Glenn Close is ‘potato chin’ ” — which really made me want to see his cartoon.)

Please see 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; additional unaccented syllables on either side are fine. See about submitting limericks there after this contest is over.

Submit entries at the website (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a Super Two-Pack of Weirdly Shaped Soft Candy: the Candy Burger, which comprises 22 little puzzle pieces of candy that form a pretty good (visual) replica of a Big Mac; and, for the second time, the Pet Rat, a dark-colored, six-inch-long gummy Rattus rattus — although actually shaped more like a Rattus flattus. The burger was donated by Kyle Hendrickson, the rat by Melissa Yorks.

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. 20; results published Sept. 9 (online Sept. 6). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week’s results is by Danielle Nowlin; Jesse Frankovich, David Peckarsky and Mark Raffman all submitted the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; 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

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In Week 1288 we asked for some amusing (and fictitious) product warnings or disclaimers. Too many people to credit quoted the White House, Fox, etc., with “Any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.”

4th place:

On Roach Motel packaging: “Roaches not included.” (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)

No cholesterol! Gummy -candy burger and rat. (Pat Myers/The Washington Post)
3rd place:

On a beer can: “Asking another person to hold this container creates a serious risk of personal injury.” (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

2nd place

and the artificial-snowball powder:

On the president’s Twitter page: “May be harmful or fatal if followed.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

Slim Jim: "Not a diet food. Nice try, Jim." (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

Not-so-fine print: Honorable mentions

Scrapple: “Not for oral use.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

“We’d love to be able to call ‘carmine color’ what it actually is — the juice from squashed red bugs — but then you wouldn’t have bought this strawberry yogurt.” (Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

Car: “Not to be used as a phone booth.” (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Amazon Echo: “Every breath you take, every move you make, we’ll be watching you. Well, technically Alexa is listening, but we can turn on the cameras in your house, too — like the one in your laptop. Hey, nice bathrobe!” (Cheryl Davis, Arlington, Va.)

ED medication: “Do not use near exposed spinning fan blades.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

iPad: “May cause high-pitched whining if used near children.” (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

My paycheck: “Warning: Contains peanuts.” (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

“Keep away from small children. They are loud, messy and annoying.” (Jesse Frankovich)

“Though this vehicle operates reliably on fuel that contains up to 15 percent alcohol, this does not apply to its operator.” (Frank Mann, Washington)

Baggy flannel pajamas: “Not guaranteed as a birth control device, though studies have demonstrated that they are 99 percent effective.” (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)

“The makers of Candy Crush Saga are in no way responsible for novels unread, films heard of but not seen, missed meditation sessions, undiscovered creative solutions, lost moments when you could be visualizing a better future for yourself, or for your failure to make genuine human contact with the stranger seated next to you. Now, get back to Candy Crush!” (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

Camping toilet: “Do NOT void where prohibited.” (Kevin Dopart; Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

The president: “Caution: Contains vitriol. Irritating to the eyes, ears and mind. Skin contact may cause discomfort. Potential global security hazard.” (Jesse Frankovich)

“Warning: This aircraft could plummet from the sky, falling thousands of feet and crashing in a fiery ball, spreading its contents over multiple acres, but that rarely happens.” (Russell Beland)

On an infant: “Do not refrigerate; however, product may be spoiled while in care of grandparents.” (Dudley Thompson)

“The Ouija board is not a certified investment adviser. User assumes all financial risks.” (Susanne Pierce Dyer, Green Valley, Calif.)

Pen: “May not necessarily prevail in a swordfight.” (Tom Witte)

On a Ford F-350 SuperCab pickup truck: “Warning: This truck will not increase penis size.” (Stephen Litterst, Newark, Del.)

ED drug: “Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.” (John O’Byrne, Dublin)

Presidential limo: “Driver does not carry cash or valuables.” (Kevin Dopart)

Invisalign hidden braces: “Your smileage may vary.” (Gary Crockett)

Guide to Tautologies: “Read this label before using.” (Duncan Stevens)

Hefty trash bag: “Not intended for use as a birth control device, no matter how well endowed you think you are.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Angel Soft toilet paper: “We have not yet done comparison testing for this product by wiping our butts with angels.” (Duncan Stevens)

Bump stock: “Please kill responsibly.” (Tom Witte)

Plastic wrap: “Do not use as condom; we especially want people like you to use functional birth control.” (Kevin Dopart)

“Do not let the foregoing disclaimer dissuade you from having fun with this product, which, with a little ingenuity, can be modified to make a cool slingshot, a rockin’ dart gun, or even a neat flamethrower. Remember, YOLO!” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

The Washington Post: “While democracy dies in darkness, sometimes, even with the lights on, jackasses may get elected.” (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

The Washington Post: “If you don’t subscribe to this paper, then democracy will die and it will be your fault. You don’t want to live with that.” (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

“All federal, state and local income and other taxes are solely the responsibility of the Loser . . . .” hmm, does anyone know the going rate for dried yak vomit?” — Undisclosed runner-up, Style Invitational (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

The Style Invitational: “Contains no actual style.” (Duncan Stevens)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 13: our contest for anagrams of movie titles. See

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