It’s our umpteenth and a half compare-and-contrast contest: Choose any two (or more) items from the utterly random list above and say how they’re different, alike or otherwise linked; once again, most of the items were tossed out in a mass brainless-storm in the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook.
Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1442 (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, July 5; results appear July 25 in print, July 22 online.
Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a winsome pair of stretchy socks imprinted to look like a box of Nerds, the icky pair-of-flavors candies, with the pink strawberry side on one foot and the purple grape on the other — except that the G of “grape” is regrettably pretty much absent.
Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “No ’Bility” or “Punderachiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Court of LOL” is by Jesse Frankovich; Jesse also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. 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; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late Thursday afternoon, June 24, at wapo.st/conv1442.
Court of LOL: Legal fictoids from Week 1438
In Week 1438 the Empress asked for totally untrue trivia about the legal system. At least a half-dozen of this week’s inking entrants are lawyers. Take that as you like.
Until October 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court did not have a kegerator in the Justices’ Lounge. (Joe McManus, Silver Spring, Md.)
In 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg had tiny Hebrew script incorporated into her lace collar saying, “Trump is a schmuck.” (Peter Boice, Rockville, Md.)
and the pen that looks like a hypodermic needle:
Judges and barristers are no longer required to wear wigs in British courtrooms, but only if they work their own hair into those little curls. (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)
And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
As part of a flurry of deregulation, the Trump administration nullified the federal law requiring bridges to freeze before roadways. (Bruce Carlson, Alexandria, Va.)
Small claims: Honorable mentions
A two-year investigation by the Boston police has revealed that 23 Dunkin’ Donuts can be slid onto a nightstick. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
A Chesapeake Bay retriever named Lex, trained by a Miami law firm, holds the Guinness world record for number of ambulances caught. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
A consumer successfully sued Nabisco after discovering that Double Stufs contain only 1.95 times the stuf of ordinary Oreos. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
According to the accounts of several former clerks, at the Supreme Court’s annual holiday party you can’t get Clarence Thomas to stop talking. (Jesse Rifkin, Glastonbury, Conn.)
After playing poet Allen Ginsberg in 2013 and adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg in 2017, Daniel Radcliffe is slated to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a 2023 biopic. (Daniel Galef)
In several American colonies, instead of prison terms, certain criminals had their town crier access suspended for two years. (Steve Fahey, Olney, Md.)
After ratification of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press, opponents immediately proposed a Second Amendment so “at least we can shoot ’em.” (Frank Mann, Washington)
A law in Tudor England levied a fine on anyone who passed gas in church; the fine was set at a farthing. (Keith Ord, Potomac, Md.)
An interested party in a case might file an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief. And since 2015, a highly interested party may file a BFF curiae. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge, Va.)
In a recent cost-cutting measure, Congress removed Justice Breyer’s Secret Service detail because nobody would recognize him anyway. (Larry Rifkin, Glastonbury, Conn.)
As a result of recent cataract surgery, justice now has 20/150 vision. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Billing each five-minute phone call at his firm’s minimum half-hour charge, attorney Jim Stovall once worked 48 hours in an eight-hour day. (Peter Jenkins, Bethesda, Md.)
Chief Justice John Marshall instituted the practice of wearing black robes instead of morning suits because he preferred going commando (or in 1801 slang, “reveling in American liberty”). (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Fearing that verdicts might be decided by a coin flip, seven states ban coins in the jury room. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Police in California are planning to offer Swiss Army knives as a trade for AR-15s at gun buyback events. (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)
In 2010, the year of the Citizens United decision, the sum of the ages of the nine Supreme Court justices was 666. (David Shombert, Harrisonburg, Va.)
In a 2000 announcement, Merriam-Webster declared “legal brief” the oxymoron of the century. (Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.)
In addition to petit and grand juries in the Jan. 6 investigation, the Justice Department will convene an énorme jury that may issue superpoenas. (Jeff Contompasis)
In Alabama, siblings may not testify against each other until their divorce is finalized. (Lee Graham)
In the Southern Hemisphere, possession is ten-ninths of the law. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
Judges sometimes reprimand jurors for chanting “CHUNG CHUNG” at a key moment in a trial, à la “Law and Order.” (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
One of the earliest defenses used in ancient court cases was Scio vos autem quid? — “I know you are but what am I?” (Frank Mann)
The American Bar Association has a password-protected website where members share client jokes. (Mark Raffman)
The ABA has asked news organizations not to use the scurrilous and demeaning term “ambulance chaser.” Its preferred term is “co-first responder.” (Rob Huffman)
The emblem of the National Lawyers Guild features a pelican, representing the giant bill. (Jesse Frankovich)
By state law, the Mississippi bar examination must include questions on all Ten Commandments. (Mark Raffman)
The police have a long history of beating suspects until they admit to some sort of charge, which is where they got the term “copping a plea.” (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
The Supreme Court celebrates Casual Fridays by wearing shorts and T-shirts under their robes. (Michael Anderson, Louisa, Va., a First Offender)
The word “impeachment” comes from the antebellum Georgia practice of pelting corrupt politicians with rotten fruit. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
Thirty-two states refuse to recognize the Monopoly “Get Out of Jail Free” card, even for misdemeanors. (John Kammer, South Riding, Va.)
Under new Texas voting laws, cattle are considered three-fifths of a person. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
While it’s false that you must kill someone in your immediate family to get into Harvard Law School, it’s true that you must step on a kitten. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
William Howard Taft changed the Supreme Court robes from white to the more slimming black in 1922. (Rob Huffman; Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
A rash of incidents led the Detroit City Council to make it a misdemeanor to write “In the Name of Love” on stop signs. (Duncan Stevens)
When Justice Alito would speak, Justice Stevens would repeatedly get Justice Ginsberg to giggle by whispering, “Odor in the court.” (Larry Rifkin)
Article II of the Constitution begins: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” Rearranging the letters of that sentence gives you: “Because peeved voters hate harsh exit, if Trump defeated in election, it was stolen.” Coincidence? I don’t think so. — Q (Richard Lorentz, Woodland Hills, Calif.)
And Last: The unsuccessful case of Losers v. Empress established the category of “classless action” lawsuits. (Drew Bennett)
Two contests still running — deadline Monday night, June 28, for both:
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