Style Invitational Week 922: Rewrite national anthem, plus winning grandfoals


(Bob Staake/For The Washington Post)

It’s a cliche to complain about how hard it is to sing our national anthem. So this week, let’s have a contest to . . . ah, no, let’s not solve the problem by coming up with a new song. Instead, let’s keep the troublesome melody and instead: Write entirely new, humorous lyrics to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner”; they can be on any subject, though the results will be published in the paper on July 3, just in time to be sung on Independence Day. This contest was suggested by Arizona State University choral professor David Schildkret, whose choir recorded various Losers’ parodies on “Shenandoah” for us back in 2006. While we need only your written lyrics, feel free to record them and post them online (and give us the link), as long as they haven’t already been published before today.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a brake pedal that a back-seat driver can use to calm his or her nerves when feeling that the car is out of control. It’s attached to nothing but a mat, but if you get the batteries to work, it’s supposed to make a screeching noise. Donated by Ellen Raphaeli.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 13; results published July 3 (July 1 online). Include “Week 922” in your e-mail subject line, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Complete rules at washingtonpost.com/ styleinvitational. The revised title for next week’s results is by Judy Blanchard; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Dixon Wragg. Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, where the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at losers@washpost.com (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list.

It’s a cliche to complain about how hard it is to sing our national anthem. So this week, let’s have a contest to . . . ah, no, let’s not solve the problem by coming up with a new song. Instead, let’s keep the troublesome melody and instead: Write entirely new, humorous lyrics to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner”; they can be on any subject, though the results will be published in the paper on July 3, just in time to be sung on Independence Day. This contest was suggested by Arizona State University choral professor David Schildkret, whose choir recorded various Losers’ parodies on “Shenandoah” for us back in 2006. While we need only your written lyrics, feel free to record them and post them online (and give us the link), as long as they haven’t already been published before today.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a brake pedal that a back-seat driver can use to calm his or her nerves when feeling that the car is out of control. It’s attached to nothing but a mat, but if you get the batteries to work, it’s supposed to make a screeching noise. Donated by Ellen Raphaeli.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 13; results published July 3 (July 1 online). Include “Week 922” in your e-mail subject line, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Complete rules at washingtonpost.com/ styleinvitational. The revised title for next week’s results is by Judy Blanchard; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Dixon Wragg.

Report from Week 918

our annual “grandfoals” contest in which we asked you to “breed” the winning names of the foal name contest from Week 914, either with each other or with one of the original names:

The winner of the Inker:

Helix Himself x Supreme Ruler = DNA Ross (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)

2. Winner of the working bullhorn labeled “The Makeup Phone”: Brethren x Taurus a New One = Romulus and Reamus (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

3. Alito Night Music x Poetry and Bros = Sam Iamb (Laurie Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)

4. Cloud Man x My Colonoscopy = Sun Don’t Shine (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park, Md.)

Unequus: Honorable mentions

AARPAARPAARP x Positive Response = Old Man and the Si (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

AliasInWonderland x Curl, Interrupted = Lewis Clairol (Steve Price, New York)

Alito Night Music x Pants on Fire = SamSong and DeLiar (Chris Doyle)

This Is Spiral Tap x Sinai = Goes to a Levin (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)

Art Major x Turbulent Descent = Diane Airbus (Jonathan Paul)

Major Art x Art Major = A Miro Image (Don Kirkpatrick, Waynesboro, Pa.)

My Colonoscopy x Astrology = Sigmoid Fraud (Harold Mantle, Lafayette, Calif.)

Uncle Mo x Aunt Mo = Dad’s Bro No Mo (Bernard Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)

Crossed the Line x DeGas = Border Petrol (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)

Dominus x Buzz = Lord of the Flies (Tim Watts, Temple Hills, Md., a First Offender)

Taurus a New One x Spring Break = Warranty Expired (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Buzz x Spring Break = Lightyear’s Away (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)

Concealed Identity x Roasted Nuts = ACORN (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

My Colonoscopy x Casino Host = Procto & Gamble (Trevor Kerr, Chesapeake, Va.; Laurel Gainor, Great Falls, Va.)

Yep Same Old Guys x Awed = CialisInWonderland (Steve Price)

Moaner Lisa x Ouchouchouch = Da Winci (J.D. Berry, Springfield, Va.)

Curl, Interrupted x I’m So Soiree = Twist of Fete (Chris Doyle)

Antoine to You x Pants on Fire = Haute Pockets (Susan Geariety, Menifee, Calif.)

I’m Like OMG x When Will She B-17 = LOLita (Pam Sweeney)

Now I Don’t Drive x I’m like OMG = Valet Girl (Jeremy Levin, Washington)

Alito Night Music x Cat Sweep = Sam Spayed (Laurie Brink; Jonathan Paul)

Czar Nickel-Less x Run Around, Sue = Roamin’ Off (Mike Turniansky, Pikesville, Md.)

Clumsy Astronaut x I’m Like OMG = I’m Like 0-g (Ben Aronin, Arlington, Va.)

Manhattan Man x QuackUnderPressure = Donald! Duck! (Kathy Hardis Fraeman)

Geezers Palace x Humble and Hungry = Dentured Servants (Trevor Kerr)

See Nile x Ouchouchouch = Cairopractor (Doug Frank, Crosby Tex.; Jeremy Levin)

QuackUnderPressure x State of the Onion = Doctor Peelgood (J.D. Berry)

Red Maserati x Extra Fifty = Buys a Key Chain (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

Clumsy Astronaut x Sears No Bucks = Free Fall Catalogue (Ben Aronin)

My Colonoscopy x See Nile = Moon River (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)

AliasInWonderland x You Cant Be Cirrus = Pseudonymbus (Beverley Sharp; Kevin Dopart; Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

Geezers Palace x Night Party = Hip Op’ Club (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick, Md.)

QuackUnderPressure x Concealed Identity = Duck and Cover (Mike Hammer, Arlington, Va.; Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

QuackUnderPressure x Crushing = Fatal Mallardy (Barrie Collins, Long Sault, Ontario)

Art Major x Major Art = Cross Hatching (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
Apostrophoenix x My Colonoscopy = Resurrectum (Mike Turniansky)

Subpoena Colada x My Colonoscopy = Bar Exam (Laurie Brink)

Buzz x Your Windshield = Applied Entomology (Drew Bennett)

Czar Nickel-less x State of the Onion = Crimea River (Steve Price)

Old Guys Rule x When Will She B-17 = Old Guys Drool (Beverley Sharp)

DeGas x Now I Don’t Drive = Van No Gogh (Susan Geariety; Gregory Koch, Storrs, Conn.)

My Colonscopy x DeGas = Rear Wind Ow! (Mike Turniansky)

Czar Nickel-less x My Colonoscopy = In Arrears (Sam Laudenslager, Burke, Va.; Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

See Nile x Helix Himself = That’s My Grandpa! (Michael Seaton, Bowie, Md.)

Geezers Palace x Astrology = McCain’s 7th House (Pam Sweeney)

Major Art x My Colonoscopy = PeekAssOh (Michael Reinemer, Annandale, Va.; John O’Byrne, Dublin)

Aunt Mo x My Colonoscopy = Up the Auntie (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

Bodacious Cantatas x Fall to Pisces = O, for Tuna (Laurie Brink; Jonathan Hardis) [Also, look at this great commercial.]

Moaner Lisa x Birdway = La Giocondor (Barry Koch)

Bodacious Cantatas x Astrology = MusicOfTheSpheres (Dan Kinney, Charlottesville, Va.)

Balladry x Ouchouchouch = Minstrel Cramps (Russell Beland)

Frying Buttresses x My Colonoscopy = Goth Ick (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va., a First Offender)

Charcharchar x Extra Fifty = Burn in L (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

And Last: A Post Trophy x Incogneato = Invisible Inker (Larry Yungk, Arlington)

And Really Last: A Post Trophy x Turbulent Descent = Trash Landing (Beverley Sharp)

Next week: Get lucky with 13, or The LeXIIIcon

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