Negligent: Describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)
Pimple: A panderer’s apprentice. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)
One of the most widely circulated sets of Invitational results — often incorrectly credited — are from a 1998 contest for new meanings for actual words, including the two examples above. Three years ago we ran the contest again, but only for words beginning with A through H. This week: Redefine a word in the dictionary beginning with I through O. The definition should differ greatly from the original.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a pair of boots: (a) a heavy glass high-heel shoe filled with mango margarita mix (no alcohol included), donated by longtime Loser Sarah W. Gaymon, and (b) a flimsy plastic cowboy-boot-shaped mug commemorating the Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive “second annual poker party,” from back when The Post Co. was in more of a partying mood.
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
Last week marked the induction of Ultimate Loser Russell Beland into the Style Invitational Triple Hall of Fame — where he’s likely to be the sole member for some two years — for scoring his 1,500th blot of ink. The disturbingly high-ranking Pentagon official has been Inviting since 1994 and has been a winner or runner-up 161 times, but he still manages to gripe regularly to the Empress about her judging. See a sampling of Russell’s favorite entries here.
We asked for Little Willie poems, a genre of horribly tasteless four-line verses — regularly printed in newspapers of yore — in which Willie does a nasty thing for which he isn’t usually punished, and is often even praised by an even more immoral relative:
Cousin Philip, uninvited,
Eyed the dinner, quite excited.
Willie threw him on the grill:
“With extra guests we eat our Phil.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
2. Winner of the mug with the cat litter logo:
Little Willie went to town, and just to be a pain,
He pushed his father underneath a speeding Metro train.
“He’s half the man he used to be,” said Mom, “and not so handsome;
But, hey — when we forget our key, he slides right through the transom!” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
3. Willie put the car in gear
But didn’t check both front and rear.
The dog ran where he should have not.
So now they call ol’ Fluffy “Spot.” (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)
4. Little Willie used kung fu
To slice poor sister Sue in two.
Splitting her from stem to sternum
Didn’t in the least concern him. (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)
Willie with a sharpened rod
Skewered up his neighbor Maude.
As he turned her o’er a pit,
Pa said, “Stop — she ain’t worth spit.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Little Willie smoked cigars,
He wooed the girls and went to bars.
His mom was quick to give him notice:
“Someday, my son, you’ll be the POTUS.” (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)
Little Willie, underage,
hacked his mother’s Facebook page.
He added pics of her undressed—
She got ten thousand friend requests. (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
Willie’s new rebellious tactics:
Sabotage the prophylactics.
“Together, we shall bug my mother —
Me and future baby brother!” (Hugh Thirlway, The Hague)
Willie, always such a dream,
Put glue in Mommy’s hemorrhoid cream.
Dad thanked Willie: “Now at last
The septic tank won’t fill so fast.” (Susan Geariety, Menifee, Calif.)
Little Willie, what a cad,
He stole at every chance he had.
D.C. voters yawned, “So what?”
And chose him for a council slot. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
Little Willy, just last Easter,
Knifed a slice from Daddy’s keister.
Mama said, without much pique,
“My, that took a bit of cheek!” (sent pseudonymously and later revealed to be The Post’s Gene Weingarten)
Little Willie had big fits,
He slashed Ma’s raincoat into bits.
But Ma said, “I won’t give you flak —
All you did was knife the mac.” (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)
Little Willie need not fear
A lifetime in the wrong career.
Weak in English, poor at math,
Willie’s on the psycho path. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Little Willie vended fish.
When spurned by Jane, a tasty dish,
He took revenge for being jilted —
Sadly, Jane is now gefilted. (Stephen Gold)
Little Willie, feeling mean,
Took a course in haute cuisine.
Deftly he deboned his sister;
Now she’s dynamite at “Twister.” (Beverley Sharp)
Little Willie with his razor
Tore and slashed his pa’s new blazer.
Ma said, “Stop this very minute —
And wait until your pa is in it.” (Kathye Hamilton, Annandale, Va.)
“Your siblings back up your ambition
To be the nation’s best mortician;
But Willie dear, I fear the fact is
You’ve used up all of them for practice.” (Hugh Thirlway)
With Willie’s new dissection kit
He started on the cat a bit.
“Oh, no you don’t,” said mama Mabel,
We eat dinner at that table!” (Craig Dykstra)
Little Willie bought a book
That taught him novel ways to cook.
Then he slew his favorite cousins
And baked up cuzcakes by the dozens. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
Little Will beheaded Rita,
Stuck her skull upon the meter.
Now we’re facing parking woes
By always paying through the nose. (Kevin Dopart)
Willie and his friend Ed Gein
Play “Seek a Hide,” a game real keen.
It doesn’t matter, lose or win,
They’re happy in the skin they’re in. (Kevin Dopart)
Little Willie, as he mows,
Punctures Papa’s garden hose.
Ma cries, “What a pro he’ll be,
Engineering for BP!” (Nan Reiner)
Little Willie, helpful son,
Aimed right at baby with his gun,
For Mom had mentioned that the tot
Was due to get his yearly shot. (Valerie Matthews, Ashton, Md.)
Willie borrowed Daddy’s saw
And sliced the next-door twins in four.
The doctor said, “Pray, do I stitch
Which half of whom back onto which?” (John Bilsborough, Glyn Abbey, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales, U.K., a First Offender)
Willie munched a breakfast bun,
Then killed a panda with a gun.
Ma said, “Willie never grieves.
Willie just eats, shoots and leaves.” (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney)
Exploding fake volcanoes are
Now in young Willie’s repertoire.
With baking soda and bottled Fanta,
He lit the hearth, and “Bye-bye, Santa!” (Christopher Lamora)
Willie Lumpkin, little brat,
Stole his sister’s brand-new hat.
He touched it up with Mother’s grater.
Now she has a fascinator. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
Little Willie, what a nut,
In math class showed off half his butt.
His teacher thought it rather cruel —
Willie’s left behind in school. (Mike Turniasnky, Pikesville, Md.)
The FBI, with great contrivance,
Closed the book on Dr. Ivins.
Should have searched for those bacilli
In the home of little Willie. (David Smith, Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Willie madly punned and joked;
“Willie, no!” his mother choked.
“Be a lecher or a boozer
If you must — but NOT a Loser!” (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)
And Really Last:
Our Little Willie verses tell
The stories of the boy from hell —
A child so loathsome, gross and vile
We celebrate him here in Style. (Chris Doyle)
Next week: A banner week, or National anathemas