“I’m on my break” — Florence Nightingale
“New heels and half-soles, please” — Imelda Marcos
As we close in on the 973-contest run of the New York Magazine Competition, the contest that inspired the Czar of The Style Invitational (Deposed) to rip it off and add poop jokes, we lift yet another idea from its editor, Mary Ann Madden (as well as the examples above, by Fran Stevens and Nomi Presby, respectively), from a 1986 contest that cries out for an update: Give us a quote that a particular person, present or past, real or fictional, sooo wouldn’t have said. Remember that the point is to be funny, not bitterly screedy against some politician who’s the current object of your wrath.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a stuffed Mr. Bill doll that, when you push on its belly, cries not the famed “Ohhhh noooooo,” but — we don’t know if this was incompetence or disgruntled-worker sabotage or what — something that sounds very, very much like “Oyyyyy veyyyyy.” Donated by Dave Prevar.
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” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to email@example.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 24; results published Nov. 13 (Nov. 11 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 941” 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. See contest rules and guidelines at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised titles for next week are by Brad Alexander and Chris Doyle, respectively (they were both just so good); this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Kevin Dopart.
in which we showed you five pictures from the oeuvre of Style Invitational cartoonist Bob Staake’s slumming job as a illustrator and/or writer of more than 50 picture books, and asked you to provide captions. To see the pictures along with credits for the books they came from, click on the thumbnails at the top of the page.
Picture A: Mr. Wilson went to his grave denying that he gave Dennis the Menace the special elderberry hot chocolate. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
2. Winner of the dress made from two Loser T-shirts:
Picture B: Bobby’s pet truck just loved to stick his head out the car window on family trips to East Place. (Jim Reagan, Herndon, Va.)
3. Picture C: Snowy and Shadow made sure that Missy would never again serve their salmon two degrees below optimum.
(Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
4. Picture D: “Relax, Mr. Krupsteiner, I know exactly what I’m doing. This amniocentesis will only take a moment.”
(Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)
When Jimmy won the children’s card game tournament, he was awarded a genuine Old Maid. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)
Even as a little boy the Hulk was uncontrollable, given to gambling and strong coffee. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Aunt Louise, Lulubelle and Cleo knew they had to run for it when their “spayed” card came up. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
When Grandma heard me yell “52 pickup,” she thought her Match.com date had arrived. (Bob DiPasquale, Round Rock, Tex., a First Offender)
Much to Nana’s disappointment, lacing Billy’s cocoa with Comet only turned him a little green. (Jason Russo, Annandale, Va.)
The hovercraft revolution did nothing to change highway dynamics. (Cathy Lamaze, North Potomac, Md.)
Another aggressive driver compensating for his tiny “axles.” (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.; Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
The Nelsons just didn’t know that the “honk your horn” hand signal is the worst possible insult to a Transformer. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
Good: Flaming redhead. Bad: Flaming blonde. (Scott Poyer, Annapolis, Md., a First Offender)
“No, I said she should lighten her hair.” (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Little girls who are forced to receive the HPV vaccine have suffered burning palms and armpits; they also smell like tuna. (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
Susie now really believes it’s bad luck when a black cat crosses your path while you’re lighting a match during a kerosene squirt gun fight. (Kevin Dopart)
We told her not to take that drummer job with Spinal Tap! (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)
Dr. Cooley suddenly remembered that he forgot to tell his patient to turn over. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
Once dentists tried putting the Novocain directly into the mouth, things sped up considerably. (Larry Yungk)
Simon opted for the very rare cosmetic surgery known as lipo-injection. (Jason Russo)
Knowing her older sister’s habit of going commando, and the transparency of backlit gossamer, Meg had a little prank planned for Father Dave. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
Even at Jenny’s wedding, her nasty little sister Penny managed to steal the spotlight. (Jessica Mathews, Stanley, Va.)
Sandra was such a fine obituary writer that several zombies came to her wedding. (Fred Dawson, Beltsville, Md.)
On the bride’s side of the aisle, attendance at the wedding was a little light. (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)
“Mommy, if he’s the vicar of Christ, how come they’re walking on water and he’s sinking?” (Mark Asquino, Washington)
When half of the minister disappeared, Brad and Jennifer realized they should have used a more experienced holographer for their faked wedding. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
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 — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at firstname.lastname@example.org (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.
Next week: Free and Lear, or Refinishing Antiques,or End Me Your Lears