Woodrow and Brian Wilson: They’d sing: “I’m starting a League of Nations, it’s giving me excitations . . .”
James Brown scored with hit after hit, while Charlie Brown couldn’t get in a single kick.
Back in Week 963 this past spring — a contest for “portmanteau names,” in which the last name of one person overlapped with the first name of another — Loser in Exile Christopher Lamora of Guatemala City suggested a variant: Pair two people, real or fictional, who have the same last name; say how they’re alike or different, or something they might do (even in fantasy) as a pair, as in the examples above.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the tasteful Porkin’ Pigs Bank, a pair of ceramic piggy banks that are pictured here in a more decorous arrangement than their intended placement (you’ll have to use your imagination). Donated by 91-time Loser Nan Reiner.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive 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. 8; results published Oct. 28 (online Oct. 25). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 990” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviterules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Beverley Sharp. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
in which we asked for humor based on homophones — different words that sound alike: Homophones tend to be the basis for groaner puns, so . . .
“I can’t believe my dad told our Vietnamese neighbor he’d improved on her soup recipe . . . Oh, hi! We were just talking about your pho, Pa!” (Mark Richardson, Washington)
2. Winner of the catapulting Superfly Monkey: In his résumé, the zoo vet claimed experience delivering litters of tigers, leopards, jaguars . . . but really he was just a lioness OB. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
3. “I heard there’s a new reality show about desperate couples who turn to in vitro fertilization.” “Yes, it’s called ‘Extreme Make-Ova.’ ” (Steve Honley, Washington)
4. Your observations were most inciteful, Congressman Akin. (Andy Bassett, New Plymouth, New Zealand) [Yup, Akin’s comment was the cheap shot heard round the world.]
What’s the not-quite-American dish that’s trendy right now at Paris bistros? It’s the Filly Cheesesteak. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
Say what you will about the televangelist’s “powers,” but he sure is able to make his followers heel. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)
How does the commercial go for that new Puerto Rican restaurant on 115th Street? “There is arroz in Spanish Harlem . . .“ (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
Did you hear about that great new software that speeds up your uploads? It’s called AceApp. (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)
“You’ve been ranting online since 1995?” “Yes, I was one of the Internet’s surly adopters.” (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
When gun-nut journalist Hunter Thompson covered the ’72 election, reporters and candidates alike were fearin’ loadin’ on the campaign trail. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
What English singing group had a surprise novelty hit with “Do the Funky Chicken”? The Cornish Gay Men’s Chorus. (Dudley Thompson)
“These days you live full time on your yacht?” “Yes, I look at life from boat-sides now.” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Reunion weekend culminated in a gala dinner at which the oldest alumni were all fetid. (Elly Lampner, Cockeysville, Md., a First Offender)
Westboro Baptist Church’s funeral-crashing strategy? “If we stand shoulder to shoulder, we will be a fence of people.” (Peter Shawhan, Silver Spring, Md.)
After the apple juice market was cornered, people claimed it was all in cider trading. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Gertrude didn’t like people to wear hats in her house, even in the kitchen. So she always insisted that Alice be toqueless. (Christopher Lamora)
Whenever I see January Jones’s cleavage I want to fall into the depths of this pair. (Harry Farkas, Columbus, Ohio)
What do you call heterosexual men who color their hair? Dyer straights. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
What’s that sitcom about the wacky bride? That’s “Aisle of Lucy.” (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
William Shatner’s hair loss can’t stop the show, particularly when there’s Bill’s toupee. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)
During the U.N. commission’s tour of Lubbock, local reporters didn’t take no foreign answer. (Kevin Dopart)
“After we finish getting the grand piano up the stairs to the third floor, there’ll be biers for everyone.” (John Shea, Philadelphia)
The freshman figured his first semester would be a breeze — at orientation he found out he’d even be studying works of Play-Doh. (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)
What do Baal-worshipers call their social-media network? Idol Chitchat. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
What was the note on the hernia patient’s chart before he went in for surgery? Trussed butt — verify. (Dudley Thompson)
“There’s a green stain on the back of your trousers,” I pointed out. “Gracias,” he answered. (Robert Schechter)
A reporter went undercover at a brothel, and he got a sordid tale. (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)
George W. Bush: Tuchus on the wrong path. (Phil Frankenfeld)
A sudden breeze caused Ted’s exam paper to flutter off his desk onto his lap. “Man, that test tickles,” Ted blurted out. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
“I can’t wait to see that video clip they were talking about at the water cooler, but I better not look at it at work.” “Why, what’s wrong with seeing the princess tripping on the tarmac?” (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
They’ve opened a treatment center for men who keep exposing themselves — it’s called New Directions. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
And last: I showed the editors of the New Yorker my lifetime collection of Style Invitational entries, but they were not oeuvrely impressed. (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)
And even laster: “So, Empress, was there much bodily-discharge humor among this week’s entries?” “There was snot enough.” (Kel Nagel, Salisbury, Md.)
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, in which 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. Still running — deadline Monday night — is Week 989, a contest to combine two professions. See wapo.st/inv989.