Every week since she deposed the Czar in 2004, the Empress has been sending out our lusted-after prize magnets to a couple dozen honorable-mention Losers. (One to a person, that is — do you think we’re made of money? These babies can run as much as two bits apiece.) Since they replaced the Czarist-era bumper stickers, we’ve had more than a dozen designs, all of them created by the More Famous and More Full of Himself by the Day Bob Staake, and featuring Loser-contributed slogans; some of the slogans stress the also-ran nature of being a Loser, while others play on the Invitational in general.
Anyway, our current supply is running out, and it’s time to order up another year’s worth. This week: Suggest a slogan for one of our two new honorable-mention Loser Magnets for 2012-2013. Bob will draw it, so you don’t need to design or draw anything. You can suggest just the text and Bob will illustrate, or suggest a visual idea as well. The magnet is only the size of a business card (2 by 3.5 inches), and so a short slogan and simple idea work best. Click through the pictures above to see six of the magnets; here’s a photo of seven more. You may resubmit your own unsuccessful submission from any of our previous prize-slogan contests (by unsuccessful, we mean that it wasn’t used on a prize; it’s still eligible if it got ink).
Winner gets — along with the magnet with the winning slogan — the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the other magnet we’ll be using, plus a fantasy sci-fi romance novel that its donor, Incredibly Longtime Loser Tom Witte, vows is “the best book ever written.” Sample passage from the paperback: “ ‘Look,’ he said, ‘the sun is beginning to set. It will soon be nightfall.’ She marveled at his wisdom and was in awe of his manhood.” The novel is by Tom’s mother-in-law.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get, of course, a Loser magnet, either a new one or one from the old batch. 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, Nov. 5; results published Nov. 25 (online probably Nov. 23). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 994” 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; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Dixon Wragg. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
in which we asked for jokes about any two people with the same last name (or names pronounced the same): The links on the names are there not just to identify them — don’t write in about the insult to your intelligence — but sometimes offer a little perspective on the jokes; for example, the link on Lil Wayne’s name goes to a sample of his poetry.
Cynthia Nixon had sex in the city; Richard Nixon screwed the whole country. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
2. Winner of the Talking Toilet practical-joke gizmo: Stephen King: Writes about the living dead. Larry King: Is. (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
4. George Romney and Mitt Romney: One was transparent; the other you can see right through. (John Huber, Montgomery Village, Md., a First Offender)
Neil Armstrong and Lance Armstrong: One took a giant leap forward for mankind. (Jon Reiser, Hilton, N.Y.)
Jack Ryan and Paul Ryan collaborate in “The Hunt for Red-State November.” (Chris O’Carroll, Emporia, Kan.)
Robert E. Lee took off up North. Gypsy Rose Lee took off “down south.” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Bruce Lee and Robert E. Lee: Both were born in the United States yet became famous working in another country. (David Ballard, Reston)
Tobey McGuire and Mark McGwire: After he acquired superpowers from a dangerous chemical that surged into his bloodstream, he put on a costume and wowed crowds with feats of superhuman strength. The other was in “Spider-Man.” (David Genser)
J.S. Bach and Barbara Bach: Serious bragging rights if either ever touched your organ. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
If Robert Frost had bumped into Jack Frost, he would have written: The woods are lovely, I suppose... / But who’s this creep that nips my nose? (Beverley Sharp)
Unlike with George Bailey, the world wouldn’t suffer if Beetle Bailey vanished today. (Kevin Dopart)
Many people anxiously await both Seth Meyers’s and Pat Myers’s weekend updates. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is the contest to write a mini-Epic Rap Battle between two historical figures. See bit.ly/inv993.
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational (published late Thursday afternoon), 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.
Next week’s results: Tour de Fours IX: V-O-T-E Now, or InviTE VOodoo, the contest in which we asked you to coin new terms incorporating the letter block V, O, T and E in any order.