We’d been calling this annual contest “Look Back in Inker,” referring to our old “Thinker”-spoof trophy, but “Look Back in Inkin’ Memorial” doesn’t have that same zing.
In any case, this is your big chance to send in that fabulous entry that you thought of when you were reading the results of another contest, or the one your computer ate a few months ago: This week: Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 946 through Week 995, except for Week 948, this week’s counterpart from last year. You’re free to reference events that have happened since those contests. Use as few or many contests as you like, as long as your entry total doesn’t exceed 25. You may refer to events that have occurred since the contest was published (except for the Week 952 obit poems, which should still be about people who died in 2011); for contests that ask you to use that week’s Post, use this week’s. Since there’s so little space in the print paper, longer-form entries are likely to run only online. And you don’t even have to clean out your birdcage: Links to all the contests are at wapo.st/StyleInv (note that there’s a single link to a page of other links for Weeks 946-951, and that they’re listed at or near the top of the list).
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a can of genuine dehydrated water, donated by Loser Edward Gordon. The label advises that the dried H2O is useful for a long list of pursuits, including dry-mopping floors, adding VW Bug coolant, and humidifying saunas. We guarantee that it will not spill.
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, Dec. 10; results published Dec. 30 (online Dec. 27). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 999” 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 Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline in the “Next week” line is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
our perennial Ask Backwards contest, in which we offered a dozen phrases and asked what questions they could be answering:
A. The La Brea Tar Pits.
Q. Other than the Cuban politburo, where is the best place in the Western Hemisphere to find a bunch of Pleistocene fossils? (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
2. Winner of the baculum, or penis bone, of a mink:
A. A mink baculum.
Q. What does Donald Trump give his fired employees instead of a golden parachute? (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
3. A. The thing that goes “woo”
During one of his senior moments, what did Joe Biden call his beloved Metroliner? (Kevin Dopart, Washington; Susan Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
4. A. Wikipedia Jones.
Q. Who is the hero in “Raiders of the Lost Archive”? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
A HUG FROM CHRIS CHRISTIE
What was the last thing the Hurricane Sandy survivor remembered before losing consciousness? (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
On the list of “Things People Most Fear,” what is immediately behind “A sloppy wet one from Joe Biden”? (Harold Mantle, Lafayette, Calif.)
What is an inexpensive way to get a breast reduction? (Frank Bruno, Columbia, Md.)
What possible reward causes the Jets to intentionally miss the playoffs every year? (Ken Schwartz, Burke, Va.)
What was Obama training for when he let himself be lifted up by that pizza shop guy? (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)
THE LA BREA TAR PITS
Where did Maria Shriver plan to stop with Arnold prior to visiting the La Brea Feather Mounds? (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
What is the nickname of the LAX smoking lounge? (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
What’s the worst-named high school track team? (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)
Where does Larry King go for his high school reunions? (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
When we’ve sucked ANWR dry, where will we drill, baby, drill? (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
What does your mapping software feel when its directions lead you over a cliff? (Jerry Birchmore, Springfield, Va.)
What did Al Gore do to celebrate inventing the Internet? (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va., a First Offender)
What does $683 a share generate? (David Garratt)
PORK BELLY WITH TWO SIDES
What do you call Chris Christie and his sign language and Spanish interpreters? (Bill Smith, Reston, Va.)
What do you get when you break apart a bacon Mobius strip? (Kevin Dopart, Washington; Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
What is another name for congressional bipartisanship? (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.; Edward Gordon, Austin; Ron Averyt, Severna Park)
What’s Paula Deen’s idea of a hot threesome? (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)
A MINK BACULUM
What gift will make my wife wish she hadn’t asked so imprecisely for “something mink”? (Josh Feldblyum, Philadelphia)
What’s the best auto-correct for “Michele Bachmann”? (Seth Brown)
What do Lorena Bobbitt’s children yank apart instead of a lucky wishbone? (David Garratt)
What is inside the world’s softest jockstrap? (Robert Schechter)
A LEGITIMATE BELCH
Other than women, what does Todd Akin try mightily to suppress? (Nan Reiner)
What would standing on one’s head and farting not count as? (Dudley Thompson)
What does Ken Jennings get when he’s offline for too long? (Mike Gips)
GANGNAM STYLE SECTION
What birthing method requires that the mother jump around like she’s riding a horse until the baby pops out? (Jerry Birchmore)
What’s the worst car for a commute on the Seoul Train? (Kevin Dopart)
THE THING THAT GOES “WOO”
What did the Debutante of Frankenstein call her suitor? (Kevin Dopart)
What is the result of ingesting the Straight Viagra/Cialis Four-Hour Cocktail? (Howard Walderman)
SANSKRIT, ARAMAIC AND PIG LATIN
What were the native tongues of the three Magi: Gupta, Moshe and Berlusconi? (Michael Greene, Alexandria, Va.)
As David Petraeus became progressively more reckless in his e-mails to his biographer, how were his messages conveyed? (Sue Lin Chong, Baltimore)
Mel Gibson can spout insults involving female private parts in which languages? (Kevin Dopart)
Who were the Three Mouthketeers? (Bill McMahon, Ganges, B.C.)
THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON
During what event does the average traffic speed in D.C. increase from 2 mph to 6 mph? (Mike Gips)
Which D.C.-centered race this year did conservatives correctly predict that the Kenyan wouldn’t win? (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)
What is the only Pentagon program that does not have an overrun? (Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.)
What do the hookers in Quantico do every Saturday night? (Nan Reiner)
What is 500 feet shorter than the line to vote in Prince William County? (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
What endurance race should never be referred to as the “Jaunty Jarhead Jiffy Jog?” (Dudley Thompson)
THE APPLE CORE MARATHON
What could you call the daily commute to Midtown Manhattan? (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)
What institution was born when Adam and Eve started running around looking for fig leaves? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
What device is slower, less sophisticated and yet inexplicably more popular than the Samsung Core Marathon? (Mark Raffman)
In which sporting event are the athletes allowed to be juiced? (Robert Schechter)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is Week 998, the contest for “dumb laws.” See bit.ly/inv998.
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.
Next week’s results: A Life-Time Opportunity, or Zines From a Marriage, our contest to combine two magazines and describe the result.