These are the results — first published April 16, 2000, and July 31, 2005 — from the previous two times The Style Invitational ran the contest that we do once again in Week 1009. See bit.ly/invite1009 for directions on entering this week’s contest.
REPORT FROM WEEK VIII, in which we asked you to emulate a recent magazine story about David Gergen that used only the letters in David Gergen’s name. We received the following communication from one Francis Heaney, the author of the magazine story, who complained that we should have given him credit. He made this complaint in an e-mail employing only the letters in the name Francis Heaney: “His anarchic, fancy-free farce earns Francis nary a reference? Fishy!”
I, James Carville, am clear:
I rave, I slam as I smear.
I revile, I am vile,
I release slime as I smile.
I serve evil as a career.
(Earle M. Crum, Seabrook, Tex.)
Diana, the Princess of Wales:
A car careens: I die, in Paris, France. Crowds near a palace and pile flowers. In a slow parade, princes and lower classes pass a pained slew of Windsors. An earl’s screed assails a flawed clan (inside, no one claps).
Sadness increases sales of “Candle in the Wind” and old dresses. Laid cold on an isle, I fade as roses do. A world cares, cries, and, wearied, presses on. (Paul McClure, Washington)
Cher: Echhh. (Malcolm Visser, Clifton)
And the winner of the Y2K Apocalypse book:
Monica Lewinsky: Well, I was, like, a woman, y’know. William was, y’know, like, a man. So I’m, like, so lonely. Willie is, like, well, Willie. Anyway, a wink, some skin, “lookie lookie,” we make some nookie. Willie says, “Nice melons.” I mean, like, wow! Willie was mine, I was Willie’s. No one knew! So I’m, like, seein’ Willie, only slyly. Anyways, I’m, like, callin’ Lin. So we yak ‘n’ yak. I’m like, well, me ‘n’ Willie, y’know? Lin’s like, “Wow, Willie?” So I say, “Yes, Willie.”
Anyway, now Lin knows. Once I was, like, “Lin, is a click on my line?” Lin says, “A click? No.” Well, as we all know now, a click WAS on my line. Now, Ken comes in. Now I’m, like, NEWS! Monica mania! I’m, like, a mess. Ken is, like, so asinine. Ken was on a mission. Ken is, like, soooooo my enemy! Lin was so sneaky. Lin is a swine. Oink oink. Willie? Well, I say Slick Willie will owe someone some alimony. Me? Well, now I’m, like, a well-known woman. Now I can make me some money. Way cool. Awesome.
(Richard Grossman, McLean)
Jennifer Lopez: Jeez, no zipper! (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
Augusto Pinochet: Once again I cheat the noose. Nothing: no accusations, no sentence, no opinion, no conscience, no constitution, no such passing hopes can push us to account. (Frank Kenesson, Waterford, Va.)
Alexander Hamilton: Dad and Mom are not married. It tainted him (he hated men, not man). Later, he made, examined, then mailed, a detailed note to The Main Man (the real mentor and hero to the landed) to tell him that Tom meant the Elite to lead the nation. He hated Tom. Did Tom hate him? No one had an idea. Tom, not Alex, landed a home near the National Mall. Then Alex met Aaron, a deadlier threat to him, and died. The end. (Reid Williamson, Annandale)
Martha Stewart: What taste, what ease! She stews meat, warms wheat tarts, steams tea water, sews threads, hems, hammers. She’s a star. She starts mass stress. We hate her. (Phyllis Kepner, Columbia)
Orenthal James Simpson: Part Heisman, part hit man. A slasher; he hit, he ran. Months later, he’s still on the loose. Asserts he’s on the “real” assassin’s trail. Hmm. Perhaps he has a point--a SHARP point. (Lori Ducharme, Gaithersburg)
Monica Lewinsky: I was once a lonely, lowly lass. I look like a moose (I like cannoli, cannelloni, clams, wine, lemon ice . . .). I was also one easy woman. (I only say “yes.”) I call my “ally.” I say, “My new man is a slimy weasel.” My sly ally sells my news. We make news kinky. Now I am an icon in a comical, classless way. I make millions, so I cancel any claims on clemency. (Annette Florence, Ithaca, N.Y.)
William Shatner: His hair isn’t real. His lines are lame. Retire. (David Genser, Arlington)
Stephen Hawking: Wise genie, he sees the night skies with keen insight.
Despite a twist in his spine, he takes steps that we gape at. His painstaking peeks negate the past and it shines, anew. He instigates an awakening. (Martin Bredeck, Community, Va.)
Linda Tripp: I, a darn rat and a liar, did trap a pal in a plan I laid. And a pal paid. (Richard Grossman, McLean)
William Jefferson Clinton:
As I steer America’s state
In office I now toil late
No interns. Alone!
I sit and atone
A canine as a sole roommate. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)
James P. Rubin: I name names as I suppress numbers. I snub empresses; I abuse empires; U.S. airmen, seamen, armies, Marines impress me. Namibia impresses me. Armani impresses me. Burma represses masses. Iran surprises us. I am Serbia’s nemesis. I reassure members as Brunei reimburses us. Jabber, jabber, jabber . . . Mrs. A. pampers me. I am Mrs. A’s brains. I am superman. I am smarminess. (Daniel Horner, Washington)
The Uncle’s Pick:
Eric Timothy Mathews:
O sweet, wee tot!
Eric was to come to Earth at May,
Rather, he came at March
With aches, stitches to mommy’s waist, With eerie remorse to her heart.
We three at home--Mr., Mrs., sister Amy-- How we wait, wish, watch
The time that Eric comes home, too.
(Jessica Lynn Mathews, Arlington)
(The Uncle cannot explain just now. He needs a quiet moment.)
Report from Week 617, in which we asked you to write something about a well-known person, using only the letters in that person’s name. Many impressive entries this week, too many (given the length of some) to fit in this space -- so be sure to check out more of the same in a supplement on washingtonpost.com . Obviously, it was easier in this contest to use a very long name than a very short one: The person who sent in a single moderately amusing sentence constructed from letters appearing in “Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince of Wales” receives only the Empress’s haughty derision.
Third Runner-up: Rick Santorum: It’s a crisis! Am I crass? I’m not. Man ’n’ man is tantamount to man ’n’ mutt. To man’n’ cat. To man ’n’ rat. To man ’n’ trout! TO MAN ’N’ STORK!!! ICK! (Daniel Mauer, Silver Spring)
Second Runner-up: William Rehnquist: He’s a tease, this Law Master. We learn he’s ill. He weathers the treatment. Then he swears in the new ruler.
Alas, the Master seems a shell. All winter, he marshals his mettle. He startles us; he retains his health. The law still warms this esquire’s heart. His qualities shine: wise, serene, quiet, a little ruthless, a little quaint as well (at merest whim, it seems, he wears the silliest hats). We are in his thrall. When will he quit?
The Hill waits. It seethes. The time is here -- ere an ass rules the realm, the Master must retire! The militants swarm, hassle him: “We want that seat!” Rather than wilt in the heat, the Master issues a statement: “Retire? Hah! Let the Law Mistress retire. I’ll retain this seat whilst air remains in me. Am I timeless, eternal?” He smiles. “We’ll see, eh?” (Patricia Casey, McLean)
First runner-up, winner of the seven-volume Style Invitational Toilet-Top
Reference Set: Kelly Ripa: Early, perky, really irky. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)
And the winner of the Inker: Scarlett O’Hara: [A character’s short tale.] A careless lass, a tease, has a secret hero. Alas, her heart aches: He shoos her. Cross, she chooses Charles, a loser (later, a carcass). The rascal Rhett chases her: He’s crass, hot to trot. Chaos! Terror! Shells scorch the earth. Her clothes tatter. She eats a root, retches. She shoots a looter. Later, Rhett catches her. She has a tot a horse tosses. (A carcass here, too.) The horror shatters Rhett (alcohol has a role), so he scoots. At last, she settles at Tara. [A close shot. Tears roll. The orchestra soars.] (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)
Henry David Thoreau: Dear Dunderhead: Overdue rent? Don’t threaten me. Your untrue ad read, “Dandy Retreat! Divine Hideout! Adventure Nirvana!” Hah. The truth: a dreary, unheated hut and no oven, no TV, no Internet. Not even a radio! I hate it in toto: the dirt, the odor, the radon. . . . The “river trout”? They’re nutria! I haven’t eaten other than dried horny toad. And outdoor urination? Not dandy. At nadir: I have heavy ennui, and no vino. I need to hit a tavern in a hurry, dude. -- Your Irate, Annoyed Tenant (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)
Peter Angelos: Legal eagle, Napoleon-poser, poor sport: As pleasant as a serpent, as gallant as a rat. (Brendan Beary)
Julius Caesar: A crisis arises. Cassius carries a slicer. A classic ruse assures success. Cruel rascals lure, assail a careless ruler. Alas, Caesar is a carcass. (Chris Doyle)
Ann H. Coulter: Launch ultra-cruel nuclear terror. Cut a tree. Hunt a crane, turtle, tern or toucan. Accelerate a hot car at a nun on a crutch. Return to coal heat. Halt the taco run to the north; neuter the nacho race here. Honor Colonel North -- a true hero. Halt the nocturnal oral, rectal act. Torch central L.A.! Lunch not at Nora! Tell a tall tale, ulcerate a heart, call truth untrue, act out, rant. Touché! (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)
Fidel Castro: (Classified ad, Ocala Star) Elder dictator desires to sell, lease, or trade aircraft carrier for coastal Florida flat. (Chris Doyle)
Howard Dean: We ran hard. Wandered down a dead-end road. No wonder we were rear-ended. And where are we headed now? Down a new road! NH! And OH. And DE. And OR and WA. And NE! And ND! ONWARD! AAAAAAAAAH!! . . . Oh no. Darn. (Danny Bravman, St. Louis; Jeff Covel, Arlington)
Ron Ely: Only one role: Eyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeeeeeeeeeeeeee- eeeeeeeeeeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeo! (Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D.)
Paris Hilton: Spoilt trollop -- nasal, tartish trash. As an A-list harlot, I stroll on patios as snoops shoot porn photos. I thirst to sin. Ah, lotharios, sailors, pianists! I strip polo shirt, pantaloons; I sport Titian lips, nail polish, a pair o’ ta-tas, a tan torso, Saran shorts on loins. (No halo!) Lanolin lotion, palpation, oral passion, positions -- lots! trillions! An irritation, I appall pastors, parsons, papal historians, trinitarians, philanthropists, hoi polloi. (Spoilsports!) Titillation? Nonstop! (Mark Eckenwiler)
Paris Hilton: “That’s so hot,” or “That’s so not hot.” This, alas, is all I no. (Brendan Beary)
Karl Christian Rove: A looker? No. A lover? No. A leaker? A real leaker. -- Val (Fred S. Souk, Herndon; John O’Byrne, Dublin)
Michael Jackson: Monomaniacal chameleon’s nose has a mechanical cheesiness; his skin is like melamine. His one ace-in-hole comes as a shock: innocence. (Brendan Beary)
Rush Limbaugh: I’m all bull. (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City)
John Edwards: Who? (Frank Mullen III, Aledo, Ill.)
Ernest Hemingway: I swagger. I rage. I marinate in gin. I write. This way. (Brendan Beary)
Bill O’Reilly: Ol’ yeller. (Mark Eckenwiler)
Donald Trump: A mutant pompadour on a mammon adulator. (Chris Doyle)
Marcel Proust: A proposal occurs to me: Emote a tome! A colossal, spectacular, sumptuous, atemporal tome! A preposterous, almost-complete-career tome! Crap to popular appeal -- let’s compose as our soul pleases! Mortals are poor, Art’s ample! So let’s use lots o’ paper, create a tale to torture amateurs, to oppress lecturers, to perpetuate classroom terror; a tome to tear apart secrets, to corrupt Scoutmasters, to relate our cares or scream our pleasure, to compass all Europe, all cultures, all space, all else. (Me?Presumptuous?) (Mike Keith, Richmond)
Saddam Hussein: Madman has Sunni enemies, sadism issues and damn sad undies. (Brendan Beary)
Liza Minnelli: I mine nellie men. (Michelle Stupak)
Katie Holmes: [She meets Tom.] Sheesh! He has me at “hello.” Ooh, he’s a total hottie! That smile. Those teeth. He’s so smooooth. Hmmm. Almost too smooth. I see he likes to steal looks at males -- a lot. That makes me a little skittish. Is he a sham? Is this all a mammoth mistake? I’ll talk to Mimi. She’ll tell me. [Tom takes a hike.] (Chris Doyle)
Neil Armstrong: Not long ago, I’m in a sim trainer going nine G’s. Imagine it, nine G’s! -- I’m a man’s man! So, I tell ‘em I’m raring to go, again. Not so smart, see. Later on, all alone, I lose it in a latrine! Still, I’m as eager as a sailor on a rising sea, so NASA treats me to a mission to man’s largest satellite: Moon. I’m game. . . . It’s nearing T-time, so I settle in, set toggles, test signals, ignite engines. In no time at all, I’m going, going, gone! I soar among a million stars. It’s great! Time goes on. I see I’m almost in range, so I ease Eagle, in slo-mo, settling in a mare (”sea” in moon lingo). In a rare moment, it’s all me, so I start orating, “One small . . . one giant . . .” Rats! I’m losing it -- senior moment. Google it. Gotta go, it’s Geritol time. (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick)
Paris Hilton has all that hair, is tall, thin, a porn star (sorta). Still, Paris isn’t all that hot. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
James Dobson, the conservative minister: O God, omens bode bad mojo, so end dames’ boob, abdomen and nose jobs, bobbed manes and jeans on demon bods. Ban moans on beds, Onan men and Sodom sods. And damn Bob Jones. Amen. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)
Alfred Kinsey: Kinky freaks, randy elders, desireless ladies, afraid fairies, self-diddlers -- I seen all kinds. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)
Arnold Schwarzenegger: A rare ego, a shrewd career. A lecher, he ogles gals galore, and lewd hands anger gals (careless!). Gals endanger win; so he does Leno: Leno endorses, enhances news angle. Snares win: Arrogance rewarded. (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)
Alan M. Dershowitz,
Shrewd and remorseless, a
Aren’t in his arsenal.
Hammers the witnesses,
Win, lose, or draw. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)
Gwyneth Paltrow: New year. Pregnant. What now, “Pear”? (Judith Cottrill, New York)
Terri Schiavo: The harsh rhetoric, the “Save Terri” services, the rosaries, the crosses, the “she sees”/”she hears” theories, the tests, the irate voices, the threats, the hoots, the cheers, the chaos, the sheer theatrics, the heartache, the horror. These are over. She’s at rest. (Chris Doyle)
George Donner: Deer gone. Dog gone. Gorged on Roger. Doggone good! (Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D.)
Alice Roosevelt Longworth: She’s not the chilliest girl on the Hill. Oh no, she’s a riot. All want to watch how she chitchats with the social elite: her strong insights, how she nails the overweening, how she groans at all Washington inanities. She wastes no chances to view all with her laser lorgnette (it’s the one with the glitter case with the lace cover). (Bill Spencer, Exeter, N.H.
And Last: Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch: He craves the approval of the SI Empress. “Please, oh, please, print this,” he pleads. Print this and he shall remain, as ever: slave. (Bruce W. Alter, Fairfax Station)