Week 738: So What's to Liken?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

1. A piranha
2. Lindsay Lohan's handbag
3. A "great introductory rate"
4. The next three presidential debates
5. A Hawaiian Punch martini
6. An Xbox 360
7. The National Christmas Tree
8. Womanly knuckles
9. Cupholders on a Ferrari
10. "American Gothic"
11. An annotated copy of Lynne Cheney's "Blue Skies, No Fences"
12. Singing in the rain
13. An anesthesiologist's cat
14. The peaks of Mount Whitney
15. Broccoli skin cream

Here's a perennial contest that never fails us, no matter how bizarre the material the Losers are given to work with. In fact, after reading the results, readers over the years have written in to insist that the contest elements must have been set up to engineer the winning wordplay. This week: Take any two items from the utterly random list above and explain how they are different or how they are similar. How utterly random? The Empress contacted 15 people and asked them each to contribute one item to the list above; none of them saw any of the other items. Okay?

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a Gummy Tapeworm AND a tin of bacon-flavored toothpicks, both courtesy of the ever-courteous Russell Beland of Springfield, who has taken to writing a critique of the Invitational every Monday on the Losers' own Web site, at http://www.gopherdrool.com/tww ("her track record on judging, picking, and most especially editing, song lyrics tends toward the terrible").

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions (or whatever they're called that week) get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 12. Put "Week 738" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published Dec. 1. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Kevin Dopart of Washington. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by Tom Witte of Montgomery Village.

Report from Week 734

in which we asked you to provide rhyming couplets containing two words that were anagrams of each other. While such online tools as Anagram Genius have rendered useless any further contests just to create anagrams, even for entire sentences and paragraphs, they still can't write poems like these. Some very clever entries this week contained anagrams of two-word phrases or names, but not of single words. The best was from Andy Bassett of New Plymouth, New Zealand: "AXL ROSE, an anagram for some specific acts:/Your mouth's agape? Don't worry, I won't say it, SO RELAX."

5. A baby quickly locates (it's his biz)
The place on Mommy where the lactose is. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

4.If the spirit is willing, but the flesh hangs in doubt,
Those pills on the shelf will straighten things out. (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

3. "Diet" and "edit," a perfect pair, that:
Anagrams both meaning "cut out the fat." (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

2. the winner of two light-verse collections by New Loser Ed Conti, "Quiblets" and "The Ed C. Scrolls":
His 95 Theses made Luther the man,
But the church wasn't pleased and the sheets hit the fan. (Chris Doyle, sent from Bangkok)

And the Winner of the Inker

The pope's stopped cussing audiences out with spontaneity;
In Italy, he's learned, that ain't no way to treat a laity. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Couplets Put Close

My spouse considered me deranged because of all I'd gardened.
We're now estranged, and sad to say, my heart and soil have hardened. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

The state of progress in Iraq, admittedly, is varyin'
With how you choose to ascertain which killings are sectarian. (David Smith, Santa Cruz, Calif.)

When a royal sheik hikes the price of crude,
The rest of us are royally scrude. (Peter Metrinko)

At every bordello I've been to (don't ask me what for),
There's nary a doorbell, but wow, they have knockers galore! (Brendan Beary)

Ann Coulter needs a strong reproach; her
Wacko rantings scream for cloture. (Chris Doyle)

Unless I cut my movie, they threaten to X-rate:
They say a certain extra seems to stand out much too straight. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Your admirer charms you with topics so varied.
Too bad he won't mention that he's also married. (Anne Paris, Arlington)

If you rail against a liar,
Pray your own pants don't catch fire. (David Moss, Arlington)

What happens from taking the steroid called "clear":
You bring a sad end to a storied career. (Rob Caskey, Fairfax Station)

Gone are the sounds of young children's rattles:
The starlet has lost her custody battles. (Mike Cisneros, Centreville)

JFK strove (though to note this seems callous)
To attract the attention of voters in Dallas. (J.J. Gertler, Alexandria)

I wandered lonely as a cloud . . .
Could be because I'm gross and loud. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

Carelessness, calumnies, cursing at waits:
These are a few of my masculine traits . . . (Brendan Beary)

On a cruise around Hellenic ports I knew not how to feel
When I went below the deck and spied the captain in chenille. (Brendan Beary)

Not even a vat of minty-fresh Retsin
Could freshen the mouth you insert cigarettes in. (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

Don't despair over diapers, guys: You'll be amazed
How, by changing a few, any man'll get praised. (Chris Doyle)

"Get out of here, and don't come back!" her fuming father ranted;
Her ardent swain, despite the rain, took to the road de-panted. (Beverley Sharp)

I felt so nervous when I went onstage to start my act,
I unloaded all the contents of my duodenal tract. (Brendan Beary)

The D.C. life is really fun, with things to do aplenty.
High taxes are the penalty (complain to Mr. Fenty). (Beverley Sharp)

Divorce makes women rummage through the debris of their lives
And wonder why they took the step to change from brides to wives. (Ross Elliffe, Picton, New Zealand, where they pronounce it DEB-ry.)

Iran has not a single day
Of rain or clouds, nor any gay. -- M. Ahmadinejad (Chris Doyle, sent from Siem Reap, Cambodia)

How sparse is one between the ears
Who parses dirt on Britney Spears? (Chris Doyle)

I am daily repaid by my loving child
By a diaper in which his poop is piled. (Kelly Esposito, Frederick)

She kissed him in earnest, she called him her dearest.
But the fact of the matter was he was the nearest. (Mae Scanlan)

New data may give George Bush renewed urges
To constantly tell us how dandy the surge is. (Deanna Busick, Knoxville, Tenn.)

You should really see your doctor; a prescription's of the essence
If gelatin approximates your genital tumescence. (Brendan Beary)

In Olympic doubles luge, the rumors aren't true:
Oh, no, they don't hold on like THAT! (But sometimes they use glue.) (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

As A-Rod and his slugger teammates fade into the night,
The gurgles of their sinking ship announce Joe Torre's flight. (Bill Spencer, Baltimore)

The negligeed lady was hurt when ignored
And the young men redoing her kitchen looked bored. (Christopher Lamora, Arlington)

A rogue plastic surgeon was jailed among felons,
Unlicensed, he changed women's lemons to melons. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)

And Last:
Dear Empress: Read this verse, don't yap!
You pay me zip, I serve you crap. (Chris Doyle)

Next Week: Look Back in Inker, or A Trip Down Memory Lame

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