The Style Invitational Week 757 Gorey Thoughts From A to Z

Saturday, March 22, 2008; C02


U is for Undies you no longer wear.

V's for the Vistas we hope you don't share.


Edward Gorey did it famously and fabulously with his "Gashlycrumb Tinies," but he restricted his wickedly funny verses to various ways in which children suffered terrible deaths. You have freer rein to summon up all matter of edgy pairings, such as the example above that Loser Kevin Dopart offered along with his idea for this contest. This week: Send us some rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. The pairs are AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, OP, QR, ST, UV, WX and YZ. You can go ahead and send all 13, but the Empress already knows that your complete set will not get ink in its entirety. If it were good enough it would, but it won't be.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives both a Loser T-shirt plus a T-shirt, donated by Loser Since High School Beth Baniszewski of Somerville, Mass., that reads, "Maybe if this shirt is witty enough someone will finally love me."


Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 31. Put "Week 757" 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 April 19. 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 results is by Phil Frankenfeld. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by Dave Prevar.


Report From Week 753, in which we asked you to submit short riddles, either well-known ones or your own, and supply both the for-normal-people answer and the not-for-normal-people Style Invitational answer. Sent by a half dozen people: Q: When is a door not a door? Normal answer: When it's ajar. SI answer: When he ODs in a Paris bathtub.


4. When things go wrong, what can you always count on?


Normal answer: Your fingers.


Style Invitational answer: Your toes, if the thing that went wrong was you lost your hands. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


3. What did the philosophy major say to the hot dog vendor?


N: Make me one with everything.


SI: What else have you been doing since we graduated? (Kim Zelonis, Chicago, a First Offender)


2. winner of the the shamrock-themed yo-yo and toilet-shaped ashtray:


When is it bad luck to meet a black cat?


N: When you're a mouse.


SI: When that cat isn't cool enough to take a simple joke. -- Michael Richards, Hollywood (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)


And the Winner of the Inker


What is yours, but your friends use it more than you do?


Normal answer: Your name.


Style Invitational answer: Your sister. (Kelton Vincent, Rockville, a First Offender)


More Enigma Variations


What's white and fluffy and thumps its chest?


N: A meringue-utan.


SI: John McCain discussing his defense strategy. (Don Kirkpatrick, Waynesboro, Pa.)


What invention lets you look right through a wall?


N: A window!


SI: The HobbyHome Termite Farm Kit! (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church)


What do you call two banana peels?


N: A pair of slippers.


SI: A balanced meal in Cuba. (Russell Beland, Springfield)


What do you call pigs who write letters to each other?


N: Pen pals.


SI: Lawyers. (David Kleinbard, Jersey City)


A boy buys a fishing pole that is 6 feet 3 inches long. As he goes to get on the bus, the driver tells him he can't bring anything longer than six feet. The boy goes back to town, he buys one more thing, and the bus driver allows him on. What did he buy?


N: A six-foot-long box -- he put the pole in diagonally.


SI: A gun. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)


What is in the middle of Paris?


N: The letter R.


SI: I'm not sure -- that home video was a little fuzzy. (Jon Reiser, Hilton, N.Y.)


What do you get when you cross an elephant with a fish?


N: Swimming trunks.


SI: Something that weighs five tons and stinks -- just like yo mama! (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)


Why did Silly Billy sit on a clock?


N: Because he wanted to be on time!


SI: Because the Preparation H tube said to apply with hands. (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)


Who says, "Oh, Oh, Oh"?


N: A backward Santa.


SI: A Don Imus tape played in reverse. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)


If you were in a race and passed the person in second place, what place would you be in?


N: Second place.


SI: Depends on the superdelegates. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


What has a neck without a head and two arms without hands?


Kids: A shirt.


SI: A gay thief in Riyadh. (Chris Doyle)


What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?


N: A nervous wreck.


SI: A crab in Jimmy Hoffa's eye socket. (Randy Lee)


Why did the tomato lose the race?


N: It couldn't ketchup!


SI: Because some fool had turned it into a vegetable. (Russell Beland)


What was Paul Bunyan's favorite game when he was traveling around America?


N: Wheeling West Virginia.


SI: Dayton Ohio and Macon Georgia. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)


I live all alone in a little house that has no doors or windows. If I want to go out, I must break through the wall. What am I?


N: A chick in an egg.


SI: We deny that we have any such facilities. -- (Peter Metrinko)


What did the friendly bee say to the flower?


N: Hello, honey!


SI: Don't be embarrassed, there's no stigma in a short pistil. (Russ Taylor, Vienna)


The man who bought it doesn't need it. The man who needs it can't buy it. What is it?


N: A coffin.


SI: Health insurance. (J. Larry Schott, Gainesville, Fla.)


What is the longest word?


N: Smiles -- it has a mile between its ends.


SI: Iraq -- no one can see the end of it. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Why won't you starve to death in the desert?


N: Because of all the sand which is there.


SI: Because you'll die of thirst first. (Chris Rollins, Cumberland, Md.)


What goes around a house but doesn't move?


N: A fence!


SI: Nancy Pelosi's smile. (J. Larry Schott)


What has 40 feet and sings?


N: A choir.


SI: A centipede after interrogation at Guantanamo. (Marty McCullen)


The more you take, the more you'll find behind you. What are they?


N: Footsteps.


SI: Doughnuts. (Dan Ramish, Vienna; Ralph Scott, Washington)


What has a tongue but can't talk?


N: A shoe.


SI: My dream date. (Russell Beland)


What time is it when an elephant sits on your bed?


N: Time to get a new bed!


SI: Time to reevaluate the Republican domestic spying bill. (Michael Platt, Germantown)


What do you call a cat in the water?


N: A catfish!


SI: I call it really funny. (Russell Beland )


What is black and white and red all over?


N: A newspaper.


SI: Pravda, once again. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)


What do you get if you cross a chicken with a cement mixer?


N: A brick layer.


SI: The entree at a fundraiser. (Christopher Lamora, Arlington)


What goes "Ha ha ha, plop"?


N: Someone laughing his head off.


SI: Someone caught telling a joke by the Taliban. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)


Why is there a fence around the cemetery?


N: Because people are dying to get in.


SI: To pry guns from cold dead hands. (Bruce W. Alter, Fairfax Station)


Why is Alabama the smartest state?


N: Because it has 4 A's and one B!


SI: C'mon, the Empress said "riddle," not "joke." (Marc Naimark, Paris)


Next Week: Canny Similarities, or Got Ilk?