The Style Invitational Week 854: What's not to liken

Saturday, January 30, 2010; C02


Men are like blenders: You need one, but you're not quite sure why.


Men are like mascara: They tend to run at the first sign of emotion.


As most everything quotable does anymore, a lot of zingy similes like the ones above have been zinging anonymously around the Internet; those were zung over to us by Inveterate E-Mail Forwarder Peter Metrinko, who suggests that the Loser community should be able to produce even, you know, zingier ones.


This week: Produce one or more similes in any of the following categories: men; women; teenagers; dogs; cats; Facebook; coffee; "I."


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the classic Japanese easy-reader book "The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts," which aims to educate children that it's okay, in fact desirable, to cut them regularly. Donated by Cheryl Davis.


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 Loser Magnets. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 8. Put "Week 854" 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 Feb. 27. 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 Larry Yungk; this week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Pete Morelewicz; the headline on this week's Web supplement, "Death Poetry Jam," is by Tom Witte.


Report From Week 850, in which, as we do each January, we sought poems humorously commemorating those who'd died the previous year. This year we also brought back the option of writing a humorous headline instead. As usual, we received lots of fabulous poems -- we'd certainly expected no less after a year that seemed to have more than its share of Page 1 obituaries. But we didn't get a single really good one about Michael Jackson.


The winner of the Inker


Higgledy piggledy,

Pentti Airikkala,

Road rally driver from

Finland, has passed.

Cancer defeated his


Proving untrue that nice

Finnish guys last.

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)


2. the winner of the cute critter made out of a hoof:

Millvina Dean, the youngest survivor on the Titanic, and last year its oldest:

"The women and children go first," the word passed;

Now Millvina Dean -- who went first -- has gone last. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


3. A millionaire, a kindly soul, a mensch with civic pride,

And to many worthy charities a donor,

Abe Pollin now has richly been rewarded: Since he died,

He no longer has to be the Wizards' owner. (Brendan Beary)


4. Because the AmEx card's their fave,

They're here today to tout it.

The diggers of Karl Malden's grave

Just won't heave loam without it. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


Nearly beloved: Honorable mentions


What a coincidence: singing our threnodies

Two weeks apart for a pair of Ted Kennedys.

One was the senator, lefty fomenter;

One, the old Maple Leafs' Hall of Fame center.

Here, then, a question that's ripe for debating:

Which Ted got farther in life through his skating? (Brendan Beary)


Porn star Marilyn Chambers

Marilyn Chambers arrives at the gates,

Where she's met by the leery Saint Peter.

"I plan to be meeting my maker," she states,

"But I'll settle for making my meeter." (Chris Doyle)


CBS's Don Hewitt

What Andy Warhol said of fame,

Some think his words were true. It

Seems most folks get one brief flash,

But not so Mr. Hewitt,

Although you get a quarter-hour,

Don's share wasn't fixed. He

Took his 15 minutes' worth

And made it last for 60. (Dave Zarrow, Reston)


Pitchman Billy Mays

O'er the grave of Billy Mays

Upon the granite shrine,

The year of death has been reduced

To 1999. (Rob Cohen, Potomac)


But That's Not All! Oh Wait, Yes It Is. (Malcolm Fleschner, Palo Alto, Calif.)


Al Bernardin, creator of McDonald's Quarter Pounder

I don't doubt your good intentions;

Man's made many bad inventions.

The worst decline, the best increase:

I only pray you rest in grease. (Bob Reichenbach, Middletown, Del.)


Jeanne-Claude, wife and art partner of Christo

The Mass ran long for dear Jeanne-Claude

Since speakers found so much to laud.

Some mourners nodded, others napped,

But Christo sat there, simply rapt. (Chris Doyle)


Mary Travers to Form New Trio With Peter, Paul (Larry Yungk, Arlington)


Ed McMahon

For thirty years as Carson's mate,

He got "Tonight" crowds ready.

How fitting that at Heaven's gate,

St. John cried out, "Heeeeere's Eddie!" (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)


Pitcher Mark "the Bird" Fidrych

Mark Fidrych lies beneath the ground

And rests in peace, at last interred.

A creature stirs and crawls around:

The early worm that gets the Bird. (Chris Doyle)


Robert McNamara: Body Count Up by 1 (Russell Beland, Fairfax)


Ben Ali

The angels above are so glad to extol

All the virtues of Heavenly Ben's Chili Bowl.

The Devil below says it just isn't fair

Because Heaven's a hotter place now that Ben's there. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney)


Although we knew full well the end was near,

We still must bow our heads for Zorn's career. (Craig Dykstra)


Next week: Going to the shrink, or Coming Subtractions


Death Poetry Jam: More Obit Poems From Style Invitational Week 850


More honorable mentions for poems and fanciful headlines commemorating those who died in 2009:


Pitchman Billy Mays is dead.

"Wait, there's more!" is what he said.

Since he's now a sad statistic,

That, it seems, was optimistic. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)


Irving R. Levine Pronounced Dead Correctly (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Jeanne-Claude's mourners all were wowed:

The tomb, not she, was in the shroud. (Kevin Dopart)


Ricardo Montalban:

Montalban's rest in the Elysian fields

Is scented not only with heather

But also a permanent new-car smell

With a waft of Corinthian leather. (Peter Metrinko, Gainesville, Va.)


100% of Respondents Agree That Alec Gallup Is Dead (Mike Gips, Bethesda; Larry Yungk, Arlington)


Soap box model turned porn star Marilyn Chambers

Miss Marilyn's spent lots of time behind that big Green Door.

She did it with both guys and gals, on swings and on the floor.

She flaunted sexy body parts -- in front, behind, below,

And then she washed the dirty sheets in suds of Ivory Snow. (Michelle Stupak, Ellicott City, Md.)


Marilyn Chambers and Marilyn French,

Feminist writer and seminal wench.

Each in her own way had as vocation

An angle from which to view male domination.

Position is moot now: They've ceased animation. (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church, Va.)


Ted Kennedy Finally Crosses the Bridge (Kevin Dopart)


He interviewed stars for Parade Magazine,

And his columns were gossip and fluff.

James Brady's in some mausoleum, I'd bet:

No grave could prove shallow enough. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)


Larry Gelbart: D*E*A*D (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)


John Houghtaling, inventor of the Magic Fingers bed vibrator

Magic Fingers accomplished his goal

To gain wealth of the loftiest order.

Let us hope in the fight for his soul

That the Devil was given no quarter. (Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D.)


The loss of cats is always sad,

We must be strong, not wussy.

And so we mourn the loss of Socks,

Bill Clinton's favorite pet. (Christopher Lamora, Arlington)


Berta Rosenberg, world's oldest Jew,

At 112, her days were through.

Her only regret was she'd told the waiter,

"I'll eat half now, save the rest for later." (Bruce Alter, Fairfax Station, Va.)


It seems that David Carradine, the hero of "Kung Fu,"

Possessed a darker character than viewers ever knew;

How sad that in 2009 we put him on the shelf

When David sadly Thai-died -- or, some say, he whacked himself. (Bob Dalton, Arlington)


We'll miss you, David Carradine, although you brought some shame

To what had been a well-respected acting family name.

The way you snatched that pebble was essential to your show,

But how you got your rocks off, sir, we didn't need to know. (Brendan Beary)


Wayne Allwine, Mickey Mouse's voice, and Roy E. Disney, Walt's nephew

Now it's time to say goodbye to all of their success:

R-I-G (Gee, you look pale!)

O-R-M (Mmmm, no pulse either!)


(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)


Jack Wrangler died from emphysema, news reports all stated.

The rumors of his being hung were clearly unrelated. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)


Complex and Insouciant, Gourmet Magazine Suffers an Unpalatable Finish (Jeff Contompasis)