The Style Invitational Week 856 Titled Puerility -- Unpublishable books

Saturday, February 13, 2010; C02


When he's not defacing The Style Invitational and many other newspaper stories and magazine covers, artist Bob Staake is usually writing and illustrating a book or eight -- he's done more than 40 children's books, with several more in the works. But Bob is an envelope-pusher ("Bob," the neighbors ask, "why are you walking around with an envelope in a baby carriage?") and sometimes his ideas are deemed not quite suitable for the Publishing Establishment.


This week: Here are some untitled book covers (see all five in the slide show at right). For any of them, tell us a title and synopsis of a book that will never be published.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets an L-for-Loser hand-shaped bottle stopper, hand-molded in plastic resin by K-for-Loser Kyle Hendrickson.


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 losers@washpost.comor by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 22. Put "Week 856" 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 March 13. 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 Tom Witte; this week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Roy Ashley.


Report from Week 852, in which we asked, as we did four weeks earlier, for rhopalic sentences -- except this time, each successive word had to be one letter shorter. (As we did last time, we let hyphenated compounds count as either single or multiple words.)


The winner of the Inker


Abdulmutallab ("Crotchbomber," "Undiebomber"): Detonation backfired, yielding nothing except Umar's sore lap. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)


2. the winner of the Thinker necktie: Adorable Chinese pandas going home: Boo Hu. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)


3. GOPistas' no-it-all stance bodes woes for Mr. O. (Michael Reinemer, Annandale)


4. Satiated, Oedipus slowly rolls over: "Mom!?" (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


Shirt? Nope. Mug? No.: Honorable Mentions


Washington fast-paced? [Laughter.] Beltway tie-ups slash your MPH to 0. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)


Student Hester works hard for an A. (Chris Doyle)


Miraculous invention restores economy -- toilet paper pull tab! (Joey Carlton, Roanoke, Va., a First Offender)


Venerable soldiers forever eschew death; fade awa . . . (Beverley Sharp)


Poverty-stricken administration forehead-slaps: Coin-munching, inoperative, inaccurate, painfully outdated parking meters bring cash! 6:30! Ha! (Barry Brennessel, Washington, a First Offender)


Recently revised lineup: Peter, Paul and (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


Sesquipedalian conversations disintegrate intercourse: Lovemaking expresses language sweeter beyond words. (Kevin Coyne, Fairfax, a First Offender)


Sightings continue! Reality lesson: Elvis DIED -- get it? (Beverley Sharp)


Exceedingly perplexing countdown launches rockets: eleven, eight, four, one, um, 0. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)


Good-looking. Youthfully exuberant. Sexually charged. Dupont manse. Real?! MTV! (Barry Brennessel)


Blue-skinned Pocahontas convinces ex-Marine: Pandora chicks worth risk (and 3-D). (Randy Lee, Burke)


Listlessly, conquered Napoleon wanders, saying again, "Able was, uh, I." (Susie Wiltshire, Richmond)


"Change," Obama said. Now? No. (Russell Beland, Fairfax)


Masquerader apologizes regarding infamous "crashed" Indian event: "Sari!" (Craig Dykstra)


Massachusetts' considerably disgruntled electorate delivered stunning message: Barack Obama just got an F. (Neff, Joe, am I; Warrington, Pa.)


"Marital excess" means "exes." (Beverley Sharp)


Unnoteworthiness notwithstanding, geographically disadvantaged unsuccessful nondescript Republican candidate evermore remains better known than you or I. (Andy Bassett, New Plymouth, New Zealand)


Offsetting customary coolness, Gilbert Arenas packs heat now. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)


Ahmadinejad reprimands sissified athletes because "anyone Irani isn't gay." (Chris Doyle)


Un-Lady-like appendage revealed; tabloid exposé shows Gaga née "he." (Craig Dykstra)


Coakley tanked. Obama wept. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)


And Last: DearTech Support: Help,my space bar's bad. (Russell Beland)


To see this week's and a full archive of previous contests, visit


Next Week: Easy as DEF, or Threeologisms