The Style Invitational Week 891: Mirror, mirror

By The Empress

Saturday, October 23, 2010; C02


"Downtown? No, wait -- go uptown! GO!!! Wait, no -- DOWNtown!!!!!"


Flush with his success in our recent palindrome neologism contest (Week 886), new but disturbingly successful Loser Gary Crockett suggested a contest he'd heard on NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" back in the 1990s. We're happy to appropriate it for ourselves, and think (or at least hope) that you can even beat out that contest's winner, Peter L. Stein, for ingenuity and humor: His winning entry was "First ladies rule the state, and state the rule: 'Ladies first.' " Or the example above by Our Bob Staake Himself. This week: Write a word-palindrome sentence, i.e., in which the first and last words are the same; the second and next-to-last, etc. There may be a single unpaired word in the middle. And -- since these will be fun to read out loud -- the paired words may be homophones of each other (such as "pear" and "pair"). You may also add an "attribution" afterward to someone who'd fittingly say such a thing.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a Special Loser Twin Snack Pak, consisting of a bag of Rap Snacks potato chips ("the official snack of Hip Hop"), donated by Loser Kyle Hendrickson, and a bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Seaweed Snack, which tastes exactly as good as it sounds, according to non-Loser Angel LaCanfora. Angel was so eager to get rid of her second, unopened bag of these things that she spent $3 to mail them to us from Southern California ("it was that or release it back into the ocean").


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, Nov. 1. Put "Week 891" 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 to be published Nov. 20. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. This week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Roy Ashley; the headline on the supplement ("Limplants") is by Mae Scanlan.


Report from Week 887, in which we supplied six lines, any of which you were to use as either Line 3 or Line 4 of a limerick. As predicted, this made for a lot of limericky variety, and only a little griping.


The winner of the Inker


In debate, you were ever so deft.

I felt small, of opinions bereft.

*And through each passing year

It became crystal clear

That you had to be right -- so I left.

(Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)


2. winner of the junky promotional figurine for the terrible movie "The Love Guru":


A traveling pair from San Bruno

Left their flat for a week up in Juneau,

*They came back in one piece,

And they still had a lease,

But their condo was blown straight to, you know.

(Dave Zarrow, Reston)


3."O Susanna," he texted, "lets flee,

"yr my tru luv ive cm 4 2 c."

*She said, "Never, you cad!

Texted pleas make me mad!

It's my bra size you're wanting, not me."

(Carol June Hooker, Landover Hills)


4. The leaders on whom we've bestowed

All our votes need to carry the load.

And through each passing year,

If they want us to cheer,

They should pee or get off the commode. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)


Low fives: Honorable mentions


I parked by the side of the road

Outside her (and her husband's) abode;

We'd just time for a quickie,

But then it got tricky

When I found that my car had been towed.

(Hugh Thirlway, The Hague)


"Cut taxes! More health care!" we roared,

So with Bush and Obama, debt soared.

And through each passing year,

Who's to blame became clear:

We who want what we cannot afford. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


On our orchestra leader, a pox!

He thinks Johann Sebastian just rocks.

And through each passing year

Nothing else do we hear --

He just cannot think outside the Bachs. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


Said Christine O'Donnell, "I weep

That my critics are sleazy and cheap.

Can't they assume

*Displaying a broom

Means I hope for a GOP sweep?" (Rob Cohen, Potomac)


A preacher took one of his daughters

To camp by the mountainside waters.

After catching a beaver,

*He snatched up a cleaver

And taught her to do unto otters. (Chris Doyle)


Eddie Haskell was bursting with pride.

June learned of his nuptials and cried.

He snatched up a Cleaver

But left it to Beaver

To tell Ward that Wally's the bride. (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring)


The new chancellor made quite a splash

With infusions of corporate cash.

But she sealed her own doom,

Displaying a broom:

It was she who got tossed with the trash.

(Nan Reiner, Alexandria)


They ran off to a country whose ruler

Practiced methods of justice far crueler.

They came back in one piece

('Cept the shoplifting niece,

Who carried both hands in a cooler).

(Jacqui Brown, Easton, Pa., a First Offender)


The avid fan looked for a pass,

Then saw the ball drop in the grass.

He snatched up a cleaver

To kill the receiver --

And smashed his TV set, alas.

(Kathy Bacskay, Lorton)


I said I was out with some dude --

A few drinks. That was all. Nothing lewd.

*But then it got tricky

When she noticed my hickey.

It's the last time I'll sleep in the nude.

(Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)


My plan for a Halloween feat

Was to shock everyone on my street.

But then it got tricky --

The dogs became licky:

No more dressing as Gaga in meat.

(Kevin Dopart, Washington)


I sought help for a migraine attack

But the doctor I saw was a quack.

He snatched up a cleaver

And said, "To relieve 'er

I'll open 'er up just a crack."

(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)


Once a vile old Edwardian satyr

Stalked a damsel while hoping to date her.

She said, "Never, you cad,

"You resemble my dad!"

He asked, "Why can't you honor thy pater?"

(Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)


I started with vodka and whiskey,

Then gin, which I thought made me frisky.

Now I add wine and beer,

And through each passing year

My consumption grows ever more risky.

(William Bradford, Washington, who happens to be a frisky 96 years old)


Next week: It's the eponymy, stupid, or Men of re-noun.

(The revised title for next week's contest is by Stephen Dudzik.)


Limplants: More Limericks from Week 887 of The Style Invitational


By The Empress

Saturday, October 23, 2010; 12:00 AM


Christine has been takin' a lickin',

But that Delaware pol keeps on tickin'.

Displaying a broom,

She still works every room.

As they say, there's no rest for the Wiccan.

(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


After bedding two triplets from Patrick,

He said in a voice most theatric:

"You're the last to be had."

She said, "Never, you cad!"

In the end, though, he did score the hat trick.

(Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


Computers are great, I'll agree,

I need technical help, though, you see;

And through each passing year,

As new options appear,

I find that it's all geek to me.

(Mae Scanlan, Washington)


Though she sang with a voice operatic,

She ate marshmallows like a fanatic.

But then it got tricky --

Her tonsils got sticky;

Now all we can hear is s'more static.

(Beverley Sharp, Washington)


When a backpacking drunk found the lair

Of a grizzly, he had an affair.

And through each passing year,

The guy guzzles more beer

When he hikes, getting loaded for bear.

(Chris Doyle)


To the butcher I cried, "Carnivore!

We are vegans, blockading your store!"

He snatched up a cleaver.

(Ever tried to retrieve a

Severed finger and thumb from the floor?)

(Hugh Thirlway)


Hail our heroes! To war we have tossed them,

Till the Final Devotion it cost them.

After valor's surcease,

They came back in one piece.

And then Arlington National lost them.

(Nan Reiner, Alexandria)


The ladies went out mountain climbin'

With a randy young fellow named Simon.

They came back in one piece

All except for Clarice,

Who was suddenly missing her hymen.

(Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif., a First Offender)


Of Edith and Kate now you readeth:

At the hands of their pa they both bleedeth.

Tonight in a fever

He snatched up a cleaver:

Seems he can't halve his Kate and not Edith.

(Craig Dykstra)


Though her plump little bottom felt neato,

I was fully prepared for her veto.

She said, "Never, you cad!"

I said, "Sorry! My bad!

I was trying to squash a mosquito."

(William Bradford, Washington)


Ms. O'Donnell in witchcraft did revel.

Dates on altars. With blood. (On the level.)

But self-pleasure? Egad!

She said, "Never, you cad!

To do THAT is a sign of the Devil."

(Nan Reiner, Alexandria)


A man rode his donkey last spring

Past a mowing machine in full swing;

And by chance or caprice,

They came back in one piece --

Neither man nor his ass in a sling.

(Chris Doyle)


And last:


Alas for the wordsmith-cum-mohel

Whose ink craving rose to a boil.

He snatched up a cleaver,

Then heard, through his fever:

"You'll not make the cut versus Doyle." (Nan Reiner)