The Style Invitational Week 900 Dear us!

Saturday, December 25, 2010;


Dear Obama: They're just so hard to please, aren't they? - Sincerely, Bush


Dear Y: Commit already! - Sincerely, A, E, I, O and U


Dear America: Due to the current financial restraints, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice. - Sincerely, The Government


On this day of giving, and in this last Invite of the year, the Empress is pleased to poach from Dear Blank Please Blank, a Web site to which some very clever and some not very clever people submit, anonymously, very brief "letters" of the form "Dear [Blank], [Funny thing.] Sincerely, [Blank]," as in the recent examples above.


This week: Submit such a "Dear Blank" letter to us instead. The body of the letter should run no more than 30 words, unless a few more words will turn it into an astonishingly brilliant and hilarious display of wit. Do not post your entries on the actual site until after our results appear online on Jan. 21, or else we'll assume you stole them.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives something you'll wish you got for Christmas: this handsome corrugated-steel necktie intended for use as a musical washboard. It makes quite a spirited rattle with the aid of the two thimbles included, as the Empress discovered upon trying it out in a restaurant. Donated by Russell Beland.


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, Jan. 3. Put "Week 900" 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 Sunday, Jan. 23. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, or their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's results is by Beverley Sharp; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Roy Ashley. This week's contest was suggested by Kevin Dopart.


Report from Week 896, in which we asked what would happen if one institution on a list we supplied were run by another one on the list, or by an organization of your choice:


The winner of the Inker


If an adult bookstore ran FedEx Field, under every seat would be a brown paper bag to be worn on the ride home. (Larry Yungk, Arlington)


2 winner of the Intel-style "Loser Inside" decal: If "Dancing With the Stars" ran a preschool, even the most awkward student could survive Musical Chairs, if enough people liked her mom. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)


3 If a police department ran a preschool, toddlers would be cuffed at naptime if they resisted a rest. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


4 If the TSA ran L'Oreal Cosmetics, they could tell you how to cover that birthmark on your inner thigh. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)


Merge with caution: Honorable mentions


If the Department of Defense ran a preschool, each child would receive a development plan after a five-year approval process. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)


If Prince George's County liquor stores ran the police department . . . Okay, if they ran the department better, maybe the FBI wouldn't have gotten involved. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Were a college English department to run Starbucks, it would be called Starbuck's. (Jeff Contompasis)


If Starbucks were run by the U.S. Marine Corps, the 87,000 possible combinations would be reduced to two - coffee or no coffee - and whichever option you chose, you would be given the other and told to like it. (Col. Drew Bennett, USMC, Ret.)


If an adult bookstore ran a preschool, the pop-up books would be far more educational. (Larry Yungk)


If the Three Stooges ran L'Oreal Cosmetics, they could still use "Three Blind Mice" as the theme song. (Kevin Dopart)


If FedEx ran FedEx Field, then you could be absolutely, positively sure you would get home overnight. (Steve Offutt, Arlington)


If the tea party ran Starbucks, it would balance the company's budget by not charging sales tax. (Joe Godles, Bethesda, a First Offender)


If WikiLeaks ran the tea party, a Mad Hater would be in charge. (Harold Mantle, Lafayette, Calif.)


If Barnes & Noble ran an adult bookstore, sales would skyrocket for its Nook e-reader. (Jeff Contompasis)


If a preschool ran an SAT prep class, you'd know you were in Bethesda. (Kevin Dopart)


If Kim Jong Il ran FedEx Field, it would still be a petty dictatorship with more media attention than threat potential. (Kevin Dopart)


If Disney Studios ran FedEx Field, the players might be more animated. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)


If the Bowl Championship Series ran an adult bookstore, no Texas Christians would be allowed in. (Joel Cockrell, Damascus)


If an adult bookstore ran TSA, the pat-downs could be self-administered. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


If the Democratic Party ran FedEx field, the Redskins would face a turnover only once every two years. (Danny Bravman, Chicago)


If the tea party ran Dairy Queen, it would change the name to Dairy Deviant. (Roy Ashley, Washington)


If the Marine Corps ran a hot dog vendor, the hot dogs would cost $3,000, but their buns would be hard as steel. (David Kleinbard, Jersey City)


If the Democratic Party ran L'Oreal Cosmetics, it would create a new line of lipstick for pigs, just to prove its argument. (Trevor Kerr, Chesapeake, Va.)


If the Democratic Party ran the Republican National Committee, it would keep Michael Steele. (Kevin Dopart)


If a police department were run by, when someone was arrested for breaking and entering, he'd be asked if he'd also like to be arrested for trespassing, robbery and possession of stolen goods. (Drew Bennett)


If the TSA ran an adult bookstore the staffers would quickly become bored, having seen much better stuff at work. (Gary Crockett)


If L'Oreal Cosmetics ran an adult bookstore, the bestsellers would be filled with makeup sex. (Chris Doyle)


If WikiLeaks ran FedEx Field, it would pre-publish the Redskins' Sunday game plans, which opponents apparently have access to anyway. (Howard Walderman, Columbia)


If The Washington Post ran FedEx Field, it would combat sagging fan loyalty and weak ticket sales with early retirement of its best players and by showing all the games online for free. (Russell Beland, Fairfax)


Next week: Catch their drift, or A snide-angle lens