The Style Invitational Week 902: What's the good news?

Friday, January 7, 2011; 12:27 PM

 

Original: "The satellites veered off course and crashed near Hawaii."

 

Spun English: "The satellites successfully entered a bathyspheric trajectory."

 

A week ago we ran the results of our contest to take a sentence from The Post and "translate" it cynically into "Plain English." This week we ask you to do the opposite: Take any sentence, or substantive part of a sentence, or a headline, from an article or ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Jan. 7 to Jan. 18 and make it sound more upbeat (or not so bad), as in the example above that Jeff Contompasis submitted as an "anti-Invitational" entry for Week 897. If there's anyone who should ace an obfuscation contest, it's a Washingtonian.

 

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second prize receives this mugcelebrating the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force, depicting a cross between Boris Badenov and Spy vs. Spy, but with less subtlety. Donated by Loser 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 losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 18. Put "Week 902" 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 Feb. 6. 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 was submitted by Kevin Dopart. The honorable-mentions subhead is by Brendan Beary.

 

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.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 18. Put "Week 902" 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 Feb. 6. 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 was submitted by Kevin Dopart. The honorable-mentions subhead is by Brendan Beary.

 

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.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 18. Put "Week 902" 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 Feb. 6. 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 was submitted by Kevin Dopart. The honorable-mentions subhead is by Brendan Beary.

 

The Winner of the Inker

 

April 11: President Obama begins a Rose Garden news conference by saying he loves spring and April is his favorite month. Bill O'Reilly fumes that Obama's clear hatred of December is part of the War on Christmas, while Glenn Beck ominously reminds his viewers that Hitler was born in April. (Arthur C. Adams, Laurel)

 

2 winner of the (appropriately) Pointless Calendar: March 15: WikiLeaks posts a classified document revealing that House Speaker John Boehner hides diced onions in his handkerchief. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

 

3 Feb. 6: At Super Bowl XLV, reporter Ines Sainz announces that she just received Brett Favre's colonoscopy pictures. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

 

4 Feb. 27: Julian Assange is avenged in Stockholm in hand-to-hand combat with the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

 

Gross prophets: Honorable mentions

 

Jan. 24: Rep. Michele Bachmann is removed from the Intelligence Committee when a vacancy occurs on the Stupidly Offensive Committee. (Ira Allen, Bethesda)

 

Jan. 25: In his State of the Union address, Obama pledges that by the end of the decade there will be a State of the Union pledge that we will put an American on Mars by the end of the decade. (Danny Bravman, Chicago)

 

Feb. 15: On a visit to New York to meet with Wall Street moguls, House Speaker John Boehner embarrasses House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by ordering corned beef on white with mayonnaise at the Carnegie Deli. (Elliott B. Jaffa, Arlington, who last got ink 11 years ago)

 

March 31: On the Nationals' opening day, Jayson Werth tears a hamstring in the fifth inning, is out for the season. (Mike Gips, Bethesda)

 

April 1: Despite a slight breeze for most of the afternoon, not a single Pepco customer loses power. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

 

May 2: Albert Haynesworth buys a $2 lottery ticket and wins another $30 million. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

 

May 27: The Postal Service says it will deliver on Saturdays. Only. (Russell Beland, Fairfax)

 

June 19: Tornado strikes Delaware; house falls on former Senate candidate. (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

 

June 28: The summit of Mount Everest is closed for three days because of a bedbug infestation. (Joel Knanishu, Rock Island, Ill.)

 

July 17: Congress is outraged after learning that the headquarters of the Society for Learned Debate is to be built within sight of Capitol Hill. (Larry Yungk, Arlington)

 

Aug. 7: The refrigeration unit in Lady Gaga's closet breaks down, spoiling thousands of dollars' worth of USDA Prime clothing. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

 

Aug. 15: Veteran Style Invitational Loser Chris Doyle accidentally employs amphibrachic meter in a limerick that clearly calls for anapestic trimeter. (Jeff Brechlin)

 

Aug. 28: Facebook rolls out a feature that allows you to spy on your "friend" who always answers everything with "LOL," so you can see if he's really L-ing OL. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

 

Sept. 9: Marine biologists express outrage after Michael Vick says he wants to own sea monkeys. (Trevor Kerr, Chesapeake, Va.)

 

Sept. 24: A court decrees that Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc., may no longer be associated with the religiously derived word "holiday"; each will now be called a Federal Happy Day. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

 

Oct. 13: Blackwater is awarded the Somalis' piracy contract. (Kevin Dopart)

 

Oct. 30: Seeing no restoration of sanity since last year's event, Jon Stewart sets a more realistic goal with his Rally to Encourage Good Oral Hygiene. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)

 

Nov. 12: Victoria's Secret introduces the Leslie Johnson signature series bra, available in sizes 32 to 38. (Craig Dykstra)

 

Dec. 24: With the Mayan-forecast end of the world (12-21-2012) now less than a year away, sales of extended warranties at Best Buy drop to zero. (Gary Crockett)

 

Dec. 31: The Style Invitational once again avoids being a subject for its annual obit-poem contest. (Kevin Dopart)

 

Next week: Clue us in, or Inking inside the box