The Style Invitational Week 905 Anticdotes

By Pat Myers

Sunday, January 30, 2011;


Now that the Invite is back to its Sunday roost, we honor our neighbor The Washington Post Magazine, specifically its "Editor's Query" for readers' anecdotes. While the Magazine requires that the recollections be true, the Empress asks only the opposite. And that it be funny and that she not get sued: Give us an untrue anecdote responding to one of these past Editor's Query topics: Fifty words or so max! Tell us about:


A time when you misunderstood an advertisement.


The moment you knew you were in love.


A time you should have said yes.


A time when a piece of clothing changed your life.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a colorful medical poster depicting various types of ulcers, including that of the eye, donated by Jeff Contompasis (he gave up the poster, not the eye).


Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). E-mail entries to or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 7; Results to be published Feb. 27 (Feb. 25 online). Put "Week 905" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See more rules at The revised title for next week's results is by Tom Witte. The honorable-mentions subhead is by Nan Reiner. Tom Witte contributed the term "crypt-ograms."


Report from Week 901, our annual contest for poems about people (and the occasional animal) who died in the previous year: We had an especially strong group of, um, crypt-ograms to choose from this year: See more fine poems in our Web-only supplement here.


The winner of the inker


4-foot-3 actress Zelda Rubinstein and 7-foot-7 Manute Bol:


One can hardly compute that like Zelda, Manute

Was seen just for his size at the start.

Their success was their pride, but last year, well, they died

Just six months and a yardstick apart.

(Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)


2 Winner of the Flarp electric noisemaker:


Humbledy, fumbledy,

Theodore "Ted" Sorensen,

Kennedy speechwriter's

Put on the spot.

Pressed for the author of

"Profiles in Courage," he


Counsels, "Ask not."

(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


3Alexander Haig:


St. Peter pulled General Haig to one side,

"Considering things from your prior profession,

This bit of advice I'm compelled to provide:

You're VERY far down in our line of succession."

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)


4Elizabeth Post, etiquette expert:


Mrs. Post regrets that she is truly quite unable

To accept your generosity and grace your dinner table.

Seems a pressing invitation couldn't be ignored;

The honour of her presence was requested by the Lord.

(Beverley Sharp, Washington)


Further adieux: honorable mentions


Leslie Nielsen:


O, Leslie of the platinum mane,

Although you've flown too early,

Your wit won't cease to entertain.

You'll be remembered, Shirley.

(Roger Stone, Gaithersburg)


The inventor of the neutron bomb, which destroys people but not buildings:


Sam Cohen invented the famed neutron bomb;

His demise, of course, mourned by his spouse.

It should also be noted, if only in passing,

He was also survived by his house.

(Mike Hammer, Arlington)


Alas, Richard Holbrooke has met his fate,

The one thing he couldn't negotiate.

(Steve Ettinger, Chevy Chase)


Sen. Robert Byrd:


He mastered Senate rules as well as country violin,

So Bobby Byrd would always know which tune was gonna win.

When Bobby got to Heaven's gate, Saint Peter tossed his notes

Because he knew that Bobby Byrd already had the votes.

(Gary Welsh, Potomac)


Soaps actress Helen Wagner:


To Helen Wagner our hats we do doff.

As the world turned, dear Helen got off.

(Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)


Sens. Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd:


The Heavenly Senate got Stevens and Byrd,

Now freshmen angeli politicus.

In bids to make "pork" a more biblical word,

They've just filibustered Leviticus.

(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)


Ali Hassan al-Majeed:


"Chemical Ali" was hanged for gassing all those Kurds,

A major crime against the law of war,

So now it's time to say goodbye and tell him "Sarin-ara

You just can't cut the mustard anymore."

(Bob Dalton, Arlington)


George Steinbrenner:


Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella!

Frustration is eating poor George to no end:

Just look at those great Hall-of-Famers in Heaven,

And Steinbrenner there with no money to spend!

(Brendan Beary)


Higgledy piggledy,

Bob Guccione was

Fond of exploiting the

Feminine bod.

Men, even atheists,

Glancing at Penthouse, would


Whisper, "My God."

(Mae Scanlan, Washington)


Senior-citizen porn actress Juliet Anderson


Higgledy piggledy,

Juliet Anderson

Lived out her golden years

Working in porn.

Proving (for once) that your


Doesn't depend on the

Year you were born.

(David Smith, Santa Cruz, Calif.)


Paul the Octopus, World Cup hero:

To a fallen octopod:

Peace be with you; go with God.

Your predictions caused a fuss;

Bless your suckers! (. . .That be us.)

(Beverley Sharp)


Next week: What's the good news, or Pollyannals


Another round of biers


More honorable mentions from Style Invitational Week 900, our annual contest for poems commemorating people (and the occasional animal, concept, etc.) who died the previous year. (See the winners here.)


Robert Byrd and Jimmy Dean:

The senator, the singer:

How different their careers.

But they had one thing in common:

Both served up pork for years.

(Rick Haynes, Potomac)


Dick Francis:

The former jockey set his books among the British horsey set;

He's now about as well acquainted with the turf as one can get.

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)



Harry B. Whittington,


Trilobite whiz,

Left quite a legacy

For future scholars, who

Someday will dig up a

Body once his.

(Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)


Geraldine Doyle, model for World War II "We Can Do It!" posters:

Rickety rackety,

Rosie the Riveter

Turned in her apron to

Work with the guys;

Found that she liked her new

Employability -

That's why you have to eat

Frozen pot pies.

(Beverley Sharp, Washington)


Higgledy piggledy,

"Dandy Don" Meredith -

Football announcer who

Owned Monday nights.

Time marches on - it's an


Don's show is over, so

Turn out the lights.

(Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


Leslie Nielsen:

Way up in Heaven said Povich to Booth:

"Shirley, he's dead - yes, I'm telling the truth."

(Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Some guys have names that sound like dames;

It's not like there's a law

'Gainst appellation obfuscation -

Just ask Evelyn Waugh.

But why get surly once called 'Shirley'?

Why's that an upsetter?

Did Nielsen think his poop don't stink?

Was 'Leslie' that much better?

(Brendan Beary)


Punk impresario Malcolm McLaren

Had impacts so vast that he won't be forgotten,

But still it seems odd to be praising a fellow

Who's always been mentioned with Vicious and Rotten.

(Brendan Beary)


Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua:

Yar'Adua no longer encumbers

His office; he peacefully slumbers.

But he can still hear ya

From below in Nigeria

If you call out your bank account numbers.

(Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)


David Warren, flight data recorder inventor:

His invention is a boon to all who've flown

Now, alas, he's in a black box of his own.

(Dion Black, Washington)


Rue McClanahan, frisky actress on "The Golden Girls":

Higgledy piggledy,

Sweet Rue McClanahan

Bragged of the gentlemen

Lured to her bed.

Now Betty White, the new


Scandalous succubus,

Rues that Rue's dead.

(Roger Stone, Gaithersburg)


Businessman John Kluge (pronounced kloogie):

God said to Mr. Kluge:

Well, John, it's time to buge.

(Craig Dysktra)


Steve Landesman of "Barney Miller"

He played a cop named Dietrich,

The precinct intellectual,

Whose IQ didn't keep him

From being ineffectual.

(Mae Scanlan, Washington)


George Blanda, NFL quarterback and kicker:

He played into his 40s when his hair had turned to gray,

A general of the football wars whose passes won the day.

A ticket to the Hall of Fame his long career did carve,

(And no, you fans of Number 4, the name was not Brett Favre.)

(Barry Koch , Catlett, Va.)


Sister Eugenie Blanchard, 114:

The world's most recent oldest person lies beneath the sod.

Franciscan Sisters feel the loss of one of theirs to God.

For Eugenie Blanchard they grieve and offer up this prayer:

"She lived so long she had to leave - a nun the worse for wear."

(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


Clay animation artist Art Clokey:

Remember when a little man of green

With flexibility beyond compare

Had great adventures none had ever seen

And with a name like Gumby, certain flair.

Back then my wife and I were young and wild;

We tried to twist and turn like Gumby, too.

I ended up in traction - she with child,

So when the baby came we named her Roo

Like Gumby, Pokey now must say goodbye:

The man behind it all has gone away.

But Clokey's legacy will never die -

He left behind a magic world of clay.

Tonight I want to honor our good friend:

Let's see how well my wife and I still bend.

(Mike Ostapiej, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)


George Steinbrenner:

Yankee Stadium in Heaven; Zoom in on the dugout seats.

"Uh-oh," Billy Martin says, "That's it. I'm hanging up my cleats.

"Ninety pennants. What a run! And it's been swell, guys, while it lasted,

"But we're done for, now, 'cause God has drafted that Steinbrenner . . . fella.

"Never mind that we've got Whitey, Mick and Joe, the Babe, and Lou:

"He'll demand to pitch and catch, bat cleanup and to manage, too."

(Nan Reiner, Alexandria)


Hey, batter, battera,

Dorothy Kamenshek

Baseball professional

Back in the zone.

She and her teammates are

Playing again in a


League of their own.

(Chris Doyle)


Senior-citizen porn actress Juliet Anderson, a.k.a. "Aunt Peg":

Unlike most of those stars, who would hum a few bars,

Then allow their careers to decline,

Our "Aunt Peg" was so rare, for she kept going bare

working to (and, well, in) 69.

(Dion Black)



Juliet Anderson

Never faked orgasms

(So they report).


Showed all her charms until

She had a date with the

Non-petite morte.

(Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)


Here's to Bob Guccione, purveyor of porn,

A man whose demise only guys seem to mourn.

His Penthouse had pics far more graphic than Playboy's

(If Mom caught you looking, you'd better just pray, boys).

The centerfold photos showed nipples on boobs,

And they broke the taboo against publishing pubes.

What, then, got us to switch from this mogul of print?

A magazine hustler named Larry C. Flynt.

(Chris Doyle)


And last: Shirley Dykstra (the author's mother):

By the end of Oh-Ten, I'm sad to report,

My dear mother, Shirley, had passed.

Last year in these pages she got her first ink -

She fittingly now gets her last.

(Craig Dykstra)


The headline for this list is by Jeff Contompasis of Ashburn, Va.