The Style Invitational Week 924: Let's make history!
By Pat Myers, Friday, June 17, 2:49 AM
Ancient Romans used human umbilical cords for sandal straps. (Stephen Dudzik)
During World War II, a secret U.S. Army survey identified 4,389 atheists in foxholes. (Bob Dalton)
In honor of the new details about Paul Revere that have emerged of late from the Wasilla Historical Society — and the “correction” of the Wikipedia entry to conform with those details — we present a history-focused version of the “Unreal Facts” contest we did in 2007, where the examples above appeared.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets the Street Style Memory Game, a deck of cards featuring photos of the top and bottom halves of hiply dressed young people spotted on the streets of Amsterdam. The point seems to be to match up said halves, although for some reason the halves aren’t in scale with each other, so you end up with little withered-looking legs attached to a nice-size torso, even though they’re from the same person. Gotten rid of by Nonstop Loser Kevin Dopart.
Other runners-up their choice of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 27; results published July 17 (July 15 online). Include “Week 924” in your e-mail subject line, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Complete rules at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational . The revised title for next week’s results is by Kevin Dopart; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Roger Hammons.
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, where the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.
Report from Week 920, in which we sought chiasmi, phrases in which the words in a common expression (or homophones of them) are inverted. And we also welcomed spoonerisms, in which the beginnings of two words are switched. Lots of entrants talked about “Idle Americans” watching singing contests on TV, not to mention innumerable takes on parasailin’. (And have we ever told you about this Loser of ours, Chris Doyle? He’s kind of clever. For what it’s worth, the Empress doesn’t see the names of the entrants while judging the entries.)
The winner of the Inker:
What did the foreign VIP learn, much to his distress? Just because she made your bed doesn’t mean you can bed your maid. (John Shea, Philadelphia)
2. Winner of the CD of rock songs done in the style of Gregorian chant: What’s worse than suddenly seeing a deer in your headlights? Suddenly seeing your headlights in a deer. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
3. What are people calling May 22, after the rapture didn’t happen? The Day the Earth Still Stood. (Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)
4. What did Omar Khayyam say to his picnic date when they got to second base behind the bushes? : “A loaf of bread, a jug of thine, and . . . wow!” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Chiasmisses: Honorable mentions
The candidate’s guide to Facebook: “How to Friend People and Influence Wins.” (Chris Doyle)
When at last they met face to face, why did the sperm donor embrace the pregnant recipient? Because she was, in a way, family. (Beverley Sharp)
The golf news has gone from “Tiger strokes many behinds” to “Tiger’s many strokes behind.” (Jack Hingel, Fairfax Station, Va.)
It should go without saying that one can be gay without sewing. (Chris Doyle)
On May 1 we heard a “bye-bye, Osama” and a sigh by Obama. (Chris Doyle)
What was Ringo’s drug source fond of saying? “I get help with a little buy from my friends.” (Chris Doyle)
Chinese cuisine makes food out of barely edible substances; American cuisine makes barely edible substances out of food. (Xin Yu, Columbus, Ohio)
My son carries an umbrella but always manages to come home soaked. I ask him, “What part of ‘stand under’ don’t you know?” (Chris Doyle)
Sign outside the theater after the musical sells out: “No ‘Wicked’ for the rest.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Putting family first means you won’t have a First Family. — Mitch Daniels (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
When raised in the lap of luxury, one can develop a luxury of lap. (John Shea)
Where can I engage a really tough bodyguard in Manhattan? At the Rockefeller Center Sock-a-Feller Renter. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)
Advice for a man: A peck on her cheek might provide a check on her pique. (Chris Doyle)
A real workman never blames his tools, while a real tool always blames his workmen. (Gary Crockett)
It’s so hot in Cornwall that they’re wilting at tin mills. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
Dealing with medical claims is the job of patients, and requires the patience of Job. (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring, Md.)
The U.S. Treasury plans to offer bulk bags of shredded dollar bills as mulch. Do they think trees grow on money? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
The truth might set you free, but first the truth shall see you fret. – B. Clinton (Chris Doyle)
What did the poetry buff report seeing next to Wordsworth’s grave last April? “A ghost a-holdin’ daffodils.” (Barbara Turner)
How is the Apocalypse like proctology? One is the end of the world . . . (sent pseudonymously and revealed after judging to be The Post’s Gene Weingarten)
Try to argue with your spouse and her ears have walls. (David Kleinbard, Jersey City)
Remember Freddy the 14-year-old soccer phenom? These days we hear nothing much about Adu. (Chris Doyle)
“Blood? I guzzle it!” said Dracula: “There’s simply no tasting for a count.” (Chris Doyle)
A few years later in her successful escort business, Miss Liddell billed her services as “A Wonderland in Alice.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
A hon in the bare is worth two buns in the hair. — Han Solo (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)
Next week: Give us Willies, or Sick as doggerel