The Style Invitational Week 950 Da noiv! Show us some chutzpah.
By Pat Myers,
In his classic 1968 book “The Joys of Yiddish,” Leo Rosten defined “chutzpah” as “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible ‘guts,’ presumption plus arrogance.” As he often did in the book’s definitions, Rosten included a joke as an example, further defining “chutzpah” as “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” But these days the word isn’t always used pejoratively; sometimes it’s spoken with admiration for sheer gutsiness.
This week, as Loser Jim Lubell suggests: Give us a humorous example of hypothetical (or true, but remember humorous) chutzpah, along the lines of Rosten’s example above. It may be the quality of the writing, not just the idea, that determines what will get ink this time.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a lovely teeny-tiny music box that you have to keep cranking to make work. How Loserly is that? On top of that, it plays “If I Only Had a Brain.” Donated by Dave Prevar.
Other runners-up win 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 tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 26; results published Jan. 15 (Jan. 13 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 950” 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. See contest rules and guidelines at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised title for next week is by Beverley Sharp; the headline for this week’s results is by Kevin Dopart, who just can’t win enough stuff.
THE WINNER OF THE INKER
"Bin Laden 2011: That's a Wrap" by Alethea Dopart and Kevin Dopart, Washington. An Osama Bin Laden burrito in a sea of blue tortilla chips.
“Hard to Swallow: The GOP Field” by Alethea and Kevin Dopart, Washington. Featuring Prawn Paul, Herman Cane, Fig Newt, Mitt Rameny, M’shell Bokmann and Rick Pear-y. Notable among the materials: potato lecterns; “Bokmann’s” head of bok choy and pasta-shell mouth; and Pear-y’s eyebrows of, ahem, Nutella
“MalloMars Rover: Search for S’more Data” by Abigail Fraeman, St. Louis. Abigail, a grad student at Washington University, is a scientist on NASA’s Mars rover missions, and here she applies her technical expertise to a vehicle made with a graham cracker body; Famous Amos wheels; antennas and instruments of pretzels and marshmallows; Hershey-bar solar panels; on a surface of, duh, Mallomars.
“Bean Weingarten” by Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va., based on an idea by Valerie and Annie Dykstra, his wife and daughter. Certainly the most impressively executed of this array of (dis)gustatory art, this leguminous mosaic rates as Invite material because only a true Loser would work for 23 hours to depict Gene Weingarten — The Post’s humor columnist and the founder of the Style Invitational — in 5,000 pieces of six varieties of flatulence-generating plant matter
The Motley Food: HONORABLE MENTION
“The Bug Apple: New York Hotel Room,” by Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.The 276-time Loser depicts the hospitality industry’s critterly scourge with coffee-bean bedbugs atop a lasagna-noodle bedspread and mattress. Taking coffee in bed will never seem the same.
“Meatless Weiner,” by Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.: A tortilla-wrapped leek tweets his junk from the House gym with a baker’s-chocolate phone.
“Irene: I Scream,” by Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va. Pretzel utility poles and icing power lines are no match for dangerously falling broccoli in a hurricane. Fortunately, the graham cracker house proves an unlikely survivor — something for the almond-slice screamer inside to Munch on.
“Homage to Steve,” by Deb Dawkins, Denton, Md., a First Offender. Baked using a 250-year-old recipe with chocolate and royal icing.
“Eminems,” by Craig Dykstra, Centreville. Craig painstakingly assembled this portrait from about 2,800 mini-M&Ms. “And yes, I did turn all of them M side up — thanks for noticing.”
"Occupy Wall(nut) Street,” by Jeff and Saralinda Contompasis, Ashburn, Va. One of our few gingerbread entries, this one from a 219-time Style Invitational Loser and his 11-year-old daughter features walnut-windowed gingerbread buildings along with the gingerbread. bull at Bowling Green Park, and Gummi Bear protesters.
“Honey, That Laser Rejuvenation Makes You Look 30 Days Younger!,” by Dan Steinbrocker, Los Angeles. Dan captures the 21st-century L.A. zeitgeist via russet potato peels. Not exactly a work of intricate craftsmanship, but we laughed.
"Y2Kernels: Seeing In the New Ear,” by Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md., and Abigail Fraeman, St. Louis. Okay, it may be a bit corny, she admitted huskily, but you have to like the groaner pun — not to mention the little naked baby corn — submitted by longtime Loser Kathy and her daughter Abigail.
Next week: Tour de Fours VIII: Noelogisms, or LO EN Behold