Week 540 : Revisionist History, or Badenov for You


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Jan 11, 2004

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius: Pompeii Circumstance, or Falling on Their Ash

Watergate: Nixsinning, or Lies, Lies and Audiotape

Rosie Ruiz cheating to win the Boston Marathon: Cheaters Never Perspire, or Long Day's Journey Into Naught

In the several minutes each week that Russell Beland of Springfield is not working on Style

Invitational entries, he reminisces about "Rocky and Bullwinkle," the animated TV comedy that was the "Simpsons" of its time in its hilarious mix of sophisticated and juvenile humor, political and social satire, and mile-a-minute groaner puns. Russell reminds us that at the end of each episode, the announcer would intone a teaser about the next show that stated its topic two ways, at least one of them containing a pun: "Tune in next time for 'Axe Me

Another,' or 'Tails, You Lose.' " (It was about an impending execution.) Since "R&B" is now history, Russell suggests you apply this form to history: State any news event (or old event) in this "A, or B" form, which also happens to be that of our Revised Titles.

First-prize winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational Trophy. First runner-up wins a coffee mug from the Web site of Bob Staake, one of the most dynamic, original,

colorful and humorous cartoonists working today. The mug is plain white with a black bar around it containing the name of the site in white letters; there are no pictures, no color, and nothing funny whatsoever. It is as if Mr. Staake refuses to allow your coffee- stained mouth to touch his art. Thanks, Bob, for sending it to us! Bob wins a pebble.

Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T- shirt. Honorable mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational Magnet (see below). One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries via fax to 202-334-4312 or by e-mail to U.S. mail entries are not

accepted. Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 20. Put the week number in the subject line of your e-mail, or you risk 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 will be published in four weeks. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Chris Doyle of Forsyth, Mo.

Report From Week 536, in which we asked you to supply some words we could stick on the back of the Inker, pictured here. The most commonly recurring theme among the entries was a play on Cogito ergo sum. In addition to those that were actually clever or at least made sense, the Empress also was forced to endure Cogito ergo slum; Cogito ergo sue me; Cogito ergo sump; Cogito ergo pun; Inkito ergo sum; and in English: I ink, therefore I yam; . . . I ham; . . . I lame; . . . I lose; and . . . I spam. Not to mention I stink, therefore I win and I quip, therefore Rodin.

Meanwhile, the Empress also announces the winners of a contest she didn't even tell you about: Given that the Invitational is running a tad low on bumper stickers right now -- in much the way that Saddam Hussein is running a tad low on housing options -- she hereby announces the winners of the Honorable Mention Magnet Slogan contest (culled from the more generic of this week's entries), to be inscribed on the Mildly Sought-After Loser Magnets of 2004:

The Style Invitational Makes Me Gag (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Mind (Josh Borken, Bloomington, Minn.)

Back to the Inker back:

{diam}Third runner-up: I asked for a bronzed hunk and got this! (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

{diam}Second runner-up: I ink, erefore I am. (Kirk J. Eilers, Philipsburg, Mont.)

{diam}First runner-up, the winner of the disgusting fake feet:

"O, what a noble mind is here o'er throne." (Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker:

I just made Number One! (Andrew Elby, Arlington)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Does this bag make my head look fat? (Greg Pearson, Arlington)

I won squat from The Style Invitational. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

The Republic of China disavows any role in the manufacture of this product. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills) [Actually, the Inker (sans bag) is made in Thailand.]

Drop in any mailbox. Return postage guaranteed. (Bill Spencer, Exeter, N.H.; Russell Beland, Springfield)

Cogito ergo something. (Tom Greening, North Bethesda)

Incognito ergo scum. (Erika Reinfeld,

Somerville, Mass.)

Caution: Contents of bag may be hot. (Jim Reed, Wales, Wis.)

Warning: Person shown smaller than

actual size. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

I've thunk and I can't get up! (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

This statue now guaranteed not to come to life and kill you. (Greg Pearson, Arlington)

For external use only. (Steve Fahey,


[This space intentionally left blank] (Scott Campisi, Wake Village, Tex.)

I Empressed (Cecil J. Clark, Arlington)

A mind is a terrible thing to waste on The Style Invitational. (Robin D. Grove,

Pasadena, Md.)

They said there wouldn't be enough room fo (Robin D. Grove, Pasadena, Md.)

You're Ink Competent! (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

The Style Invitational: Under New Mismanagement (Russell Beland,


My Other Prize Is a Hunk of Crap, Too (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Not for Use as a Flirtation Device (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

Thanks. I've been working out. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Machine wash cold. Use non-chlorine bleach only. Tumble dry low. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Some people were made for thinking. For the rest of us, there's The Style Invitational. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Ingredients: Iron, cerium, sulfur

(FeCeS), i.e., wholly crap. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

This Side Toward Fan (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

This cherished prize has been

designated for you and you alone,

Mr./Ms. [Name] (Joseph Romm,


I am the Inker, I'm pensive by nature;

I'm pondering now where the T and the H are. (Pete Hughes, Alexandria)

Hmm, DO I have any Grey Poupon? (Bob Nowak, Euclid, Ohio)

Top Entry That Wasn't Legally

Actionable or Morally Repugnant Award (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

Press here to open door to Batcave.

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

Not sold in stores, though not for lack of trying. (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

Some people come to sit and think,

I just came to . . .

What rhymes with "sit and think"? (Bird Waring, New York)

Me and My Bright Ideas (Tom Madison,


If you can read this sign, you're gonna be sorry when I finish my beans. (Erika Reinfeld, Somerville, Mass.)

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