washingtonpost.com
Week 724: Abridged Too Far

Sunday, July 29, 2007

In the famed Aristophanes play "Lysistrata,"

The women tell men, "If you war, you'll get nada."

The elegantly hilarious couplet at right, about the Greek comedy in which the women of Athens stage a sex strike to make their husbands stop fighting the Peloponnesian War, was submitted by Unbelievably Witty Loser Chris Doyle as an entry for Week 720, whose results appear below. It didn't quite fit in a list of historical events, but it gave the Empress a cheap 'n' easy way to post a new contest. This week: Sum up a book, play or movie in a humorous rhyming verse of two to four lines. Don't include the Bible. For now.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up receives this stuffed George Bush doll with stuffed flames coming out from his jeans. Pants on fire, get it? Yeah, well. It's very colorful and would make a nice pillow to snuggle up with. From Inge Ashley of Washington.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions (or whatever they're called that week) get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail tolosers@washpost.comor by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 6. Put "Week 724" 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 will be published Aug. 25. 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 Kevin Dopart. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by Mark Eckenwiler.

Report From Week 720

In which we asked you to recount historic events in two-line couplets or some other short and funny way:

4.1450s: Vlad the Impaler's cruel depravities

Created a host of bodily cavities. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

3.1546: The Great Reformer died and the worms had a diet of Luther. (Marian Carlsson, Lexington, Va.)

2. The winner of the Extreme Ironing calendar:

480 BC.: If King Xerxes and friends had invaded Greece properly,

That unpleasantness could have been skipped at Thermopylae. (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington)

And the Winner of the Inker

1888: The mind of Jack the Ripper warps: his

Madness leaves a spree de corpses. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

More From the Annal Compulsives

c. 250 B.C.: He ran from the bathtub while shouting "Eureka!"

It's how Archimedes became the first streaka. (Kevin Dopart, Washington; Andy Bassett, New Plymouth, New Zealand)

218 B.C.: For the great commander Hannibal, sweet victory was palpable.

Now all he had to do was find a species that was Alp-able. (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

44 B.C.: "Beware the ides of March," 'twas warned, or so goes ancient ballad;

But Caesar heard it not, and so they turned him into salad. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

At the Battle of Hastings in 1066,

Harold's butt is what William the Conqueror kicks. (Chris Doyle)

c. 1118: Heloise's uncle found it wasn't hard

To fix the problem that was Abelard. (Kevin Dopart)

1415: In Agincourt on Crispin's Day, King Henry stirred with speeches

His British band of brothers, who kicked Frenchies in their breaches (Randy Lee, Burke)

1431: Rejecting a quick beheading, Joan of Arc chose a hot stake over a cold chop. (George Vary, Bethesda)

1502-1504:Stylish Michelangelo carved David in the nude,

While Leo's Mona Lisa watched in smiling gratitude. (Randy Lee)

1588: The Spanish fleet wasn't. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

1618: No death for three Prague men was fated

When dung saved those defenestrated. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

Relentless and brutal, our politics now, with the cut and the slash of the blog.

Why can't we use Windows more gently, like the Defenestrators of Prague? (Mark Eckenwiler)

1792: Guillotin's chief contribution

Won points on style and execution. (Jay Shuck)

1804: Burr leaves Hamilton in a heap

On the ground of Weehawken.

He had better aim than another veep --

You know 'bout whom we talkin'. (Larry Yungk, Arlington)

1815: Napoleon meets his, uh, Yorktown. (Creigh Richert, Aldie)

1836: Though Jim Bowie showed cojones,

Santa Anna had more ponies. (Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D.)

1841: When William Henry Harrison was still the prez-to-be,

He backed his public service with a one-month guarantee. (Jay Shuck)

1914: His face was no match for Helen of Troy

But it launched lots of ships, did Franz, poor boy. (Ian Morrissey, Frederick)

1937: What killed Amelia? We can't tell.

Her carry-on contained some gel? (Jay Shuck)

1947: As the envy of all flymen,

Yeager broke the sonic hymen. (Kevin Dopart)

1948: The Trib prints famous Dewey headline

(The West Coast voted after deadline.) (Andrew Hoenig)

In late '53, Playboy first hit the stands:

For 54 years now it's been in our hands. Jon Reiser, Hilton, N.Y.)

1956: John Edwards's mother paid 50 cents for his first haircut. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

1962: Whether the Mafia aided in Marilyn's death we will leave to the latest disprover,

But it's a scurrilous lie that her last negligee was a loaner from J. Edgar Hoover. (Elwood Fitzner)

1966: The Lovin' Spoonful -- 16 hits in just a year or two.

Just think, it's almost what the D.C. Nationals can do. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

1968: The year was truly tragic, killing King and RFK,

And Vietnam horrific (what with Tet, My Lai and Hue).

In springtime Prague was occupied, and Commies got their licks in,

And then to cap the year off, we elected Richard Nixon. (Randy Lee)

1983: Karen Carpenter once was on top of the world,

But it spun ever faster and off it she hurled. (Chris Doyle)

1983: What was the threat that Reagan saw in minuscule Grenada?

His numbers since he left Beirut were what he was afraida. (Jay Shuck)

1997: Woody Allen made flicks, played a mean clarinet.

Then he married his daughter. (How Soon-Yi forget.) (Chris Doyle)

2000: At the stroke of midnight, on the dot,

The world's computers all crashed -- not. (Andy Bassett)

2001: Wikipedia went online.

(How else could I write all these entries of mine?) (Russell Beland)

2004: Secret detentions, wiretaps aplenty:

Orwell was off by only twenty. (Joe Neff, Warrington, Pa.)

2006: Rummy told he must resign.

Soldiers told they must re-sign. (Steve Ettinger, Chevy Chase)

1896, 1954: Plessy versus Ferguson said "separate but equal."

With Brown Against the Board, for once they made a better sequel. (Randy Lee)

2007: Segregated schools, an issue so messy

Again we're back to Ferguson and Plessy.

(Ira Allen, Bethesda)

52 B.C., 1337, 1415, 1760, 1814, 1871, 1940, 1954: Les Fran├žais se rendrent. (Kevin Dopart)

And Last: 2004: Three years ago this contest appeared here for the first time,

But back then all the entries were required to be in rhyme format. (Russell Beland, winner that time around)

Next Week: Know Your Market, or Spitting Images

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company