Week 734: Turnaround Time

Saturday, October 6, 2007

It's known that any sapient guy
Likes the line that panties supply.

A couple of weeks back, the results of Week 728 marked the first Invitational ink for Edmund Conti of Raleigh, a longtime wordplay aficionado who says he had been "meaning to enter ever since the New York Magazine Competition shut down." (That was seven years ago, Ed. Glad you finally took the plunge.) Anyway, Ed has come up with a word game called Bananagrams, in which he writes a rhyming couplet containing two words that are anagrams of each other, and the reader has to figure out what those words are. A one-right-answer contest doesn't work for The Invitational, but that won't stop the Empress from exploiting it.

This week: Write a rhyming couplet containing two words that are anagrams of each other. And don't make us guess what they are. The example above is by Washington Post Magazine humor columnist Gene Weingarten, opining on what is just about his favorite subject besides toilet fill.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets a copy of Ed Conti's "Quiblets," a brand-new collection of terse verse, AND the inkworthily named "The Ed C. Scrolls," a little book of poems on more spiritual themes ("Concerned about the hereafter?/Well, don't be./It will be there with joy and laughter./You won't be.").

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 to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 15. Put "Week 734" 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 Nov. 3. 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 Tom Witte of Montgomery Village. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by Kevin Dopart.

Report from Week 730

in which -- reflecting on the online effort to compile definitions in limerick form (now past 44,000) for every word in the Oxford English Dictionary -- we asked for "activities that make entering The Style Invitational seem like a constructive use of one's time." A handful of Losers didn't notice the context and thought we wanted them to explain why entering The Invitational IS a constructive use of one's time, though 99 percent of the entrants took it as we meant it: to describe even bigger wastes of time than entering The Invite. Among the former group, 32-time Loser Lawrence McGuire of Waldorf swears that "a twenty-something thin blonde admirer" heard him called by his name in the local library, and almost came up to introduce herself, but shyly vanished before she summoned the courage. Ah, yes, that oh-so-troublesome Loser groupie problem.

4. Counting the stairs on the escalator. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

3. Becoming the world's leading authority on a person chosen at random from the Akron, Ohio, phone book. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

2. the winner of the Float'n Firefly toothbrush with the flashing red light: Writing letters to the editor about grammatical mistakes in the classified ads. (John O'Byrne, Dublin)

And the Winner of the Inker

Metrobus-spotting. (Anne Paris, Arlington)

More From the Fritterati

Playing Poor Man's Pac-Man: Type a row of periods, then hold down Backspace and watch that cursor gobble 'em all up. You win every time! (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

Martin van Buren-bashing. (Randy Lee, Burke)

Rotating the air in your tires. (Bill Spencer, Baltimore)

Using a flight simulator program to visit all the airports in the world in alphabetical order by airport code. (Michael Turniansky, Pikesville, Md., currently virtually en route from AAE [Les Salines airport, Algeria] to AAF [Apalachicola, Fla.])

Alphabetizing your days-of-the-week underwear. (Russell Beland)

Counting the days since Christmas. (David Moss, Arlington)

Filming a shot-by-shot re-creation of every episode of "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour," using Pez dispensers for the performers. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

Compiling the Klingon dictionary entirely in double-dactyl format. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Reenacting the Civil War draft riots. (Larry Yungk, Arlington)

Doing a study examining whether fingertip width is correlated with nostril size in the higher vertebrates. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

Buying the Gonzales2012.com domain name. (Chuck Koelbel, Houston)

Entering a 12-step program for dodecaphobia. (Russ Taylor, Vienna)

Trying to pay for that item advertised for .99 cents with a penny. (Paul VerNooy, Hockessin, Del.)

Setting the Guinness record for time spent reading the Guinness Book of World Records. (Russell Beland)

Swapping perfectly healthy kidneys with your identical twin. (Russell Beland)

Drawing 500 tiny circles on a piece of paper, then saying "Pop" as you press each circle with your thumb. (Jay Shuck)

Collecting a napkin from every restaurant you visit, but not labeling them. (Martin Bancroft, Rochester, N.Y.)

Stopping the DVD, frame by frame, to verify that there really are 101 Dalmatians. (Russell Beland)

Bootlegging audio recordings of "live" Britney Spears concerts. (Dan Colilla, Pittsburgh)

Digging a canal across the narrow part of Oahu. (Russell Beland)

Well, I'm actually pretty proud of the time I perfectly reconstructed, using wood glue and tweezers, a shattered pecan shell whose pieces were mixed with bits of other pecan shells, so I guess this doesn't qualify. (Michael Peck, Alexandria)

Setting up a logbook in your bathroom to verify that the toilet bowl cleaner really works for 1,000 flushes. (Russell Beland)

Cornrowing your eyebrows. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Finally learning how to program my Commodore 64. (Randy Lee)

Weighing yourself before and after restroom visits, and plotting the difference on a graph. (Martin Bancroft)

Foreplay -- Kobe Bryant. (Kevin Dopart)

Reading 10,000 fictional racehorse names and carefully evaluating each one based on humor and originality. (Jay Shuck)

Next Week: Doo Process, or Hoot Cuisine

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company