Style Invitational Week 1028: Joint legiflation with the 1st Congress, plus A-to-Zingy couplets
By Pat Myers,
The Goodhue-Bland Resolution to make the new flag colors ecru and taupe.
The Few-Moore-Coles Act to make Congress Hall a bit warmer and cozier this winter.
In honor of Independence Day, we’re taking up Loser Elden Carnahan on his suggestion that we do a special edition of our usually biennial “Bill Us Now” joint-legislation contest, which generally features that year’s congressional freshmen: In this off-year, we’ll use the senators and representatives of the first U.S. Congress (1789-81). Not that these guys didn’t have enough to do on their own: In that first two-year term, broken into three sessions in New York and later Philadelphia, James Madison and his co-workers chose the president of the United States (unanimously); worked up 12 amendments to the Constitution (including the 10 of the Bill of Rights); established the State, War and Treasury departments and a national bank; and set up a tariff system. Among other things. We don’t think many people called it the Do-Nothing Congress.
This week: Combine the names of two or more of the First Congress senators and/or representatives listed below to create “joint legislation,” as in the examples above. They don’t have to refer to the 18th-century world, though that might be funnier. Note that in that much more homogeneous hiring pool, there are a number of duplicated names; your bill may use a name twice only if the name is in the list twice. The names:
Ames, Ashe, Baldwin, Bassett, Benson, Bland, Bloodworth, Boudinot, Bourne, Brown, Burke, Butler, Cadwalader, Carroll, Carroll, Clymer, Coles, Contee, Dalton, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Elmer, Few, Fitzsimons, Floyd, Foster, Foster, Gale, Gerry, Giles, Gilman, Goodhue, Grayson, Griffin, Grout, Gunn, Hartley, Hathorn, Hawkins, Henry, Hiester, Huger, Huntington, Izard, Jackson, Johnson, Johnston, King, Langdon, Laurance, Lee, Lee, Leonard, Livermore, Maclay, Madison, Mathews, Monroe, Moore, Morris, Muhlenberg, Muhlenberg, Page, Parker, Partridge, Paterson, Read, Schureman, Schuyler, Scott, Sedgwick, Seney, Sevier, Sherman, Silvester, Sinnickson, Smith, Smith, Stanton, Steele, Stone, Strong, Sturges, Sumter, Thatcher, Trumbull, Tucker, Van Rensselaer, Vining, Wadsworth, Walker, White, Williamson, Wingate, Wynkoop.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, semi-appropriately, one of those foam “stress reduction” squeeze toys — it’s in the shape of the Capitol dome. If you’ve ever felt like strangling your . . . your Capitol dome, this would be your chance. Donated by Dave Prevar.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to email@example.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 15; results published Aug. 4 (online Aug. 1). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1028” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviterules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Beverley Sharp; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
Report from Week 1024,
in which we asked for irreverent alphabet couplets, a Style Invitationalish version of Edward Gorey’s gloriously gruesome “Gashlycrumb Tinies.” All of you who paired “Empress” and “F-word,” no ink for you. (In this weekend’s print version in the Sunday Style section, the first 13 couplets appear as a single, two-column, full-alphabet unit; we’ll keep the same format online this week, with the winner and three runners-up noted among those first 13, followed by the rest of the honorable mentions.)
A is for Arnold, who diddled his aide;
B’s for the Bed she then dutifully made. (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va., second place, the winner of the Doody Darts game)
E is for Enema, cleaning you out;
F, your Financial plan: same thing, no doubt. (J. Calvin Smith, Ranger, Ga., fourth place)
G is the Grammar most texters eschew;
H is for Hell — and for Handbasket, too. (Rob Pivarnik, Stratford, Conn.)
I is for Info Big Brother has mined.
J is for Justice as dumb as it’s blind. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
M is for Money, which hardens a man;
N is for Name change — eventually, Dan. (Jennifer Gittins-Harfst, Annandale, Va., a First Offender and the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial)
O’s for O’Reilly, the libs he’ll harass.
P’s for Proctalgia, more pain in the rear. (Kevin Dopart)
Q is for Quitting your job in November;
R is for Renting a box in December. (Daniel Gutierrez, Salinas, Calif., a First Offender)
S is Scalia, harrumphing and hefty.
T is the Talmud, which he’d find too lefty. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md., third place)
U is the Umpire, whom fans like to boo,
V is the Vampire, who wants to suck, too. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
W’s your Wife, whose sweet love never ends;
X rates the porno she made with your friends. (Danielle Nowlin)
Y is for You, and your what/when/where/how;
Z is for Zuckerberg; he owns it now. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
NEXT IN THE Q: More honorable mentions
A is for Apple, which pays little taxes.
B is for Budgets that must get the axes. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
A is for Arrivederci, Adieu;
B is for Bachmann, and, yes, this means you. (Nan Reiner)
C’s for the Condom you scoffed at in bed;
D’s for the Diapers you’re buying instead. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
C is for Creationists, who see our science failing.
D is for the Dinosaurs, who missed the Ark’s noon sailing. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
C is for Chicks underrating their strength;
D is for Dudes overstating their length. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
C is for Civets and coffee beans pooped.
D is for Dimwitted java nuts duped. (Diane Wah, Seattle)
C is for Christie, he’s big and he’s noisy,
D is for Duh!, he’s a guy from New Joisey. (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.)
E is for my English class; I barely made a D.
F is for photography, or does that start with P? (Susan Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
E is for Eunuch, who’s missing a bit,
F is for Foreskin — no, that isn’t it. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
E is Exams: how you’re tested on knowledge;
F is for Flunking: “Who cares? Party college!” (Matt Monitto, Silver Spring, Md.)
G’s for the Grotto where Bunnies in heaps sit;
H is for Hefner, who somehow up keeps it. (Danielle Nowlin)
G is for Guns, the top right of our nation;
H is for Hospital; know its location. (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)
I is for IRS agents at play.
J is for Just handing over your pay. (Ellen Ryan, Rockville, Md.)
K’s for expectant Kanye and Kim;
L is for Love that they both share for him. (Kristen Rowe, Silver Spring, Md.)
M is for Maxim, pornography lite;
N is for Nipples kept just out of sight. (Chris O’Carroll, Pelham, Mass.)
O is for Overreach in programs enacted;
P is for PRISM; --- ----- [redacted] (Danielle Nowlin)
S is for Speedo, too small for your size.
T is the Trauma you’ve done to my eyes. (Rob Pivarnik)
S is for Scandal, so juicy, delicious;
T – when it’s Thee, then it’s untrue and vicious. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
U is Uranus, the butt of butt puns.
V is for Venus: No arms but nice buns. (J. Calvin Smith)
U is for Using my phone to plot “Pow!”
V’s for Verizon, hearing me now. (Ellen Ryan)
U is for Us, who are better than you;
V is for Vice — that’s the stuff others do. (Brian Allgar, Paris)
U is for Usury, lending to fools.
V is the Visit from Vincent and Jules. (Greg Arnold, Herndon, Va.)
Y’s for Your Mama, so ugly and fat.
Z is for Zoo where her address is at. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Y is for YouTube: You posted your bris!
Z, Zero: how many following this. (J. Calvin Smith)
Y is for Yoga: I see your behind!
Z is for Zen; I must empty my mind. (Roy Ashley, Washington)
And Last: E is for Edmund, who joins Loser cults.
F is for facepalm when he sees the results. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)
And Even Laster: E is for Empress, I’m sure that she’s hot!
F is for Flattery, see what it bought! (Jennifer Gittins-Harfst)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest for funny names for paired building features. See bit.ly/invite1027.
See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational , in which she discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at firstname.lastname@example.org (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in there.
Next week’s results: Are You Backronimble? or Behold A Clever, Kicky Riff On Names Yielding Much Silliness, our Week 1025 contest, which sought backronyms, or phrases that “explain” what the letters in a name or other term “stand for.”