Back to previous page

Style Invitational Week 1029: It’s parody time, and the topic is movies; plus top backronyms

By ,

It’s high time we returned to a genre that’s excruciating when done badly — which is usually — and sublime when it’s done well — which is by the Style Invitational Loser Community: Two summers ago, we asked for descriptive theme songs for TV shows, à la those for “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “The Brady Bunch”; this year, at the suggestion of Loser Rob Pivarnik: Write a descriptive theme song for a well-known movie, set to a well-known tune. The tune doesn’t have to have anything to do with the movie (though it’s welcome to). The songs may be as long as you like, but multi-verse entries, as well as those using more obscure movies or tunes, aren’t as likely to run in the print paper, where we don’t have as much room and can’t provide sing-along links. We won’t complain if you include a link to an online recording of the song you’re parodying; you can even make your own video (it’s good to include the lyrics if you do).

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a mini-bottle of liquor containing a preserved scorpion, sure to make you the most potent guy around. (Or possibly the deadest.) Donated by Double Hall of Fame Loser Tom Witte, whose daughter Michelle brought it back from Laos. (If you win second place and are under 21, or if you live overseas, or if you just don’t want this thing, we’ll send you a mug or bag instead.)

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 or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 22; results published Aug. 11 (online Aug. 8). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1029” 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 The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions was submitted separately by Tom Witte and Chris Doyle; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s contest” line is by Beverley Sharp. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at

Report from Week 1025: Backronyms

in which we asked for phrases that spell out what the letters in a given name or other term “stand for”: The entrance period for this contest was June 13-24; Edward Snowden had identified himself on June 9. The Empress received tons of entries about Snowden, PRISM, NSA, etc.; she’s sure that even if they didn’t get ink here, they’ve been eagerly read by someone.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

PRISM: Perfectly Reasonable Internet Snooping Mwahahahah! (Jay Cummings, Greenbelt, Md.)

2. Winner of the gag no-tear toilet paper AND the toilet paper imprinted with pictures of euros (wow, are we lavish or what?): Pizza Hut Deliveryman? You’re Almost, Like, Employed!: PhD, YALE (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

3. BRYCE HARPER: Bro, Recalibrate! You Can’t Expect Health And Regular Play Executing Recklessly! (Paul Stackpole, Ellicott City, Md., a First Offender)

4. iPHONE: Ignoring Person Here to Open New E-mail (Ben Shouse, Takoma Park, Md., a First Offender)


DONALD TRUMP: Drowned Otter? Nesting Animal? Large Divot? Toupee Resting Upon Moneyed Plutocrat (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

SYRIA: Soon You’ll Recognize Iran’s Appendage. (Mark Raffman)

SYRIA: Seriously? You’re Really Intervening, America? (Chris Doyle; Ben Shouse)

HIPPOCRATIC OATH: Help Indecisive Patients Profess Onerous Complaints Readily Applicable To Insurance Coverage. Oh – And To Heal (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

FURLOUGH: Feckless, Unproductive Reprobates Lose Outrageous, Undeserved Government Handouts — T. Party, Outside the Beltway (Stephen Frantzich, Gambrills, Md., a First Offender)

INTERN: Informative, Nurturing Transition to Employment. Really! Not. (Michael Reinemer, Annandale, Va.)

METRO: More Efficient Than Renting Oxen (Michael Reinemer)

NSA: Nothing’s Sacred, America (Laurie Tompkins, Rockville, Md.)

NSA: Non-Scheduled Audience (Steve Honley, Washington)

USA: Under Surveillance Always (Frank Barker, Towson, Md.)

PRISM: Possibly Relevant? I Shall Meddle (Roy Ashley, Washington)

SNOWDEN: Spy, Nerd Or Whistleblower, Drives Everyone Nuts (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

EDWARD SNOWDEN: Earnest, Devoted, Wholly Altruistic Rebel? Dubious. Someone Needs Omnipresent Waxing of a Diva Ego. Nimrod. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

PRIVACY: Previously Restricted Information Viewed Anytime by Clandestine Yahoos (Kevin Dopart)

PATRIOT ACT: Perusing All Telephone Records Indiscriminately Offends The American Constitution? Tough. (Nan Reiner)

IRS: Innovative Recreation Skills (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

OBAMA: Oh, Baby, Admire My Arrogance (Jim Blizzard, Arlington, Va., a First Offender)

JOE BIDEN: Joke’s On Everyone! Born In Dharan, East Nepal! (Alex Jeffrey, Columbia, Md.)

HILLARY CLINTON: Her Intense, Limitless Leadership Ambition Requires Years Collecting Lucre — It’s Now Time or Never (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

CHRISTIE: Contrary, Headstrong, Republican, Independent . . . and Slimming To Improve Electability? (Ellen Ryan, Rockville, Md.)

CONGRESS: Conglomeration Of Nitpickers, Getting Ruder Every Successive Session. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

Racist Eponym, Daniel Snyder! Knuckleheaded Intransigence, Nauseatingly Superannuated: R#dSk*ns (Ami Greenberg, Washington, a First Offender)

REDSKINS:Respecting Entreaties, Dan Selects Kinder Indian Name: “Squaws” (Jeff Shirley, Richmond)

BACHMANN: Bucking Against Change, Her Mouth Asserted the Nonexistent as News (Mike Jacobs, Columbia, Md.)

BLOOMBERG: Billionaire Lords Over Ordinary Manhattanites, Bans Everything Remotely Gratifying (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

RICE: Reality’s Irrelevant Compared to Expediency (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

PUTIN: Pocketed Unreplaceable Trinket? I? Nyet! (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

EARHART: Enemy Abduction — Romulans! — Halts Amelia’s Round Trip (Ellen Ryan)

POTBELLY: People, Our Title Basically Explains: Largest Loaf — You (Matt Monitto, Silver Spring, Md.)

Resist Ultra-healthy Foreign Foods! Let’s Eat Salt!: RUFFLES (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)

LAS VEGAS: Let’s All Simply View Every Gambler As a Sucker (Howard Walderman)

INSTAGRAM: I Never Shot That Awful, Greenish, Refracted, Adulterated Mess (Gary Crockett)

MEN: Mostly Emitting Noises (Jason Russo, Annandale, Va.)

PEDESTRIAN: Person Every Driver Expects Should Totally Remain Indoors At Night (Laurie Kelly, Takoma Park, Md., a First Offender)

YAHOO.COM: Your At-Home Office? Outlawed. Company Orders, Ma’am (Mark Raffman)

GODADDY.COM: Girls Overflowing Dresses All Desire Doing YOU? Come On, Man! (Gary Crockett)

MATCH.COM: Making A Ton of Cash Helping Clueless Oldsters Mate (Colette Zanin, Greenbelt, Md.)

CAMELS: Coughing, Asthma, Maybe Emphysema? Let’s Smoke! (Chris Doyle)

VIAGRA: Virility Isn’t A Guarantee, Randy Ancients (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

MANSCAPING: Males Are Now Snipping, Cropping And Pruning In Nether Gardens (Chris Doyle)

BOOKS: Bulky, Oversize, Obsolescent Kindle-Substitutes (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

SUMMER’S EVE: Seems Unfortunate Most Misses Eliminate Reproductive Scents. Eucalyptus? Violets?? Ewwww! (Rob Huffman)

PAYWALL: Please Allot Young Woodwards A Little Lucre (Ben Aronin, Arlington, Va.)

THE EMPRESS: These Humor Entries: Excellent – Merit Prizes! Rest: Enter Sewage System. (Matt Monitto)

Still running — deadline Monday night — is our “joint legislation” contest featuring the members of the First Congress (1789-91). See

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 (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: ‘Might’ Makes Ink, or The Hint Parade, our Week 1026 contest, which sought jokes in the form of “You might . . . / if . . .

© The Washington Post Company