Style Invitational Week 1055: A K-contest to honor the K of 1K blots of ink; plus anagrams
By Pat Myers,
Tantrick: Yoga instruction that can be performed in the back seat of a car.
Run-of-the-milk: Funny enough for a joke at breakfast, but not nose-spurtingly funny.
Joke Biden: The vice president.
Just over eight years ago, the results of Week 626 — a contest for comical college courses — included a new name to the Invitational, twice, with a runner-up and an honorable mention. Since then, Kevin Dopart’s name has appeared in 380 of 429 contests, as the onetime naval flight officer, now a federal auto safety expert, has blotted up Invite ink at an incomparable pace: Kevin is the ShamWow of Loserdom, topping the Loser stats every full year since he started entering, with as many as 158 entries published in a year, and more than 100 for five straight years.
Part of Kevin’s success comes from his absurd dedication to the Invite: He’s entered the contest every single week since he started, almost always with the maximum 25 entries and, before the Empress set an entry limit, often well over 100 entries in a week.
But dedication only gets you so far. The real reason that (Kevin Dopart, Washington) has reached his 1,000th blot of ink this week is, of course, that he is just so freakin’ clever and funny — as is made abundantly clear with his Inkin’ Memorial-winning anagram — his 21st win — that tops this week’s results. (See the Empress’s online Style Conversational column this week for a greatest-hits sampling of Kevin’s humor, at bit.ly/conv1055.)
Kevin becomes the fourth person in our 20-year history to top the 1,000-ink mark, and the second to take the Empress up on the “award” she’s offered to those milestonees: to serve as a guest judge for a week, and to choose the contest he’ll be judging. And so, for the first time since September 2005, you can enter the Style Invitational without having to compete against Kevin Dopart: This week, to commemorate both Kevin and his 1K ink blots: Change a word, phrase or name by adding one or more K’s, or by replacing one or more letters with K’s, and define your new term, as in Kevin’s examples above. The Empress will send Kevin a list of all the week’s entries minus any identifying or personal information, so he won’t know whose work he’s selecting.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a fabulous giant-size whoopee cushion, which we offered up in Week 1022 but, incomprehensibly, was declined by its winner.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate or Puns of Steel. First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Jan. 20; results published Feb. 9 (online Feb. 6). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1055” 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/InvRules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Jeff Contompasis; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results” line was submitted by both Stephen Dudzik and Mark Raffman. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev, and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of the Day at bit.ly/inkofday.
Report from Week 1051
in which we asked for an anagram — a rearrangement of all the letters in some piece of writing to make it say something else — of any phrase or passage referring to something in the news, beyond just someone’s name. To spare contestants the tedium of checking whether every letter of the original passage — and not one extra letter — ended up in the anagram, the Empress invited them to use various anagram software. But even though some of those programs will generate anagrams of a name or short phrase, you can be sure it took tons of human creativity — and a ridiculous amount of perseverance — to come up with the entries below.
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:
Original text: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Anagrams to: We, the Tea Party of Republicans, our heads in our Rectums, freed to ensure the disestablishment of that Obamacare, promote domestic Religion (provided Jesus is your Savior), disenfranchise the Poor, Effete, Liberal or Such, stifle Intellects not nutty Men, demote Geopolitics, offend on Twitter, do intend another Sequestration. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Winner of the Australian coin purse made from a kangaroo scrotum:
Original, a quote from Pope Francis: How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?
Anagrams to: This week Pope Francis expresses noble sentiments, blesses the weak, and roils the too, too wealthy, who unwind it on Twitter: HE’S A COMMUNIST! (Chris Doyle, the Villages, Fla.)
3. Original, from a North Korean press release:
Against the backdrop of these shouts rocking the country, a special military tribunal of the DPRK Ministry of State Security was held on December 12 against traitor for all ages Jang Song Thaek.
Anagrams to: Pyongyang: On the 12th day before Christmas, still boyish Kim cries “uncle,” has fat-cat Jang Song Thaek hung from a pear tree. “Trials? Brutes! I did not. It’s a trick! Partridge were out of season . . . Attack!!!!!” LOL ! (Mike Ostapiej, Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Original headline: Mandela sign language interpreter says he had schizophrenic episode
Anagrams to: Hands rap in gangsta, hip-hop — not elegies. He rues: “I’m ADD & sincerely cra-zee!” (Diane Wah, Seattle)
Inane moron blots, eh? Honorable mentions
Original: “Santa and Jesus are both white men,” avers Fox’s Megyn Kelly.
Anagrams to: What shade is Satan? Foxy jerkbag never tells us. Emmy? None! (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Original: Been doing all my shopping at Target.
Anagrams to: Grab pan, GE lamp, thong — lose identity. (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)
Original: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Anagrams to: What is evident is that women are not treated that equitably. The late framers structured this for penile people. Guys create and enact the laws. The gals are there behind their hubby, alienated. Oh, refill, hon? (Kevin Dopart)
Original: North Korea: Despicable human scum Jang was worse than a dog.
Anagrams to: Head whack job smears a patron. Ruined uncle has maggots now. (Mark Raffman)
Original: If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.
Anagrams to: A flunky like you? You’re one cheap pathetic liar. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines, a First Offender)
Original headline: Drama takes center stage as Redskins bench Griffin
Anagrams to: Fans, sick and tired, bark: “Games are festering stench!” (Mark Raffman)
Original quote from Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan: “I should have went with my gut, but I thought he had earned a right to play because he convinced me he was okay. I think in the long term, because we’re talking about honesty right here, it cost us the game.”
Anagrams to: Chum, RGIII has got huge talent, but there’s no “I” in “team” and he has three. Oh, the knee’s weak but the digit points well. Ah, he’s a cocky young guy. Cure: let him warm it a bit, the wood bench out here, and get savvy. (Bill Munson, Alexandria, Va.)
Original: Let’s all sing “Hail to the Redskins”!
Anagrams to: Dan kills asset. The thrill is gone. (Chris Doyle)
So, with some grand rant, Phil Robertson is one let go from Duck Dynasty very quickly.
Anagrams to: From TV’s “Thirty Rock,” Alec Baldwin’s mighty outspoken and queerly sorry din goes on. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Original: All the news that’s fit to print.
Anagrams to: Anagram: Worthiest talent: pants filth. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Original: When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
MEMO to: H.M. George III, London, U.K.
From: The United States of America, Philadelphia, Pa.
We are saddened that we must announce our decision to quit the British Empire poste-haste. We can see that its best for all concerned.
Tell the Queen for us that we cannot attend the Chef’s Ham/Nacho Cheese Hot Pot Show, as we have to attend the posh Honchtown Phenolphthalein Fest on Mt. Havens Ave.
Sincerely yours, etc. (Lew Clayman, Silver Spring, Md.)
Original: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Anagrams to: It is known, a woman in search of a good spouse will learn stuff: failed dating. The sensitive man turns out to be gay. (Kevin Dopart)
Original: While at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa, Barack Obama was spotted taking a relaxed selfie with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, PM of Denmark, while Michelle glared.
Anagrams to: Tee-hee! Here’s Fox News crackers’ biggest fear: A black president, chillin’ with a white woman! The damn nerve! Mandingo for POTUS! Dismal! Immoral! Call the Dalai Lama! (A molehill, kids. . .) (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
Original Jimmy Carter quote: “I’ve looked on many women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.”
Anagrams to: Carter’s lewd longings attain immortality. My view of his tumid yet vetoed manhood (wink-wink) seems lovely, undimmed. Ooh! (Janice Mehler, Bethesda, Md., a First Offender)
Original: Stuck in Washington traffic
Anagrams to: Witchcraft of stinking anus (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Original: The Washington Post Style Invitational
Anagrams to: I have total nitwits pen nasty loo things. (Chris Doyle)
And Even Laster:
Original: Create an anagram — a text with the letters rearranged — of any text (except merely someone’s name), of any length, referring to something or someone in the news. You must use every letter in your original exactly once; in other words, think of your text as a pile of Scrabble tiles; then rearrange all those tiles, while adding no others.
Anagrams to: “My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains . . .” No, it ain’t going to work. Can I cheat, or does she count the letters? I fear so, although it seems rather mean. I’m still only halfway, increasingly vexed by too many letter-errors. Relax ... engage expert neurons, try next letter. “Forget to neuter fern-green axolotl”? Oh, I’m left with one ‘R’! Aieeeeee! (Brian Allgar, Paris)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our obit-poem contest for people who died in 2013. See bit.ly/invite1054.
See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational (published late Thursday), 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, sign up here or write to the Empress at email@example.com (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: Clue Us In, or Hot Cross Puns, our reverse-crossword contest in which we give the filled-in grid, you give the clues. See bit.ly/invite1052. .