(Click here to skip down to the Ask Backwards results of Week 1088.)
Apple’s charitable foundation: Make a video of someone pouring water on his head without having to recharge your iPhone.
The Sierra Club: It had to change its campaign to the Lukewarm Bucket Challenge — all the ice melted.
D.C.’s Metro system: Run all the way up the Dupont Circle station escalator before it breaks down.
The good news is that the ALS Association has raised more than $100 million in this past summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people were asked either to contribute or to pour a bucket of freezing water over their heads. (Its revenue the previous year, before the Miracle on Ice Water, was $2.8 million.) The bad news — oh, let’s not be so negative all the time; let’s call it “the other good news” — is that lots of other worthy organizations surely will be inspired to come up with challenges of their own. Loser and recidivist contest-suggester Mike Gips suggest we help out: This week: Suggest a humorous fundraising “challenge” for any organization, as in Mike’s examples above.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a fabulous brand-new jigsaw puzzle donated by Loser Christopher Larsen. Part of the “Disney Dreams Collection,” it’s a lush landscape labeled as “original art by Thomas Kinkade.” In the background is Cinderella’s Castle; in the foreground, Ms. Ella and Prince Charming on a footbridge, suffused with the garish colors and unnatural glow that typify the “Painter of Light.” Finally we can appreciate Kinkade’s work in a fitting context: as the background for cartoon characters. Just think how fulfilling it will be to study 1/300th of the masterpiece at a time.
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 — one of the ones announced today, unless we still have some of 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 email@example.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 13; results published Nov. 2 (online Oct. 30). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest. Include “Week 1092” 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. This week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Danielle Nowlin. 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.
The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
Week 1088 was the umpteenth installment, give or take an ump, of the contest in which the Invite supplies a list of “answers” in the form of short phrases, and you come up with questions they could answer. One answer was read variously as “14, 102 and 39,000” (i.e., three items) and “14,102 and 39,000” (two items). The Empress accepted either because, like Your Mama, she is just too easy.
A. Rick Perry’s glasses.
Q. Name something that you can see right through besides Rick Perry. (Danny Gallagher, Frisco, Tex.)
A. A Your Mama joke about a bicycle.
Q. What is “I hear New York City has a program where folks can use Your Mama for up to half an hour with no charge”? (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
A. Romeo and Joliet.
Q. Who were stir-crossed lovers? (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.; Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
A. A cross-country trip in a Miata.
Q. What was the plea deal that Bob McDonnell rejected? (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)
JAMES AND THE GIANT BRUSSELS SPROUT:
What was the only book written by Roald Dull? (Danny Gallagher)
Whose marriage will they want to legalize next if you just let those vegan-marriage-equality agitators get their way, huh? (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
What are the two best reasons to relocate to Cleveland? (Larry Carnahan, Arlington, Va.)
14, 102 AND 39,000:
What were the Redskins’ Week 1 stats for first downs, yards and excuses? (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)
What numbers will be called at the MVA immediately before yours? (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
14,102 AND 39,000:
In the Defense Department contract, how many “person-hours” were specified for screwing in a light bulb, and how many did it actually take? (Peter Siegwald, Lauzerte, France)
A YOUR MAMA JOKE ABOUT A BICYCLE:
What is “She’s so fat her Schwinn is an 18-wheeler”? (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
What is “Your Mama’s so dumb, she thinks a bicycle helmet goes on the bicycle”? (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
What is “Your Mama’s so fat, they pay her to ride on the shoulder to make those grooves in the pavement”? (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
What ends with “She can usually be rented near train stations and parks”? (Frank Osen)
MARY HAD A LITTLE LEMMING:
What nursery rhyme ends in a cliffhanger? (Harold Mantle, Lafayette, Calif.; Lawrence McGuire)
Did anybody try anything exotic at the Roadkill Cafe? (Pam Sweeney)
What happened six months after Mary hurriedly married Lou Lemming? (Frank Osen)
Why is there a rodent smoking a cigarette in the bedroom? (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
THE PRINT VERSION OF THE WASHINGTON POST:
Ironically, what is one of the few things you can’t buy on Amazon.com? (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.; Olney; David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
What do you have to get rid of before you can use your dog-do bag? (Joseph Mat Schech, Colesville, Md.)
What is a lot easier to read than the cursive version of The Washington Post? (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
What local icon was the surprise winner on ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss”? (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
What do 10 out of 10 fishmongers prefer over the online version of The Washington Post? (Ken Schwartz, Burke, Va.)
Where is the word “beaver” automatically replaced with the word “lemming”? (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
The what? (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
RICK PERRY’S GLASSES:
What is more transparent than pig lipstick? (Deb Stewart, Damascus, Md.)
What hides the secret identity of Xenophobia Man? (Jim Stiles, Rockville, Md.)
What will an occupant of the Oval Office never accidentally sit on? (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
A CROSS-COUNTRY TRIP IN A MIATA:
(which was actually taken, both ways, by 14-time Loser J.J. Gertler to a Miata owners convention in California last month. He survived.)
What should be the punishment for using a Knee Defender? (Deb Stewart)
What’s more uncomfortable than sharing an elevator with Ray Rice? (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
What event does the Grand Masochistic Order of Hemorrhoid Sufferers sponsor each year? (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)
After flying coach from D.C. to L.A., how did the six of you get more leg room for the return? (Gary Crockett)
What is the new sister city of Quincy, M.E.? (Stephen Dudzik)
Who determined why the chicken died crossing the road? (Jim Stiles; Gary Crockett)
On the Silver Line, what station precedes Reston Piece? (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)
Which mall has Crate & Burial, Pottery Urn and Six Below? (Rob Huffman)
A MAN, A PLAN, A CANNOLI:
What is subtitled “The Silvio Berlusconi Guide to Picking Up Women”? (Kathleen DeBold, Burtonsville, Md.)
NOT KIM KARDASHIAN, BUT KANYE WEST
Whose name comes up first when you do a Google search for “biggest butt in Hollywood”? (Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)
Still running — deadline Monday night: Our good-idea/bad-idea contest. See bit.ly/invite1091.
Next week’s results: It’s E-Z Find-a-Word, or Serpentineologisms, our contest in which we posted a word-search grid and invited you to “discover” your own new words by tracing a series of letters in any and all directions. See bit.ly/invite1089. (Alternative title by Tom Witte)