To my Costco cashier:
If you would be my one true guy
I’d stand in line for days and days.
Since without you I can’t buy
My 15-gallon mayonnaise. (Andrew Hoenig, Week 645, 2006)
From Poseidon to Medusa:
Oh, how I’d love to run my fingers through your snakes. (Lloyd Duvall, Week 544, 2004)
We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in a Loserly way: by running a contest that asks for you to write valentines in January, with results that run a whole week after the holiday, like a forlorn box of chocolates on the clearance rack at Rite-Aid.
Prompted by Loser Daphne Steinberg’s suggestion on the Style Invitational Devotees page on Facebook, the Empress discovered that the Invite had done three valentine contests — but none since 2006. So this week we’ll combine elements from the earlier ones for another go: Write a humorous Valentine’s Day sentiment to someone (or to some organization), either real or fictional — either from you or from someone else you name, as in the missives above. Plus an all-new option: We’ll also be willing to run at least one really funny, clever, well-executed graphic (make sure you don’t use copyrighted art, and send it as an attachment to your e-mail).
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a colorful foam puzzle of the digestive system, donated by registered nurse and registered Loser Marleen May. Without even bothering to reach for a scalpel, you or your child can yank out a human liver, rectum or even “call bladder.”
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 designed by Bob Staake: either “The Wit Hit the Fan” or “Hardly Har-Har.” 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, Feb. 2; results published Feb. 22 (online Feb. 19). You may submit up to 25 entries per contest. Include “Week 1108” 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 headline for this week’s results is by Tom Witte; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook 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.
In Week 1104, we asked you to compare or contrast two or three things (or somehow link them, when we’re feeling lenient) that have the same three-letter abbreviation, or are three-letter words. We did this contest last year with abbreviations from AAA through DZZ; this time we have the EAAs-through-HZZs. Sometimes the abbreviation is for a foreign spelling that we’re not going to spell out because it is Eesti Olumpiakomitee.
EAA: The Experimental Aircraft Association is not the official carrier of the European Actuarial Academy. (Kristen Rahman, Silver Spring, Md.)
GSA: The Geological Society of America has experts on geysers. The Gerontological Society of America has experts on geezers. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
EPA: Majority leader: “Senator, among the Equal Pay Act, the Environmental Protection Agency and English Pale Ale, you may keep only one.” Ted Cruz: “Cheers!” (Frank Mann, Washington)
HDP: The law firm Harness, Dickey & Pierce and high-density polyethylene: “High-Density Polyethylene” would make a lousy title for a porn flick. (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)
FAC: Members of the First Apostolic Church are theists. Members of the Freethought Association of Canada are eh-theists. (Chris Doyle)
HDF: Hadfield Railway Station and high-density fiberboard: Where can I get the best ham sandwich on the British Railway and what does it taste like? (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
HPD: Histrionic personality disorder and highest posterior density: Both make these letters a great title for Kim Kardashian. (Chris Doyle; Frank Osen)
GMA: “Good Morning America” and “Good Morning Australia”: The difference between them is day and night. (Kristen Rahman)
ENS: Empty-nest syndrome and empty-nose syndrome: In both cases, the little boogers are gone. (Chris Doyle)
GGB: Greek government bond and Golden Gate Bridge: If you would buy one, then perhaps I could also interest you in buying the other. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
And also: The Golden Gate keeps you above water. (Kristen Rahman)
EOK: The Estonian Olympic Committee and the Hellenic Basketball Federation:One is a bunch of guys in Tallinn, Estonia; the other is a bunch of guys who are tall in Greece. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
GFS: The Girls Friendly Society and the Global Financial System: You don’t want to crash the second one. (Mark Raffman)
FCA: Financial collection agency and Funeral Consumers Alliance: I see debt, people. (Chris Doyle)
FSA: A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries studies ancient relics — like members of the Florida Shuffleboard Association. (Chris Doyle)
EAU: If you say “eau,” you’re in French; if you say “European Association of Urology,” urine English. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
ETS: The Evangelical Theological Society and the Educational Testing Service: Both involve rooms of people beseeching God for the Answer. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
HSI: High-speed Internet and horizontal shaft impactor: One is how we find porn. The other is why. (Rob Huffman)
EAT: If you’re in the shrinking middle class, your earnings after taxes might leave you barely able to do this. (Frank Mann)
GNU: The difference between a wildebeest and the free software collaboration group is that the wildebeests make better dinner party guests. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)
GLB: The differences between the gay, lesbian and bisexual community and the Girls’ Life Brigade Christian youth organization are fewer than you would think. (Todd DeLap)
GMT: With geometric measure theory: Here’s looking at Euclid. With the Giant Magellan Telescope: Here’s looking at Uranus. (Chris Doyle)
GAG: A device to prevent speech and, ironically, a laugh-provoking act: Both refer to how people see China’s attempt to ban puns. (Frank Osen)
HRA: Health risk assessment and home runs allowed: With both, the more people you let score, the worse off you’ll be. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
GAL: “Get a life” and a galileo, a unit used measuring local variations in the acceleration of gravity: For some reason, whenever I start talking about the latter, I hear the former. (Kevin Dopart, Washington; John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
FCI: Federal correctional institution and French Culinary Institute. The first does not use Gruyère in the sauce mornay. (George-Ann Rosenberg, Washington)
HSA: The Haiku Society of America and the Homeland Security Act:
Call us! We already know
Your number, neighbor.
(Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
FWM: Four-wave mixing, an intermodulation phenomenon in nonlinear optics that will never be understood by . . . (Frank William Mann, Washington)
Still running — deadline Monday night: Our biennial “joint legislation” contest in which you combine the names of members of Congress. See bit.ly/invite1107.