Style Invitational Week 1112: We want some SHARP neologisms; plus winning valentines


Dishpair: When you’re served liver and jello on the same plate. What other word can you come up with that contains S, H, A, R and P? (Illustration by Bob Staake for The Washington Post )
February 19

(Click here to skip down to the winning and Losing valentines to and/or from particular people)

Dishpair: What you get when you’re served liver and jello on the same plate.

Sharecopper: A tenant miner.

Himpersonation: The chick’s in the male.


Properly decked out in pearls and skunk hat for her induction, Beverley Sharp is the 10th member of the Style Invitational Hall of Fame, with 500 inks. (FAMILY PHOTO)

The Empress is almost unbearably tickled to announce the induction of its 10th member of the Style Invitational Hall of Fame: Last week, along with the skunk hat she won as a second prize, Beverley Sharp dabbed at her 500th blot of Invite ink since her first honorable mention in Week 604, a decade ago. Beverley, a former French teacher and social worker who moved to Montgomery, Ala., after a number of years in Washington (her married name is Amberg, but she uses her own surname for the Invite), sends us a long list of entries every single week, even when she’s on a cruise, traveling in Europe, tooling around on the Mars Rover, etc., and she’s aced just about every kind of contest we can throw at her, most notably her zingy but never crude song parodies and other poems, such as today’s belated valentines.

And certainly neologisms as well, which is why fellow Hall of Famer Chris Doyle suggested this week’s contest: Coin a word or short term that includes all the letters S, H, A, R and P, in any order (they don’t have to be clumped together) and describe it, as in Chris’s examples above. Feel free to use the word in a funny sentence; that might be what gets you ink over someone else who thought of the same word. Yes, Beverley gets to enter.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets an actually pretty wholesome how-to book called “Knit Your Own Kama Sutra,” containing instructions for knitting cute little man and woman dolls and accessories like bathrobes and cowboy hats; the dolls are about as anatomically correct as Barbie and Ken. However, there are a few photos of the knitted beings posed in some rather tightknit ways, so if you end up winning this and you’re not 18 (or if you just don’t want it), you get a tote bag or mug.

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 losers@washpost.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 2; results published March 22 (online March 19). You may submit up to 25 entries per contest. Include “Week 1112” 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 and the honorable-mentions subhead are both by Jeff Shirley. 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.

And the winners of the Style Invitational contest from four weeks ago . . .


We also invited valentines in graphic form: Here’s an honorable mention from Kevin Dopart, Washington.

I’M WITH CUPID: THE VALENTINES OF WEEK 1108

In Week 1108 the Empress asked for valentine sentiments to and/or from particular people, real or fictional. In Loserly fashion, we present the results a week after everyone stopped thinking about valentines.

4th place:

To the NEA on Valentine’s Day: I just wanted to remind you how much I love and respect teachers. They are the most undervalued and overworked group in America.
I’m Scott Walker, and I approve this message.
(Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

3rd place:

Dear Passenger: Please don’t be hasty! Oh, will you
Not yet make us transit non grata?
We promise we’ll try really hard not to kill you.
Our [garbled]. Sincerely, WMATA.
(Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

2nd place and the puzzle of the digestive system:

To Ms. X in the corner office:
Though your training did mention
Unwanted attention
And warned not to take it too far,
A foxy exec’s
Got me thinking of sex
So I hope you don’t think it bizarre
That I brought you some flowers
And loitered for hours
In the hall where your door was ajar;
I guess I’m just wired
To get myself fired
By the smokin’ hot head of HR.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

To Yoko from John: We could make beautiful music together. Well, I could anyhow. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Please B-minus: honorable mentions

To House Speaker Boehner from President Obama:
Although you dis me, pout and whine
I think you’re really neato,
So here’s a gift, sweet valentine:
My big fat heart-shaped veto. (Kathleen DeBold, Burtonsville, Md.)

Other men may like them
Full and firm — that’s where they’re at
But you’re the one I want to hold:
I love you ’cause you’re flat.
— To my special football, from Tom Brady (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

From Wilt Chamberlain to any of 20,000 women:
Dear (your name here): It was (positive adjective). You’ll always be (another positive adjective) to me. (Rob Huffman)

To Josephine from Napoleon: Come with me and share my doom
And I will give you Elba room. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

This valentine gift is from Wal-Mart to you —
A valued employee we’re proud to call ours.
A health plan? A union? A raise? No can do!
Just a card that says, ”Love, hearts and flowers.” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

From University of Virginia sorority members, after being banned from a weekend of frat parties:
Dear Frat Row boys of UVA:
We’re forced to throw these cards away.
Our mother chapter busybodies
Say it isn’t right that hotties
Such as us go drink your booze;
They think we lack the brains to choose,
And if we did this weekend’s keggers,
Most of us would end up preggers
Or, perhaps, meet worse results —
But really now, we’re all adults!
You’re sweet, reserved, refined, polite
(Though seldom on a Friday night),
And while your bingeing, barfing skill
Is all the rage of Charlottesville,
You’ll have to drink alone, while we
Go slum at Washington & Lee.
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

From Elaine Orr Thayer to e e cummings:
GET LOST, YOU JERK! (Roy Ashley, Washington)

To the Trivago Guy in the commercial:
In spite of scruffy hair and clothes,
A day’s growth on your beard —
I was crushin’ on you, Guy,
Although your look was weird.
And then I saw your newest spot,
You really upped your groom!
How ’bout you log onto that site
And go get us a room? (George-Ann Rosenberg, Washington)

To Dulcinea del Toboso:
Dreams like mine are grandioso.
You’re my valentine now, aren’tcha?
— Don Quixote de La Mancha. (Chris Doyle)

From Hillary to Bill:
I’ve stuck with you through thick and thin
From trailer trash through Miss Lewin’.
Detractors jeered; I paid no notice.
The reason’s clear — I wanna be POTUS. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Bob McDonnell to Maureen: Let them say what they want about us —
You’re still beautiful under a bus. (Kevin Dopart, who also gets an honorable mention with his graphic valentine near the top of this page)

Catherine the Great to Mr. Ed:
Shhh — don’t speak! (Mark Raffman)

To Commuters from Metro: Red Line, Green Line, Orange Line, valentine!
Come take a ride through my tunnel of love.
Blue Line, Silver Line, Yellow Line, Be Mine!
[ALERT: Major delays due to ongoing rhyming issue. Next verse will arrive in 20 minutes] (Kathleen DeBold)

From Adam to Eve:
I love only you (that’s no fib!),
And I’m mad for the cut of your jib.
Though that thing with the snake
Was a major mistake
(And I wish you would give back my rib). (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

From Kanye to Kim’s Booty:
I love you, Kim’s tushy,
Oh, let me count the ways:
You’re large, but not mooshy
(That gym I bought sure pays).
And then there’s your skin tone:
My heart does a full gainer!
Like fresh provolone
With a hint of John Boehner.
I see you on YouTube,
When I browse Wikipedia,
And on the wall in the men’s room,
Really, all social media!
And I know it sounds lame,
Since you’ve kept us in fashion,
But it’s just a darn shame
You’re attached to Kardashian.
(Michael Greene, Richmond, Va.)

From Sisyphus to his boulder:
It’s all about effort!
And not about goal —
We’re together for life!
. . . And that’s how we roll. (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

From Gloria Allred:
My client wishes you to be her valentine, in exchange for which you will grant, give, and devise upon her one-half of your total assets, as of this date and for twenty (20) years henceforward . . . (Nan Reiner)

To You Who Lift Me Up:
I touched the right buttons,
You opened up wide,
So now dearest Otis
I’m ready to ride. (Kevin Dopart)

To Sam-I-Am:
Forget the goat, forget the tree.
Would you, could you, here with me? (Kevin Dopart)

To Meghan Trainor:
Some Romeos would give you long-stemmed roses in a box.
Less classy guys might spring for mixed bouquets in china crocks.
But I’m compelled to show you that my love for you’s unique,
So in New York at Sotheby’s I bid on some Lalique,
’Cause Valentine, I understand that in your special case,
It’s all about that vase, ’bout that vase. (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

From Amy Pascal to Kim Jong Un:
Though my head and my heart are still stunned by your hack,
Please be my valentine — I’ll be yours back!
So your country’s a wreck, and your people all bony,
You are the Un for me. — Starstruck@Sony (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)

To the postman:
Not snow nor rain nor sleet nor hail,
Can keep away my favorite male,
So here’s a love note for the hunk
Who each day stuffs my box with junk. (Mark Raffman)

Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest to use a pun on a song title to name a business. See bit.ly/invite1111.

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