(Click here to skip down to this week’s encore parody contest.)
In Week 1113, for the Invitational’s annual-or-so song parody contest, we asked for alternatives to “Happy Birthday,” or songs for other “personal occasions.” Because some otherwise inkworthy submissions weren’t either of those things, we’re going to do an encore for Week 1117 with different parameters (see the new contest below this week’s results). As always, the song titles below contain links to video clips so you can hear the melodies as you read (or sing along — it’s okay, we can’t hear you).
On my next birthday:
(To the tune of “Try to Remember”)
I try to remember where I put the blender
And how to work the channel changer.
This smartphone, oh dammit, I just can’t program it;
Each year these things get so much stranger.
I’ve gone in a trice from dispensing advice
To each and every family member,
With IM and text, to being perplexed
And “Hello?’ “Hello, hello, hello, hello?”
(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
For Brian Williams’s no-doubt-impending retirement party:
Thanks for your memory:
How you caught that RPG
And tossed it back with glee
So that it promptly flew right back and killed the enemy —
How lovely it was!
Thanks for your memory
When you and Al Gore met
And spawned the Internet,
Even though no credit you would ultimately get --
We #thankyou so much!
(Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)
For my 95th birthday:
(To “Stayin’ Alive”)
Well, you can tell by the way I tilt my head
When you start talkin’, I ain’t grokkin’.
Everything you’ve said ’cause my ears went dead
20 years ago when my eyesight fled
But it’s all right, it’s okay,
At least I’m still alive today.
It could be worse, I could be dead
Six feet below a flower bed.
Here upon my birthday, it’s my “I’m not in the earth” day
And I’m ninety-five, ninety-five . . .
(Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
For starting your course of therapy, from your psychiatrist:
(to “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”)
You’ll be swell! You’ll be great!
If you keep every therapy date.
All your blots told me lots,
And now everything’s come up Neurosis.
Fear of heights, OCD
And a multiple polarity.
Rest assured — can be cured:
DSM gives a clear diagnosis.
You’ve got trauma that could constipate Freud.
Your head’s so filled with drama,
Oedipus thinks you’re his mama!
You’ll get well, this I’ll vouch,
If you spend lots of time on my couch.
I’m the doc; follow me!
(Go in hock for my fee.)
And then I’ll shrink your yen for drinky-poo,
’Cause now everything’s come up hysterical Munchausen;
Everything’s come up dysphorically deviant;
Everything’s come up regressed schizophrenia;
Everything’s come up Neurosis, for you and for you!
(Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
For an “involuntary employment transition”:
When you’re a drone and your division feels lonely,
You can be, you know, downsized.
Now, you must worry, find employment and hurry
Once they let you go. Downsized.
Your fate has been decided by a management committee,
Left upon the sidewalk where your future isn’t pretty.
Wow, did you lose!
This bites; it’s not right or fair.
You can’t forget all your troubles, forget they don’t care.
You’ve been downsized.
Now you’re irate ’cause you’re downsized.
No job is safe or sure. Downsized.
Everything’s waning for you.
(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
On getting into college:
Amazing grades —
A 4 point 0
And perfect SATs!
So Princeton’s where I plan to go.
(My tiger mom agrees.)
(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
On your sex reassignment procedure:
(to “Hey Jude”):
Hey dude, I’ll bet you’re glad
To look down where you’ve got a part there!
Remember to lift the damn toilet seat
Now that you’re complete,
With all the right hardware.
Hey dude, don’t be afraid,
Chromosome Y is now your letter;
Remember to belch and scratch where you may
Now that stuff’s okay,
And your pay is better!
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
For Edward Snowden’s birthday:
(To “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?”)
You can’t come home, Ed Snowden, you can’t come home.
In shadows you must roam.
And for your birthday this year, you’ll get some borscht
Served in an onion dome.
I know you had your reasons, But DOJ
Says you will have to pay.
They want to try ya — you’re a pariah,
Ed Snowden, you must stay away.
(George-Ann Rosenberg, Washington)
For Vladimir Putin’s birthday:
(To “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”)
For being so strict, my prison was picked
For a special undertaking;
We cultivate wheat so that Vlad can eat,
And when October comes, we’ll start on the baking!
Yes, we’ll stay awake
Through frigid, frosty evenings
To make his cake!
He’ll open the gates, and we’ll start to cheer:
“Blessings to Putin, the king of polonium!”
We’ll be feeding Vladimir down in the gulag.
(Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
For my brother’s 50th birthday:
(To “The Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book”)
You’ve finally hit the big five-oh
And something that you got to know:
Preventive care is now a part of life.
There is just no denying how
The time has come, so please allow
Procedures that will cause some pain and strife.
My mind starts to wander as I’m disrobed.
I couldn’t be fonder of being probed.
There’s been no food or drink for me
Except four quarts of P-E-G;
When they look under my underpants
And take a glance while I take a stance,
Then, I’ll feel brand new
The colonoscopies of life are good for you.
They’re good for you!
(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.; and his brother Stephen Contompasis, Burlington, Vt.)
On the birthday of someone “of a certain age”:
(To “Over the Rainbow”)
Someone over the hill is who you are.
In the river of life you’re now at a bridge too far.
Somewhere over the hill is where you dwell.
You’ll find out what they say is true: Getting old is hell.
When someone talks of matters “hip”
You think about how you could slip and break one.
You’re lucky to have your own knees
But you must take care not to sneeze
Or laugh hard — .no fun.
Some say “you’re old as you feel”— oh, what claptrap!
Unless you’re two hundred and twelve, ’cause most days you feel like crap.
So happy birthday, you old fool:
Lift up your glass and drink—try not to drool. (George-Ann Rosenberg)
On a birthday:
(To Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”)
Today you’ll get a stupid card
And cake and pastries full of lard
It’s “add more inches to your massive girth” day.
You’ll drink some booze, perhaps a fifth,
But that won’t help your spirits lift
As people, all off key, sing “Happy Birthday,”
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday . . .
The mindless Facebook greetings mount;;
They’re meaningless, but still you count
Them; it’s your “way to measure what you’re worth” day.
“And many more,” so goes the song
You never thought you’d live this long —
And it well could be your final Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday . . ..
(John Bunyan, Cincinnati)
On the occasion of “becoming a woman”:
(to “Bloody Mary” from “South Pacific”)
Bloody Menses are the – life for you
Till your female fertile – days are through.
Not a blessed thing that – you can do.
Now ain’t that too damn bad!
That’s the way our bodies – reproduce:
Gotta cut each little – ovum loose.
But we sure could do with – out the juice.
Well, ain’t that too damn bad?
There is just one way this – mess to rid:
Get yourself knocked up and – cook a kid.
Then you’ll wish that wasn’t – what you did,
But ain’t that too damn bad?
In another forty – years or so,
You’ll be done with all the – crimson flow.
Then your boobs and waist and – teeth will go,
And ain’t that too damn bad!
And Last: On the occasion of your 10th straight non-inking Style Invitational submission:
Smile though your heart keeps sinking,
Smile though you’ve not been inking.
When what you send’s up to speed, you’ll succeed.
So just dial up your Loser technique,
Style ink will come the next week.
You’ll see your name inside parens, my friends.
Make 20 entries funny;
Take five and strive for punny.
E-mail a few clever jokes about poo.
Try the way Loser minds are thinking,
Using their wiles while inking.
Then folks will celebrate your guile
In Sunday’s Style.
(Chris Doyle, of 1,664 blots of ink)
In Week 1113, the Empress cued up a song parody contest, this one asking for songs “celebrating someone’s birthday or other personal occasion (rather than, say, a holiday), set to a familiar tune.”
As today’s results show, she got plenty of ingeniously clever parodies about birthdays and a variety of creative “personal occasions” — far more than we have room to share. But she also received some very fine, funny songs that even the Benevolent E couldn’t accept as fitting the contest — they were about events in the news, or sometimes summed up people’s life stories.
But the Empress famously hates to throw anything away: This week: Write a song about a topic or person lately in the news, set to a familiar tune, and we’ll also reconsider the best of the Week 1113 parodies that didn’t qualify last time but would qualify here. (You don’t have to resubmit them.) And this time, people, please tell poor E which song you’re parodying.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a copy of the 1986 book “Fatherhood,” by Bill Cosby, father of five. The chapters include “With Bouquets and Back Rubs” and “Unsafe at Any Speed.” Donated by Randy Lee, who got it as a door prize at the Losers’ Post-Holiday party in January.
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, April 6, 2015; results published April 26 (online April 23). You may submit up to 25 entries per contest. Include “Week 1117” 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 Kevin Dopart. 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.
Still running — deadline Monday, March 30: Our contest to make a new word from the letters in a place name. See bit.ly/invite1116.