PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR JESSICA MATHEWS

This is what you've done, each Week. I arrange the rows in reverse chronological order, because there are some Losers, and they know who they are, who check up on my points-awarding every Week.

But I would just like to reiterate that such checking up is not a problem for me. I have said many times that each Loser's enlightened self-interest is my best QA.

If you wish to see what your ink was, refer to the Master Contest List or search All Invitational Text. Remember that Types I, P, some H, and sometimes A are seen "above the Report" -- that is, if they are listed here for Week 7777, for example, they will be found in text files or images of Week 7777. Everything else will be found in a "Report" section of a file two, three, or four weeks later; 7781 in this Example.

If you see any error, please let me know, elden.carnahan@gmail.com.

Key to Ink Types:

WKTITLESYNOPSISINK TYPES
1378 It's (emergency) Parody Time Write a song about life in the Age of Corona, set to a familiar tune (or even one of your own, if you perform it on video). H H
1125 The song remains the sa Supply a real song title that has the end or beginning -- or, what the heck, both -- chopped off and describe it. H
937 Staake it to him Write a caption for any of the five pages or details pictured from some of Bob's more than 50 picture books. H
680 Rendered Speechless Provide dialogue to fill the balloons in any of these cartoons. H
581 Evil Things in Store Think of evil or just plain stupid practices that the staff of a retail or other establishment might perpetrate. H
548 Inklings Tell us about certain people's childhood experiences and behaviors that hint at their destinies. L
473 Offensive Line Find what's offensive in any of the provided cartoons, and explain. H
418 Xtreme Invitational Come up with signs you are overdoing it any in any of the provided categories. H
367 Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. 2
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. 1
341 What's In a Name? Write something about any famous person that uses only the letters in his or her name. U
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. H
321 INTERPRET THIS Take any of the provided cartoons and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. H
316 CALLING THE TOON What are these things? H
301 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? H
300 A BRAND NEW CONTEST Come up with celebrity-brand products. H
293 THE VERSE OF AMERICA Take any story in today's Washington Post and create a poem or song by stringing together various phrases from that story. Each phrase must be a least two words long. H
291 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Take any story in today's paper, find a word that breaks with a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of different hyphenated word in the same story. Then supply a definition for the new hybrid word. H
277 LIFE IN THE BLURBS Come up a simple plot summary to help attract the modern audience to any classic work of fiction. It must be literally true and defensible. H
271 YOGI BEARER Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a soufflé when you poke it a little H
251 QUOTH THE MAVEN Take any famous line, change it by one letter only (add, subtract or change a single letter), and reattribute it. H
247 BLACK AND WHITE AND WED ALL OVER Propose the marriage of any two people, and the song they should not play at their wedding. The people must be a man and a woman. I
244 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Coin new words, and provide a definition, by combining the first half of a hyphenated word for any story in today's Post with the second half of another hyphenated word in the same story. 5 H
231 GIVING QUARTER Suggest a motto for the "tails" side of any of the state-themed quarters. H H
227 WILD PITCHES Come up worthy successors to Joe Camel. Name the product, and describe the totally inappropriate cartoon character that would be created to represent it. H
225 WE RESPECTfully decline to publish any dumb entries by YOU. Come up with signs for a T-shirt or a bumper sticker that hide the real message in tiny type. 1
212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." H
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest questions a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. H
207 TIED TO BE FIT Each of the eight provided items is related, in some fashion, to one or more of the provided individuals. You make the connections. H
206 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE II Create a new word by combining the first half of any hyphenated word in today's newspaper with the second half of any other hyphenated word elsewhere in the same story, and supply a definition. H
204 DOUBLE EXPRESSO Take any well-known colorful expression, and modernize it. H H H
200 CAPTION CRUNCH IV Supply a new caption to any photograph appearing anywhere in today's Post, to make it funnier. W
195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. 3
191 GOING THROUGH A PHRASE Come up with phrase for an American English phrasebook that would provide no practical help whatsoever to a foreigner trying to get along in the United States. H
184 ED ANGUISH Create an argument on some social issue, in 75 words or fewer, taking an extreme liberal view. H
181 YOU CAN TAKE IT TO DEBUNK Take a common slogan or saying and prove it wrong with at least one example. H
167 CRAPSEY Resurrect the "cinquain," a long-deceased poetic form, poems so ickily precocious and pretentious they make haiku look like Kipling. There are five lines, the first containing two syllables, the second containing four syllables, the third six, the fourth eight and the last, with grave finality and thunderous drama, only two. Your subject matter must be suitable for the 1990s. 2
166 DOO WAH DOODY We are looking for really bad lyrics to real rock songs. Your lyrics must be from a reasonably popular song, and you must include the name of the singer or songwriter. W W
165 WHEEL OF TORTURE Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases. H H H H
163 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the list of all 1996 Triple Crown nominees, couple up any two of them, and propose an appropriate name for their hypothetical foal. The foal's name must fit in no more than 18 characters, including spaces. 1 H
161 CAPITOL MISTAKES Come up with very, very bad advice for first-time visitors to Washington. H
160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. H
159 ODDBALLS Which item in each series does not belong? Explain your answer. H
156 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Create new word by combining the first half of a hyphenated word with the second half of a hyphenated word. Both words must appear in the same story anywhere in today's Washington Post. Each entry must provide a definition for the newly created word. H H
148 RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD IV Interpret these ink blots. H
146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." 3
132 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS. What should our loser's T-shirt say on the back? Your goal is to somehow capture the spirit of the contest. H
131 DROODLEYSQUAT Come up with "droodles," simple geometric drawings with funny explanations. I
118 WEAK 118 Take any photo caption or headline appearing anywhere in today's Post and alter its meaning by adding, deleting, or changing one letter. H
112 POOP FICTION Come up with the opening lines of a book so bad it will compel you to stop reading immediately; maximum 50 words. I
108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. H
104 HERE, DOGGEREL Create poems so bad they thud. The first line must be a name. The second line can be as long or as short as you wish. The third line must sound the same as the first line, using the name as a verb or some other part of speech. W
94 WEEKS 1-93 Come up with a great answer to any previous Style Invitational contest, an answer you may have thought of after the contest was over. I
82 PICTURE THIS Who are these people, and what are they doing? 1 H
80 NICK KNACKS Come up with a great nickname for any contemporary celebrity. H
78 SEEKING SMART MORONS Come up with an oxymoron for our times, an expression made bogus by the fact that it combines incompatible, contradictory ideas. W
74 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? 4 H

MOST OF YOUR INK

Here is, I hope, most of your ink to be found in the All Invitational Text list. I have to find these with what are called regular expressions, which is a method used in a lot of programming languages to find and modify certain text strings in larger corpora. Basically I look for something like this:

"Report From Week 758"

or

"And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . ."

and then some text, your name, and your town, arranged in this familiar way:

"GlaxoSmithKline: I have six kids named Chesterfield, Winston, Lark, BensonHedges, Doral and Kool. If I name my new baby Nicorette, can I get a free coupon for your products? (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)"

I don't catch everything, but I believe I find 90%.

Unlike in the table to the left, I've arranged these in chronological order, so you can see how your humor matured, like a forgotten cheese deep in the walls of an old house. You started out, perhaps in Year 1, sending in riddles you sort of remembered from grade school, and now look at ya, ain't you Dorothy Parker.





[still working on this ...]