PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR JOSEPH ROMM

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
1316 Lies, damn lies, with statistics Tell us some bogus trivia using "statistics" or some bogus quantitative meaure. H
1220 O pedantry, O pedantry Give us some humorous pedantry. H
1030 The cinquain feeling Write a clever cinquain. The five-line form is straightforward: first line, two syllables; second line, four syllables; third line, six; fourth line, eight; fifth line, two. H
705 Simile Outrageous Come up with funny analogies, perhaps with some 21st-century references. H
702 Unreal Facts Come up with a comically false factoid. W
679 Ask Backwards Here are the answers. You supply the questions to as many as you dare. H
665 Your One-in-a-Million Coin the millionth word in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion. H
660 Foaling Down: The Next Generation Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. 3
645 A Hearty Har Har Write up a Valentine's sentiment to any personage, or to someone in some generic category. H
638 The Little Bummer Boy Come up with an idea (and title, if you like) for an original Christmas movie or TV special that provides an antidote to all the sap, and give us a brief synopsis. H
637 Full Steam Ahead Write a steamy passage of a novel that's ostensibly by some well-known person who isn't a novelist. H
633 Your Secret Here! Send us some original secrets (they don't have to be true). H I
629 Odd Couplings Marry or otherwise combine famous names and supply the result. H
626 Course Light Come up with a comical college class, along with a description for the course catalog. 3 H
618 Of D.C. I Sing Give us a song about Washington, set to a recognizable tune. H
613 Tour de Fours II Create and define a word that includes, consecutively, E, R, A and N. in any order. T
611 Ask Backwards, Erudite Edition You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions. 2
610 MASH Find two well-known movies, plays, or TV shows whose title have a significant word in common, combine their titles, and describe the hybrid. H H
609 A2D2 Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2. H
608 Comeback Next Week Come up with original snide retorts to various rude questions or comments. H
607 Contest Fodder Created! Produce absurdly parochial views of historical events. H
605 Truly Stupendous Ideas Name two people with the same initials (the people can be living or dead, real or fictional) and explain how they are similar or different. H
599 So What's the News? Tell us what the illustrated events are. H
598 Site Gags Come up with an appropriate name for a cafeteria--or meeting room, or an employee lounge, or some other workplace spot--for a particular institution. H
597 Eccchsibits Come up with some alternative museums and exhibits for the nation's capital. W
595 Listing Precariously Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. H
590 Send Us the Bill Come up with a bill sponsored by any combination of the newly elected members of Congress and explain the purpose of the bill. H
587 The B-List Come up with an In-Out list for 2005, or other pairings. H W
584 Deliver Us a Post Come up with some new Cabinet or other positions that the president could establish, and describe the job responsibilities. H
582 Perversery Rhymes Update a nursery rhyme or children's song with an edgier text. W
580 United Nations Combine the names of any two countries in the world and describe the new hybrid country. 1
579 Another Brilliant Contest! Do Enter! Write us a sentence or phrase consisting of words beginning with consecutive letters, in the A-to-Z direction. H
578 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. Send us the questions. H H
569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. H L
568 Tome Deftness Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title. H
567 A Running Gag Explain how any of the provided bizarre cartoons by Bob Staake relates to the current presidential campaign. H
565 Anthem Is as Anthem Does Give us a verse for an alternative U.S. national anthem, set to any well-known tune. H
560 The 97.5-Meter Dash Suggest some time- and cost-saving measures so the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will open on time. H
559 Your Slogan Here Come up with a clever slogan or sign for a business. H
558 Set Us Right Send us conservative-leaning humor in any of the provided genres. 2 L P
556 So Zoo Us Combine any two kinds of animals, give its name and describe it. H
552 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. H
549 Show Us Your Best Quantities Come up with novel units of measure, and explain or quantify them. H
545 Put It in Reverse Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. T
541 Celled Up the River Give us a delicious scenario, in which a cellphone yakker's yakking could be taken profitably out of context. H
536 And the Horse He Rodin On Come up with some words we can stick in the back of The Inker. H
532 Short Pans Come up with a terse review (four words or fewer) of any work of art. H
531 Your Cynic Duties Come up with a saying that sounds as if it's going to be inspirational, but winds up being cynical, misanthropic or sad. I
528 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 1 H
517 Insert Joke Here Slip a single bogus sentence into next year's State of the Union address, figuring the Prez will probably just read it right off the teleprompter. H
510 Universal Embarrassment What would you like to see Miss Universe Pageant contestants asked live, on national TV? H
504 Life Is Snort Write a schmaltzy last line of a "Life Is Short." H
503 Doody and Muldoon Write poetry that out-Muldoons Paul Muldoon, the Princeton professor who won this year's Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Your poem must be a single quatrain, containing at least one rhyme and references to at least two body parts and one geographic name. T
499 What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown and tell us the name of their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. H H
496 The Style Invitational: The First Dreckade Submit new entries to any of the old contests listed, and try to beat The Very Best of the Past 10 Years. 4 H
494 Quote-idian Take any extremely banal piece of familiar writing and rewrite it in the style of a famous writer, poet or lyricist. H H H
492 Cheap Tricks Come up with extreme cost-conserving measures for these difficult economic times. H
483 Obitter Fate Give us an obit headline for some famous person, currently living or dead. H
478 Do You Mindset? Anticipate items for the Mindset List for the freshman class of the year 2020. H T
477 A Load of Bulwer Give us the beginning of incompetently written novel. H
476 Portmanteautapping Make a new word by squishing together two existing words. The constituent words must share at least two letters. H
469 Playing Check-In Suggest appropriate hotel check-in names for any celebrities, past or present, living or dead. H
466 Spit the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H H
464 Cursive Writing Come up with a new curse for this millennium. H H H T
460 Pompous Assets Come up with the first paragraph of a review of a real book or movie, past or present, that is narcissistic, pretentious, and self-aggrandizing. H H H
454 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H
452 Russellmania! (1) Design one or more steps for a 12-step program for the recovering Invitationalaholic; (2) Propose a devious method by which we might lure Russell Beland back. H
447 Acronimble Take any of the provided witty statements and use the first letters in each of the words to create a brand-new, unrelated funny statement. H
444 Advice Squad Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead. H
443 Sick Humor Come up with modern diseases of Washington life. 1 H
442 Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. H H T
423 Roling With Laughter Take a character from one movie, use him or her to replace a character in a second movie, and then explain how this change would affect the second movie. 4 H H H
422 Taught Language Come up with lessons learned from (1) the movies, (2) popular songs, (3) romance novels or (4) the comics page. 2
418 Xtreme Invitational Come up with signs you are overdoing it any in any of the provided categories. H H
409 Nice Job, if You Get It Take anything that might need its image enhanced and rename it in a way the keeps its essential identity, but makes it seem nicer. H
407 Adverbiage Come up with a witticism or a joke by making a pun out of an adverb. Unlike Tom Swiftlys, your adverb must modify not a verb but an adjective. H T
400 Life Is Snort Write a "Life is Short" entry in under 100 words, in the voice of a celebrity, living or dead. T
399 IT PAYS TO BE GENDEROUS Write a short film description that could persuade a woman that the guy movie he wants to see is really close to being a gal movie, or vice versa. H H H
396 April Foals Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. H U
391 Spinning Out of Control Take a headline in today's Washington Post and create a subhead that spins the story in an opposite or unexpected direction. H
389 Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. H
387 By Jingo Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian. 3
381 Idiom Savant Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it. U
380 The New-Name Offense Propose changes for the names of places and things that need it, either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. H
379 Rather Unusual Come up with lines that could be uttered by Dan Rather, with his unbearably folksy excesses. H
377 Week MMDCXLIV Provide a headline (and, if necessary, the first line of the text) for any article that will appear in The Washington Post on this day in the year 2050. H U
376 Apply Yourself Supply bad openings to college application biographies. U
375 Show Us Up Combine the names of two existing TV shows (past or present) to make an entirely new show. Then, describe the show. H
371 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H H W
367 Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. H
364 Low Marks Come up with a new punctuation mark. Tell us what it looks like, and what it is used for, and use it in a sentence. U
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. 3 H H H
359 It's No Party Come up with a new political party and its main political tenet. 3 H U
357 Coming to a Bad End Take some immortal line from literature or film and ruin it by adding a short phrase or sentence. H H U W
356 Med Icks Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. H H
354 Everyone's a Critic Adopt the style of a famous writer and review any of the provided dishes. U
353 Patently Silly What do these devices do? H
352 A Laff Riot Take the name of a company and/or its commercial product and provide it a new definition. H H U
351 Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. H U
350 Employing Irony Propose bad career choices. 1
347 Capital Pun-ishment Take an expression, or a lyric for a song, or any recognizable line of prose, and make it the punchline of an awful pun. H
345 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? 4
342 Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." H H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 7 H
337 DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY Take a quality you wish to quantify and devise the perfect icon to measure it. Then give us an example of the extremes. 1 H H
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. H
330 NERD PLANET FROM THE SUN Come up with comments from the Nerd Side even less interesting than the observation that the 21st century doesn't really start until 2001. 1 H P
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. L
322 YOU NAME IT Take a well known pair or group of names, extend one of them in some manner, and explain how the group dynamic changes. H
318 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. H
317 PICK US A WINNER Come up with flawed contest ideas, and the single, obvious, too-good-to-beat entry. H
313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. H H
312 BOOKS AND BOOKS Combine any two works of literature--no movies or TV--into one, give its title and describe it in a brief, appealing blurb that might appear in Publishers' Weekly. H H
311 A JERRY-BUILT CONTEST Find cleverly disguised threats to public morality or hallowed American values that may be secretly lurking out there in our culture. W
310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. H H
305 ASK BACKWARDS CMXVI2 You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. 4
302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. H H
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. H
289 PLAY IT AGAIN, SHAM Submit entries to any previous contest, ideas you might have thought of after the contest deadline had passed. W
285 ELEVENIS, ANYTWO? Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase. W
280 EXPRESSING IT NICELY Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry. H
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. 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 H
273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of things that will never happen. H 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
267 THE CONCEPT CONCEPT Come up with a situation for a "People Unclear on the Concept" cartoon. Describe the situation and supply any necessary dialogue. 2
264 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H
263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. H H
262 CAMPAIGN FOR ONE Design a line for Niels Hoven to deliver in his campaign for a student government office that will wake up a snoozing audience. H
256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. H
254 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer. 4
252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" H
249 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world. H
246 OUR OWN DEVICES What do these contraptions do? Tell us in 50 words or fewer. H H
245 LIKE FUN Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences. 3 H H
243 VERSE THAN EVER Write a rhyming poem of two to eight lines as a tribute to someone famous who died in 1997, the more awful the better. We will particularly value rhymes that thud, and extremes of emotion and sentiment. 1
242 SACRED COW PIES Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided. L
232 PRIMAL URGES Update, for the millennium, the old "A is for Apple" reading primer. An entry must include the four letters in one of these blocks: A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P, Q-T, U-Z. 2
231 GIVING QUARTER Suggest a motto for the "tails" side of any of the state-themed quarters. 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. 2
223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. H
222 TRIP DEUCES Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. H
219 VERBOSITY Come up with new, obnoxious, self-conscious faux verbs and use them in sentences. H L
216 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Pair up any two of the 400-plus horses who have qualified for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their foal, in a maximum of 18 characters, including spaces. 5 H H
212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." H
211 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF YOUR SHIRTS Design the back of the fourth Style Invitational T-shirt, with anything that captures the transcendent indignity of this contest. H
210 RANDOM MEMO Supply embarrassing "While You Were Out" phone messages that might be left for famous people, in plain sight, while they are away from their desks. H H H H
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest questions a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. 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
203 CAN IT GET MUCH VERSE? Create Very Bad Poetry, containing banalities masquerading as profundities, overstretched metaphors, etc. Special attention should be paid to dreadful syntax and painful rhyme H H
201 THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE Come up with a new element and its symbol, and provide a brief description of its chemical or physical properties. H
197 DAVE'S WORLD Make David Twenhafel laugh. Any sort of delightful drollery or amusing witticism will do, so long as it is not the sort of lowbrow fare we usually favor. 2
193 ASK BACKWARDS VIII You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 1 H
190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. 3
188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. H
185 WONDERLUST Come up with replacements for the Seven Wonders of the World. To qualify, an object must really exist, and be manmade and, in some way, awesome. 3
184 ED ANGUISH Create an argument on some social issue, in 75 words or fewer, taking an extreme liberal view. 1 H
178 DEEP THROATS Come up with Deep Thoughts, in the style of Jack Handey of "Saturday Night Live." A Deep Thought is a short, simple, seemingly inspirational observation that winds up being cynical, ironic, or just plain weird. I P W
176 WRITE IN THE KISSER In the style of any famous author, write a description of any one of these people: Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prince Charles or Sylvester Stallone. H
175 FOSSIL FOOLS What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items? H
173 DEAD RECKONING Propose a question that might be asked by a living celebrity to a famous dead person. You must name the living person, name the dead person, and tell us the question. H
170 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Why are these people smiling? 3
169 DIFF'RENT JOKES Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. 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. H H H L
164 MEAN MEANINGS Translate things politicians say into what they really mean. H
159 ODDBALLS Which item in each series does not belong? Explain your answer. E
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. 4 H
155 COMPARISON SHOPPING Explain the difference between any two of the above items. E H
154 ENTER LAUGHING Make up a knock-knock joke. The subject of the third line must be something crude, silly, or profound. H H H
151 STRIP MINING Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post. W
147 JUST FOR LIFFS Come up with original liffs, which identify a familiar, tantalizing concept without a word to define it, and pairs it with a perfectly good but underutilized word that just loafs around on maps and street signs. L
145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. L
143 IT'S MY PARODY (& I'LL TRY IF I WANT TO) Rewrite any common jingle or theme song in the style of famous writer. H
142 EXHIBITING BAD TENDENCIES Come up with the winner of next year's Turner Prize, which says its aim is to expand ideas of what is art. H L
141 ASK BACKWARD VII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? E H
140 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY? Come up with "What-If" scenarios and logical outcomes. H
136 NEW END IN SIGHT Come up with new endings to make literary classics more suitable for Hollywood in the 1990s. H H H I
135 JERRY-BUILT SOLUTIONS Come up with Seinfeld-isms: whiny, quirky musings on little questions of life. H
134 A SIMPLE CLERIHEW ERROR Revive clerihews. A clerihew is a biographical poem in four lines divided into two rhyming couplets. The rhyme scheme is aa bb. The first line of the clerihew must contain the name of the subject of the poem. The lines must be of disparate meter, the clunkier the better. H
129 REMAKE US HAPPY Come up with alternative story lines to movie titles, new or old. 2 2 H
128 LIKE, DUH Come up with snappy answers to stupid questions. H
126 EVERYBODY'S TALKIN' What are these people, etc., saying or thinking? E
124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. H H P
123 WHY IS POOP FUNNY? Come up with creative answers to any of the five questions above that might be asked by a 5-year-old. H
121 IT'S NO USE Come up with useless products. H H I
120 SIMILE OUTRAGEOUS Come up with inept analogies, rotten comparisons as a literary device. 1 H L
119 MUZAK TO OUR EAR Come up with unfortunate Muzak songs to hear on the phone while on hold. You can use either a song title or a lyric. H
115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. 2 H
114 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Come up with jokes to culminate in any of these six punch lines. 1 H P
113 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take a list of horses nominated to the Triple Crown races this year, choose any two, and propose a name for their offspring. L
111 ASK BACKWARDS V Here are the answers. What are the questions? H H H H
110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. L
108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. H H W
107 CLUSTERS' LAST STAND Take an actual star cluster, redraw the lines into a different image, and give it a new name. W
106 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Who are these people, and what are they doing? H H
102 HELP! I'M A PRISONER IN THIS CONTEST Come up with fortune cookie messages that you would love to see, but never will. I
101 [deliberately left blank] [deliberately left blank] H
96 STICK IT IN YOUR ERA Come up with a catch phrase for the 1990s. H H H I W
95 HOW'S THAT AGAIN? Take any headline appearing anywhere in The Post this week and completely rewrite the first lines of the story to put a different, unintended spin on it. H I
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. 2 H H
92 PLOTBOILERS Tell us what excerpts from celebrities' novels might look like. 3 H H
91 ASK BACKWARD IV You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
90 BILL US NOW Come up with funny legislation based on the names of the 102 freshman congresspersons. H
88 GIVE US SOME GOOD NEWS Come up with ways things are going to be different now that Republicans have ascended to power. 3 H H
86 EXCUSES, EXCUSES Come up with funny excuses for various malfeasances. H H W
84 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. H
83 BEDROOM FARCE What questions were left out of the Great American Sex Survey? 1 L
82 PICTURE THIS Who are these people, and what are they doing? H
80 NICK KNACKS Come up with a great nickname for any contemporary celebrity. H
77 THE RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD II What do these ink blots mean? H
76 ADIOS. Tell us, in 40 words or fewer, what is great about August in Washington. It's August, and we're out of here. H
75 CURSES! Come up with modern maledictions in the wise and entertaining Yiddish tradition. H H W
74 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? H
72 OH, HELL Come up with the perfect vision of Hell for a famous person, living or dead. H
71 CAPTION CRUNCH III Come up with a new, funnier caption for any picture or illustration anywhere in today's newspaper. 2 H
69 LAYING DOWN THE LAW Send us some exciting new principles that explain why things happen they way they happen. L
68 GIVE US A SIGN Come up with new astrological signs for the 1990s, together with one day's horoscope. H H H
63 BAD ABOUT YOU Come up with a lame idea for a Style Invitational contest, an idea destined to create unfunny results. 1 H
58 PLAY IT AGAIN, DENZEL Bring Casablanca into the 1990s. Write the opening of a plot outline, in 120 words or fewer. 1

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 ...]