PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR MEG SULLIVAN

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
1252 It's a med, med, med, med world Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. H
1215 A so-so contest (How so-so is it?) Write a humorous exaggeration in the form "x is so y that " H
1031 The 'Sty'le Invitational Choose any word, name, or short term; emphasize a key, suddenly pertinent part of it with quotation marks; then redefine the word. H
921 Give Us Willies Write an original Little Willie poem, perhaps reflecting our current era. This is a venerable four-line genre in which Master W. does some nasty thing and doesn't tend to learn to be a Good Boy by poem's end. H
652 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the questions. M
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. 3 H
604 Fun for the Roses 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. The name of the foal must be no more than 18 characters, including spaces. H H 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. 1 H H
532 Short Pans Come up with a terse review (four words or fewer) of any work of art. H
520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? H
516 Err Apparent Come up with unwise things to say in any of the provided circumstances. 1 H
513 It's Delete We Can Do Come up with very bad subject lines for spam e-mail--lines that will guarantee instant deletion, sight unseen. H H
510 Universal Embarrassment What would you like to see Miss Universe Pageant contestants asked live, on national TV? H
508 Letter Rip Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word. H
502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? H H
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 H H
489 Combo, First Blood Combine two people whose names contain a common element, as in the examples above. Then describe the person, or provide a quote he or she might have uttered. H
476 Portmanteautapping Make a new word by squishing together two existing words. The constituent words must share at least two letters. W
465 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any word or word combination in today's Post that is broken by a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word from the same story, and define the new word that is formed. H
461 Punch Us Again Take any comic from the daily Washington Post during the next week and make it better by changing the contents of the final word balloon. H W
459 Stock Humor Look at any of the abbreviated company names in the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange listings in any newspaper's business section and suggest what business the companies might be in. H
457 Letter Rip Give us the beginning of a letter to the editor that is certain never to see print. 2
455 Comixing Create new comic characters by crossing two existing characters, then describe the character. H H
454 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
439 No Can Do Write signs of incompetence. 1
437 The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. H
429 Shark Instruments Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark. H
413 Bland Ambition Come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. H
412 Painful Climaxes Come up with statements that start really dramatically, but leave you sorta flat at the end. H H
410 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 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
406 Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. 1
405 The "Sty"le Invitational Take any word--this may include people or places--put a portion of it in "air quotes" and redefine it. You may not alter the spelling. T
403 Cry, Uncle! Write the beginnings of an obituary that will provide the details of what happened to the Style Invitational Uncle. 2 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
389 Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. 2 H U
388 Pitches in the Dirt Come up with a sales pitch to get any surplus product off the shelves. H
382 Pickup Schticks Write inept pickup lines, by either sex, to either sex. H
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
378 Bill Us Now Come up with a bill sponsored by any of the newly elected U.S. senators and representatives, and explain the purpose of the bill. 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
376 Apply Yourself Supply bad openings to college application biographies. H
374 Bill Us Later Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium. 1 H H H
373 An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? H
371 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? W
367 Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. H
365 Terse Verse Ask a question and then answer it with a rhyme. Your answer can be as many words as you wish, but all must have the same rhyme. 4
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. U
361 Bad Libs Select one subject, one verb, and one object from the provided lists, and then answer the riddle you create. H H
359 It's No Party Come up with a new political party and its main political tenet. H H H
356 Med Icks Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. H H H
355 Seeing Stars Tell us ways we can attract celebrity participation to this contest. 2 H H H U
354 Everyone's a Critic Adopt the style of a famous writer and review any of the provided dishes. H
352 A Laff Riot Take the name of a company and/or its commercial product and provide it a new definition. H H
351 Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. H H
349 Orienting Oneself Produce a haiku using only words found in today's Washington Post. Your entry must have three lines, the first containing exactly five syllables, the second containing exactly seven syllables, the third containing exactly five. 3
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
346 Greasy Kids Tough Take any news event from history, recent or ancient, large or small, and rewrite it in 100 words or fewer as it might have appeared in KidsPost. H H
344 What Kind of Foal Am I? Envision the mating of any two of the 387 horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown, and propose a name for their foal. The foal's name must be contained in 18 or fewer letters and spaces. H H H H
343 Eastwood Ho. Create a Good-Bad-Ugly progression. H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H H
339 Campaignful Developments Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble. H H H
338 WHO WANTS TO WIN A TOILET? Propose even greater depths of shameless, tasteless sleaze to which Fox TV is likely to sink after the noisome debacle of "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" H
336 THE "STY"LE INVITATIONAL Choose any word and emphasize a single part of it, as though you were saying the word out loud with "air quotes" around the key part. Then redefine the word. You cannot alter the spelling of the word. H H H H H
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. H H H
332 AUTHORS IN SEARCH OF A CHARACTER Come up with a three- or four-panel cartoon about any of the winning characters from Week 332. W
329 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL: HELL Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. You may add spacing and punctuation, but you may not move letters around. H H
327 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
325 THE BURMA ROAD Propose welcoming doggerel for states or cities patterned after Burma Shave signs. 2
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. 3 H
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
321 INTERPRET THIS Take any of the provided cartoons and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. H
310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. H
308 GIVE US NO MO Write an updated version of those old children's selecting rhymes. Your rhyme must (1) rhyme and (2) conform, at least loosely, to a point-and-shoot cadence that permits the elimination of one item from a group. 2
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. 2 4 H W
302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. H
300 A BRAND NEW CONTEST Come up with celebrity-brand products. H H H
299 ANOTHER LEFTIST RAG Write the day's tabloid headlines with your left hand only. (This means you can use no keys to the right of 6, T, G and B.) H
296 BILL US LATER Choose among the names of any of the newly elected U.S. senators or representatives and propose a bill they might sponsor. H
295 PANEL DISCUSSION Supply the contents of the missing panel in the provided cartoon strips. H H
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. H
292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. H
287 BEFORE AND AFTERMATH Begin with a real name, append to it a word, name or expression that completes the bridge, and finally define the resulting phrase. 5
286 CLINTOONS Make your own Clintoon, a comic strip consisting of any or all of the provided drawings. W
281 CALCULATE THE ODDS Tell us which of the two provided items does not belong with the other two, and why. 1
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. H H H
273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of things that will never happen. H
272 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? H H
271 YOGI BEARER Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a souffl when you poke it a little H
269 SIGNS, AND THE TIMES Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it. 3
266 DEFINITELY WEIRD Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it. H H
261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. H
252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. 2
198 YOU MUST BE MAD II Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups. H
195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. H
177 SOUNDS LIKE TROUBLE Tell us what any of the provided sounds are. H
150 TRIAL BALLOONS What are the people saying? H
141 ASK BACKWARD VII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 2
139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. H
138 LIST BUT NOT LEAST Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. 1
125 ASK BACKWARD VI You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
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
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
110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. H H
106 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Who are these people, and what are they doing? H
105 WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? Come up with Good Ideas and then convert them to Bad Ideas through slight changes in wording. H
103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. 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. 3
98 YOUR CHEATIN' ART Come up with titles for country music songs featuring any one or more of the following themes: cheatin', thievin', drinkin', truckin', lovin' or dogs. H
90 BILL US NOW Come up with funny legislation based on the names of the 102 freshman congresspersons. H
49 A SLALOM OCCASION Come up with events for a Washington Olympics. They can be winter or summer sports, based on bureaucracy or other themes peculiar to Washington, and must include a brief description of the event. H
44 ADVERB PUBLICITY Write us a Tom Swiftly or two, updated for the '90s. Each must include a reference to a famous person or institution. H
37 A STATE OF DISGRACE? Propose any of the following for D.C.: A State Name, A State Flower, A State Bird, A State Slogan, A State Capital, A Governor, An Insulting State Joke. R
28 MOTHERS-IN-LAW OF INVENTION Propose some drastic change in government to help the economy or otherwise improve the quality of life in America. H
22 STUMP US Come up with slogans for the 1996 presidential campaign. H
21 A SO-SO CONTEST Describe somebody--or something--through exaggerated comparison. H
19 A RECYCLED IDEA THAT WAS NONE TOO GOOD TO BEGIN WITH Alter a well-known phrase or name by deleting, adding or changing only one letter, and then supply a definition for what results. H H H
18 PUNCH US IN THE EAR Give us a motto for The Washington Post. 7 H
15 PUNCH US Complete any of the provided jokes in 75 words or fewer. 3
14 COLLECTIVE INSANITY Modernize collective nouns (as in a "pride" of lions or an "exaltation" of larks), inventing snide new names for groups of things. 6 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 ...]