Week 855: The news could be verse

In a poll, D.C.'s parents say schools are improving
But they're not liking Chancellor Rhee.
And since she's the same person who's gotten things moving,
In logic, we'll give them a D.

Last's week's obituary poems once again reminded us how well the Loser corps can recount an event -- or a whole life -- in the space of a few lines, and in rhyme to boot. We understand that some Losers even read the newspaper, at least if someone holds some stupid prize in front of them. This week: Sum up an article (or even an ad!) in any Washington Post print or online edition from Feb. 6 through Feb. 15 in verse. Our last current-events poetry contest, in June, was for haiku; haiku are welcome this time, too, but they have to be stellar to trump four lines of ingenious doggerel. There's no length limit, but longer poems have to be worth the space. Please include the headline of the story; if the point of the story isn't clear from the headline, also describe it briefly.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives -- don't say we don't give out big-money prizes -- a $100 trillion bill. Zimbabwean. It's no longer valid, but last year this bill could buy several loaves of bread. Donated by the magnanimous Rick Haynes.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug (see slide show at right for photos of prizes). Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Loser Magnets. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 15. Put "Week 855" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published March 6. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's results is by Craig Dykstra; this week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Chris Doyle.

Report from Week 851, in which we asked you to "shrink" the title of a book, play or movie and describe the new plot.

We got lots of funny titles whose descriptions didn't really enhance them, including "Less Miserables," "Mildly Annoyed Max," "Post-it Notes From the Underground," "Physician Assistant Zhivago," "The Discount of Monte Cristo," "Intestine of Darkness," "The Meh Santini," "Lost Verizon," "Policy Disagreement on the Bounty," "Malcolm PG-13" and "Nicoderm Road."

The winner of the Inker

The Fifth Sense: "I smell dead people." (Adam and Russell Beland, Fairfax)

2. the winner of the unflattering Eleanor Roosevelt doll:

The Mediocre Gatsby: The biography of Tareq Salahi. (Ira Allen, Bethesda)

3. Slaughterhouse $4.99: A family gets to choose among beef, chicken and pork with all the trimmings -- only at Denny's! (Greg Arnold, Herndon)

4. Three Days of the Condom: Love on a shoestring. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)

Missed the Marquee: Honorable Mentions

Guess Who's Coming To: A guy passes out. Then he wakes up. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)

Casablank: Rick can't really recall meeting Ilsa before, but he plays along because, what the heck, she looks like Ingrid Bergman. (Larry Yungk, Arlington)

The Least of the Mohicans: A young Indian in New York scalps his theater tickets. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

The Manchurian Media Darling Who Won't Say He's Running and Won't Say He Isn't: A Chinese plot to get Americans to give up on democracy once and for all. (Tom Kreitzberg, Silver Spring)

Perturbed Bull: "Did you read off-color poetry to my wife?" (Bruce Alter, Fairfax Station)

Halve-atar: See it in 1.5-D! (Jim Deutsch, Washington)

75 Days of Summer: A guy lives in Minnesota. (Josh Borken, Minneapolis)

One Hundred Minutes of Solitude: A teenager gets after-school detention. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

Apollo 12: Three U.S. astronauts blast off for the moon, where they plant a flag, gather rocks and drink Tang, then return to Earth without incident. (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

20,000 Millimeters Under the Sea: The story of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. (Jon Graft, Centreville)

The Satanic Doggerel: The Koran in limerick form. "There once was a Prophet from Mecca . . ." (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Oh. Calcutta: Teens are disappointed after sneaking into a play about . . . Calcutta. (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick)

Eat, Pay, Love: Eliot Spitzer's soul-stirring memoir of self-discovery on a brief business trip to Washington. (Gordon Barnes, Alexandria)

The Hitchhikers CliffsNotes to the Galaxy: 42. (Kyle Hendrickson)

Naked Breakfast: Embarrassing dad forgets to close his robe while cooking, finally learns lesson from bacon splatter. (Randy Lee, Burke)

The Pelican Briefs: Travelers with oversize underwear arouse suspicion at airport security checkpoints. (Jeff Loren, Manassas)

The Man Who Would Be Deputy Assistant Secretary: The stark truth about civil service. (John Shea, Lansdowne, Pa.)

Reasonable Expectations: Orphaned Pip realizes that his life in the mid-19th century is going to stink no matter what. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)

Gone in 60 Minutes: Man starts the car while his wife finishes getting ready to leave. (David Friedman, Boston)

Gone in 30 Seconds: Fast-paced film about a mom who brings home pizza for three teenage boys. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

Around the Mall in 80 Minutes: NOBODY has those cute boots! (Jean Berard, Arnold, Md., a First Offender)

Mr. Smith Goes to Scaggsville: Near the end of his trip to the nation's capital, a traffic jam on I-95 forces him off the road south of Baltimore. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Lightly Soiled Harry: "What you have to ask yourself is 'Do I feel yucky?' " (Russell Beland)

The Hunchback of South Bend Community College: Walk-on lineman doesn't let his disability deter him in the big game against Iowa Normal School. (Edmund Conti)

The Da Vinci Code Ring: Robert Langdon unearths a monstrous conspiracy hidden in a box of Cracker Jack. (Ben Frey, Frederick, a First Offender)

Next Week: Small, Lets Get, or The Taper Chase