Style Invitational Week 954: Bring on the ‘fight’ jokes; and some
winning chutzpah

By Pat Myers,January 13, 2012

*A woman frowned into the bedroom mirror. “Ugh,” she said despondently
to her husband, “I look so old, so fat, so ugly. Honey, I really need
you to tell me something good about me.”*

*“Well,” he answered agreeably, “your eyesight’s darn near perfect.”*

*And then the fight started. . . *

It’s an old joke, notes occasional Loser Bill Verkuilen of Minnesota.
And jokes with the same tag line — basically, the genre incorporates
dialogue featuring a cleverly cutting remark — are all over the Web.
Your job, of course, is to top them with your own. *This week: Tell us
an original joke ending with “And then the fight started.”* Stealing
will prompt a very nasty fight. And keep them concise while still
telling the joke entertainingly. (The example above is 43 words without
the tag line.)

Winner gets the Inker,

the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives two fine
volumes: “Go to Hell
which is a lighthearted book about various cultures’ concepts of the
underworld, but more notably a gift (now regifted) to Loser Tom Witte
from his devoted son-in-law; and the fine volume “Fart Proudly: Writings
of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School
courtesy of Cheryl Davis. The book demonstrates why Ben was such an
early champion of free speech.

*Other runners-up *win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational
Loser T-shirt
yearned-for Loser Mug
. Honorable
mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet.

First Offenders get a tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their
first ink). E-mail entries to
or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday,
Jan. 23; results published Feb. 12 (Feb. 10 online). No more than 25
entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 954” in your e-mail subject
line or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal
address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and
guidelines at
. The revised title for
next week is by Kathy El-Assal; the subhead for this week’s honorable
mentions is by Judy Blanchard. Join theStyle Invitational Devotees
on Facebook at

*Report from Week 950*, in which we asked for examples of the Yiddish term “chutzpah” —
basically astonishingly nervy gall — to match Leo Rosten’s classic
a man who murders his parents and then asks the court for mercy because
he’s an orphan.

A number of people submitted incidents from their own
lives; while we’re sure they made the entrants’ jaws drop at the time,
our own mandible stayed fairly horizontal during the judging.

*The winner of the Inker*

Chutzpah is criticizing a part of the first lady’s anatomy
despite having – no, being – a far bigger one
yourself. /(Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)/

*2.**Winner of the music box that plays “If I Only Had a Brain” (and,
remember, “da noiv”): *“Chutzpah” is the word Barack Obama wanted to use
instead of “audacity” in the title of his book, but he didn’t have the
chutzpah. /(Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)/

*3.* Saying to the police officer, “Okay, I’ll count backward by sevens
drunk if you can do it sober.” /(Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)/

*4.*/A true one:/ When your neighbors down the street invite you to an
open-house party and the pictures on the wall all have price tags. (I
don’t think they read the Invitational.) /(Roy Ashley, Washington)/

*Brazenets: Honorable mentions*

Chutzpah is thinking that you’re as smart as Newt Gingrich . . . thinks
he is. /(John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)/

“Jesus, I’m grateful you raptured me and I wasn’t left behind. But, you
know, I had a hat. . . .” /(David Genser, Poway, Calif.)/

Claiming that God was on your side in a bowl game when you don’t even
know what college God went to. /(Neal Starkman, Seattle)/

Before starting a pyramid investment scheme, legally changing your name
to Ponzi. /(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)/

“Tonight, in the fourth of my eight State of the Union addresses. . . .”
/(David Genser)/

Driving to a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., in a truck with this on
the bumper . /(Elden Carnahan) /

On a first date, I always bring a set of luxury sheets, since whatever
thread count she has is not likely to suit my skin. /(David Kleinbard,
Jersey City) /

Telling Your Mama jokes to your kid. /(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)/

When you give someone the shirt off your back and he asks you for the
cuff links./(Robert Schechter) /

The guy who won’t use a condom with his mistress because he’s Catholic.
/(Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)/

Another true one: Martin Stoner, 60, entered a Young Concert Artists
music competition in New York but was rejected
too old. He sued for age discrimination, but then requested a new judge
because the one he got, age 88, was “too old.” /(Jon Spell, Orem, Utah)/

Chutzpah is writing “See you in September!” at the bottom of your
Harvard application. /(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)/

One more true one: Chutzpah is telling a bunch of 6-foot-5 dudes who
bench-press 500 pounds to wear skintight outfits
with yellow and black zigzaggy patches on one
side and red and white key thingies on the other. Plus matching hats and
shoes. /(Nan Reiner)/

Pronouncing “chutzpah” with a ch- as in “chair,” as Michele Bachmann
famously did a few months ago, then insisting that’s the proper American
way to say it./(Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)/

/And Last:/ Murdering your parents, throwing yourself on the mercy of
the court because you’re an orphan, and then telling about it as an
entry to the Style Invitational. /(Gregory Koch, Storrs, Conn.)/

*Next week: Say That Again, *or *Two Sense Worth*