Week 1048: Ask Backwards, and some Losing safety regulations

*Men at Twerk
The Toronto mayor’s latest revelation
The Two and a Half Wise Men
The Wicked Witch of the Waist
140 characters on baloney
Foie gras ice cream
A* *panini, a pineapple and a pincushion
4 miles, 27 pounds
Omaha bin Laden
The Empress’s birthday
An answer for the next Ask Backwards *

Once again, our beloved (or not too often behated) perennial contest:
*Above are the 12 answers. You supply the questions to as many of the
answers as you like,* up to the usual 25 entries total. The answers were
offered up by various sources who won’t be entering the contest,
including the deposed Czar of the Style Invitational and the
still-current Imperial Scion No. 1.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives, actually in time for the holiday, a
Christmas ornament two-pack: a ceramic T-shirt-shaped “Biggest Loser,”

presumably promoting the TV show; and, discovered by the Empress in the
dollar store, “The Christmas Pickle.” A card explains the “time honored,
German tradition”: “Following an Old World custom, parents waited until
Christmas Eve to hide a small pickle ornament on the Christmas tree,
tucking it out of sight among the branches. On Christmas morning, the
first family member to spot the pickle was rewarded with a special
blessing for the coming year and received the first present from under
the tree.” This turns out to be totally bogus; evidently some American
ornament-maker came up with this “tradition” about the
“Weihnachtsgurke,” and no actual Germans have heard of it. Also, the
German tradition is to open presents on Christmas Eve.

*Other runners-up *win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug

or the ardently desired Grossery Bag
Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, probably one of
those pictured today. First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air
“freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). E-mail entries to /losers@washpost.com
/ or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is
Monday, Dec. 2; results published Dec. 22 (online Dec. 19). No more than
25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1048” in your e-mail
subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name,
postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and
guidelines at wapo.st/inviterules . The
subhead for this week’s honorable mentions was submitted by both Jeff
Contompasis and Danielle Nowlin; the alternative headline in the “next
week’s results” line is by Tom Witte. Join the lively Style Invitational
Devotees group on Facebook at /on.fb.me/invdev
,/ and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of
the Day at /bit.ly/inkofday. /

*Report from Week 1044, in which we asked for comical safety rules:

*The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

To avoid spinal injuries to women, elementary school sidewalks must be
poured as continuous slabs of concrete. /(Stan McCoy, Bethesda, Md.,
whose received his only other blot of Invite ink in 2005)/

*2. * *Winner of the custom-made Loser Dreidels
with L-O-S-R
and the Hebrew equivalents: *“Staring daggers” is no longer allowed in
the workplace, but “staring butter knives” will be permitted. /(Mark
Raffman, Reston, Va.) /

*3.* In the restroom: During hand-washing, the alphabet song must be
sung once for Number 1, and twice for Number 2. A monitor will record
compliance./(Heather Spence, New York)/

*4.* School toilet rims must be padded to prevent injury during
swirlies. /(Kevin Dopart, Washington) /

*Safety nyets: honorable mentions*

All restaurants must be located at least an hour’s drive from any beach
or swimming pool./(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)/

To prevent accidental shootings, hunters must carry a device that emits
a beep audible at 250 yards, along with a flashing beacon./(Dave Prevar,
Annapolis, Md.) /

Children wearing zombie Halloween costumes must have a fluorescent
orange sticker on their foreheads saying “FAKE ZOMBIE” so that law
enforcement officers do not accidentally shoot them. /(Art Grinath,
Takoma Park, Md.) /

Because of last summer’s brain-freeze pandemic, ice cream will now be
served at room temperature. (/Barry Koch. Catlett, Va.; Martin Bancroft,
Issaquah, Wash.)/

Danger: Room atmosphere is 79 percent nitrogen, an odorless, colorless
gas that does not support life. Avoid breathing. /(Irene G. Plotzker,
Wilmington, Del., a First Offender)/

All rigid plastic “clamshell” packaging must come with Band-Aids./(Art
Grinath) /

Signs must be posted at street corners: “Cross with care, especially if
you are wearing tattered underwear.” /(Edmund Conti, Raleigh) /

Due to a recent tree-climbing incident at another Montgomery County
elementary school, all trees and other vegetation exceeding 16 inches in
height have been removed from school grounds. To mitigate negative
aesthetic impacts, all teachers are required to wear brown footwear,
brown pants and green shirts when outside during recess. /(James Adler,
Potomac, Md., a First Offender)/

Place “Caution: Handrail Ending” signs at the bottoms of all staircases
in your home. /(Michael Rae, Potomac, Md.)/

To minimize the chances of concussion and hand injury, always allow the
Frisbee to hit the ground and come to a complete stop before picking it
up and tossing it back. /(Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.) /

Pepper spray makes a poor steak marinade and should be labeled as such.
/(Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.) /

Goo Gone is intended for removal of residue from household surfaces and
clothing, and is not recommended for use as an enema. /(Diane Yamini,
Williamsburg, Va., a First Offender) /

To avoid mistaken identity, everyone should have a single nine-character
name generated at birth by the government. If the letters in the names
alternate any of 16 distinct consonants with any of five distinct
vowels, we could have 573,440,000 unique names to pass out before adding
a 10th character. In fact, I have a program here that gave me the
splendid names Kenalijeb, Pokajamod, Jafolonal, Nogogegaj and Piregelob.
/(Elden Carnahan, Laurel), Md. /

At Fukushima Beach: After eating, wait 25,000 years before going in the
water. /(Kevin Dopart)/

Only tweet pictures of other people’s junk. — “Carlos Safety,” New York
/(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)/

*Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest to reinterpret
headlines by writing a “bank head” to follow it. See bit.ly/invite1047. *

**No Mars for you!* *

Remember our contest this year for haiku to send on the Maven spacecraft
to Mars? We didn’t think it was likely, but we did encourage y’all to
send your inking entries to NASA’s own contest. Well, the voters picked
a bunch of winners, and they weren’t the Losers’. But they might have been!

In the results published by the University of Colorado, which was in
charge of the contest, there’s this at the bottom:
“On May 23, 2013, the Washington Post acknowledged our haiku contest and
ran their own contest in response (The Style Invitational Week 1023
). . . . Alas, none of The Style’s winning
entries were submitted to our contest!

Dear Empress: In vain
we searched for shared haiku; yours
must be from Venus.”

/See the results at bit.ly/marshaiku ./

/See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational
(published late
Thursday), in which she discusses today’s new contest and results along
with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite
among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose
the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when
the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, sign up here
or write to the Empress at
losers@washpost.com (note that in the
subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook,
join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees
and chime in there. /

*Next week’s results: Songs for the Asking, *
or *Question Airs, * a contest that sought questions that a line in a
song could answer. See bit.ly/invite1045 .