Style Invitational Week 1053: Questionable Journalism, plus new movie

By Pat Myers
Thursday, December 26, 11:46 AM

*A: We were in the Guggenheim for almost three hours and had absolutely
no idea what the heck was going on.*
*Q: What would you hate to overhear one doctor say to another as they
leave the operating room after brain surgery on your wife? * /(Tom
Kreitzberg, 2003)/

The “answer” in the entry above, the winner of Week 501, was actually
about an avant-garde art museum installation. But taking statements out
of context is a proud tradition here in Loserland, especially in this
contest that we’ve done at least seven times before, and is similar to
the bank headline contest we ran six weeks ago.*This week: Quote an
actual sentence, from The Washington Post, or another
print or online publication dated between Dec. 26 and Jan. 6, and follow
it with a question that the sentence might answer. *You may omit the
beginning and/or the end of the sentence if the cut doesn’t
significantly change its meaning; for example, you can leave out “Smith
said,” but you can’t change “Parents say the tests don’t reflect what’s
taught in the classroom” to “Parents say the tests don’t reflect,” and
then write something about mirrors. If the actual sentence is a fragment
(i.e., it’s not technically a sentence because it doesn’t have both a
subject and a verb), we’ll count it as a sentence anyway. For stories
and ads in the print Post, include the page number; for online articles,
please copy part of the story or the URL of the page where you found the
sentence. For print-only articles from other publications, you’re on the
honor system, but make sure you copy the sentence correctly.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives this smokin’ hot oven mitt
donated by
156-time Loser Nan Reiner, who noted that it bears a distinct
resemblance to the Empress’s predecessor, the Czar
of the Style
Invitational, except that the mitt man is wearing little wire nipple
rings. What we want to know is how Nan knew that the Czar’s nipple rings
are actually star-shaped and have tassels dangling from them.

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

or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag.
mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate

or Puns of Steel.
Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). E-mail entries to /
/ or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is
Monday, Jan. 6; results published Jan. 26 (online Jan. 23). No more than
25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1053” 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 . The subhead
for this week’s honorable mentions is b Danielle Nowlin; the alternative
headline for the “next week’s results” line is by Art Grinath. Join the
lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /
,/ and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of
the Day at / /

*Report from Week 1049, in which we asked you to suggest some new movie ratings to warn against
various objectionable aspects of films: And we also wanted to share a
few more honorable mentions from the Week 1047 bank headlines contest.

*The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial*

*Rated HMO:* Heroic music overload. A surplus of swirling, surging
swells of sound at point after point in the film, such as when the main
character squares his shoulders and decides to cross the street and buy
himself a soda. /(John Shea, Philadelphia)/

*2.* */Winner of the Instant Underpants plus the Magic Boxer Shorts:/ *
*Rated WEF: * Weird enough to be foreign./(Madeleine Begun Kane, New
York) /

*3.* *Rated PF: *Plot-free. Remember the bit you saw in the trailer
where the scantily clad woman went on a car chase through a minefield?
Well, there’s 90 minutes of posturing and then that./(Andy Bassett, New
Plymouth, New Zealand)/

*4.* *Rated BNS:* Badly needs subtitles. “At least that movie about
Scottish addicts was BNS; it would’ve been more depressing if we’d
understood it.” /(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)/

*Rating in the wings: honorable mentions*

*Rated MC-17:* It might star the same actress, but it’s sooo not a
Hannah Montana movie. /(Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)/

*Rated Y:* Completely unnecessary remake of an earlier movie./(Bill
Munson, Alexandria, Va., a First Offender)/

*Rated ZZZ: * Movie features Abraham Lincoln but no vampires. /(Mark
Raffman, Reston, Va.,)/

*Rated PV-13:* Theaters have been ordered to show 13 previews first.
/(Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)/

*Rated AABA:* Americans attempting British accent. /(Robert Schechter,
Dix Hills, N.Y.)/

*Rated WA:* Protagonist gets tired of mature, opinionated,
girlfriend/wife telling him he’s a big jerk. Meets and falls madly in
love with sweet, uncritical, tantalizingly sexy young woman. Written and
directed by Woody Allen. /(Mark Asquino, Washington) /

*Rated NC-17-s:* Warning: Movie contains 17 or more seconds of Nicolas
Cage. /(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.) /

*Rated PNP:* Made by a noted director, so you can pretend it’s not porn.
/(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)/

*Rated PB-4:* Running time exceeds three hours. /(Danielle Nowlin) /

*Rated P+G: * Essentially a soap opera./(Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)/

*Rated He: *Contains squeaky voices that will be endlessly imitated by
either your children or that irritating co-worker in the next cubicle.
/(Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)/

*Rated H2O:* The script conveniently includes a rainstorm, water
sprinkler, or pratfall into a pool resulting in wet shirts, skirts and
flirts./(Kevin Dopart, Washington)/

*Rated UN:* Features people yelling and pointing fingers at each other,
followed by a lengthy intermission, then ends with people yelling and
pointing fingers./(Mike Ostapiej, Mount Pleasant, S.C.) /

*Rated O: *The female characters have gone through a traumatic divorce,
been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, found spiritual
fulfillment, or experienced some combination of these, or at a bare
minimum have recently enjoyed a novel by Nicholas Sparks./(Christopher
Lamora, Los Angeles)/

*Rated MMM: *Contains George Clooney./(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)/

*Rated ASAP2DVD:* Look for it in the Walmart $4.98 bin in a couple of
months. /(Dan O’Day, Alexandria, Va.; Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.) /

*Rated 2HCFT: * Two-hour toy commercial./(Elliott Schiff, Allentown, Pa.)/

*Rated EW:* May contain references to parental intercourse. /(Beverley

*Rated NGES:* Not as good as his early stuff./(Gary Crockett) /

*Rated CN:* Nobody rates Chuck Norris. /(Mike Ostapiej)/

*More bank headlines from Week 1047*

/Actual headline:/ *Kid needs a name? Let the Web decide*
/Bank head:/ Zoo execs don’t rule out naming panda cub ‘Some Pig’
/(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)/

*New push to limit Va. out-of-state admissions*
Funds sought for electrified fence on W.Va. border/(Elden Carnahan)/

*Court: Family must return ancient tablet to Germany *
First aspirin manufactured by Bayer family to be sent home /(Bruce
Alter, Fairfax Station, Va.) /

*Bills would pave the way for Internet gambling*
‘Make them unmarked hundreds,’ Hill aide requests/(Chris Doyle, Ponder,
Tex.) /

*Federal school grants produce mixed results *
Lettuce earns an A at USDA U., but tomatoes get failing grade/(Mark

*Study digs into modern-day dogs’ European ancestry*
Genetic link found between Anthony Weiner, Henry VIII/(Howard Walderman,
Columbia, Md.) /

*Virginia responds to message*
New York Sun runs tot’s open letter to Santa: ‘So where’s my pony?’
/(Brendan Beary) /

*Still running — deadline Monday night: Our reverse crossword, where we
supply a filled-in grid and you write some clues. See*

*LOOK WHO’S NOT TALKING: * The Empress isn’t posting her Style
Conversational column
this week on But she’ll be happy to answer
questions, publicly or privately, about this week’s contest: Either
e-mail her at or
post a question for all to see on the Style Invitational Devotees page
at . She’ll respond pretty fast
and promises not to mock you. Too much.

*Next week’s results: Just Redo It, *or *Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Recycled
Ideas,* our contest that invited you to enter or reenter any of the
year’s previous contests. See .

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