Style Invitational Week 1081: It’s the stupidity, stupid — be a dumb-ask
Plus the swiftest Swifties from Week 1077
“Like I know it’s really hot but I am thinking if they went in the
winter time when the sun is only like 30 degrees I bet they could do
it.” — Yahoo Answers (Bob Staake for The Washington Post )
By Pat Myers July 17
feedback for 'Style Invitational Week 1081: It’s the stupidity, stupid —
be a dumb-ask'>
(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning and losing Tom Swifty
jokes from Week 1077.)
/“Do you think humans will ever walk on the sun?
was just daydreaming and thinking today and I thought about how crazy it
was that a person has walked on the moon and Mars. I was just wondering
if u think a person will ever walk on the sun too? Like I know it’s
really hot but I am thinking if they went in the winter time when the
sun is only like 30 degrees I bet they could do it.” /
/“Is throwing your hair in the garbage safe? I wanted to be sure because
in biology we learned it has DNA and stuff so is it safe?” /
/“Last year I was Catholic
I’m bored with that now. How can I change my race to Chinese or
Russian?”/ — Questions posted on Yahoo Answers
Whoever said there are no stupid questions hasn’t been anywhere near an
Internet. The three questions above were posted in recent years on the
Yahoo Answers site, in which the reading public may answer them
helpfully or unhelpfully, and were compiled, along with 35 others, by
and passed on to the Empress by 63-time Loser Fred Dawson. They’re all
still online at Yahoo Answers; we’ve fixed the spelling and
capitalization a bit to make them halfway readable (part of the first
question actually reads, “. . . if u think a person will ever walk on
the sun to? like i kno its realy hot . . .”).
Your mission is obvious: *Write us stupid questions that will make us
laugh, *like the probably serious ones above. Bad grammar or spelling
doesn’t make us laugh; that just makes us weary. The sun-walk example is
82 words, but aim for closer to 50, or fewer.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives another in our series of bad-taste ceramic
mugs: This one is called the Big Sipper, and it’s clearly designed to be
filled with milk, given that on one side is an udderly feminine swelling
where the drinker imbibes. (If by chance the winner has any propriety or
is a kid, we will substitute something else.) Brought all the way from
Seattle by visiting Loser P. Diane Schneider, who donates it from her
*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 /firstname.lastname@example.org
/ or, if you were born in the 19th century,
fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, July 28; results published Aug.
17 (online Aug. 14). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest.
Include “Week 1081” 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/InvRules
. This week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by
Brendan Beary; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results”
line is by Jeff Contompasis. 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.
^ *THE STYLE CONVERSATIONAL * The Empress’s weekly online column (posted
late Thursday afternoon) discusses each new contest and set of results.
Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .
LET’S GET TO THE RESULTS OF WEEK 1077 RIGHT AWAY, THE EMPRESS SAID SWIFTLY:
We got more than 2,000 entries responding to our call for Tom Swifty
(a.k.a. Swiftly) jokes, which pun on adverbs and verbs.
Some of today’s
results require you to use a little mental flexibility: Some are sound
puns (e.g., “genuine”); some are visual puns (the first four letters of
“beatifically”); and some require you to add a mental hyphen or capital
letter (after “pro” in “probingly”).
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
“Every time you ask, you’ll get the same answer; I did not have sex with
that woman,” Bill Clinton said reliably. (Greg Arnold, Herndon, Va.)
2nd place and the totally not Magic Poop and Chicken Poop Lip Balm:
“We may have to leave the Euro zone,” Merkel remarked. “Ditto,” added
Hollande frankly. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
“There are delays on the Red Line,” the voice from the loudspeaker
repeated metronomically. (David Litman, Arlington, Va.)
“#%*#!, #%*#!, #%*#!” the former House majority leader effused. (Jeff
Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Better luck next Tom: honorable mentions
“Everyone would agree that I am very tall, correct?” the North Korean
leader stated unambiguously. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)
“Microsoft’s search engine is better than Google’s,” Bill Gates said
probingly. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
“I never so much as touched that woman,” said Ike Turner beatifically.
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
“Gee, you’ve put on a lot of weight, Auntie,” said Dorothy emphatically.
(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
“Miss Aniston, you’ve defeated me,” said Tom genuinely. (Hugh Thirlway,
“That last Old Spice commercial was pretty lame,” Isaiah Mustafa said
pitifully. (Kevin Dopart, vacationing in Naxos, Greece)
“We got rid of all that diet beer,” said the bartender delightedly.
“Son, you have a right to know; I’ve decided to become a woman,” the
father said transparently. (Greg Arnold; Ken Stern, New York, who got
his only other blot of ink in 2003)
“I really don’t know what my most popular role was — perhaps Nigel
Tufnel,” Christopher guessed. (Jeff Contompasis)
“I no longer travel abroad,” said Chaz Bono. (John McCooey, Rehoboth
“You’d better remember that my decisions determine what you’ll pay on
your mortgage,” said Janet Yellen irately. (Harvey Smith, McLean, Va.)
“What anagrams can you make from ‘I am Lord Voldemort’?” Tom Marvolo
riddled. (Jeff Contompasis)
“Woohoo — she’ll be off running the country for four whole years!” Bill
exhilarated. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
**“Don’t worry. I go rock climbing by myself for days,” said Aron
(Lynda Hoover, Shepherdstown, W.Va.)
“Maybe raising eight kids /was/ overly ambitious,” Kate Gosselin
brooded. (Kate Sammons, Arlington, Va., a First Offender)
“We do /not/ use slurs to refer to our Asian workers,” Tom said coolly.
“I think we’ve been making headway against this bacterial infection in
our hospital,” the administrator said mercifully
. (Mae Scanlan,
Yeah, to heck with this lethal injection stuff — we’re going back to Old
Sparky,” Rick Perry ruled concurrently. (Gary Crockett)
“I had never in my life met such rude people until I reached
Copenhagen,” grumbled Tom disdainfully. (Sheila Blume, South Setauket,
“Oh, by the way, Dagwood, the dog died,” Blondie said lackadaisically.
(Nancy Schwalb, Washington)
“You’re funny — just not ‘SNL’ funny, “explained the assistant producer
forlornly. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
“Can we just finish shooting the §&@% movie!” huffed Jenna Jameson
crotchetedly. (Rob Huffman)
“If I hear that blasted ‘Happy’ song one more time, I’m going to lose
it!” snarled the record producer ferally. (Rob Huffman)
“The secret of my success was to never stop swinging,” Muhammad Ali
explained bashfully. (Todd DeLap)
“Well, Little Monsters, the good news is that the Wizards made the
playoffs,” Lady Gaga said disconcertingly
(Jordi Parry, Arlington, Va., a First Offender)
“I admit I made a few mistakes,” sniffed the Mayor for Life. (Scott
“Let me give you a little hug,” the python hissed coyly. (Bill Rippey,
Montgomery Village, Md.; Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md. — which
makes you wonder what’s in the pipes in Montgomery Village, Md.)
“I won the eBay auction for the shrunken head!” Tom said morbidly.
(Dayna Fellows, Bethesda, Md.)
“Just because I don’t want him anymore doesn’t mean anyone else can have
him!” she exclaimed. (Tom Witte)
“I’m the only one who ever cleans up the clogged toilets,” the janitor
deduced. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
“I wrote the song ‘Death and the Maiden,” Beethoven lied.
(Ann Martin, London)
“There’s only one solution,” Dick Cheney inveighed. (Nancy Schwalb;
Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
“Aah, what’s Baal ever done for me?” the Caananite asked idly. (Lawrence
“To this day, I’m still creeped out by that one scene in ‘Alien,’ ” Tom
said abjectly. (Brendan Beary)
“Say, mate, let’s travel around to Britain’s most oddly pronounced
places,” Tom said Cholmondeley.
“I’ve got a sure-fire way of becoming famous,” Monica said successfully.
(Laurie Morrison, Rockville, Md.)
“Russell Crowe should never be allowed around a musical again,” said Les
miserably. (Brendan O’Byrne, Regina, Saskatchewan)
“Oh, sure, there are NO words that contain all the vowels in order,” she
said facetiously. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)
“It should be ‘whom,’ not ‘who,’ ” the copy editor objected. (Robert
Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
*Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest for bad poetry: See
Next week’s results: *Hyphen the Terrible, *or *Wits and Pieces, *our
contest to combine halves of two different hyphenated words. See