Style Invitational Week 1099: Yours for the asking — it’s Questionable

Plus the winning TankaWanka 5-line poems on current events

“This is the place that made me what I am today.” (Bob Staake for The
Washington Post)
By Pat Myers November 20 at 2:36 PM
Invitational Week 1099: Yours for the asking — it’s Questionable

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning TankaWanka poems on
current events)

/Sentence from a Post article:/ **This is the place that made me who I
am.* *
/Question that sentence might answer: / *What’s so special about the
back seat of your parents’ SUV?* (Jay Shuck, 2007)

/Post:/ *It’s a blasphemy wrapped in an atrocity.*
/Q: / *Have you tried our new kosher cheesesteak on Wonder Bread?*
(David Kleeman, 2003)

/Post: *Great legs in a short skirt make me melt.*
/ /Q: / *Hey, Pillsbury Doughboy, why won’t you work with Tina Turner?
*(Jean Sorensen, 1998)

This week’s second prize: Our copy is a bit tattered, but Pat Boone’s
advice for adolescents is 1958-fresh.

It’s a contest that keeps on giving — not surprisingly, since the pool
of source material is almost infinitely vast. The Empress’s predecessor,
the Czar, first presented this challenge in Week 254, and we’ve done it
about a dozen times since. *This week: Take a sentence (or most of a
sentence) that appears in an article in The Washington Post or on dated Nov. 20 through Dec. 1 (in print, any article
from those days’ papers), and make up a question that the sentence could
answer, * as in the examples above from three of our earlier contests.
For print stories, please include the date and page number; for online
stories, copying out the URL above or below your entry would be very

*Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
*the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives a fabulously fabulous genuine 1958
hardcover advice book, donated by Christopher Larsen, titled “’Twixt
Twelve and Twenty: Pat Talks to Teenagers”
— by
Pat Boone. Let’s say that it won’t be confused with Dan Savage’s “Savage
Love.” Here, Pat (who was considered square even then) explains why he
dumped his “first steady”: “She was a very pretty girl . . . but she let
me see her in her curlers. Invited me over when she was suffering from a
cold in the head. Next thing you know, even when she was all fixed up I
could still see those curlers and that runny nose. Sad, isn’t it? But
that’s the teenage male.” Pat also notes, uncritically, that his mother
routinely beat him and his siblings with a sewing machine belt, and that
he was spanked until he was 17 years old.

*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 in one of our two new Bob
Staake designs: either “The Wit Hit the Fan”
“Hardly Har-Har.”
Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). E-mail entries to /
/ or, if you were born in the 19th century,
fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 1; results published Dec.
21 (online Dec. 18). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest.
Include “Week 1099” 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
. This week’s headline for the results is by
Jeff Contompasis; the honorable-mentions subhead was submitted by
everybody. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook
at / ,/ and click “like” on Style
Invitational Ink of the Day at / /

*The Style Conversational: * The Empress’s weekly online column
(published late Thursday) discusses each new contest and set of results.
Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

*Haiku plus two: The winning‘TankaWanka’ poems on current events:
In Week 1095 we asked for a poem relating to events in the news, in a
form something like the Japanese tanka: five lines with a syllable count
of 5-7-5-7-7. But since real tankas don’t rhyme, and we insisted on at
least one rhyme per poem, we’re calling ours TankaWanka. The deadline
for this contest was before Election Day.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

/“Gamergate,” harassment of women in the gaming world: /
Gamer dweebs all say
Girls are not supposed to play.
Hey, guys: Get a clue.
We have learned what we can do
With our joysticks, without you. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

2nd place

/and the shell sculpture of a farmer riding a stack of turtles:


//Midterm votes are done:
Optimism’s fading fast
That the folks who won
Somehow will — unlike the last —
See that more than gas gets passed. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

3rd place

Sunni on Shia,
Russian troops in Crimea,
Ebola, ISIS,
Worldwide crisis and drama —
As per Fox: Thanks, Obama! (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

4th place

Re Ms. Zellweger:
Were she the sole entrant in
A contest to choose
The one who looked most like her,
Could Renée herself still lose? (Perry Beider, Silver Spring, Md.)

Stanka: honorable mentions

Department of Human Services employees put $30,000 worth of Starbucks on
government credit card/
At the DHS,
When they make a coffee run
It costs thirty thou.
If they want to get Starbucks,
They should not pay with OUR bucks. (Nan Reiner)

Kerry won’t pander,
So Israelis throw a fit
From State staff’s candor:
“Netanyahu’s chicken[poop]” –
(I confess I laughed a bit.)
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

The conservative
Wing of the Catholic Church
Was left in the lurch.
The libs are ecstatic in
Pope Francis’s Vatican.
(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Secret Service guys!
Use your brains and ears and eyes.
Watch the fence posts more.
Sic the dogs – that’s what they’re for!
(Also lock the White House door?) (Nan Reiner)

Though Colt McCoy won
against the hated Cowboys,
RG3 is back!
Watch and you can clearly tell.
Just look for the big red L.
(Todd DeLap, Fairfax)

Quarantine today!
We can risk no more delay.
Only ban and purge
Can protect us from this scourge:
Lock the Congress up right now. (Nan Reiner)

In Eastern Ukraine
The Russians foment trouble
They’re hiding their mischief well —
Says Putin: “Donetsk, don’t tell.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Ebola, viral,
Then turned transatlantic.
The news went frantic
And contagiously manic:
There’s no vaccine for panic. (Frank Osen)

On the Big Island
Kilauea awakens.
Fox reports this fact,
Then the left goes volcanic
Denouncing “lava panic.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

College can be hard:
The student athlete suffers
So many questions,
But just one at UNC:
“Would you like an A or B?” (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

Fake classes for jocks
At UNC Chapel Hill?
Imagine our shock
That (pick any college name)
Was not busted for the same. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Sarah Palin hopes
To run for office again.
The GOP needs,
So she says, to have “more guts.”
(What they don’t need is more nuts.) (Chris Doyle)

For 2016 ,
GOP candidate groups
Will soon be on-scene,
Like the Organization
Of Perry Supporters (OOPS).
(Frank Osen)

/A new theory that some of J.S. Bach’s greatest music was written by his
wife: /
New discordant notes?
Some of Bach’s great music was
Not, perhaps, his own.
Let us credit /all/ the Bachs:
Anna Magdalena rocks!
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Rick Scott demanded
That Charlie Crist should be banned
From debates with fans,

Although he thought it was fair When Clint debated a chair.
(Frank Osen)

Doritos topped with
Syrups, spices and veggies:
A Mexican fad.
With each sporkful in your mouth,
Your border moves farther south. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

When donors who spent
Four billion dollars on the
Midterm elections
Cash in on their connections,
They don’t expect objections. (Chris Doyle)

/Substitute English teacher charged with having sex with student/
“I don’t tell I show,”
The teacher texted the boy,
And it all came out.
Should she go to the slammer
For the sex, or bad grammar? (Mark Raffman)

Hail fecal transplants!
Changing gut bacteria
Can cure your /C. diff. /
A bitter pill to swallow
So better poop will follow. (Chris Doyle)

Though I write before
Midterm elections are done,
I’ll bravely predict—
Whichever senator’s picked —
This much: that big money won. (Frank Osen)

Defective airbags
In cars across the country
Pose a threat for some.
But the airbags you should fear
Are those elected this year. (Kevin Dopart)

*Still running — deadline Monday night: our contest for funny reviews
for products sold on
. *

*Next week’s results: Picture This,* or *Black and White and Rude All
Over,* another of our Bob Staake cartoon caption contests, this time in
living black-and-white. See
. (Alternative headline by Nan Reiner, who’s
having one heck of a day)