Style Invitational Week 1113: It’s birthday parody time! Plus fake
D.C. trivia.

Give Fred Dawson (not actual size) or anyone else a different birthday
song or a song for another occasion in this week’s parody contest. (Bob
Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers February 26 feedback for 'Style Invitational Week 1113: It’s birthday parody time!
Plus fake D.C. trivia.'>

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning fake facts about
Washington from Week 1109.)

Sixty-four-time Loser Fred Dawson celebrated his 70th birthday last
Sunday. Fred has famously self-deprecating humor; once he sent the
Invite a photo called “Looking Down Toward My Feet,”
which showed no
feet but instead an expansive view of Fred’s expansive middle. (It won
the contest “Humiliate Yourself for Ink.”) And so the Empress wasn’t
surprised when he told her he didn’t want “Happy Birthday” sung to him
at his party, but instead had written a show tune parody: “I am
sixty-nine, going on seventy, starting to sound a wheeze/ There is no
dodging, soon I’ll be codging/ But first I should learn to geeze . . .“

Fred also knows bad art when he sees it — he famously donated to the
Invite a portrait he painted that, in the early days of Google, showed
up at the top of a search on“world’s ugliest painting”

— and so he realizes that someone else in the Loser Community just might
come up with a slightly better parody than his. *This week: Write a song
celebrating someone’s birthday or other personal occasion (rather than,
say, a holiday), set to a familiar tune.* As in all our parody contests,
songs that run in the print paper tend to be very well-known melodies,
while ones that run just online can link to a clip of the tune in
question. Contrary to her usual policy, the Empress won’t complain if an
entry this week is credited to two people; still, she’s just sending out
one prize for it (does she look as if she’s made of magnets?).

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives the latest in our series of incongruous
snow domes; this one’s a souvenir of that Alpine attraction New Orleans,
complete with a crawfish
doubles as a ring toss game: shake the dome until the little ring lands
on a little snowy orange pincer. Donated by Queen of the Snow Domes
Cheryl Davis.

The Big Cheesy: A souvenir from the Alpine climes of New Orleans, with a
ring toss thrown in. This week’s second prize. (Pat Myers/The Washington

*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 designed by Bob Staake: 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 night, March 9; results
published March 29 (online March 26). You may submit up to 25 entries
per contest. Include “Week 1113” 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 headline for this week’s
results is by Chris Doyle; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Jeff
Contompasis. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on
Facebook at / ./ “Like” the Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at / /

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

And the winners of the Style Invitational from four weeks ago . . .

In Week 1109 we asked for bogus trivia about Washington and its
environs; several people hastened to offer the fake fact that Washington
has a football team.

And I’m happy that my ban on “hot air” jokes about
politicians resulted in only two entries making “hot air” jokes about
politicians. If you’re new to the D.C. area and don’t get some of the
references below, click on the links within the entries.

4th place:

Michelle Obama collects USDA subsidies for not growing wheat in the
White House garden. (Thad Humphries, Washington, Va.)

3rd place:

The headquarters of the U.S. Department of Education
designed to resemble a large, nondescript office building. (Frank Osen,
Pasadena, Calif.)

Belly laughs: Fred Dawson’s self-portrait “Looking Down Toward My Feet,”
winner of a 2006 contest to “humiliate yourself for ink.” Happy 70th, Fred.
2nd place and two trivia books:

At the oddly named D.C. State Fair ,
the Congressional Budget Office sponsors the Guess Your Height and
Weight Within an Order of Magnitude Booth. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

During an attempt to attack Washington in July 1862, Confederate Gen.
Stonewall Jackson became so ensnared in “an infernal circle of carriages
and waggons surrounding the city. . . that sits forever unmoving” that
he gave up and turned back toward Richmond. (Rob Huffman,
Fredericksburg, Va.)

DMVetoed: honorable mentions

*After Nixon visited China in 1972, *the Smithsonian removed the exhibit
of the panda that Teddy Roosevelt had killed in 1892 with a big stick.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*The D.C. flag* has three red stars over two red bars, symbolizing
city’s two bars for every three people. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

*D.C.’s transit system* was originally the Washington-Harbor Area Train
Service and Metropolitan Transit Authority, but it was felt that the
acronym WHATSAMATA was just asking for it. (Frank Osen)

*The Marine Corps Marathon *course
follows the typical cab route from the
Arlington Cemetery Metro stop to the Iwo Jima Memorial. (Bird Waring,
Larchmont, N.Y.; those are the marathon’s start and finish points)

.*From 1751 to 1871, Georgetown residents

*prevented any bridges from being built over Rock Creek to prevent
ruffians from the West End from visiting. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

*The Capitol dome *is named after Rotunda, the Roman goddess of pork.
(Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

*President Ford* always declined invitations to attend shows at the
Lincoln Theatre. (Kristen Rahman, Silver Spring, Md.)

*The Secret Service* was given responsibility for both presidential
protection and financial crimes because it was more efficient that way
with Warren Harding as
president. (Mike Gips)

*Young George Washington* did not chop down his father’s favorite cherry
tree, as popularly believed. He TP’ed it. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

*The Old Executive Office Building* was recently expanded to provide
space for both young and middle-aged executives. (George-Ann Rosenberg,

*Ironically, at Verizon Center* you cannot hear me now. (Gary Crockett,
Chevy Chase, Md.)

*If you stand atop the DAR Building *with binoculars and look toward the
White House, you are likely to learn more about snipers than you need to
know. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

*When specialists at the National Archives* recently inspected the
Declaration of Independence, infrared light revealed the partially
obscured signature of a hitherto unknown Founding Father named Brian
Williams. (Chris Doyle)

*To save money, D.C. speed cameras* are programmed to capture only
two-digit speeds,. So if you go faster than 100 mph in the District, you
can’t get a ticket. (Dion Black, Washington)

*The first athletic scholarship* given by Georgetown University was to
basketball player Joe Saxa of La Jolla, Calif.
(Kevin Dopart)

*In August 1965, D.C. cabdriver *Mel Smith stopped for a pedestrian in a
crosswalk. (Peter Jenkins, Bethesda, Md.)

** *Along with setting up a $250,000“We DC” lounge

* at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, the Bowser administration has
also authorized a second venue, “We Wasting Your Money.” (Nan Reiner,
Alexandria, Va.)

*The Potomac River changes course* every four to eight years, which is
confusing to the native species, except for the bottom-feeders.
(George-Ann Rosenberg)

** *Stand outside exactly 25 feet* from a corner of the Pentagon, at
dawn on the winter solstice, and you will discover your butt has frozen.
(Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

*The Beatles’ 1964 American tour

*was supposed to open in New York — until Beatlemaniac J. Edgar Hoover
made a few calls. (Rachel Bernhardt, Silver Spring, Md.)

*In 1774 the Maryland tobacco planter John Marva *became the first
delegate from the Eastern Shore to serve in the Continental Congress.
Soon afterward, the land containing his plantation was named the
Del.Marva Peninsula. (James Foster, Silver Spring, Md.)

*Hundreds of people lost their lives* during the construction of the
Washington Monument, though none of them were on the site at the time.
(George-Ann Rosenberg)

*The Beltway expands *about two inches every five years. (Art Grinath;
Jon Graft, Centreville, Va.)

*The National Space Museum* became the National Air and Space Museum so
that visitors could breathe. (John Kammer, South Riding, Va.)

*If you rearrange the letters in the inscription on the Jefferson
Memorial dome *-- “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” — it will reveal a
secret note Thomas Jefferson penned: “Oft have I sworn to love and honor
forever that friend in fate — my pretty, young inamorata, Sally
Hemings.” (Chris Doyle)

*Before becoming being declared a “nuclear-free zone”
1983,* the town of Takoma Park, Md., had more than 50 missile silos
hidden in various storm sewers and dumpsters. (Art Grinath)

*The UFO that is frequently seen *hovering over the Capitol building is
actually Diogenes,still looking
after all these years. (Ted
Remingon, Marion, N.C.)

*The Air Traffic Control Association* refers to the airport across the
Potomac as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
National Airport.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*Despite the city’s insatiable appetite for ticket revenue, *a film buff
on the D.C. Council slipped a little-known provision into the traffic
law books: If a speed camera catches a DeLorean going exactly 88 mph
, the infraction is waived.
(Ben Aronin, Washington)

*ACNY, a New York rock band *named for founders Angus and Malcolm “Colm”
Young, met with little success for some reason, but finally reached
stardom after the Youngs moved to Washington and changed the band’s name
to AC/DC. (Mark Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)

*The D.C. Council has begun testing mule-drawn barges* on the C&O Canal
as a rapid-transit alternative to M Street traffic. (Michael Greene,
Richmond, Va.)

*The Washington Nationals *have never revealed which nation. (Bruce Alter)

*If you look closely at the statue *of Franklin Roosevelt with Fala at
the FDR Memorial, you will notice a small plastic bag peeking out of the
president’s pocket. (Michael Greene, Richmond, Va,)

*The Washington Monument originally* was landscaped with two round
topiaries at the base. (Art Grinath)

// *Still running — deadline Monday night: Our “SHARP” neologism
contest. See *