Style Invitational Week 1131: Be reuseful: ideas for surplus materials

Plus the winning ideas for spinoffs of TV series

See if you can come up with uses more useful than the above for various
surplus items. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers July 2 at 11:48 AM
Invitational Week 1131: Be reuseful: ideas for surplus materials'>

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the results of our contest for TV
series spinoffs)

*Asphalt roof shingles* *Plastic hockey rink* *Carpet tiles* *Purple
linen napkins * *Odor-eater fabric* *Plastic ballot boxes* *Cargo
parachutes* *10-milliliter glass vials * *Ski lift cable* *Climbing rope
* *Bowling alley wood* *Fire hose * *Rubber sheets* *Escalator handrail
* *Mineral oil* *Street sweeper brushes * *Synthetic turf*

The Empress hates to do away with stuff until it’s utterly used up, even
if it’s not her own — Losers sometimes receive their runner-up prizes in
boxes and envelopes fished out of newsroom wastebaskets. So she was
tickled to see the cool stuff the Royal Consort showed her on
, one of
several sites that sell surplus industrial objects with the hope that
some imaginative, enterprising person with a very big truck could put
them to a better use than to build up a landfill.

No, the Royal Consort didn’t want the Empress to install a plastic
hockey rink in the front yard (cool as that might be); he was just
suggesting a contest. *This week: Suggest a humorous way to reuse one or
more of the items listed above — or anything else advertised on* (click on “Products”). Writing a bit about
your idea might enhance the humor, if you are a funny writer. Don’t
worry if it says “Out of Stock,” “only one left,” etc.; just assume
there’s an unlimited supply. You have to outdo reality, though; it seems
the rotating street-sweeping brushes are the beloved back scratchers of
itchy cows and pigs.

Second prize, for some Loser who doesn’t know his art from a hole in the
ground. (Pat Myers/The Washington Post)

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives a, uhh, picturesque little ceramic
sculpture of an outhouse
complete with a little ceramic door that swings open to reveal a little
ceramic embarrassed person sitting there. A thrift shop discovery by Pie
Snelson — ready to be repurposed.

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, July 13; results
published Aug. 2 (online July 30). You may submit up to 25 entries per
contest. Include “Week 1131” 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 Beverley Sharp. 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 results of the Style Invitational contest from four weeks ago . . .

*CHECK YOUR LOCO LISTINGS: The winning TV spinoffs of Week 1127:
*In Week 1127 *we asked you to think of a
spinoff of a real TV series, past or present, and to describe the
result, or include a snippet of the script.

One zinger, by Bird Waring
of Larchmont, N.Y., lacked a description but really didn’t need it:
*“The Cosby Show: SVU.”*

4th place:

*House of Cardinals:* After the
mysterious demise of his predecessor, Pope Francis II takes control of
the Vatican. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

3rd place

*Pitcher, Houston Astro:*
Chuck Norris heads
farther south to become a crime-fighting major leaguer. He also catches
his own pitches and ejects umpires from games. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

2nd place and the pregnant-grandma salt and pepper shakers:

*Sesame Towne Centre:*
Kermit buys the block and converts it to a vibrant retail/residential
community, finding that it’s easy making green. (Rob Cohen, Potomac. Md.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

*Game of Throne 2016:*
Lindsey Graham: “We must conquer the Seven Kingdoms — no, let’s make it
Rand Paul: “Conquest is for fools, I say! And I will keep on saying . . .”
Hillary Clinton: “I shall decide later. First, bring me your gold.”
(Mark Raffman)

Teleflubbies: honorable mentions

*19 Counts and Kidding:*
analysts trade quips about charges that might be brought against Josh
Duggar and his parents. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

*Phat Girl:* Never comfortable
growing up in rural Montana, Rachel Dolezal moves to the Big City to
live out her dream of being a Notable Black Person. (Doug Frank, Crosby,

*ERR:* The drama moves
down the hallway at County General to the nightmarish world of Medical
Billing. (Jason Russo, Annandale, Va.)

*Crib Your Enthusiasm:*
Larry David
remarries and has a kid, and guess what — the baby looks just like him,
and he can talk! “Have you noticed that the left one hangs a little
lower than the right? It’s easier for me to reach — so would you mind if
we just stick with that one?” (Mark Raffman)

*“Open Sesame” Street:* Chinese tykes learn how to hack Internet
passwords and are taught about spyware by the Cookies Monster. (Bruce
Carlson, Alexandria, Va.)

*Cement Pondering: *
gauging the 90210 market, Jethro Clampett becomes a New Age spiritual
adviser. (Kevin Dopart)

*House of Lards:* Prequel historical fiction that chronicles the rise to
power of Tip O’Neill. (Edward Gordon, Austin)

*Mad Lib Men: * Don(last name)

makes (noun)s for large companies in the (decade number)s. He drinks a
lot of (liquid) and smokes (noun)s . He sleeps with (number)s of (gender
option)s. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

*The Old and the Restful:
* Grandpa: “I love you.”
Grandma: “LINE?” (Dave Ferry, Purvis, Miss.)

*The Big Bang Hypothesis:*
The prequel series
follows the characters in their high school years. And you thought they
were awkward now! (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

*Harpy Days:* Chachi no
longer loves Joanie. (John Kammer, South Riding, Va.)

*Survivor: Cooperation:* Participants face challenges in a harsh
environment and are rewarded for working together rather than
backstabbing each other. (Unsold pilot.) (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*Survivor: Gilligan’s Island:*
Skipper: Gilligan, little buddy, it looks like you’re getting voted off
the island.
Gilligan: Not if Mrs. Howell votes for Mr. Howell. [Laugh track: polite
Thurston Howell III: You’d never do such a thing, would you, Lovey? [Beat.]
[Laugh track: Big laugh, end-of-scene applause.] (Warren Tanabe,
Annapolis, Md.)

*Pop-Up Book Notes*: The great literary
minds of our day discuss old-school interactive stories.
Brian Lamb: “Tonight we explore the deeper significance of ‘Tyra the
Tyrannosaur Hunts Up Lunch.’ ”
Philip Roth: “I really enjoyed the pull thingy on Page 2 that makes the
dinosaur’s mouth open.”
Donna Tartt: “And the skinny lizard that you pull the tab and it makes a
fan? That was neat.”
Don DeLillo: “Aren’t we missing the greater significance of the sliding
window that shows the effect of Tyra’s bite on, on, the one with three
Tartt: “Triceratops.”
Roth: “Wasn’t that a stegosaurus?” (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

*Original: “Jeopardy!” Spinoff: Jeopardy. *With new host Stephen Wright
. (Rob Huffman,
Fredericksburg, Va.)

*Dancing With the D-list:
* Audience members who
can identify any of the “stars” are invited to try out for the next
season, “Dancing With the E-list.” (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Excitable Guy: Is it true that a broken mirror causes seven years of bad
Calm Guy: I saw a YouTube video where somebody broke a mirror and then
had 7 years of bad luck.
Excitable Guy: Good enough for me. (Art Grinath)

*Leave IT to Beaver:* Aging, embittered Vietnam vet Theodore Cleaver
struggles with PTSD while working a tech support help desk. (Jeff

*I Love Lucy’s Lacies.* Now it can be told . . .
Lucy: “Ricky, do you know why my bras and undies are all stretched out
of shape?”
Ricky: “I guess I got some ’splaining to do . . .”
Lucy: “Waaaaaaah!” (Mark Raffman)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, July 6: Our contest for
wordplays on foreign terms. See