Style Invitational Week 1132: You and what army? Give us some fake
military trivia.

You didn’t know that navy blue is for camouflage in the water? (Bob
Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers July 9 at 11:37 AM
Invitational Week 1132: You and what army? Give us some fake military
trivia.'> Follow @PatMyersTWP

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the results of Week 1128, our
contest for uses for the Navy’s new mini-drones)

*The U.S. Navy’s bluish camouflage is designed so that sailors who fall
overboard will blend in. *(Jeff Contompasis, 2015)

*Gen. Ambrose Burnside was aided greatly in Civil War planning by his
largely forgotten assistant, Col. Wendell Soulpatch. *(Malcolm
Fleschner, 2011)

*During World War II, a secret U.S. Army survey identified 4,389
atheists in foxholes.* (Bob Dalton, 2007)

As if a crib needed more of these: Pee and Poo cuddly stuffed toys, this
week’s prize for finishing Number Two. (SWEDENTOYS.COM)

It’s time once again to bring forth a new set of lies for our readers
(why should campaign coverage have all the fun?). We’ve had “unreal
facts” contests about politicians, history, movies, medicine, sports,
cars and just whatever. Now here’s another lane on the Disinformation
Superhighway, courtesy of suggester Jeff Contompasis:*This week: Give us
some comically bogus trivia about the military, past or present, ours or
theirs,* as in the examples above; the second and third are from
previous Invite fictoid contests, one all-purpose and the other for

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the bobblehead of the statue of Commander in Chief Lincoln that is the
official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, courtesy of
Not Even a Loser Mary M. Hanlon, a cuddly pair of foamy-soft toy Pee and
Poo toys,

designed in Sweden; the former is bright yellow and teardrop
(uh-huh)-shaped; the latter is brown and vaguely conical. Both have eyes
with sort of hangdog expressions. (Wouldn’t you?)

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 20; results
published Aug. 9 (online Aug. 6). You may submit up to 25 entries per
contest. Include “Week 1132” 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
Tom Witte; 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,
published late Thursday, discusses each new contest and set of results.
This week: Several Losers pen impromptu verses for a song about peas in
guacamole. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And the results of the Style Invitational posted four weeks ago . . .

In Week 1128, we asked for some imaginative uses for the new,
inexpensive CICADA mini-drones

that the Navy is developing.

After reading a goodly (or badly) number of
wistful dreams of swarms of upskirt cameras, the Empress isn’t so sure
she wants to go to any more Loser brunches.

4th place:

A CICADA could be used to deliver pink slips to the soon-to-be
unemployed, with a recorded “Remember, change is good — we wish you the
best!” farewell after each notification. (Mark Asquino, Malabo,
Equatorial Guinea)

3rd place:

The only way to get past the shame of the American government spying on
its own citizens is for it to issue every man, woman and child a
micro-drone so they can spy on each other. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

2nd place

and the itty-bitty coffee mug and mini-sushi key chain:

When someone cuts you off in traffic, send a CICADA to fly
inconspicuously alongside the offender’s vehicle and zip suddenly ahead
to trip the radar detector as it passes the next speed trap. Then enjoy
the schadenfreude when you see the speeding driver pulled over as you
Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

Use the micro-drone as a baby monitor, clinging to the rail of your
child’s crib. Years later, your son will write a picture book about his
insect friend, Jiminy CICADA, who, instead of taking him on magical
adventures, reports his every escape attempt to Mom. (Lawrence McGuire)

The rotary club: honorable mentions

Congratulations CICADAs: the coolest way to be notified that you’ve been
accepted to MIT. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)

AIDA CICADA: Pressured into an evening at the opera or ballet? This
little gem discreetly broadcasts ESPN Sports Radio into your earbud.
(Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

Are you a fussy, squeamish housekeeper? The micro-grips on a CICADA can
handle even the smallest roach — and keep it steady and ash-free right
at the toker’s lips. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Are you paranoid about someone stealing your PIN at the ATM and
constantly check for people behind you? With CICADAs around, now you can
be really, really paranoid. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

Birds and bees do it, but not necessarily right after your obnoxious
neighbor washes his Mercedes. Just fill up your DropShot drone with a
mayo-relish mixture and send him a special tweet. (Kevin Dopart,

CICADAs are amazing technology. I mean, you could stick something in an
envelope, hand it to the drone and have it in the recipient’s hands — no
matter where in the country they live — in a matter of days. Where else
could you get service like that? (Danielle Nowlin)

Now, helicopter parents can do it literally. (Judy Blanchard)

Deploy billions of CICADAs in geosynchronous orbit over the hole in the
ozone layer. Problem solved! Now, was that so hard? (Kyle Hendrickson,
Frederick, Md.)

Equipped with needles and ink, a CICADA swarm could make a great tattoo
of a CICADA swarm. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Guaranteed Seder fun when a plague of techno-locusts descends on your
guests! For the grand finale, they regroup and do their part as the Red
Sea. (Kevin Dopart)

Have them automatically position themselves to block the view of the
larger government drone that’s been following you around. (Ben Aronin,
Arlington, Va.)

CICADAs could deliver your adopted baby right to your door — call it
heirmail. (Judy Blanchard)

I call upon the Navy to deploy hundreds of CICADAs, with micro-cameras,
every day in Loch Ness until I am finally vindicated. (Kyle Hendrickson)

Selfie-sticks are so 2014. (Ward Kay)

The director of the new Broadway production says CICADAs will replace
the bluebirds arranging Cinderella’s ball gown: “They’re easier to train
and don’t leave droppings.” (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Amy
Harris, Charlottesville, Va.)

In the future, when houseflies are extinct, we can train them to eat
poop and spread disease. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Mattel can market the interactive Drone Pilot Barbie Playset — look out,
Un-American-looking American Girl dolls! (Kevin Dopart)

I’ve been working on a plan to outfit a swarm of micro-drones with loops
of fishing line. They’ll be programmed to catch squirrels in my
neighbor’s yard and then fly around with them at 15 feet while playing
music from old science fiction films. The flying saucer casings might be
too much. (David Friedman, Arlington, Va.)

Now, kids, Santa WILL see you when you’re sleeping and know when you’re
awake. (Doug Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

Soon they’ll make the HICKADA: It’s a micro-drone that just sits in the
front yard on tiny cinder blocks. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

The New England Patriots are already at work adding drone technology
into footballs for in-flight guidance to receivers. (Jon Gearhart, Des

The Seekah 380® finds your golf ball no matter how deep the rough. The
Cheetah 480 EVL® finds it and nudges it back into the fairway. (Jeff
Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.)

TV can finally show the “ball’s-eye view” of a pitch thrown at 95 mph
and then knocked over a fence. And with the CICADA hooked on the side, a
curveball will REALLY curve. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

Video surgery! You say you’re caught in a remote crevice like James
Franco in “127 Hours” and hesitate to amputate your leg because you’re
afraid of bleeding to death? Just make one quick call and a CICADA will
be on its way to your crevice, projecting a video on the rocks to show
you how to safely sever your limb in 22 easy steps! (Neal Starkman,

Try as I could, I cannot think of a way CICADAs can help the Redskins
win. (Todd DeLap)

Given what everyone else wants them for, I just hope CICADAs are allowed
to fly for only a few weeks once every 17 years. (Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, July 13: Our contest for ways to
repurpose certain surplus items.