Style Invitational Week 1158: What do you mean ‘What are these things’?
Tell us what they really are. Plus Tabby Road: top song parodies
Well, yes, ordinary people will tell you they see an electric plug, a
Lego piece, etc. But you aren’t those people, right? (Bob Staake for The
Washington Post )
By Pat Myers January 14
(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning song parodies about
animals from Week 1154.)
Above are various objects depicted by Style Invitational
Quick-on-the-Draw Man Bob Staake. You know what they are — but if you
are a True Loser . . . *This week: Tell us what one or more of these
objects /really /are.* As usual, you get to offer as many as 25 ideas
among the various pictures. Be sure to identify the object by number.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives a pair of magnets that make our official
Loser magnets seem prissy: One is labeled “Friend Request” and is a
cartoon of a dog sniffing another dog’s butt; the other says, “What
happens at the dog park stays at the dog park” and shows two dogs
behaving indiscreetly. Donated by Dave Prevar approximately 2 zillion
*Other runners-up* win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug,
“This Is Your Brain on Mugs” mug
or a vintage Loser T-shirt, which we have in various
mostly regifted. Honorable mentions get one of our Loser magnets,
“Magnet Dum Laude”
or “Falling Jest Short.”
First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink
for their first ink). Email entries to /firstname.lastname@example.org
/ or, if you were born in the 19th century,
fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday night, Jan. 25; results
published Feb. 14 (online Feb. 11). You may submit up to 25 entries per
contest. Include “Week 1158” in your email 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
. The headline for this week’s results is by
Chris Doyle; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Jesse Frankovich. Join
the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
/on.fb.me/invdev ./ “Like” the Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at /bit.ly/inkofday; / follow
@StyleInvite on Twitter.
^ *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 wapo.st/styleconv
And the results of the Style Invitational contest announced four weeks
ago . . .
*MEWSICAL COMEDY: THE ANIMAL-THEMED PARODIES OF WEEK 1154*
In Week 1154 , inspired by cellist David
Teie’s music written for cats
we asked the Loser community to write songs to or about cats or other
animals (we also accepted “by”), set to a familiar tune.
We got a slew
of terrific parodies of everything from “Home on the Range” to Theme A
of Tetris, along with the more typical show tunes and Beatles songs. To
hear the melodies, click on the links in the song titles.
*Sung by a cat:
* /To “Put On a Happy Face” (video of Nan Reiner singing her song)
Human, it’s time to get up! Work at a snappy pace!
I’m getting more than fed up; you’re a complete disgrace.
Think you control this slinky loner? Ha! Don’t make me laugh.
Many a dog may have an owner, but cats, we have staff.
Snap to attention, peon! Open the sliding door.
No longer want to be on the side I was on before.
I’ll do this till you’re blue in the face.
Now work at a snappy pace!
(Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)
/To “American Woman”
American Pharoah, it is such a shame,
American Pharoah, they misspelled your name.
The English teachers, they swear and curse,
Say students’ spelling’s gonna get much worse.
You’ve got more important things to see,
I know you ain’t thinkin’ ’bout orthography.
But Pharoah, listen what I say,
American Pharoah, switch your O and A.
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
2nd place and the Twinkle Tush joke “modesty gem” for cats:
/To “Carry On Wayward Son”) (start video at 1:24)
Ornithologists who study the vulture
Want to fathom how they transmit their culture.
They place recorders where they’re nesting,
They can hear the mama say:
“Carrion, my feathered son!
Eating roadkill — ooh, it’s fun!
When your food is dead it’s best,
Won’t you try some more?”
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:
*Dr. Palmer’s Blues*
To “Sixteen Going on Seventeen
”/from “The Sound of Music” /
Orthodontists hadn’t confronted you
Till I took deadly aim.
First I took pride in your homicide,
But now I just take the blame.
What a bungle out in the jungle to
Shoot myself in the foot.
All explanation’s flossed in translation,
Seems my repute’s kaput.
How I’m abused and vilified for going on that hunt;
Mobs yell it’s I who should have died, and that I’m just a very bad person.
New adventures now involve dentures,
No more the lion’s roar.
Tooth extraction’s quite enough action.
Big shot I’m not — just small bore. (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)
No’s ark: honorable mentions
* /To “Yesterday”/
Pizza Rat, you have gumption we all wonder at,
When you find a slice, you grab it, stat,
You’ve got resolve, O Pizza Rat.
/(Bridge)/ Down the stairs you go, heading fo’ the old subway;
With your pizza slice, you’ll eat nice, then eat all day. . .
Pizza Rat, you don’t care ’bout gluten or trans fat,
Let’s hope you don’t meet a Pizza Cat,
Please watch your back, O Pizza Rat. (Duncan Stevens)
*Benji’s at the Vet’s
* /To “Bennie and the Jets”
Hey, kids, Benji’s feelin’ icky.
I think you fed him something.
Well, I know that he ain’t picky.
We took him to the vet’s, he tied himself in knots —
The waiting room reminded him: here was where he’d gotten those shots.
He started a panic in the other pets!
Oh, they were so freaked out.
B-b-b-b Benji at the vet’s . . . (Max Gutmann, Cupertino, Calif.)
*Two songs to“Be Our Guest”:
*Sung by mice:
*He’s our nest! He’s our nest!
We can happily attest
His toupee is A-OK as the location we infest!
It’s so nice for us mice
In this Trump-top paradise
Where it’s comfy and it’s soft
(and immaculately coiffed!)
Parasites? Yes we are!
But we don’t come from afar,
Meaning each of us is welcome as his guest . . .
He’ll never win the White House
But he’s our just-right house!
He’s our nest! He’s our nest! He’s our nest! (Mark Raffman)
*Sung by wasps:
*Flee our nest! Flee our nest!
We won’t treat you like a guest!
If you see us, better keep your curiosity at rest!
Shake our branch, lob a stone,
Soon you’ll hear a noisy drone;
Though your arms are madly swinging,
You’re not stopping us from stinging!
Every jab, every prick,
Makes the torment add up quick
Till you hope to suffer cardiac arrest!
Our home’s a painful venue;
I advise that when you
See our nest, flee our nest! Flee our nest! (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
* /To “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”
A gnu and a fox started dating
And moved to a homestead with views
Where, needless to say, they were mating,
And that’s why we’re stuck with Fox-Gnus. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
*The Centipede’s Song
* /To“One” from “A
One hundred little footsies,
That is how I got my name.
One hundred little tootsies,
Just a myth, all the same.
Just count the pairs of the feet on my tiny bod:
You won’t get 50 — the number is always odd
One thousand steps a moment,
Think of all the steps I take!
All the records I could break — on Fit . . . bit!
One unprepossessing creature
With a lot of just one feature:
Legs are it! (Barbara Sarshik, McLean)
*Mouse’s Night Out*
/To “Tonight” from
“West Side Story”
/ //Tonight, tonight,
I’ll roam for cheese tonight,
I’ll scurry ’round your pantry to dine
Tonight, tonight, some provolone tonight
And those prints in the Edam are mine!
Today, you found some of my droppings
Beside your favorite toppings,
And you recoiled in fright . . .
I see a scrap
Of cheese, and I don’t see it’s a trap . . .
To-ni— (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)
*Two to “You’re the Top” :
* ** *You’re the Cat
*You’re the cat, you’re the cutest kiddio,
You could star in a most amusing video;
You’re one who never shows just what she thinks,
You’re a petty tyrant, a lion-aspirant, you’re the Sphinx.
You’re the cat, you’re a queen of dramas,
You’re the cat, you’re your own pajamas!
You step on me like I’m a welcome mat,
So if, tabby, I’m your servant, you’re the cat. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)
*To a Woodworm*
In you poured and ate all our flooring,
Never bored by your ceaseless boring.
I recall the yell when my wife Adele fell through!
We’re completely reeling — we have no ceiling because of you!
Our new home was our crowning glory.
Since you’ve been, it’s a different story.
You’re a door that creaks, a tap that leaks, a pest,
And we’re feeling like our dresser: Blue. Distressed.
Called the local exterminator.
He arrived as a giant crater
Opened deep and wide, as it occupied our hall.
Seems you’ve done a number on all the lumber in every wall.
Despite massively masticating,
There’s no sign of your greed abating.
Though we’ve tried and tried each pesticide’s no good.
We just pray someday you’re sated — knock on wood! (Stephen Gold)
/To “My Generation” /
Back when I was just a pup
(talkin’ ‘bout my Ken-L-Ration)
From a can I’d love to sup
(talkin’ ‘bout my Ken-L-Ration)
‘Twas my favorite protein source.
(talkin’ bout my Ken-L-Ration)
Who knew it was made of horse? . . . (Mark Raffman)
* /To “Soft Kitty,” a running joke on “Big Bang Theory
Soft kitty, warm kitty,
“Big Bang” stole our song.
Lazy network, shady network,
Wrong, wrong, wrong! — Ellen N. Chase and Margaret Perry (they’re suing
(Mary Kappus, Washington)
by Hall and Oates) /
I only go out at night
After seeing the ugly sight
Of that great big nose hanging by my door;
The big vermilingua
With her wormy tongue, it’s all primed and ready for more.
Oh-oh, here she comes
With her curvy claws to dig me up,
Oh-oh, here she comes,
She’s a anteater … (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
* /(To “Amarillo by Morning”)
/ Armadillo, I’m warning,
move out of this speed zone,
All the hustle you ain’t got just makes you accident-prone,
Well, speed ain’t your trait, and I know you’d hate
To be hit by a car not slowed:
Armadillo, I’m warning — armadillo, don’t play in the road. (Drew
Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
*Two about the National Zoo’s new baby panda:
/As sung by his mother, Mei Xiang (to “Yes Sir! That’s My Baby”; Nan
Reiner sings the parody here
/ Yes, sir, that’s my Bei Bei, Put-Him-On-Display-Bei –
Yes, sir, that’s my Bei Bei now!
Who’s my Bei Bei’s daddy? Don’t mean to be catty,
But I don’t know – no way, no how.
I was in heat, they were discreet,
Gave me a treat, knocked me off my feet – but kindly.
Four months later, and a
Squeeze – Look! A tiny panda!
Yes, sir, that’s my Bei Bei now…
Bye-bye; you’re passé, Bao Bao! (Nan Reiner)
/(To “Broadway Baby”
Oh, it’s the panda Bei-Bei
Looking cute on Panda Cam,
Look at him, he’s such a ham!
We watch what he’ll do. Ooooh!
And in a few weeks, maybe,
Following the scheduled plans,
Bei-Bei gets to meet his fans
Right there at the zoo. Whoooo!!
Cute? Did I say cute?
That’s Bei-Bei’s snoot, all fuzzy and black.
Awwww, I think I saw
He’s waving his paw. I’m waving right back!
Panda babies! Wish the parents would make more.
Mating seems to be a chore.
For babies to be born, oh,
Make them watch a panda porno.
What a great “Big Panda” show. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)
** *Great Dane
*(To “There Is Nothing Like a Dame”
We’ve got “landmines” in the yard, we’ve got dog hair on the floor;
We’ve got really ugly scratch marks up and down the kitchen door;
We’ve got slobber on the furniture, our food bills are insane;
What have we got? A new Great Dane….
There is nothing like a Dane, nothing in the world;
Anyone with half a brain will buy anything but a Dane. (Beverley Sharp,
Montgomery, Ala., former Great Dane owner)
*Our Feline Overlords*
/(To Theme A of Tetris )/
We are the creatures in charge of the land;
Humankind’s a pine tree, we’re the star.
People toil; we lay down and coil
In positions that Escher thought bizarre.
Food’s in our bowl at the time we demand
Or we hassle them and never pause.
Owners play with our fur and pray
That we gift them with purrs instead of claws!
They are at our beck and call;
We’ve domesticated them all! (Matt Monitto)
*Little Doo Scoop
* /(to, duh, “Little Deuce Coupe”
/ Little doo scoop, it can cope with a lot.
Little doo scoop, when a lot’s what you’ve got.
Well, I’m not draggin’, Fluffy, not a bit down,
I’m fine even though you’ve really gone to town
And filled your whole box until it stinks to the sky
’Cause I have got the finest tool that my money could buy.
It’s my little doo scoop, oh the stuff it’ll hold
(My little doo scoop)— brown or gold, hot or cold.
Just a little doo scoop with some skinny slats,
It could handle what comes out of a dozen cats
That gorge three times a day from a Friskies bag,
And then go noshing on rodents and a People mag.
It’s my little doo scoop— thank your stars that it’s here:
Without this doo scoop, you’d be out on your ear. (Melissa Balmain,
/(To “Sunny” ) /
Bunny, yesterday my gut had only grain,
Bunny, you helped me see how I could end my pain.
Now I’m humming along like a horse with good hay
And just like King Kong, you became my Fay Wray.
Bunny, I love you — as rabbit stew. (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring, Md.)
/(To “I Get a Kick Out of You”)/
I get no kick from a brew;
Beefeater’s gin doesn’t cause me to sin
Or give me a spin of remorse,
But I got a kick from a horse.
He broke my femur in two,
And that has led to a place that I dread:
It’s a hospital bedroom, of course,
Since I got a kick from a horse.
As here I lie with my bandaged thigh, there’s something I must mention:
For him to plot all the pain I’ve got was surely not his intention.
I get no kick from the crew,
Nurses who tend to me, help me to mend; this is not, friend, a trend I
My getting a kick from a horse. (Mae Scanlan)
/Weren’t these parodies terrific? But there were many more inkworthy
entries that deserve to be seen. The Empress will post them, one at a
time, over the next week or so in the Style Invitational Devotees
page on Facebook. /
*Still running — deadline Monday night, Jan. 18: clues for our backward
crossword. See bit.ly/invite1157 . *