Style Invitational Week 1171: What’s my (next) line? Song ‘tailgaters’

Pair a line from a song with one of your own. Plus: How are tiny
hands like Hillary’s emails? The Week 1167 winners.

"O say can you see" rhymes with "TP": This week's contest is for
"tailgaters" for songs. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers April 14

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the results of Week 1167, our
perennial compare-and-contrast contest)

*O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, *(Francis Scott Key)
*That some kids put TP in our front yard last night?* (Duncan Stevens,
Vienna, Va.)

*Where have all the flowers gone?*
*And why’s there crabgrass in my lawn?* (Pete Seeger/Duncan)

Invite cartoonist Bob Staake examines Jeff’s ear during a book-plugging
appearance in D.C. in 2013. Which was handy, because he then did a
cartoon of Jeff in conjunction with Week 1021. (Courtesy of Jeff

*Baby, you’re a firework* (Katy Perry)
*That went off prematurely — jerk. * (Katy Perry/Duncan)

They’re called tailgaters: You quote a line from a poem and follow it
with a line of your own. We had a tailgater contest four years ago, but
this time we’ll have a musical twist, suggested by Loser Duncan Stevens,
who happened to get his first blot of Invitational inkin that contest
*Take a line from any song and pair it with your own second line to make
a humorous rhyming couplet; * *the second line should match the rhythm
of the first, rather than the second line of the song itself, *as in
Duncan’s examples above. Be sure to include the title of the song you’re
quoting. (And please don’t add your name at the end of each entry, like
the ones above; the Empress tries to judge the contest without seeing
who’s written what. She’ll put your name — or someone else’s name —
there when she prints the entry.)

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place appropriately receives a kit called “How to Kazoo:
User’s Guide & Practitioner’s Manual,”
with “professional quality kazoo” and tips on playing songs of all
genres. Best thing about a kazoo: The player can’t sing at the same time.

*Other runners-up* win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug,
the older-model
“This Is Your Brain on Mugs” mug

or a vintage Loser T-shirt.
mentions get one of our lusted-over 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 /
/ Deadline is Monday night, April 25;
results published May 15 (online May 12). You may submit up to 25
entries per contest. Include “Week 1171” 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 . The headline for this week’s
results is by Jesse Frankovich; 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 /; / follow
@StyleInvite on Twitter.

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


It escaped the Empress’s notice three weeks ago that Jeff Contompasis’s
joke about camel urine in the Week 1164 results
his 500th blot of ink — thereby
admitting JefCon to the den of iniquity that is the Style Invitational
Hall of Fame, as its 11th member in the Invite’s 23-year existence.
Jeff, who’s renowned for making fun of his own nerdiness — “Is it just
me who interprets the restroom sign ‘Wet Floor’ as a command?” — tells a
bit about himself, and about his weekly process of entering the Invite,
in this week’s Style Conversational at

It was Jeff’s idea for the ScrabbleGrams contest we’ve gone on to do
every year — and Bob Staake immortalized him in Week 1021. (Jeff’s words
for those letters: biolust, subtoil and slutbio.) (Bob Staake for The
Washington Post)

And the results of the Style Invitational contest announced four weeks
ago . . .

Week 1167 was one of our perennial compare-and-contrast contests in
which the Empress listed18 random items and
you had to explain how any two were similar, different or otherwise linked.

4th place:

*The Cat in the Hat* and*Hillary’s emails:* In both situations you
wonder where all the grownups are. (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

3rd place:

The *Apple Store Employee of the Month* works hard to sell iPhones;
*tiny hands* work hard to manufacture them. (Kristen Rahman, Silver
Spring, Md.)

2nd place

and the winner of the “Back to the Future” manure car
An all-you-can-eat buffet* and *leftover Valentine’s candy:* Oh, you Casanova, you! (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)


*Hillary’s emails* are just like *three inches of snow*: not enough to
keep you from running for the office, but danged if they don’t make the
route hell. (Mike Ostapiej, Mount Pleasant, S.C.)


Both*tiny hands *and *Hillary’s emails:* The American people are sick
and tired of hearing about yer damn . . . (Ellen Ryan, Rockville, Md.)

Both *the Cat in the Hat* and *seventh-grade boys* have an optimistic
view of what your mother won’t mind at all if you do. (Dudley Thompson,
Cary, N.C., and father of two sons)

*Hillary’s emails* vs. *an all-you-can-eat buffet:* The feeding frenzy
brought on by the latter is somewhat more dignified. (Duncan Stevens,
Vienna, Va.)

*President Taft’s bathtub:* ring; *Leftover Valentine’s candy:* no ring.
(Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)

*Seventh-grade boys *will find it hilarious if you tell them *tiny
hands* are a bad thing for a pianist. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)

*The Pentagon: *Think eyes on Iraq.
*Scrabble tiles: *Think I’s on a rack.
*7th-grade boys: *Think eyes on a rack. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.;
yeah, the contest said to compare /two/ items, but it’s just too good)

*An all-you-can-eat buffet *vs. *Hillary’s emails:* It’s unlikely that
anyone will end up eating crow at the buffet. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*An all-you-can-eat buffet* and *three inches of snow:* Each can lead to
a run on toilet paper. (Kevin Dopart)

*An all-you-can-eat buffet* and *three inches of snow:* In D.C., there’s
a good chance that either will clog vital arteries. (Mike Gips,
Bethesda, Md.)

At *the Pentagon:* rank on their shoulders; with *7th-grade boys:* rank
in their armpits. (Dudley Thompson)

The windchill factors in when going out in*three inches of snow.* A
winch’ll factor in when getting out of*President Taft’s bathtub. *(Chris

The *Apple Store Employee of the Month *might get free Nats tickets.
*Walmart mulch* might come with free gnats, ticks, etc. (Danielle Nowlin)

*The last Cheeto in the bag *vs. *Tiny Hands: *One is an unnatural
orange mess that leaves a bad taste in your mouth; the other one isn’t a
nickname of someone running for president. (Paul Totman, Edmonton,
Alberta, a First Offender)

*The Pentagon* vs. *Scrabble tiles:* You can usually get a
comprehensible word out of Scrabble tiles. (Andy Bassett, New Plymouth,
New Zealand)

For *three inches of snow *it’s not worth firing up the big plow, but
with your *tiny hands *you probably don’t have a big plow anyway. (Gary
Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

*Bunions:* Unwanted trait of the feet.
*Leftover Valentine’s candy: *Fate of the unwanted treat. (Jesse
Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

*Seventh-grade boys *vs. *the Cat in the Hat:* The cat doesn’t leave
your house both destroyed and smelling of Axe body spray. (John
Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

*An all-you-can-eat buffet *and *embalming fluid: *You belly up to get
one; you’re belly up when you get the other. (Kevin Dopart)

*An all-you-can-eat buffet* and *Hillary’s emails:* In both cases, using
an official server might have kept things from getting out of hand.
(Hildy Zampella, Falls Church, Va.)

*An octagon* vs. *three inches of snow:* Metrobuses run through a stop
sign once in a while. (Kevin Dopart)

What’s the difference between *Scrabble tiles *and *seventh-grade boys?*
It takes at least a bit of skill for teenage girls to successfully
manipulate Scrabble tiles. (John Hutchins)

With *an octagon,* you’ve got a figure that has eight sides. With *an
all-you-can-eat buffet,* you lost your figure when you ate the sides.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*The last Cheeto in the bag *and *bunions:* Both are crunchy, zesty,
delicious snacks! Oh, wait, that’s Funyuns. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

With *seventh-grade boys,* there’s no such thing as *leftover
Valentine’s candy.* (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)

*Still running — deadline Monday, April 18: Our famous foal name
“breeding” contest. See . *