Style Invitational Week 1181: Put it in Bee-verse — write a
And guess who gets skewered most in our winning political song parodies?
Ptyalism is excessive salivation -- just as you're no doubt drooling in
anticipation of the Week 1181 contest to use National Spelling Bee words
in a funny poem. (Bob Staake/for The Washington Post )
By Pat Myers Entertainment
(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning election-theme song
parodies of Week 1177)
/PTYALISM: excessive salivating (pronounced TY-alism)/ *
*Imagine having ptyalism, so you salivate a lot *
*And also having nihilism, which means you haven’t got*
*Much regard for others. Mix contempt with many drools,*
*/Et voilà! /You’re free to walk the streets just spitting on those
fools.* /— Gene Weingarten, Washington Post Po’ Wit Laureate/
Now that the annual National Spelling Bee has become a virtually
impossibly competitive prime-time sport — do the kids have agents yet to
wangle flash card endorsements? — its organizers have been tinkering
with the format, adding and dropping the number of rounds played,
throwing in a vocabulary test to winnow the whizzes. But we’re waiting
for a new question that a stumped seventh-grader can use to stall for
time: “Would you use it in a poem, please?” Since once again, the Losers
will be ready to oblige.*This week: Write a short, humorous poem using
one of the 36 words listed at the bottom of this column, all from the
2016 bee. * The list contains pronunciations and brief definitions as
well. *You need to use the word in its actual meaning,* not a pretend one.
*NEW: No more emailing entries! Instead, submit them at this website:
bit.ly/enter-invite-1181 . *
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place in this lit’ry contest will receive two fine
volumes: “How Animals Have Sex: A Guide to the Reproductive Habits of
Creatures Great and Small,” donated by Melissa Balmain; and “Humpy the
Moose,” a children’s book that has nothing to do with the reproductive
habits of creatures great, despite the tsk-tsk thoughts of donor Jon
*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. Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “Magnet Dum Laude”
or “Falling Jest Short.”
First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink
for their first ink). Deadline is Tuesday evening, July 5 (you get an
extra day!); results published July 24 (online July 21). You may submit
up to 25 entries per contest. See contest rules and guidelines at
wapo.st/InvRules . The “Candiditties” headline
was submitted by both Tom Witte and Kevin Dopart; 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
*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 wapo.st/styleconv
And the winners of the Style Invitational contest announced four weeks
ago . . .
*CANDIDITTIES: THE POLITICAL PARODIES OF WEEK 1177*
*In ourWeek 1177 parody contest,* the Empress
sought songs about the presidential campaign.
While the more than 200
songs submitted ranged from old folk ballads to Kanye raps — with
several “Hamiltons” — most of the lyrics had one of two themes: 1. He’s
horrible. 2. They’re both horrible.
The links in the titles below will take you to a video clip so you can
listen to the tune while reading the parody lyrics; where noted, the
Losers themselves sing on the videos. We are so multimedia.
/(to *“Let It Go” *)/
The crowd is white at the White House tonight,
Not a brown face to be seen.
A kingdom of deportation,
And Ivanka is the queen.
The kids are howling as we load them on the bus,
But they’ve got to go — they don’t look like us.
Don’t let them in. Don’t let them stay.
Send Hispanics and Muslims all away!
I’ll build a wall from sea to sea, for you and me.
Make ’em go, make ’em go, don’t want them here anymore.
Let ’em go, Let ’em go, through the wall and slam the door.
I don’t care what those people say.
I’ll just send them home. We never wanted them anyway. (Jerry Birchmore,
*Smile, Chris Christie* /(to “Smile”
Smile, though your soul is breaking.
Smile, though the toll it’s taking
Makes you a chump when you stand behind Trump.
You can’t smile. You look so unhappy.
Your life just seems so crappy.
It’s all right there on my TV to see.
Your eyes look red and misty.
You blew it big, Chris Christie,
Your great career may be ending right here.
Just proclaim that you don’t support Trump,
Announce you’ll work to thwart Trump.
Just leave before you say /“Sieg heil!”/
And then you’ll smile. (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.)
2nd place and the DVD of politicians’ bloopers:
/*(to “My Way,” *sung by
Hillary Clinton; click on the link to see Nan Reiner singing her own
And now, this is the year;
It’s time to choose a prez who’s female.
Just who has got us here?
Each one a vain and look-at-me male.
Some great, and some third-rate,
And now we’ve done a nonwhite-guy turn.
Be good, dear Sisterhood,
’Cause now it’s my turn.
Big deal, some mail exchange
I set apart from full inquiry.
To girls, that’s nothing strange;
We’ve always kept a private diary.
Some crooks, and we’ve had schnooks,
And every one was an XY-turn.
I’m fem, no worse than them,
So why not my turn?
It’s high time for me, in my own right,
To occupy that House of White.
My Billy goat, he had his chance
With open heart and open pants.
Should have been hung, but I held my tongue
So now it’s MY turn! (Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)
And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:
/(To the *Major-General’s Song
* by Gilbert and
/ I am the very model of a presidential candidate
Whose every word has made The Don the most revolting man, to date.
I ended Lyin’ Ted, he’s just a microscopic speck to me;
On Clinton, I’m performing a political mastectomy.
Since Barry said that gays can wed, a champion to them is he;
I’ll overturn the court, we’ll see who really has supremacy!
When dirty thugs fight whites, they lead this country to the coroner;
I’ll end this racial dissonance by banning every foreigner.
We’ll build a wall that’s greater than that Lego fort of China’s is;
Our country will be pure at last — there won’t be any minuses!
My Donald-centered plans have left the voters in excited states,
So soon I’ll be the president and run these Disunited States. (Matt
Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
Voted down: honorable mentions
/To *“Alexander Hamilton”*; see the full version of the parody performed
by Matt Monitto — in costume! — atbit.ly/invite-hamilton
How will an autocratic brute whose fanatical focus broke us
Or she who cast a quick hocus-pocus on her email server,
Marking every state they win with map pins,
Be living in the room where power happens? ....
Are these our presidential candidates?
Can we rewind the race and start again?
Much too late, much too late… (Matt Monitto)
*Oh Donny boy,* the GOP is
In line with you; objections they let slide;
Summer’s upon us, time to end the stalling:
It’s you, it’s you, it seems, and they can’t hide.
But demographics, are they stacked against you?
The voters aren’t all men or white as snow,
Will enough others show up in November?
Oh Donny boy, oh Donny boy, I sure hope so. (Maria LeBerre, Herndon,
Va., a First Offender)
/To*“My Favorite Things”:
Heaping abuse on the Mexican nation,
Blaming tough questions upon menstruation,
Making up myths and then giving them wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Vile verbal volleys, with venom unstintin’,
Vacuous venting at Hillary Clinton, Forging my fortune with arrows and
These are a few of my favorite things.
As I look out from atop the Trump Tower,
On the horizon is my finest hour.
Immigrants, Muslims and Democrats too,
People, get ready, I’m coming for you!
Isn’t ranting quite enchanting?
All in war is fair.
And Hillary, this is the place that you’ll kiss,
When it’s in Obama’s chair.
(Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)
/*To “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”
Boasts he’s “GREAT!!” Claims he’s “YUGE!!”
While the rest of us think he’s a stooge.
But of course, they’ll endorse,
Though the GOP’s holding their noses.
He’s a fake, He’s a sham.
He sold steak, now he’s feeding us ham.
Tax return? A concern.
There’s a reason that he won’t disclose his.
I’ll think you jest if you say he’s okay.
He might do best With voters who fail an IQ test.
“Kick them out!” “Build a wall!”
Hear him shout and encourage a brawl.
Let’s not kid, he will do
What he did with his “U.”
Don’t let him play our nation for a chump.
No, he won’t get the votes of the Muslims, and Mexicans,
Women, and Asians, and Native Americans,
Disabled, Democrats (and some Republicans):
Every one’s thumbing their noses at candidate Trump! — E. Warren,
Washington, D.C. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney, Md.)
/The Lament of the “Republican Establishment” (to*“Be Our Guest”
* *)* /
We’re depressed! We’re depressed!
It’s just too much to digest!
’Cause the voters chose a nut-job
And they won’t be second-guessed!
Trump’s a joke! He’s a sleaze!
But he beat our guys with ease,
Now our eyes are getting misty —
Don’t believe me? Ask Chris Christie!
There’s a blight on the right
And we’ve given up the fight,
’Cause we know we’re gonna back him when we’re pressed,.
Still in our hearts we’re cryin’ --
Where the hell was Ryan?
We’re depressed! We’re depressed! We’re depressed! (Mark Raffman, Reston
/Seventeen Candidates (to *“Sixteen Going on Seventeen”
* *)* /
There were sixteen, sometimes seventeen
(If you count Gilmore too)
Candidates for the GOP, more than
Party folks could sort through.
There were sixteen, maybe seventeen,
E.g., Mike Huckabee,
Rubio, Walker, Christie and Paul, per-
Plexing the RNC.
Totally unprepared were they
For this chaotic mob,
Feckless and spine-impaired were they,
Winnowing? Not their job.
There was no one smarter or wiser
Clearing room on the stump--
They had sixteen, sometimes seventeen,
Now all they’ve got is Trump. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
*/To “Under the Sea”
*The outlook is always greener
In somebody else’s speech;
You dream about sweeping progress,
But that is too far to reach.
Just look at the world around you
Right here in the centrist range—
Such moderate things surround you,
What more can we hope to change?
Under H. C., under H. C.,
It will be lamer, more-of-the-samer, take it from me!
Up in the clouds they spend all day,
Feelin’ the Bern, they yearn away,
While we promotin’ just-stay-a-floatin’
Under H. C.! (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
*/To “Misty” :/ *
Look at me, I’m as hapless as a governor could be,
And I act like a servant, cap in hand,
Who can’t take a stand.
I’m Chris Christie, and Trump’s in command.
Walk my way, and you’ll know the reason why I made this play.
In New Hampshire the voters made it clear
It wasn’t the year
For Chris Christie, so why persevere?
I could see Trump was crushing the field,
And my future was horribly grim.
Did you notice the primaries I lost?
That’s why I’m following him.
On my own, I was close to being formerly well known.
Now I’m looking to be a step below
The top of the heap.
I’m Chris Christie and want to be veep. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
/*To“Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee”
* from “Grease” /
Look at me, I’m Hillary!
Presidential as can be!
Won’t get in bed with corrupt foriegn bread --
I can’t! (Not publicly...)
Watch it! Hey, don’t try to play,
I don’t sell myself for pay!
Don’t try to toss any cash at the boss
(I’ll send you Billy’s way...) (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
/*To “The Lady Is a Tramp”
My education was done in 12th grade,
I don’t know much about business or trade,
I love to hear about deals that he made –
That’s why I’m voting for a Trump!
He’ll kick out Muslims, and people we hate
The wall with Mexico won’t have a gate.
The Donald will make America great –
That’s why I’m voting for a Trump!
I love his long, blond, combed-over hair,
Candor so rare — PC? Not he!
He’ll get us out of our national slump –
That’s why I’m voting for a Trump. (Jane Pacelli, Annandale, Va.)
/Bernie’s Blues (to *“She’s Not There”
* by the Zombies)/
No superdelegates doubt her, despite her lies,
And though with voters I rout her, she’s near the prize!
And it’s too late to save this party,
The bigwigs know,
But they don’t care.
And how the hell am I behind her?
It’s not fair!!
Well, let me tell you they’re all dirty crooks,
The way they’ve acted, their love of billionaires!
Her guys have bent the rules! Her minions rigged the fight!
And it’s not fair!! (Mark and Claudia Raffman)
/To *“Springtime for Hitler”
* from “The
Should I choose Hitler or Hillary?
I hope that both of them lose.
I’ve always voted GOP.
This year that means catastrophe.
Should I choose Hitler or Hillary?
This choice will drive me insane!
Should I choose Hitler or Hillary?
I’ll have to stay home and abstain. (Barbara Sarshik)
*Still running — deadline Monday: our contest to play with comic strips.
See bit.ly/invite1180 . *
*THE SPELLING BEE WORDS FOR WEEK 1181*
*alpargata* (AL-par-GA-ta): a canvas slip-on shoe, often with a rope sole
*aplustre *(a-PLUS-tree): the curved ornamental stern of a Greek or
*biniou* (been-yu): a type of French bagpipe
*campagnol* (CAM-pa-NYOL): the European field vole
*chremslach* ([throat-clearing sound]rems-la[throat-clear]: pancakes
made of matzah, often filled with prunes, served during Passover
*dipnoous* (DIP-no-us): having both lungs and gills
*dulia* (du-LIE-a): in Roman Catholic theology, the reverence accorded
to saints and angels
*écorché * (AY-cor-SHAY); an anatomical illustration or manikin showing
the muscles and bones that are visible with the skin removed
*edacious *(ee-DAY-shuss) voracious, having a big appetite
*ekka* (ekka): a one-horse carriage used in northern India
*epistaxis* (epi-STAX-is): a nosebleed
*ergataner* (erga-tayner or erga-tahner: a wingless male ant
*geländesprung* (guh-LEND-e-sproong or -shproong): a jump in skiing made
from a crouching position, usually over an obstacle
*Haab* (hob): the 365-day year in the Maya calendar
*iiwi* (ee-EE-vee): the scarlet honeycreeper, a small Hawaiian bird
(also spelled i‘iwi)
*klendusity* (klen-DU-sity): the ability of a plant to ward off disease
*mischsprache* (mish-SHPRAH-[throat-clear]uh): a language arising from
the fusion of two or more languages
*myiasis* (my-EYE-a-sis): maggot infestation
*ochlocracy* (ock-LOCK-racy): mob rulele
*pilcrow* (PIL-cro): a paragraph symbol
*piqueur* (pi-KUR): an attendant supervising the hounds in a hunt
*promyshlennik* (PRAH-ma-SHLEN-ick): a Russian trapper and fur trader of
Siberia and Alaska
*ptyalism* (TY-alism): excessive salivation
*quadriga* (quad-REE-ga): a Roman chariot pulled by four horses abreast
*rerebrace* (REH-re-brace): armor for the upper arms
*solenoglyphous* (sole-NOG-li-fus): having tubular fangs that fold up
inside the mouth
*solmizate* (SOLE-mizate): to sing music using the names of the notes,
such as do-re-mi
*somma* (rhymes with comma): the rim of a volcanic crater or caldera
*sophrosyne* (suh-FROSS-uh-nee): prudence, self-control
*strepitous* (STREP-i-tus): boisterous, noisy
*taoiseach* (TEE-shock): the Irish prime minister
*tilleul* (tee-ULL): a pale greenish yellow (from the French word for
linden or lime tree)
*tourelle* (tour-ELLE): a small tower or turret
*tyee* (TYE-ee): a large king or chinook salmon
*vaccary* (VACKary): a place to keep cows, or a dairy
*vulnerary* (VUL-nerary): promoting the healing of wounds; curative
/Sources: Merriam-Webster.com plus various
dictionaries cited on Dictionary.com . /