Style Invitational Week 1223: WaPo again seeks to mislead public!
Write a sensationalist headline for a mundane story; plus winning
‘lik the bred’ verses
"JETS INTERCEPTED NEAR NYC FIVE TIMES THIS WEEK!" Russell Beland's
sensationalist headline for a sports story in 2003. (Bob Staake/For The
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers
(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning “lik the bred” poems)
*JETS INTERCEPTED NEAR NYC FIVE TIMES THIS WEEK!*
/New England 21, New York 17 /(Russell Beland)
*ZOMBIES FOUND IN BALTIMORE HOSPITAL!*
/Johns Hopkins has cut back on medical residents’ 90-hour workweeks./
Rearrange your identity any way you like with Jesse Frankovich's
hand-crocheted set of coasters, this week’s second prize. (Pat Myers/The
Washington Post )
*DEATH TOLL HITS 152 AT AREA PARKS!*
/Howard County sponsored a deer hunt./ (Tom Witte)
It’s truer than ever that nobody reads a newspaper story topped by a
boring headline. Each week these days, The Post’s Gene Park sends out an
in-house memo citing “5 great WaPo headlines” that engage the audience
and provoke curiosity. So let’s give Gene some material that would
certainly do those things — to a comical fault: In a contest we haven’t
done since 2003: *Write a humorously sensationalistic, misleading
headline on an otherwise mundane article or ad published in The Post or
elsewhere from April 13 to April 24.* Obviously, we can’t run the
article itself, so *you’ll have to sum up the article in a single
concise line* as in the examples above from Week 537, the Empress’s
second contest ever — or else your joke will fall flat.
*Submit entries at this website: * *bit.ly/enter-invite-1223
* (all lowercase).
Winner gets the *Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives a handsome set of little coasters spelling
out L-O-S-E-R (or, if you prefer, E-R-L-O-S or 118 other permutations),
crocheted expressly for The Style Invitational by super-Loser Jesse
Frankovich, a man clearly of many talents.
*Other runners-up *win our new “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our new
lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind”
First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”
for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, April 24; results
published May 14 (online May 11). See general contest rules and
guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules . “Pun-leavened
‘bred’ ” in this week’s results headline is by Chris Doyle; the
honorable-mentions subhead is by Kevin Dopart. Join the Style
Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /on.fb.me/invdev
./ “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on
Facebook at /bit.ly/inkofday. /
*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 wapo.st/styleconv
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .
*PUN-LEAVENED ‘BRED’: HOT ‘LIKS’ FROM WEEK 1219*
In *Week 1219 * we introduced to the Invite
“lik the bred” poems,
based on the faux-Chaucerian verses posted in various comment threads on
Reddit by postdoctoral student Sam Garland, a.k.a. Poem for Your Sprog
While insisting on
the Sproggian 32 syllables in iambic meter, the Empress allowed real
modern English along with the fake Middle, and for four longer lines as
well as eight little ones. And the poems had to refer to someone in the
i be *Paul Ryan.* I muste do
whate’er the Donald wants me to
condonne his lies and cede controlle,
i kepe my jobbe. i loos my soulle.
(Elliott Shevin, Oak Park, Mich.)
I’m *Donald Trump.
* To build my wall,
I need more cash,
A massive haul.
But I’m so smart,
To fund my deals
I scrap the Wheels;
I steal the Meals.
(Brian Allgar, Paris)
/and the Kreep-E
I am the *Fox;* I spin the New.
I scorn and spurn and warp the true.
I careth not wat I may tel:
I mayk it uppe. I mayk it selle.
(Graham King, Fife, Scotland, a First Offender)
And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:
My name is *Neil*
And Merrick’s his.
Like me he’s smart,
A legal whiz.
But he stayed home
And I went far,
’Cause he’s a D
And I’m an R.
(David Lewis, Charlestown, Ind.)
Canterbury Fails: honorable mentions
*Marine Le Pen I me appelle.*
For liberté I ring ze bell.
And if you’re blanc, égalité —
but if you’re noir, you go ze way.
My name is *Bryce,*
who plays in ryte,
Home runs I hitte,
with ample myte,
In two mor years,
when I be Yank,
With pins for strypes,
I brayke the bank.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
My name is *Dev.*
I work in House.
I shield the Prez while Dems all grouse.
Now Nancy P. says I’m his “stooge.”
One thing is clear: I screwed the poodge.
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
My name is *Paul.*
My planne was thicke:
It said, “Tough lucke!”
if you get sick.
My planne has met
An Epick Faile.
I slinke away.
I tucke my taille.
(Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)
I’m *Vladimir* and every day
I hack your mail, read what you say.
I doff my shirt at every chance,
but when with Trump I wear the pants.
(Maria Zimmerman, Berryville, Va.)
My name is *Sean.* I have no couthe.
I know not falsehood from the truthe.
For myne is not to reason why:
They give me jobbe. I sell their lye.
My name is *Sean,* and every day
I meet the press and dodge away
And pepper folks with false attacks,
’Cause that’s my job—I spice the facts.
(Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
My name is *Jeff,*
a sutherne beau,
And wen I eat an Oreo,
I never take a mingled byte —
I lothe the blak; I lik the whyte.
My name is *Ben,* a top MD,
But HHS was not for me,
An “urban” post was in my blood,
(Or skin, perhaps) — I lead the HUD.
*‘BBC Dad’ Robert Kelly*
My name is Dad; I’m on the air;
My kids barge in ’cause they don’t care.
Of all things to go viral for —
Next time I Skype I lock the door.
(Claire Walsh, Herndon, Va., a First Offender)
My name is *Faye; *
I’m Warren’s friend.
We make big goof
At Oscars end.
Not “La La Land”
But “Moonlight” shines —
Yet one more time
I flub my lines.
My naem is *Dan
I owne this teem
That seems to lak
Som selfe esteem.
Lyke som olde grouch
I’v watch’d the Bowl
Wyle on me cowch.
(Frank Mann, Washington)
My name is*Kellyanne *the Mouth;
My spotlight time is headed south.
My feelings hurt, I cry out “Ouch!
Please keep me on! I love the couch.”
(Kevin Mettinger, Warrenton, Va.)
My name is *Don,* and wen I see
A lovlee ladee next to mee
I just start kissing — wye seduce?
Don’t even wayte. I grab the poose.
(Marni Penning Coleman, Falls Church, Va.)
my name is *Trump*
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed —
i stay up late
and tweet insane and racist conspiracy theories, stupid insults about
Meryl Streep, lame complaints about “SNL” and “Hamilton”, ignorant
claims about U.S. allies, anti-Semitic graphics from white supremacist
websites, vague threats directed at various American businesses . . .
(Shannon Bartlett Kizer. Beaverton, Ore.)
*And last: *
a *loozer,* i;
for inke i yearne.
badde joakes i lov;
goode tayste i spurne.
my entrys have
sutch witte and snappe,
weeke inne, weeke oute,
i winne mutch crappe.
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va., who hath wonne at least 68 items of crappe
*And even laster: *
My nam is *Pat,*
an Empress I;
my poem laws
But stil they draw
the stabbes of fools.
They’l get no inke,
I mak the ruls. (Scott Ableman, McLean, Va., a First Offender)
*Still running — deadline Monday, April 17: our 23rd annual horse name
“breeding” contest. See bit.ly/invite1222 . *