.DemocracyDiesinDarknessStyle Invitational Week 1228: That movie is SO ab out you — ‘secret inspirations’


(Click here
to the compare-and-contrast winners) “There’s a Girl in My Soup”: Jeffrey Dahmer (Stephen Dudzik; Charlie Steinhice) “You Only Live Twice”: Elvis (Russell Beland) “The Curse of the Fly”: Bill Clinton (Mary Lee Fox Roe)

“The Tip Off”: John Wayne Bobbitt (Mary Lee Fox Roe)
Back in 1998 the Empress’s predecessor, the Czar of the Style Invitational, ran a contest whose angle was the rumor at the time that the romance of Al and Tipper Gore was the inspiration for the book and movie “Love Story.” (Author Erich Segal denied
but said the Harvard preppy character Oliver Barrett IV was a combination of the young Al and his college roommate, Tommy Lee Jones.) The results of Week 252 were highly topical, laden with 1998-headline names: Frank Gifford! Marlene Cooke! Michael Fay! Pamela Anderson Lee! M. Larry Lawrence! So let’s give another go to this contest, now that we can use lots of people who (if we’re lucky) will be trivia questions themselves 19 years from now. This week: Name someone who was the “secret inspiration” for a certain movie, as in the more lasting examples above from Week 252. The E predicts that most of the humor will come from wordplay on the movie titles, as above, but it’s possible that some jokes could refer to the films’ actual content. This contest is far more short-form than most Invitational contests, and we’re likely to get lots of duplication among the 1,000-plus entries. So the ink will likely go to the most imaginative Losers.
Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1228
(all lowercase).
Winner gets the Inkin’
Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a three-count-’em-three genuine 1970s copies of “The
a series of comic books about World War II antiheroes that, by the Vietnam era, had taken an antiwar perspective. (It was a later, unrelated “Losers” comic, about CIA renegades, that inspired the movie we gave out in Week 1194.) Donated by 20-Time Loser Himself Perry Beider.
for their first ink). Deadline is Tuesday night, May 30; results published June 18 (online June 15). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results was submitted by both Beverley Sharp and Tom Witte; 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.

This week, the Empress looks back at the movie “inspirations” from Week 252 and reminds you why everyone in 1998 got those jokes we don’t get now.
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

In Week
in one of our perennial Invite contests, the Empress presented a list of 19 nouns and phrases and asked what was the same, or different, about any two of them.
Too many people to credit noted that April the giraffe, being an unmarried female, would be ineligible for lunch with Mike Pence.
Ding ding ding! This week, according to the voluminous statistics kept by Uber-Loser Elden Carnahan, First Offender Paul Wilmes becomes the 5,000th person ever to get ink in The Style Invitational. (And you thought the prizes always go to the same few people.)

A golf cart ride at Mar-a-Lago and April the giraffe delivered the two most-followed baby boys on the Internet. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

The difference between lunch with Mike Pence and a flight on United Express: You want them to drag you away from lunch with Mike Pence. (Frank Mann, Washington)

The difference between a flight on United Express and a vacation in space: Space. (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)

The difference between World War III and a ham-and-cheese sandwich? Stupid question! Sad! A war is tremendous, very complicated. But a ham-and-cheese — I don’t even need my reading glasses to order one. I can just press this big red LUNCH button and . . . (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

The difference between a response by Sean Spicer and a self-driving car: The car can crash and burn only once. (Paul Wilmes, Minneapolis, a First Offender)
April the giraffe is like a response by Sean Spicer: Both involve a gaping orifice with a foot lodged in it. (Melissa Balmain)

A flight on United Express and a golf cart ride at Mar-a-Lago: Both involve a battery charge.

Calandra, Sudbury, Mass.)
A flight on United Express and an intentional walk: Expect each to yield a force-out. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
A vacation in space vs. a flight on United Express: In space, no one can hear you scream. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.; Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
On an intentional walk, the offensive player gets to first base; on a golf cart ride at Mar-a-Lago, the offensive player might try to get to third. (Jesse Frankovich)
Beyoncé’s vocal cords: “All the single ladies” Lunch with Mike Pence: “Aaagh! Single ladies!” (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
How is MOAB different from a response by Sean Spicer? The hole dug by the former is a lot easier to climb out of. (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
World War III: Could cause nuclear winter. A pink knit hat: Uh-oh, a snowflake! It’s the end of the world! (Hildy Zampella, Falls Church, Va.)
A response by Sean Spicer vs. a left sock with a hole in it: The sock would hold more water. (Jesse Frankovich)
You wave four fingers for an intentional walk, just one for a response by Sean Spicer. (Steve Glomb, Alexandria; Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)
I have a better chance of surviving World War III than Easter Bunny ears have of surviving me. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
World War III: apocalypse. A kale-and-blueberry smoothie: a pucker-lips. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
An intentional walk: throw ’em outside and it’s first base; a vacation in space: throw ’em outside and it’s burst face. (Steve Offutt, Arlington, Va.)
Both Easter Bunny ears and a kale-and-blueberry smoothie taste best when made from chocolate. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
A flight on United Express is like the 50-yard line at FedEx Field: a great place to watch a kick-off. (Frank Mann)
The difference between a lunch with Mike Pence and a pink knit hat: Donald Trump has never wanted to grab a lunch with Mike Pence. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
A kale-and-blueberry smoothie is antioxidant, while a self-driving car is anti-accident. (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg; Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.; Annette Green, Lexington, Va.)
A kale-and-blueberry smoothie: Lots of antioxidants. World War III: Lots of anti-Occidents. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.; Jesse Frankovich)
Good things a kale-and-blueberry smoothie are all the antioxidants; bad things about a vacation in space are all the oxy-accidents. (Gary Crockett)
April the giraffe vs. a response by Sean Spicer: Even with complications, the giraffe has a smoother delivery. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
A response by Sean Spicer and the 50-yard line at FedEx Field: At both, you’ll say, “Oh boy, here comes the offensive line.” (John Holder, Rock Hill, S.C.)

A flight on United Express vs. World War III: I’m sure that Donald Trump is savvy enough to avoid a flight on United Express. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)
A pink knit hat and lunch with Mike Pence: The first allows a woman to make a statement. (Seth Tucker, Washington)

An intentional walk requires four balls at the plate. A lunch with Mike Pence requires four balls at the table. (Gary Crockett)
The difference between the past five Style Invitational contests and a response by Sean Spicer is that the contests are full of wit. (Jesse Frankovich)
The past five Style Invitational contests are examples of a self-styled monarch bestowing favors on an assortment of Losers. The White House visitor logs, if available, would probably show something similar. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
A ham-and-cheese sandwich and the past five Style Invitational contests: In an emergency, my rabbi might approve of the sandwich. (Dave Zarrow, Reston)

Still running — deadline Monday, May 22: our contest for a neologism whose letters are all different. See bit.ly/invite1227.


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