Style Invitational Week 1248: Fess up!

Tell us a Colbert-style ‘Midnight Confession’ — or a real one. Plus
winning Amazon reviews.

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers

October 5


(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning reviews of mundane
products listed on Amazon)

*“Sometimes when I’m out to dinner with my wife, I’ll propose so we get
free dessert.”* — Stephen Colbert

*“When someone sends me a save-the-date card, I don’t even save the
card.” * — Stephen Colbert

*“During boring meetings, I pretend everyone present is naked. And good
looking. And female. And a kangaroo.” * — Art Grinath, winner of Style
Invitational Week 633

This week’s contest has twin inspirations: The more recent one is
Stephen Colbert’s “Midnight Confessions” feature on his CBS show, now
compiled into a new book by that title
by Simon & Schuster, the source of the first two “confessions” above.
But it also harks back to Style Invitational Week 633, when back in 2005
the Empress asked for “secrets” — fictional or non-. (That contest, in
turn, was inspired by the pioneering website
, to which people submitted true confessions —
and still do — on /snail mail postcards.) / *This week: Send us a brief
“confession” — there will be categories for true and just-kidding — *as
in the examples above by Messes Colbert and Grinath. Tell us which
category. If you’re sharing an anecdote, it shouldn’t run much longer
than 50 words, but obviously pithy li’l quips are welcome as well. There
might even be room for an embarrassing photo, such as when Jeff Brechlin
got Week 633 ink by sharing the picture he’d taken of a large, healthy
snapping turtle next to which he’d placed a basket containing his infant
daughter. (She has survived.)

If your feet are a little bigger than the Empress's, you might enjoy
clomping around in this week's second prize. (No way is she letting go
of her favorite socks.) (Mark Holt)

Submit entries at this website: **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our new Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a pair of
genuine unfinished pine Dutch-style wooden shoes; they’re a bit large
for the Empress, who wears a women’s size 7. And they weigh more than a
pound each; when you’re walking down the hallway, people will /know.
/Donated by Loser Pie Snelson.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”

Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind”
“Magnum Dopus.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Oct. 16; results
published Nov. 5 (online Nov. 2). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for this week’s results was submitted by both Chris Doyle and Jesse
Frankovich; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Kevin Dopart. Join the
Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /
./ “Like” 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.
This week she shares the results of our 2005 “secrets” contest,
including the picture with the baby and the snapping turtle. Check it
out at .

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

In *Week 1244, *we once again asked for
funny reviews of particular mundane products listed on

We don’t know why a toenail clipper was called a toenail clip, either.

4th place:

*Revlon toenail clip:* This is a great product! Pretty sure I set a new
distance record this weekend. I even shot one into the trash can without
leaving the couch! (#nailedit!) (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

3rd place:

*Home Premium 5-Piece Rubber Door Stopper, Brown:* Unsafe product!!
After bending to set one up on the floor, I straightened up and cracked
my skull on the freakin’ doorknob! Not recommended!! (Dave Prevar,
Annapolis, Md.)

2nd place

and the removable-hair Trump “Over-Reaction Figure”

*Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter:* My kids were begging me
all year for pet kitties, so I finally gave in and ordered your
multi-cat litter. When the package arrived Christmas Eve, I let them
open their gift early. Well, you forgot to put holes in the box — the
only thing left of this litter of cats was dust. My kids and I were
traumatized beyond belief — after New Year’s we’re going to counseling.
(Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil:* It really works to block UFO thought
control! The proof is in the anagram: WALL UP YOUR MIND FROM ALIENS!
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

Empress also bought . . . : Honorable mentions


They work okay but are too noisy. And it’s not just me — everyone else
in the restaurant seemed annoyed, too. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)

This clip is so much better than barrettes or duct tape for keeping toe
hair out of the way when I paint my nails! (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Warning: This model does NOT come with a USB port! (Kyle Hendrickson,
Frederick, Md.)


Three stars: They work just fine for the first floss and were pretty
okay for the double floss, but they barely held up for the triple floss
on Day 3. (Nick Semanko, Washington)

Like many with a philosophical bent, I like to walk the streets and
floss my teeth and think deep thoughts. The smooth action of the DenTek
Floss Pick frees my mind. Plus, this pick is indestructible. I know
because I see the ones I tossed months ago still on the sidewalk, faded
but holding together. Like me. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

Unable to review — horse would not hold still. (Dan Steinbrocker, Los

Having only three teeth, I was cheered beyond measure by DenTek’s
sensitivity in meeting the needs of the tri-toothed. It truly brought a
tear to my (one) eye. (Rob Huffman, Fredricksburg, Va.)

1 star: Using these picks was quite painful, and I couldn’t get a single
booger out of my nose. (Stephen Litterst, Newark, Del.)

Worst picks ever — one star (and that’s a mercy). That little string
kept breaking when ever I strummed my guitar. “Extra strong” my a**!!
(Rob Huffman)


Three stars. Product performed well, once I finally got through to
customer service and they explained how it works. Instructions should be
included. (Andrew Elby, Arlington)

Can’t they use a different color? My second-graders refer to them as
“brown wedgies” and I think that’s just gross. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

I would have opened my doors to the Houston flood victims sooner, but
these hadn’t arrived yet. — Rev. J. Osteen, Houston (Jesse Frankovich)


It says my home will be odor-free for seven days. I plan to have my cats
longer than that, so this doesn’t work for me. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna,

Saturday nights at the honky-tonk I run can be pretty wild, and I was
having to skip church Sunday mornings just to clean up. Then I tried
Clump & Seal! Now that spilled blood clumps right quick — and if some
juicer uses a corner as a urinal, what’s to mind? Arm & Hammer gave my
Sundays back to the Lord! (Lawrence McGuire)

You know those Premium Door Stoppers everyone’s talking about? They’re
totally unnecessary if you use Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat
Litter! Just mold those clumps by hand into little wedges, then dry them
on the kitchen table until they are rock solid. Eat your heart out, dog
owners! (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)


*Five stars — best product ever!* *I* *just used some hot glue* and
pressed carefully, and now my 1965 avocado stove and fridge look just
like the stainless-steel stuff on those fancy home-shopping shows. I
wish this came in red so I could do the car, too! (Robyn Carlson,
Keyser, W.Va.)

Although the box says it can cover 75 square feet, the product is good
for wrapping normal-shaped feet, too. (Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.)

Pointless! Who owns a 75-square-foot cookie sheet? (Kyle Hendrickson)

They’re betting you’ll think 75 square feet is a lot, but at only
0.0000525 feet thick, that’s less than four thousandths of a cubic foot!
What a rip-off! (Jesse Frankovich)

I try to buy the organic aluminum foil rather than this factory-made
stuff, which is low in essential oils. Check out my blog on the
forge-to-table movement. (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)

The description says this product “can withstand both heat and cold,”
but I question the “heat” part: My microwave oven doesn’t get very hot
at all, but this foil sure didn’t stand up even to that. Lame! (Duncan

This material was perfect for my Comic-Con C3PO costume until I used the
fly, which tore irreparably. So I converted it to a bottomless R2D2,
making Nos. 1 and 2 a breeze. 4.5 stars! (Dave Prevar)

Free shipping with Amazon Prime is a real cost-saver when you’re
ordering 124,166 rolls delivered to Devil’s Tower, Wyoming! – Christo
and Jeanne-Claude (Larry Yungk)


This is literally the biggest piece of crap I’ve ever gotten from
Amazon! Five stars!! (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.; Jesse Frankovich)

Highly inaccurate — one look at this poop and you can tell it would be a
sinker, not a floater. For reference on what is and is not a floater, I
have attached several photos . . . (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

Thanks to this fine product, no pesky neighbors ever ask to use my
backyard pool. (It might also be the 30 dozen boxes of “Daisy Yellow”
glass tile.) (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)


If you’re like me and use an inflatable poop emoji as a lawn gnome, you
know what’s missing — feet. I ordered two packages of these brown door
stoppers to make a full set of toes. (Kevin Dopart)

You’ll have even more fun in the pool if you buy some brown door
stoppers to use with it. Given people’s frame of mind after seeing you
on this float, if you discreetly drop a brown lump or two while you’re
paddling along you’ll soon have the pool to yourself! (Kevin Dopart)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Oct.9: our contest to
reinterpret movie titles. See
. *