Style Invitational Week 1254: Inkorporation — a change-a-letter contest

Plus the winning poems featuring words from particular years

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

November 16

Follow @PatMyersTWP //

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning “year-poems”)

*Untie Anne’s Pretzels: So soft they come undone.* (John Drummond)

*Bloopingdale’s: For great deals on irregular fashions. ​*(Valerie

*Inko’s: Documents copied by scribes while you wait. ​*(Craig DuBose) ​

This week’s contest, suggested by 104-time Loser Matt Monitto, is one
we’ve never done specifically before, though it’s firmly in the
tradition of so many “change-a-letter” Style Invitational contests:
*Change the name of a present or past business, store or agency (not
just a product) by adding one letter, deleting one letter, transposing
two letters, or substituting one letter for another,* as in the examples
above, which got ink in various Invite contests over the years.

Mootercycle? A cow-on-bike glitter globe, this week's second prize. (Pat
Myers/The Washington Post )


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

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a substantially
sized glitter globe containing, because why not, a*cow doing a wheelie
on a motorcycle.* This fine sculpture — we named it Cowasaki — was
initially donated by Prime Prize Donor Cheryl Davis and was won by Mark
Raffman in 2014 with his second-place meteorological term, “Tropical
repression: Stifling high-pressure system that has stalled over Cuba for
the past 55 years.” Incredibly, Mark has donated the globe back to the
Empress (admittedly, we have given him 49 Invite prizes/not /counting
Loser magnets . . .).

*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, Nov. 27; results
published Dec. 17 (online Dec. 7). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for this week’s results is by Jon Gearhart; Chris Doyle wrote the
honorable-mentions subhead. 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.
Check it out at .

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

**In *Week 1250* we invited you to explore Merriam-Webster’s nifty Time
Traveler tool to see a list of English
words and phrases that were first used in a certain year (or ancient
century) — and then write a poem that included at least three of the
words from a particular year. Many entrants noted that they’d chosen
their birth years for their poems; presumably that’s not true for the
ones from the 15th century. (The year-words are in boldface.)

4th place:

*1955: *
My *flatmate* likes *veggies* to eat,
But my *hidden agenda *is meat.
By replacing the /Beta/ /
Vulgaris,/ I made a
Beef borscht — he did not miss a beet! (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

3rd place:

His *man cave *was awesome, with gadgets galore,
But he was a Class A misogynist boor.
And yet, he had women, a new one each day;
He called them *arm candy, * bestowed *PDA. *
But none of these gals kept him warm in the winter:
He’d made them at home on his cool *3-D printer*.
(Hildy Zampella, Falls Church,Va.)

2nd place

and the Merriam-Webster ‘fortnightly’ tote bag

Manny, with the *mutton chops, * the *wheelman,* mostly placid,
Joined with Alec, the *smart aleck,* from the *gin mill* down the street,
For a *heist* with a huge *jackpot.* But the *barbituric acid *
Al had taken just that morning made him pass out on his feet.

Of this *ragtag* team of robbers only Manny thus was able
To confront the wealthy *oilman* when he walked into the bank,
And he drew his gun and told him, “Put the money on the table.”
Then he lost his nerve and laughed, and said, “This whole thing’s a prank!”

But the victim was *well thought of* and *well groomed*, and, well, was
And he summoned the police, and *hook and ladder, *and the mayor,
And every *anti-crime* official, and anybody who was healthy,
And en masse the town descended, meaning Manny had no prayer.

When Alec had awoken and saw Manny was surrounded,
He was rightly *pessimistic* that his friend would be *alright.
* So he told the group, “My friends, your keen suspicions are well founded.
It was him, and him alone, and boy he gave that man a fright!”

Then he jumped in Manny’s wagon, and he drove it to the *gin mill, *
And he lived a life of freedom, prisoner only to the drink,
While his mutton-chopped accomplice soon was locked away in sinville,
Where he spent his sleepless evenings on a *box spring* in the clink.
(David Ginensky, New York, a First Offender)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*1959: *
When my *minivan* becomes a Lamborghini,
When my *panty hose* miraculously fits,
When my *plain vanilla* swimsuit’s a bikini,
When my *klutzy* husband doesn’t try my wits,
When my *personal computer *spits out money,
When my *horror show* teens cease to act like jerks,
When my *nutjob* in-laws move to someplace sunny,
That’s when I’ll know that *Wicca* really works.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Downward doggerel: Honorable mentions

A *significant* subject of jokes
In an *epithet*-filled shame-orama,
*Widely* known as the fattest of folks—
And the ugliest too—she’s Your *Mama! *
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

Said the *bimbette*, “I’ll take this one here
As my *boy toy — *just look at that rear!”
But her friend said, “No dice,
He won’t look at you twice:
See, your *gaydar* needs tuning, my dear.” (Mark Raffman)

Huffity, puffity,
Our pompous president
Thinks he can *outdebate*
Any and all.
Truth is he’s nothing but
*Egomaniacal* —
Just a huge *lummox * whose
Hands are quite small. — R. Tillerson (Jesse Frankovich)

*Before 12th century:*

Mayor Rob Ford wasn’t wise
Getting *filmed* smoking *crack.* His demise
Was assured when he tried
To deny he had *lied,*
So now he’s the Ford of the *Lies.* (Jon Gearhart)

It’s sad that *“graft,” “corrupt”* and*“plundered”*
Were all in use by *1500.*
(Frank Osen,
Pasadena, Calif.)

Head *honcho* to his Navy crew:
“Relax, men. Here’s what you can do:
As you *chugalug * your Coke,
You can make an *A-bomb * joke.
You can holler, hoot or whistle
Re our latest *guided missile.*
You can rank the pro and con
Re our mighty *Pentagon.*
*Cold War* humor, and *graffiti:
* *Touch-and-go * (unless it’s meaty).
But Admiral Nimitz
Is *off-limits.*”
(Mae Scanlan, Washington)

*A haiku entirely of 14th-century
*Poetry pattern
Specifies syllable count:
Seventeen total.*
(Jesse Frankovich)

We walk to her place;
My heart ups its pace.
Will she *comply?*
Oh, my – yes! Oh my!
Shoes dropping with thuds!
A *strewment* of duds!
’Twas an *enviable* fling.
But alas, there’s one thing:
“It can’t be! It can’t!”
Oh, it is – she’s *enceinte.*
(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Said the *school bus* mechanic, “I’m scared.
“I just can’t fix this horn!” he declared.
Then a *Boy Scout* — no *yob* —
Said, “Let /me /do the job.”
And in minutes: “All set. Beep repaired.” (Mark Raffman)

“I’ve read of your soup and its status:
*Blue-ribbon, * **in fact — yet it’s *gratis! *
So how could it be
That your bean soup is free?”
“You’ll realize in 10 seconds . . . *flatus.* ”
(Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick, Md.)

*15th century: *

My new play’s a big hit, I am*certain.*
Act 1: *Adolescents* start flirtin’.
Act 2: They start datin’.
Act 3: They start matin’.
Act 4: The torn *rubber.* [Drop curtain.]
(Jon Gearhart)

In ’89 of 17,
Aristocrats were mighty mean
To commoners who lived in France;
These poor folks never stood a chance.

But then one day they spread the news:
“We’ve had it with the *royal blues!*
On *bechamel* you gluttons feed,
And all we get is *beggarweed.*

You care not that we waste away;
You stuff your face with *Montrachet.*
Your royal waists are thickening,
And /(sacre bleu!)/ it’s *sickening!*

‘Eat cake,’ you say? That’s just a crock!
We’re going to clean your *cuckoo clock.*
When all is done and all is said,
You’ll rue the day you lost your head.”
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

You can call me a *kook *or a crank,
But my *theme park * idea, it’s no prank!
This new *elder care* venture’s
A “Disney for Dentures” —
“No-Tomorrowland”! How could it tank?
(Mark Raffman)

His tweets are *prattle,*
His hair is *orange,*
He’s easy to rattle.
*Period. *
(You didn’t say the poems had to rhyme.)
(Kyle Hendrickson)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Nov. 20: our contest for totally
bogus trivia about clothing and fashion. See
. *