Style Invitational Week 1260: What lies (are) ahead for 2018

Send us predictions. Plus winning captions for Bob Staake cartoons.

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

December 28, 2017


(Click here to skip down <#report> to the results of the caption contest)

*Jan. 15, 2018:* Former senator Al “Handsy” Franken posts a Facebook
message announcing that he is embarking on a new career and has been
hired as a TSA screener.

*Sept. 15, 2018:* Harassment accusations take down another prominent
entertainer when four different puppets accuse ventriloquist Jeff Dunham
of “inappropriate touching,” “repeated confinement in a locked trunk”
and “shoving his hand up our backsides.”

*It’s hard to imagine* what news events could be more astonishing than
the “no, it’s not the Onion” jaw-droppers we’ve encountered daily
throughout 2017. But it was also hard to imagine anyone could write a
funny song parody about sea urchin sushi, and the Loser Community did
just fine with that contest, too.

So we’re bringing back a contest we did seven years ago, inspired by
Loser Malcolm Fleschner’s annual “Year in Preview”

in his San Jose Mercury-News humor column “Culture Shlock.”
predict some news event to happen in 2018,* as in the examples above
from Malcolm’s column.

Submit entries at the website **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our new Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a
battery-operated“Instant Audience”

gadget that, at the push of any of four buttons, will supply you with
several seconds of “applause,” “crickets,” rimshot” or “boo.” “This is
not a toy,” the package announces sternly. So you’ll have to find a
serious application for it. Donated by Dave Prevar. (Applause for Dave.)

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
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, Jan. 8; *results
published Jan. 28 (online Jan. 25). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The “Quip art”
headline was submitted by both Chris Doyle and Danielle Nowlin; Kevin
Dopart 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 discusses
each new contest and set of results — and this week, there’s a poll so
that you can choose your favorites among this week’s results. See it

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Of the 1,000-plus captions submitted for the four Bob Staake cartoons in
*Week 1256 , *about a dozen offered “Hey, my
eyes are down here” for Picture B, while numerous others identified the
man in Picture A as a Grateful Dead fan.

4th place:

*PICTURE C: *Mr. Kershaw didn’t seem very concerned when his new TV
wafted to the floor. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

3rd place:

*PICTURE A: *Today’s death metal music goes right over Harvey’s head.
(Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

2nd place

and thehat promoting an off-color-named fan company:

*PICTURE D: *It’s moldy! I should’ve known not to buy a Henry Moore
sculpture at Kmart! (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*PICTURE B: *Judge Moore regretted hitting on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Pic noes: Honorable mentions


(By Bob Staake for The Washington Post )

It turns out that it wasn’t “his master’s voice”

that kept Nipper staring at the Victrola. (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)

Winthrop cleverly repurposed his old organ grinder. (Kevin Dopart,

Contemplating Nana’s disappearance, Chuck suddenly realized why the
device was called a gramophone. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Reginald occasionally lets his skeletons out of the closet for a dance
party. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Armand really wanted a Victrola, but could only afford a Vitriola. (Jeff
Hazle, San Antonio)

“Ethel, I said I wanted to hear ‘76 TROMbones!’ ” (Hildy Zampella, Falls
Church, Va.)

Edison was irked by the ribbing — and femuring, skulling and pelvising —
that he received over his new invention, the bonograph. (Christy
Tosatto, Brookeville, Md.)

Amid the distractions of the crime scene, investigators failed to notice
that Mr. Bentley had planted marijuana in the Stanley Cup. (Mark Raffman)


(By Bob Staake for The Washington Post )

“But Blair said that when I was in town I should look up his sister.”
(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

“And if you think this is weird, let me show you what’s in my
briefcase.” (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Once again he lost his head and panted after the first pretty girl to
walk by. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

“Baby, I’m head over heel for you.” (Joanne Free, Clifton, Va.; Edward
Gordon, Austin)

“It’s called extreme ventriloquism — anyone can throw their /voice/ . .
.” (Jeff Shirley, Richmond)

“Madam, I was /not/ staring at your chest. /I /am a/leg/ man.” (Andrew
Hoenig, Rockville; Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

Bill should have read the consent form for his knee replacement more
carefully. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring)

No one was fooled by the guy shooting upskirt photos once the head fell
off his dummy. (Tom Witte)

“You should see my sister — she wears her heart on her sleeve.” (Steve
Fahey, Kensington)

“Hey, baby, show me what you got!” yelled the knee jerk, hoping to get a
reaction. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

Fred lost his malpractice suit after the judge ruled that his face
functioned perfectly. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

Greg suddenly realized why women weren’t interested in him: His jacket
was missing half of its lapels. (Duncan Stevens)

The “Big Suit” worked for David Byrne but not so well for Peter
Dinklage. (Bill Hilton, Hendersonville, N.C., a First Offender)

“If you see me walking down the street / My head on my thigh, my chin by
my feet / Walk on by …” (Tom Witte)


(By Bob Staake for The Washington Post )

Distracted by the sports section, Frank would soon find out he was
standing next to a huge envelope full of fire ants. (Jesse Frankovich,
Grand Ledge, Mich.)

The only thing worse than getting TP stuck to your shoe? Getting King
Kong’s TP stuck to your shoe. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax)

The driverless carpet still requires more road-testing. (John O’Byrne,

“I’m not sure what’s stranger: that a sheet of drywall just randomly
fell on my toe, or that my newspaper is made of rigid steel.” (Bill
Dorner, Indianapolis)

“Search Continues for Letter I Stolen From ‘PUBLIC PARKING’ Sign” (Jesse

Having a sheet of drywall fall on his foot became the second-biggest
shock of Frank’s day when he was reading that the Browns actually won a
game. (Jesse Frankovich)


(By Bob Staake for The Washington Post )

Irma just had to try the pitted Fukushima avocados. (John McCooey,
Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

By late 2017, the Pinocchiofruit had become a real problem. (Brad Levy,
Lawrence, Kan., a First Offender)

Mrs. Bunyan was annoyed at the size and expense of the toilet bowl
scrubber she needed to buy. (John Folse, Bryans Road, Md.)

“No, Zork, you can /not/ ride in the little seat!” (Frank Mann, Washington)

“These darn food section recipes always have one exotic ingredient, but
‘giant bewhiskered hambone’ takes the cake.” (Jeff Lubbers, Takoma Park,

Irene was totally pumped to find the perfect Style Invitational prize.
(Jesse Frankovich; Duncan Stevens)

*Disagree on the winners? Vote for your favorites at*


*Still running — deadline Tuesday night, Jan. 2: our contest for
euphemisms. See*