Week 1275: That Is the Question — playing with Shakespeare
*Fair is foul, and foul is fair.* /(Macbeth, Act I, Scene 1)/
/How does the umpiring work when the Nationals hold Backwards Day?/
*“What bloody man is that?”* /(Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2) / /
What did Prince Charles say when he was introduced to Donald Trump?/
// *It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying
nothing.* /(Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5)/
/Hey, what did you think of “The Emoji Movie”?/
This week, at the suggestion of Obsessive Loser Duncan Stevens, we offer
a new take on our perennial Questionable Journalism contest. This time,
instead of having you comb through newspaper stories, we’ll send you to
a hoitytoitier source. *This week: Choose a line from Shakespeare (or a
significant part of a line) and pair it with a question that the line
could humorously answer, *as in Duncan’s examples above. You can find
the whole oeuvre of plays and poems at *OpenSourceShakespeare.org*.
Please cite the play or poem you’re
Kathleen Delano, who’s active in the Style Invitational Devotees group
on Facebook, models this week’s second prize at a recent Loser brunch.
Submit entries at the website *wapo.st/enter-invite-1275*
Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,
* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives this very cool,
puffy dragon hat (species of dragon unknown) of shiny fabric, donated by
Loser Dave Prevar and modeled here by Style Invitational Devotee
Kathleen Delano. The Empress is envious, but
will stick for now with her array of tiaras.
*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, “We’ve Seen Better”
First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”
for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, April 23; *results
published May 13 (online May 10). See general contest rules and
guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules . The headline
for this week’s results was submitted by both Jon Gearhart and Jesse
Frankovich; Beverley Sharp wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join
the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
on.fb.me/invdev . “Like” Style Invitational Ink
of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday ;
follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
*The Style Conversational *The Empress’s weekly online column, published
late Thursday, April 12, discusses the new contest and results.
Especially if you plan to enter this week, visit wapo.st/styleconv.
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .
*Art of the DOYLE: Neologisms from Week 1271*
**In *Week 1271 * we celebrated the 2,000th
blot of Invite ink won by Biggest Loser Ever Chris Doyle, with a
neologism contest; the new terms had to have a D, an O, a Y, an L and an E.
*Delay-O-Matic:* A device built into most hands-free faucets. (Roger
Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)
*Tirade policy:* The Art of the Tantrum approach to exports and imports.
Also known as “spittle diplomacy.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
and the “Irish drinking cap”:
*Oldyssey:* The epic journey that follows forgetting where you parked
your car. “Buying the shoes took 10 minutes, but the oldyssey added an
hour and a half.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
*Doodeyful:* Faithfully willing to lie for your boss. “Spicer
doodeyfully proclaimed the inauguration crowd the biggest ever.” (Brian
Collins, Olney, Md.)
F-O-Y-L-E-D again! Honorable mentions
*Stormy denials: *A tweetstorm from the White House. (Chris Doyle,
Denton, Tex.) [Sure, we let him enter this contest. Why not?]
bungled announcement. “Warren and Faye’s Oscar deweyblooper got them
invited right back the next year, just to see if they’d do it again.”
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
*YOLO bride:* Someone whose parents have deep pockets and one daughter.
(Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)
*Little Lord Fondleroy:*
You Know Who’s
nickname on the pageant circuit. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
*Motherly load:* A take-home “gift” to a visiting child: “That box is
Grandma’s dishes, and you know she’d want to keep them in the family.
And I bought you new socks . . . Wait, take the leftovers — you’re thin
as a rail . . .” (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
*REMployed: *“Working” the night shift. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
*Voldemortify: *To humiliate Death Eaters in public. “The Parkland
students continue to voldemortify the NRA.” (Ann Martin, College Park, Md.)
*Beige Floyd: *“We don’t need any education . . .” (Duncan Stevens,
*Deli-goy:* The guy who orders pastrami on white bread with mayo. (Mark
Raffman, Reston, Va.)
*Below-dryer: *To Marilyn Monroe,a subway grate
. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
*Deplomacy:* The fine art of damaging international relations. “Believe
me, our foreign policy will put a yuge emphasis on deplomacy!” (Jesse
Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
*DiploMEcy: * [See above.] (Warren Tanabe)
*Bunemployed: *On maternity leave. (Duncan Stevens)
*Cloglodyte: *A houseguest who manages to stop up the shower drain in
the space of a weekend visit. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
*Fly a la mode:* Regular (if unintended) dessert at the Screen Door
Diner. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
*Formaldejekyll:* An environmentally friendly preservative. (Gary Crockett)
*Greed-only memory:* What Martin Shkreli had installed in his laptop.
*Lay-bored: * Thinking of England.
*Lead yo-yo:* Something that goes down but never comes back up again.
Like a submarine made from old colanders, or presidential approval
ratings. (Daniel Galef, Montclair, N.J.)
*Kleptodactyl:*A prehistoric bird with sticky talons. (Jon Gearhart, Des
*Loyaled up:* Brought all your favorite people to Crony Island.
*Mellow-yellowed: *Condition of teeth exposed to a lifetime of marijuana
smoking. (Mark Raffman)
*Toyled: *Worked all night at Santa’s workshop. (Jane Pacelli,
*Molar derby:* A hockey game. (Kevin Dopart)
*“Oy! Delaware”:* That time you realized you left the EZ Pass
transponder at home. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)
*Phonytailed: *Sporting artificial locks. “Given that her hair was in a
bob two weeks ago, it’s clear that she was phonytailed down to her waist
at the party last night.” (Tom Witte)
*Smelody:* A tune Dad plays after dinner on Taco Tuesdays. And on Spam
Sundays it’s a*Hormelody.* (Jesse Frankovich; Kevin Dopart)
**Gobbeldygood: * * Finger-lickin’ delicious! (Beverley Sharp)
*Supercalifragilisticexpialidociously:* In a
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious manner, duh. (Jesse Frankovich)
*Pseudoroyalty*: Mediocre people with such delusions of self-importance
that they give themselves Russian monarchical titles, wear tiaras, etc.
*Doylies:* Amazingly crafted creations on newsprint, decorated with
2,000 blots of ink. (Duncan Stevens)
/And last: / *Condoylences: *“Sorry, but I had to give the win to this
guy who’s just way more funny and clever than you are. For the 57th
time. Best, The Empress.” (Frank Osen)
*Still running — deadline Monday night, April 16: our famous horse name
“breeding” contest. See wapo.st/invite1274 . *
*DON’T MISS AN INVITE!* Sign up here
to receive a once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style
Invitational and Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete
with links to the columns.