Style Invitational Week 1300: Botch office sensations

Change a movie plot to an unlucky ‘13’; plus poems from new
dictionary words

"All the President's Men 13: Roger Ailes replaces Ben Bradlee." (Bob
Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
Email //

Bio //

Follow //

October 4

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning poems featuring new
dictionary words)

*All the President’s Men 13:* Ben Bradlee is replaced by Roger Ailes.
Woodward and Bernstein are reassigned to compiling the garden club
meeting calendar.

*The Graduate 13:* Ben and Elaine jump into a Metrobus. It promptly
breaks down.

*Thelma and Louise 13:* Our heroines get caught and are sentenced to
life in the Senate Judiciary Committee room.

Thirteen hundred weeks, people — wish us luck on the next hundred
contests until we’re out of the superstition zone (Week 1400 should come
your way on Sept. 6, 2020). Meanwhile, the Empress received numerous
suggestions from the Loser Community for a contest pegged to Week 1300,
and was intrigued by this one by Duncan Stevens. Duncan noted that a
“13” in a movie title often is a signal that something is about to go
terribly wrong; think of “Apollo 13,” “Friday the 13th,” the horror
movie “The Thirteenth Floor.” So: *Add “13” to an existing movie title,
and some humorous trouble to the plot, *as in Duncan’s examples above.
For this latest of his many successful contest suggestions, Mr. Stevens
wins yet another milkshake from the E; at this rate, the ultra-lanky
Duncster will start putting on weight by Sept. 6, 2020.

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

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a big red T-shirt
advertising Ben & Jerry’s ice cream — in Hebrew. The Israeli shirt (Ben
& Jerry’s has been in Israel for 40 years) was found in a thrift store
and donated by Loser Marleen May.

*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”
“IDiot Card.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, Oct. 15; *results
published Nov. 4 (online Nov. 1). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
“Merriament” is by Tom Witte; Jesse Frankovich 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. Especially if you plan to enter,
check it out at .

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


**In *Week 1296* we listed some of the terms that were just added to
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary and asked the
Loser Community to write short poems featuring them.

4th place

Vigilant *hacktivists,*
We’re out here striving to
Keep your vote clean;

"Gelidat [as in “gelato”] Ben and Jerry." This Israeli T-shirt is this
week's 2nd prize.

/Da, /we’re the good guys, it’s
See you Election Day
2018. — V. Putin, Moscow
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

3rd place

*TL;DR, * */“too long; didn’t read”/ *
The editor sent back my poem.
I found his rejection bizarre.
“Thanks for the haiku,” it said,
“But sorry. *TL;DR.” *
(Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

2nd place

/and the mildly risque dog-themed magnets

/ *GOAT, /“greatest of all time”/ *
/To “Danny Boy”: (link to
the parody is to a video sung by Loser Sandy Riccardi)
/ Oh, Donny Boy, the perps, the perps are singing,
From Flynn to Cohen, and now ’tis Manafort.
Bob Mueller’s here, each day new charges bringing,
Till soon ’tis you who’ll have his day in court.

Can’t go ye back to realty shyster jefe,
Where you’re the *GOAT* at stiffing schmoes you rooked.
The jig is up, and you’re in deep covfefe.
Oh, Donny Boy, oh, Donny Boy, your goose is cooked!
(Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

I sent a letter to my love, admiring from afar,
Returned! A hand-writ note above it said, *"TL;DR."*
Though some might think she's blown me off, still I prefer to dream,
My love's response, in code (don't scoff!) means: "True Love — Diane
Rehm." (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Not quite the GOAT: Honorable mentions

*Marg, /margarita;/ mocktail, /non-alcoholic mixed drink; /flight, /a
sampler of small drinks: / *
A *marg* that’s made with mango? A teeny li’l umbrella?
Well out here in Durango, it ain’t fit fer a fella.
We menfolk here drink whiskey, or Coors (and not Coors Light)!
But *mocktails?* Son, that’s risky! (So’s orderin’ a *“flight”!*)
We cotton to bravado. It’s just our Western creed,
So git from Colorado — unless you got some weed. (Mark Raffman)

* */To “Walk on the Wild Side”:
/ *
Chef Jose downtown at the Mex Cafe
Works at the grill nonstop throughout the day.
Strangers enter, never stay;
Take a bite and they’re red in the head;
They say, “Hey, man, make your *guac* on the mild side.
Jose, buddy, make your guac on the mild side.” (Matt Monitto, Bristol,

/ *Technology has changed our world,
Completely, wholly, totally.
With *cybercrime,* now robbers, too
Can do their work remote-ally. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

*// * *Hangry,/hungry and angry:/ * *
*“Let’s do a remake!” cried the young producer.
“You know that film with ticked-off dudes in ties?
They’re on a jury? Yeah, from way back when.
Our cast’ll be way hotter and way looser
And (Arby’s product placement!) craving fries.
My working title? Duh! Twelve *Hangry* Men. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester,

Now listen, Steve Bannon, that fire in your belly
Means you’re *hangry,* go nosh at a nice kosher deli,
Because after November the sixth, you should know,
The alt-right and you will be eating Jim Crow.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*Gochujang, * */a Korean condiment: / *
Said the heir, with a look that could kill,
“Ugh! This *gochujang *tastes just like swill!
Is it poisoned? Gone bad?
’Cause they served it to Dad,
And I think it’s what made Kim Jong Il.” (Mark Raffman)

If ever I’ve a throat so sore
That neither tea and honey nor
Hot toddies bring relief, a *marg*’ll
Be the drink I choose to gargle. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

*Mise en place,* */setting up food to ensure efficient cooking:/ *
Tonight I’m giving mise en place a chance,
To make my darling wife a meal with ease:
I’ve opened up the box well in advance
Of when I’ll mix and nuke our mac and cheese. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand
Ledge, Mich.)

*// * *Generation Z,* */born 1995 or later: /
*Tell me, why does old Senator Fred show disdain
For the young, earnest members of *Gen-Z? *
It’s because they don’t vote; twentysomethings abstain.
So he’s not in a pandering frenzy. (Duncan Stevens)

*Adorbs, /adorable:
/ * Your baby’s as cute as can be;
In fact, he is truly *adorbs!*
What? Hold him? Okay, I’ll agree
(As long as his diaper absorbs . . . ) (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*Force quit,* /*reset a computer page* / */
In Re the Weather Channel Guy:
/ *Leaning into the squall as the waves lap his thigh,
Hear him scream, “Storm has surged! Gale has gusted!”
In the background, what’s this? Folks are sauntering by,
Walking straight, on dry turf. Now you’re busted!
Still he flails and he yells: “This is huge! All must go!”
At my keyboard, indignant, I *force quit.*
When another storm comes, will I heed him? Heck, no!
All his wind shill turned out to be horse poop. (Nan Reiner)

*Zoodles,* /*zucchini shredded to look like spaghetti:*
/On the noodle variety roster,
The *zoodle* is just an impasta. (Jesse Frankovich)

Disney’s remaking a flick, so they say,
More befitting the food tastes in fashion today.
We’ll still seethe Tramp and his Lady canoodle
But they’ll kiss at the end of a gluten-free*zoodle. *(Chris Doyle)

Said Romeo to Juliet,
“Hot damn, you’re such a hottie!
Your azure orbs are totes *adorbs,*
Your booty’s fine, my shawty.
To meet a chick as sweet as you —
What luck our paths have crossed!
You’re down to get it on, I bet.”
Said Juliet: “Get lost!” (Matt Monitto)

I went late last night to my *fav* new Tex-Mex,
For some *guac* and some *margs *that were better than sex,
And a salad with *avo* and *zukes* dressed with ’grette,
Then I paid with my AmEx and left in my ’Vette.
All that may sound *bougie, * but what gives me chills
Is talking like this, dropping so many sylls.
(Bruce Niedt, Cherry Hill, N.J.)

/Trump disdains Sessions for lack of Ivy League degree

*Salty, * /*bitter and resentful: *
/For Trump, there’s a trait that’s essential
To gain his respect and his trust:
You need that elite-school credential —
Yes, Ivy attendance: a must.
You’re enraged by elite condescension?
You mock his detractors as *“salty”?*
Went Trump to get back at pretension?
It seems that your premise was faulty. (Duncan Stevens)

*Hophead, /a beer enthusiast:/
*A *hophead* once said with a hiss,
“I know beer and it clearly ain’t /this/.
Beer is hearty and bold
And delicious when cold;
This just tastes like a pint of warm ... Budweiser.” (Jesse Frankovich)

*And Last: *
My mail is unanswered, my house is a mess;
This contest is truly a*time suck!
*My garden needs weeding, my shirts need a press;
(To make matters worse, now I’m rhyme-stuck!)
But hope springs eternal; could this be a winner?
(I’ll just tell my husband, “Aw, fix your own dinner.”) (Beverley Sharp)

*And Even Laster: *
Puzzledy wuzzledy,
Why did the Empress not
Publish my masterpiece,
Raising the bar?

Maybe it isn’t so
Two hundred pages, marked
*“TL; DR.” *(Beverley Sharp)

*And Lastly Last of All Lasts: *
I haven’t a clue what I’m s’posed to do; why can’t she just make my life
’Cause reading all words is only for nerds — I’d rather be popping a
I’ll only support a column that’s short; and hers is just too
I won’t play her game, just look for my name; don’t see it and I am left
Give “someone else” ink and truly I think her column would be a lot finer,
But it’s just no fun predicting who won; congrats (but not really) Nan
So what I did seek—the rules for this week*—were probably found in Pat’s
But she went too far; it’s*TL;DR;* her Style is far from Invite-ing.
The two of us know where this one will go; we don’t need Joe Friday from
So just make it fast and give me “And last”; Begrudgingly, I’ll take my
magnet. (Brian Cohen, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
*Including “eight lines max.” **

*Still running — deadline Monday, Oct. 8: Our contest to create word
chains beginning and ending with new words in the Scrabble dictionary.
See . *