Style Invitational Week 1304: What if you could wonder . . . whatever?

Plus the winning ‘thirteening’ of movie plots to make something go

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
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November 1

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning “13” movies)

*● What if we evolved from reptiles? We would go to McDonald’s and order
a Big Rat and an order of flies. * (Jonathan Paul)

*●What if, instead of air bags, they put sharp metal spikes on the
steering column? Seat belt use would go way up. * (Art Grinath)

*●What if men really did enjoy being “just held and cuddled”? What would
they carry in their wallets — tiny packets of Snuggle fabric softener?*
(Sue Lin Chong)

*●What if instead of an Easter Bunny, we had an Easter Fish? It sure
would be tricky, decorating caviar. *(Jean Sorensen)

Here’s a contest that’s as wide open as they come, and I think the only
time the Invite ran it was all the way back in 1995, in the pre-Empress
days of the Czar. *This week: Present a “what if” scenario and explain
its effect,* as in the examples above from Week 140.

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

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a *Bovine
Recycling Two-Pack* consisting of a nice little blank-page journal of
paper made from cattle dung (donated by Dave Prevar), plus a dainty,
Chihuahua-size “candy cane” dog chew made from beef pizzle, which is the
bull’s, you know, pizzle. Donated by Donna Peremes.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship”
(or perhaps a new design). 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, Nov. 12; *results
published Dec. 2 (online Thursday, Nov. 29). See general contest rules
and guidelines at . The
“Wryday the 13th” headline was submitted by both Mark Raffman and
Beverley Sharp; Kevin Dopart and Jesse Frankovich each submitted this
week’s honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees
on Facebook at . “Like” Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Face-book 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.
Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at
; this week the Empress looks back on the
inking entries of Week 140, the last time we did this week's contest.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


**To celebrate *Week 1300* , going with the
debatable premise that “13” in a film title signifies that something
will really mess up, we asked you to “13” a real movie and describe the

4th place

*Pinocchio 13:* The first wooden president finds his arms are too short
to pick his nose. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Bully! This week’s second prize: a journal made of cow-dung paper, and a
dog chew made of beef "pizzle."
3rd place

*Snakes on a Plane 13: *The would-be assassin is foiled when a gate
agent questions his “emotional support viper.” (David Peckarsky, Tucson)

2nd place

a/nd the Hebrew Ben & Jerry’s T-shirt
*Bad News Bears 13,* Washington Nationals 6 (Ken Gallant, Sequim, Wash.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*Basic Instinct 13: * Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs, flashing her
Depends. (Dave Matuskey, Sacramento)

Gaffers: Honorable mentions

*All Quiet on the Western Front 13:* German soldiers in World War I look
up and watch their ace pilot battle a flying doghouse. (Duncan Stevens,
Vienna, Va.)

*Taxi Driver 13:* Travis Bickle finds a welcoming work environment at
Uber. (Mark Raffman)

*13 Dalmatians:* The remaining pooches will stop at nothing to avenge
their 88 littermates who didn’t escape Cruella de Vil’s fur coat
factory. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

*Animal House 13: *New pledge Brett Blutarsky, a studious young man from
Washington, just pumps iron and “works his tail off.” (Rob Huffman,
Fredericksburg, Va.)

*The Social Network 13:* Instead of presenting the entire movie, the
projectionist shows you, in random order, the parts of the movie that he
thinks you will like best. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

*Casablanca 13: *Ilsa can’t escape to the United States because of a
hastily passed travel ban for travelers from Morocco, upheld by a 5-4
Supreme Court. (Duncan Stevens)

*Casablanca 13: *Rick gently but firmly pushes Ilsa into the plane,
insisting that “Really, Paris was enough,” as his “special friend” Louis
looks on. (Rob Huffman)

*Casablanca 13:* Ilsa thought she would always have it, but the
4.2-ounce bottle of Paris Eau de Parfum doesn’t get past security and
the plane leaves without her. She regrets it that day, the next, and for
the rest of her life. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*Being There 13: *An aging simpleton with a child’s understanding of the
world is presented as a presidential candidate — and wins! (Dave Airozo,
Silver Spring, Md.)

*Seven Plus Six:* After working his way through the Seven Deadly Sins,
sociopath John Doe justifies more bizarre murders by tying them to the
Six Hurtful Sins, including forgetting an anniversary and leaving the
toilet seat up. (Peter Boice, Rockville, Md.)

*Singin’ in the Rain 13: *A soaked-through Gene Kelly is left with a
less than glorious feeling as he catches a nasty cold. (John McCooey,
Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

*Speed 13: *Our hero must defuse a bomb on a moving Segway without
letting it dip below 5 mph. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

*The Little Mermaid 13: *As Ariel saves the Prince from the sinking boat
and is taking him to shore, a large fin appears behind them . . . (Dave
Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

*13 Shades of Grey:* His promiscuity having finally caught up to him,
Christian Grey exhibits symptoms of multiple venereal diseases. His
urologist has never seen anything quite so . . . colorful. (Bill Dorner)

*Animal Crackers 13:* Captain Spaulding is back from the dead and he
wants his pajamas back. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

*Apollo 13 13:* During Elon Musk’s maiden voyage, his ego becomes so big
that it perforates the spaceship’s hull, necessitating a dangerous
rescue. (Steve Honley, Washington)

*Bee Movie 13: *Jerry Seinfeld riffs for 72 minutes about how the number
13 looks like the letter B. (J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

*13 Pretty in Pink:* Prom turns into a brawl when 13 girls turn up
wearing the same pink dress. (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)

*Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 13:* The boys head down to Venezuela
and rob banks, but nobody cares because the currency is worthless.
(Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

*E.T. 13:* A severe allergic reaction to peanuts ends young E.T.’s life
as it eats some candy left for it by the well-meaning Elliott. The boy
grows up racked with guilt, sending reams of hate mail to Reese’s
executives. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

*Hair 13:* The shining gleaming streaming flaxen waxen goes bald.
(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

*Iron Man 13:* Tony Stark falls prey to a villainous plot when he orders
a new suit and agrees to get the rustproofing. (Jesse Frankovich)

*Manhattan 13:* The film ends abruptly when an old creep is finally
busted for soliciting a minor. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*Mary Poppins 13:* When Mary’s umbrella tears, she reaches terminal
velocity in 5.6 seconds. (David Young, Falmouth, Mass.)

*Pocahontas 13: *She agrees to return to England with John Smith and
becomes a member of Parliament, but her heritage is ridiculed by King
James as just “high cheekbones.” (Kevin Dopart)

*Field of Dreams 13: *A farmer gets hauled before the Dyerville, Iowa,
zoning commission for building an unauthorized recreational facility.
(Duncan Stevens)

*James Bond 13: *James meets a woman named “Octopussy” and . . . never
mind. That’s just TOO stupid. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

*Last Tango in Paris 13: *At exactly the wrong time, Marlon Brando finds
the refrigerator is empty. (Mark Raffman)

*Lady and the Tramp 13: *Tramp loses interest after Animal Control
rounds him up in a trap-neuter-return program. (Jeff Contompasis)

*Psycho 13: *Norman Bates’s status as a Korean War veteran finally gets
verified, and he begins the process of submitting paperwork to Veterans
Affairs seeking treatment for mental illness. (Bill Spencer,
Cockeysville, Md.)

*Raiders of the Lost Ark 13: *Indiana Jones finds the elusive ark, only
to discover that all it contains is the remains of Millard Fillmore.
(Steve Fahey, Kensington, Md.)

*The Sound of Music 13: *After fleeing the Nazis and settling in the
United States, all is well with the von Trapps until Stephen Miller
discovers they once sought public assistance in 1945 and deports them
all back to Austria. (Frank Mann, Washington)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Nov. 5: Our neologism contest in
which you replace two letters with two other letters. . *