Style Invitational Week 1321: Pumping Prime — Amazon product reviews
Plus the winning Punku — haiku with puns
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers
Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning punny haiku)
*Toenail clippers (2017): * This is a great product! Pretty sure I set a
new distance record this weekend. I even shot one into the trash can
without leaving the couch! (#nailedit!) /(Danielle Nowlin, Week 1244)/
*Paper clips (2014): * This product is hopelessly confusing. I can never
tell whether the small inside loop is supposed to go on top, or the big
outside end. Where is the instruction manual? /(Ken Gallant, Week 1098)/
It’s been a year and a half since we last sought your creative product
reviews for various everyday items sold on Amazon.com. Given that its
owner keeps the Empress outfitted in a proper ermine stole, we want to
make sure that our readers don’t forget about this little-known website.
*This week: Send us a humorous “review” (like the samples above from our
earlier contests) for any of the items below* that are listed on
Amazon.com. The reviews must not cause harm to the manufacturer or
seller. Feel free to post the reviews on Amazon itself /after/ we post
the results online March 28. While some reviews on Amazon run hundreds
of words, we’re looking for much shorter entries; 75 words would be
lengthy for us.
Click on the links below to see the exact Amazon listings we’re
referring to this week.
*12-pack of men’s white cotton handkerchiefs
*Flat shoelaces, ^5 /_16 -inch wide
*Velveeta Original Pasteurized Recipe Cheese Product, 64 oz.*
*Swivel vegetable peeler
*60 binder clips, assorted sizes*
*Amazon Basics standard toilet paper holder
Submit entries at *wapo.st/enter-invite-1321
* (all lowercase).
Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,
* our Style Invitational trophy.
Second place scores a real collector’s item, complete with
wonk-celebrity provenance: We offer four-count-’em-*four K-cups of
genuine Select by Trump coffee,* two each of Clubhouse Medium Roast and
Tower Light Roast. They are from the personal collection of The Post’s
David A. Fahrenthold, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his dogged work
uncovering then-candidate Trump’s fascinating “charity” (non)payments.
David bought two boxes of the pods on eBay a couple of years ago (you
think he’d accept compromising Trump swag?) and reports that they tasted
“bad even then.” The line was discontinued in 2017
partly because of poor sales. And no, they’re not on Amazon.
*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our “Whole Fools”
Grossery Bag. 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, March 11; *results
published March 31 (online March 28). See general contest rules and
guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules . The headline
“Ha-ku” in this week’s results is by Tom Witte; Tom, Kevin Dopart and
Bill Dorner each submitted the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the
Style Invitational Devotees 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 afternoon, 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 . . .
*HA-KU: PUNNY POEMS FROM WEEK 1317*
In *Week 1317 * we once again asked for Punku
— haiku that contain one or more puns. (Yes, we know, these aren’t true
haiku; we welcomed anything with three lines and 5-7-5 syllables.) Many
Losers wrote about the “Stupor Bowl,” that the Mueller probe would
“leave no [Roger] Stone unturned,” even ancient saws like “no pun in ten
did.” No ink for youse.
Stormy Daniels films?
I have the full collection —
It’s the whole she-bang.
(Seth Tucker, Washington)
2nd prize: The best coffee that was ever made ever.
The #MeToo movement
Has had it up to here with
Male pattin’ boldness.
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
/and the electric Sorry Button
Coddling Kim Jong Un:
I just hope this policy
Won’t leave us Seoulless.
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
In shoe polish or a sheet,
He's now in redface.
(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Nigh-ku: Honorable mentions
*More on the Virginia scandals:*
// Blackface as Jacko?
Doesn’t the governor know
Polish jokes are out?
(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
If Ralph denies pix
but later moonwalks
, then it
Doesn’t mean jack, son.
(Kevin Mettinger, Warrenton, Va.)
Stupid move, Northam!
Fairfax, Herring? You too!
Sigh . . .
The Old Dumbinion.
(Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
Northam’s new story:
It was a passing phase — his
All over the world
We’re waging war: Sic transit
The nuanced discourse
At a Trump MAGA rally
Is quite inciteful.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)
I love Maroon 5!
If you haven’t heard them yet,
You Auto-Tune in.
One tough cookie, but has a
Wall nut allergy.
(Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)
Chants of “U.S.A.!”
It’s like a Riefenstahl film:
“Triumph of the Swill.”
(Patty Harbison, Nashville, a First Offender)
They told Beethoven
He couldn’t compose while deaf.
He didn’t listen.
(Jim Villani, Gainesville, Va., conductor of the Manassas Symphony, and
a First Offender)
Pew, Gallup, Harris,
A poller vortex!
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
Measles in Portland?
Time to cut out the fiction
And stick to the vax.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
“Big, beautiful wall”?
Mexicans are upset, but
They’ll get over it.
(Laura Clairmont, Ashburn, Va.)
What to call a speech
Full of wild absurdities?
State of the Onion.
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)
At the National
Enquirer, blackmail’s just a
Bezos types revenge
Using just one finger — he’s
(Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)
Venice’s San Marco. It’s
A real coo d’état.
Please don’t mock the Prez
For his revised border plan:
Stop the slat shaming!
I have to admit:
With Brady’s sixth ring, he goes
From hero to GOAT.
(Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)
All those angry tweets
POTUS sends from the toilet:
You’d expect calm odes. (Kevin Dopart)
The “most productive”
President ever? More like
(Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
/Her ad said, “Hot chick
Seeking mate to share my stash.”
Alas, she meant “ ’stache.”
Huge men bearing down,
They mean you harm! Wave your arm!
Punt of no return.
(Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
Nancy teaches Trump:
You screw with the wrong woman,
You might get the clap.
It’s not nice to talk
About one’s perineum.
No poem from Trump?
Does he fear he’ll be deemed a
Man of low haiku?
(Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)
.*Still running — deadline Monday night, March 4: Our classic
Questionable Journalism contest. See wapo.st/invite1320