Style Invitational Week 1322: Back to the drawing board
Invent a not-well-thought-out invention. Plus winning (and AMAZING)
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers
Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
March 7 at 9:47 AM
(Click here to skip down <#report> to this week’s winning anagrams)
*— A special security device for office buildings that recognizes
someone by analyzing his spinal fluid. *(Brian Broadus)
*— Caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts, with a surprise algebra problem
in every box. *(Greg Dobbins)
— *Home delivery of fresh milk, via a trailer of cows driven to
customers’ doors.* (Russell Beland)
Here’s a contest we did a full 20 years ago, and surely there are lots
more bad ideas to be found since then. *This week: Come up with an idea
for an invention that still needs a bug ironed out,* as in the inking
examples above from Week 323 in 1999.
Submit entries at *wapo.st/enter-invite-1322
* (all lowercase).
Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,
* our Style Invitational trophy.
And speaking of crappy inventions: Second place gets a fly swatter . . .
well, it doesn’t swat, exactly; you pull a trigger on this sort of gun,
and a pair of cartoonish green plastic hands “claps” the insect to
death. There’s even an archery-style target on one of the palms, so that
you can give yourself a score for accuracy. The Empress finds this prize
far more tasteless than the poop emoji slippers and even the Trump brand
coffee pods we’ve offered recently. Donated by Mike Creveling, a retired
biology teacher and an active naturalist who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
*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 18 ; *results
published April 7 (online April 4). See general contest rules and
guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules . The headline
“’Gram Scheme” is by Jesse Frankovich; Jesse and Chris Doyle both
submitted the anagram of “honorable mentions.” 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 . . .
*’GRAM SCHEME: REPORT FROM WEEK 1318 *
In*Week 1318 *we asked you to produce
anagrams — text with all the letters rearranged. Prepare for some
*The opening of “A Tale of Two Cities”: * It was the best of times, it
was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of
foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of
incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
For those who'd glory in catching flies with their hands, this week's
/*Anagram*: /Sigh, how to begin? “It was London, it was Paris. It was
the stain of woebegone teeth, it was the spot of armpit hair. It was the
time of awful foods, it was the time of less cheeky help. It was wan,
fetid cheeses, it was soft, soft cheeses.” These spoofs: It is the far,
far worse thing I do. (Kevin Dopart, Washington) //
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
*Anagram: * BS! I often itch to gnaw her hot love-tushy. (Mark Raffman,
and the poop emoji slippers
“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute
the Office of President of the United States.”
“I, Donald J. Trump, attest that I will offend you, expel the White
House staff, and fleece the country for side millions.” (Jesse
Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
*A total anagram of the entire Gettysburg Address: *
**Dig this, my men. A few decades back, some hep, cool creative guys
hath invented a sovereign country somewhere right around here that was
devoted to increasing human equality. It's true, man; I saw, ah,
documentation on the teevee. I call that radical! Too hot, hot, hot!
But now, there's definitely a bad vibe. Wretched indignation advanced to
total hatred, bitter warfare, and terrible attrition. Thousands of hale
men, both Northern-trained Federal and hotheaded, pro-apartheid
Confederate, everyone frightened, fighting with revolvers and rifles to
decide whether survival of that great, progressive doctrine of reform
and human tolerance is necessary — or a total menace. We have gathered
at the, ah, scene tonight to give high props to a thin, fantastic posse
that hitherto laid it all ten-tenths down for the cause. That be word.
Word is bond.
Nay, do listen to this oath, congregation: Whatever grateful oration we,
ah, bother to deliver ain't near enough. Not near appropriate or
worthwhile. Here, a dreaded Death flowered beneath the feet of, and
collected, honored men. The, ah, righteous thugs and heroic hos that we
celebrate achieved the whole deal; all we can do is riff charming,
insignificant stuff that people will never recall. So we all gotta keep
on keeping on, in order to see to it that things evolve better for our,
ah, descendants so the worthwhile peeps rule twenty-four/seven. Be real.
Yahoo. Whatever. (J.J. Gertler, Arlington, Va.)
MINOR LOONS BENEATH: Honorable mentions
Build the wall!
= White lad bull.
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)
“We’re building the wall”:
= We draw in the gullible.
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Make America great again!
= I make a migrant cage area.
(Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)
There was no collusion!
= So unethical loser won.
(Mark Calandra, Wenham, Mass.)
“There was no collusion!” says Trump
= A sorry, shameless Putin clown. Out! (Chris Doyle)
“Please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much
bigger and more powerful one than his.”
= A bitter orange buffoon thumbs nose at autocrat. Phallic euphemism
thrived online. Huh, egomania writ.
(Luke Baker, Columbia, Md.)
= Must reap BS.
= Random fail. (Chris Doyle)
First lady Melania
= Rats, I’m a fiend ally!
(Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)
= Crap! Me die! *
(*Ann Martin, Brentwood, Md.)
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
= No more! My bold light is dead! Tip: Flee!
(Elliott Shevin, Oak Park, Mich.)
I never met a man I didn’t like
= Amend: I like tainted vermin. (Mark Raffman)
I do solemnly affirm that I will faithfully execute the Office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability,
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
= “Dote on tot Trump — I’ll need dynamo fixer staff,” puffed the fatty
suit. “Coot help needed! Toady Michael Cohen and Sheriff Steve Bannon
I’ll tweet to abet the fruitiest fictitious lies, sir, with style.”
(J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)
The Washington Nationals
= What, nothing sensational.
The Baltimore Orioles
= Hoo, ol’ team is terrible!
The New York Giants
= We groan, “They stink.”
(all by Jesse Frankovich)
Democracy Dies in Darkness
= Cry. America kissed Don’s end. (Kevin Dopart) OR
= Dark money is caressed in D.C. (Jesse Frankovich) OR
= Damn! I scored sacred ink! Yes! (Chuck Helwig, Centreville, Va.)
The Style Invitational
= That loveliest inanity (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.; Jesse Frankovich) OR
= Have I not little sanity? (Duncan Stevens) OR
= Ain’t it a silly event, tho? (Jesse Frankovich)
The Empress of the Style Invitational
= She is that fit, neat, lovely person I met.
= The flattery’s vital. Is she open to mine? (Jesse Frankovich)
Just give yet another large bucket of ink to Jesse Frankovich this week.
= Geeky objective favors King of Nuts’ cheekier wit. Uh, thanks a lot,
jester. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Oh, no need to check this one, Empress. I promise you it’s an anagram.
= Success! Yea, I hope it gets me honor and ink, not more pain or shame.
(Bill Dorner) [We checked.]
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
= Tip: I am the E, Yo Mama of fantastic Style humor fame. (Jon Gearhart,
/Today’s winning entry was also submitted to the ongoing Anagrammy
Awards contest, and did not get ink! However, all
its entries can be read online. /
*Still running — deadline Monday night, March 11: our contest for
creative reviews of several boring household products. See
wapo.st/invite1321 . *