Style Invitational Week 1325: Stand up and jeer — jokes for the WHCA

Plus this week’s winners: creative reviews for boring household

(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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March 28

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the creative reviews for everyday

*New contest for Week 1325: *
*Stand up and jeer *

*“Of course, Trump isn’t here. . . . I would drag him here myself, but
it turns out the president of the United States is the one p---- you’re
not allowed to grab.” * /— comic Michelle Wolf, at the 2018 White House
Correspondents’ Association dinner/

*“Yo, Barry, you did it, my n---a.” * /— comic Larry Wilmore to
President Obama at the 2016 dinner /

Welp, there’s not going to be a comic performing at /this/ year’s WHCA
dinner. After a three-decade tradition of hiring a comedian to tease the
gussied-up media types as well as the celebs and politicos — usually
including the president, who then takes his own turn at the mic with a
gentle standup routine — the embarrassed press association announced
this year’s speaker, on April 27, would instead be historian Ron
Chernow, who’ll “make the case for the First Amendment.” President
Trump, who refused to attend the past two dinners, has not yet said
whether he’ll be showing up at the Washington Hilton to mix with the
Enemy of the People and listen to Chernow, author of the Alexander
Hamilton biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the musical
about the Founding Father.

But /we’re/ here. *This week: Give us some original standup jokes that
would have been good at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner;
* **they can assume that the president (or someone else) is in the room,
or not. You can even suggest some material for Chernow, who insists that
“while I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise
that my history lesson won’t be dry.” The contest results publish online
two days before the event, so he could revise his bit. And we’re
*extending the entry deadline to April 15* so that your jokes can be a
week fresher. This contest was suggested by Obsessive Loser Jeff

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy.

Second prize, apropos of this contest, receives a genuine
first-(only-?)edition of*“Collected Speeches of Spiro Agnew,”*
comprising the crooked pol’s public proclamations during the first two
years of his veepship — a couple of years before he resigned after
pleading nolo contendere over those pesky kickbacks. Dedicated by its
original owner, who inscribed the title page “Elden Carnahan, Boston,
1971.” The 48-year-old mass-market paperback is, fittingly, rather
sullied, with a slightly off odor.

*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”
“IDiot Card.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, April 15* (what, you
have something else due that day?), results published in print April 28
(online April 25). See general contest rules and guidelines at . The headline for this week’s
results is by Jesse Frankovich; Bill Dorner wrote the honorable-mentions
subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees 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 1321,* we once again asked for
humorous reviews for various boring products listed on Many
Losers noted that the “blemish remover” included on the vegetable peeler
did not improve their complexions.

4th place:

*12-pack of men’s white cotton handkerchiefs: *

Who would have guessed that carrying my mucus in my pocket all day could
be so stylish? (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)

3rd place:

*Flat shoelaces, 5/16-inch wide:

*Three stars — not as good as spaghetti, but better than zoodles.
(Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

2nd place

/and the pods of David Fahrenthold’s own Trump Select coffee
:/ **

*Velveeta Original Pasteurized Recipe Cheese Product, 64 oz.
*Cheese slices are so last week — this time I tossed the whole 64 oz
onmy baby’s face
once! Soooo many page views! Next time I’ll take it out of the box
first. Like and Subscribe! (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*60 binder clips, assorted sizes: *
clips. Yawn . . . until I saw the French on them:/"pinces relieuses
variées,"/ and suddenly I wasn't in my cubicle ordering office supplies.
I was waltzing to accordion music down the Champs-Elysees, drinking
Bor-deaux, and helping mustachioed, beret-wearing mimes binder-clip
elegant French documents as the sun set over the Arc de Triomphe. "Take
me away!" I cried as I clicked "Buy Now." Anyway, they're binder clips.
(David Hammond, Vienna, Va., a First Offender)

Yucky stars: Honorable mentions

*12-pack of men’s white cotton handkerchiefs: *

Now I have one for every month of the year! Livin’ the good life! (Deb
Stewart, Damascus, Md.)

I got these reusable handkerchiefs to impress my zero-waste,
natural-living girlfriend, but it turned into a heated “conversation”
about the cotton industry’s ties to slavery. She was too snotty for me
anyway. (Maddy Vieth, Washington, a First Offender)

Great “filler” to add extra lift to your cleavage. Smooth contours with
none of those lumps you get with sweat socks. (Robyn Carlson, Keyser, W.Va.)

I can’t understand why items like this are still sold. Don’t they
realize that handling cotton is an anxiety trigger for those coping with
America’s abhorrent history? — Virginia first lady Pam Northam
Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

These are handkerchiefs made for a MAN. None of your girly, lacy
folderols that won’t stand up to dribbling tobacco juice or coughed-up
sputum. Plain white cotton was good enough for the men who plowed the
plains and laid the rails. Such handkerchiefs would have wiped the sweat
from the tanned, weatherworn forehead of a Texas ranger chasing down a
gang of cattle rustlers. Buy ’em. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

*Flat shoelaces, 5/16-inch wide:*
doctor told me to get a neti pot, but these were way cheaper! The
plastic bits on the end hurt, though, so only 4 stars. (Todd DeLap)

I just stuffed these flat laces with dryer lint, and now they look just
as good as the round laces at half the price! (Deb Stewart)

The description says these are “great for all types of shoe.” Well, they
fell right off my horse’s hoofs. And let’s not even discuss brake shoes.
(Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)

I ordered these shoelaces from Amazon, but all I found in the padded
envelope with the abstract jet leaving behind a satisfied smile of a
contrail was disappointment. These laces measured a full three microns
thick, according to my micrometer. As I have done with my other 37
purchases from Amazon in the last 37 days, I shall return these laces
for a speedy refund. Now that will put a satisfied smile on MY face.
(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

*Velveeta Original Pasteurized Recipe Cheese Product, 64 oz.

I’m sick of all the snotty snark about this product. Velveeta is quick,
easy and affordable, and it works better than many of the much more
expensive spackles. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

I take the Velveeta out of the box, put in my bottle of wine and put it
back in the fridge. No one has ever found my stash! Five stars! (Robyn

I think they changed the recipe — doesn’t taste anything like the real
thing. I finally finished the 32-ounce block I purchased in 1953 at the
A&P, and it was sooooo much better than this crap. (Warren Tanabe,
Annapolis, Md.)

Back me up here: Cheese comes from a cow. Leather comes from a cow. The
third anniversary is the “leather” anniversary . . . (Todd DeLap)

This is an excellent product: Melts quickly with no lumps, then I just
mix it with a little base- coat makeup and voila!, the perfect shade for
my Trump costume. (Robyn Carlson)

People!! Pasteurization is just a scheme to increase costs and make
money for Big Cheese — who DON’T tell you that pasteurization can ALSO
cause your children to be infertile until they reach PUBERTY! If you
love your kids, only feed them natural, homemade, unpasteurized
velveeta! (Frank Osen)

The aroma of this cheese has a fair intensity but low duration. The
flavor is heavy on the sweet and salty side, with very few bitter notes.
Elastic and sticky in the mouth, it quickly melts with a buttery
texture. While lacking total satisfaction, I ate the entire package in
one sitting. Pairs well with a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. (Drew
Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

It mixes well in casseroles; it melts into a dip.
It boosts a salad’s flavor; it’s versatile and hip.
No matter how you slice or dice or chop or shred or nuke it,
Velveeta’s smooth when going down, and later when you puke it. (Chris
Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

*5-pound dumbbell: *

This item is aptly named! I hit it 20 times with a hammer and the only
sound I got was a miserable clank! (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)

If you want biceps like Barney Fife and are willing to do the work, here
is all the gym equipment you’ll ever need. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

I lifted this thing like 10 times and I still don’t look like the guy in
the picture. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

5 stars! Superior in every way to the 239-pound one! (Tom Gleason,
Lawrence, Kan.)

I read in the reviews here that this was great for curls, but it is
extremely uncomfortable. I woke up with a really stiff neck, and when I
sat up, it ripped my hair out. (Frank Osen)

Very accurate item description — I pounded this on my alarm clock
exactly five times, and that was the perfect number to completely mute
the stupid &$^# ringer. Five stars! (Danielle Nowlin)

Your website says this product is available in sizes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 15 lb. So I guess those of us who prefer to work out
with dumbbells weighing 11, 13 or 14 pounds are just out of luck, huh?
(Steve Honley, Washington)

*Swivel vegetable peeler:*

I’ve been a KitchenAid man for years, but I like to stay abreast of the
latest developments in peeler tech. This premium swivel model from Zulay
has good balance and okay shear tolerance, but it seems to come at the
expense of adequate torque and tensile strength. The handle is
reasonably grippy, but still gets slick in intense peeling situations.
Overall rating: 3.275. (David Hammond)

Your health plan doesn’t cover impetigo? This peeler quickly and
painlessly removes scabs. Just remember to rinse it off in warm water
before returning to meal preparation. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Works okay but jiggles when you shake it. Maybe mine had a
manufacturer’s defect? (Frank Mann, Washington)

*60 binder clips, assorted sizes: *
say how these work in the long term, but the right wing of our boss’s
executive jet is still there. (Frank Mann)

These are perfect for executing just about any intricate updo. And when
strategically placed, they can also pinch a tiny bit of scalp — presto,
instant facelift. Way cheaper than Botox. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach,

Don’t you hate it when you only need 59 binder clips but are forced to
buy that one extra? Thank goodness for Craigslist! (Deb Stewart)

Bought them years ago
in anticipation of
promotion that never came through. Never buy in bulk unless you really,
really need that many. @MittRomney (Dinah Rokach, Silver Spring, Md.)

Good, but nearly impossible to open once the handles fold forward. Then
you need a screwdriver to pry it open — terribly inconvenient. (Martin
Bancroft, Bellevue, Wash.)

60 binder clips, assorted sizes: Five stars! Binder clip squeezes are an
essential part of my fingerbuilding regimen. My pinkies are RIPPED!!
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

*Amazon Basics standard toilet paper holder:*

I’m so glad to have one of these at last! My older brother has been
making me stand in the bathroom and hold the toilet paper for years.
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

This product is thoroughly unsatisfactory! My husband insists the paper
should hang over the roll, while I rightly hang it under, and your
product DOES NOT PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS!!! (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

Just once, I wish they would design one of these things that could be
refilled by spouses and children. (Robyn Carlson)

This is described as a “modern” toilet paper holder. Does that mean that
there’s one of those cameras in it? (Warren Tanabe)

Extremely misleading because the toilet paper is NOT INCLUDED! I was
really depending on the next-day shipping, so you can imagine my
distress when the product arrived holding nothing! (Drew Bennett)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, April 1: Our contest to sum up a
Bible story or folk tale as someone else would write it. See . *