Style Invitational Week 1329: Shakespeare + Thee: A tailgater contest

Plus readers’ jokes for the White House Correspondents’ Association

One of two new Loser Magnets for honorable mentions, continuing the
annual tradition we began in 2004. Bruce Carlson's "Too-Weak Notice" is
from an earlier contest. The Empress will start sending these out in a
few weeks. (Slogan by Bruce Carlson; illustrated and designed by 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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April 25

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning jokes for the White
House Correspondents’ Association dinner)

*Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! * /(William
Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar”)/
*My Bluetooth headphones haven’t worked for years. * /(Duncan Stevens) /

*My bounty is as boundless as the sea.* /(“Romeo and Juliet”)/
*That’s all the storm relief you’ll get from me. * — D.J.T, Washington
/(Duncan Stevens)/

*Who will believe my verse, in time to come, * /(Sonnet 17)/
*Was used for something so completely dumb?* /(Brian Allgar, Style
Invitational Week 970) /

They’re called tailgaters: You choose a line from a famous poem, then
write a second, rhyming line yourself. The Empress ran a tailgater
contest back in Week 970 (2012) as well as one in Week 1171 (2016) in
which the first line was from a song. Serious Recidivist Loser Duncan
Stevens suggests a Bardic spinoff. *This week: Select any line from a
work by Shakespeare (poetry or prose) and pair it with your own line to
create a humorous rhyming couplet,* as in the examples above. Your line
may be either the first or second line in the tailgater (if it runs
first, should we call it a hooder?). You may add or change punctuation
at the end of a line. * *
has Will’s whole output. Please
include the name of the work that contains the line you’re using.

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy.

Second place receives a pack of*Shakespearean Insult Gum

* — a set of seven eensy-weensy book-shaped boxes, each containing two
mini-gumballs and a different Shakespearean insult printed inside each
box (“Bless me, what a fry of fornication is at the door,” from “King
Henry VIII”). Donated by Loser Nan Reiner in approximately 1612.

*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.”

or quite possibly one of the new models. First Offenders receive only a
smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, May 6; *results
published May 26 in print, May 23 online. See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
“Har Pressed” was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and William Kennard;
Chris Doyle wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style
Invitational Devotees on Facebook at
. “Like” the Ink of the Day 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 this week's contest, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In *Week 1325 * we asked for jokes that might
have been told at the April 27 White House Correspondents’ Association
dinner, had there been the usual comic roasting the president and
guests. (President Trump refused to attend yet again.) The Empress got a
big pile of one-liners — or whole-paragraphers — for this contest, but .
 . . let’s say comedy is hard.

4th place:

*So President Trump says he considered nominating Ivanka to head the
World Bank,* said she’s “very good with numbers.”
don’t know about that, but I know her dad is really good at division.
(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

Our other 2019-20 magnet. The Empress will start sending these when the
current supply runs out sometime in the next few weeks. They're
currently being printed. (Magnet designed and drawn by Bob Staake for
The Washington Post)
3rd place:

*You know, I can’t say people have become overly sensitive *to
everything that people used to find funny. I can’t say it because I know
someone will be offended. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

2nd place and the book "Collected Speeches of Spiro Agnew":

*The president couldn’t be here tonight because he’s hard at work* in
the Oval Office — there are a /lot/ of Democratic candidates who need
childish nicknames. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

This week’s apt second prize: 14 mini-gumballs, 7 insults.

One thing you have to say about the president:*He's really an excellent
golfer.* That's why so many people call him "Putts." (Jesse Frankovich,
Grand Ledge, Mich.)

Mic droppings: Honorable mentions

I heard *Joe Biden was so upset *when he heard allegations that Senator
Klobuchar abused her staffers,
flew straight to Minnesota and gave them each a big, long hug. (Tom
Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

*David Bernhardt and Andy Wheeler,* our new Interior and EPA chiefs,
can’t be with us tonight — they didn’t want to miss the first day of
drilling season at Yellowstone. (Allen Haywood, Washington, a First

*We invited the CEO of Boeing* to be here tonight, but he said it was
too far of a drive from Seattle. (Jerry Lugar, Hampton, Va., a First

*Angela Merkel wants the E.U. *to get along better with the Trump
administration. So I hear she’s thinking of assassinating her half
brother ,
and threatening to nuke California. (Mark Raffman, Reston,Va.)

*And is Joe Biden here? *There you are. I hope you’re okay with the
seating arrangement, Joe. We had to make sure that all the people in
front of you were guys. Bald guys. Bald guys without shoulders
(Neal Starkman, Seattle)

So tonight, while we were eating, *Mitch McConnell just confirmed* the
entire young Republican club of Yale Law to lifetime judgeships.
Congratulations, kids! (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

I see *Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has achieved something rare* these days
with her Green New Deal, and that’s bipartisanship. Of course, it’s
bipartisan/opposition, /but still . .  (Jeff Contompasis)

This new Democratic Congress is *serious about its green initiatives —
*they plan to save 5,000 trees a month by sending all subpoenas to the
White House electronically. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

The president couldn’t be here tonight because he’s on a tour of
*Brazil, Argentina, and Chile*, or, as Fox News calls them, Mexico
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

*Mar-a-Lago memberships* cost $200,000 plus $28,000 for two years’ dues.
That’s steep, but it’s cost us taxpayers 150 times that for President
Trump to go there — and he owns the place. That’s like paying a
President Colonel Sanders $3,000 to get him a bucket of his own chicken!
And that would cost us less, because the Colonel couldn’t eat 29 Family
Fill-ups every day. Not even Donald Trump can do that! (Connie Akers,

Unfortunately, President Trump couldn’t be here this evening; but he
sends his regards. Really, *he loves the White House correspondents *—
in fact, he worships the quicksand you walk on. (Jon Ketzner,
Cumberland, Md.)

Congratulations to the*University of Virginia men’s basketball team,
*which just won the championship after last year’s inexplicable,
humiliating loss to an inferior opponent. Unfortunately, that’s giving
Hillary Clinton ideas. (Duncan Stevens)

I’m not saying the president *has it in for Speaker Pelosi, * but he
recently offered a new option for her government travel — a 737 Max.
(Jeff Contompasis)

You gotta love Fox News, always asking the president the really
hard-hitting questions, you know, like what*his favorite animal *is.
Speaking of which, I’m gonna guess that he’d pick barnacles, because
there are fine ones on boat sides. (Jesse Frankovich)

*Security at Mar-a-Lago is so lax, *seems they just let in a Chinese
spy! No harm done, but the Russian spies no longer feel quite as
special. (Mark Raffman)

*Jeff Bezos will be coming late,* but I just got a text that he’s nine
stops away and will be here no later than 9 p.m. (Bruce Alter, Fairfax
Station, Va.)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, April 29: Our contest to retell
a bit of literature as someone else would have written it. See . *

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