Style Invitational Week 1367: Pick me up at work, okay? A come-on contest.
Plus Part 2 of our do-over for the past year’s contests, from cartoons to song parodies
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
Jan. 16, 2020 at 10:01 a.m. EST
(Click here to skip down to our retrospective winners)

Pickup lines from …
An auto mechanic: “I might need the whole weekend for this inspection.”

A highway maintenance worker: “Hey, baby, what’s your sign? I hope it’s ‘yield.’ ”

Mitt Romney: “Your place, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, or mine?”

As One-Man Style Invitational Ink Factory Duncan Stevens suggested: Give a pickup line from someone in a particular profession, or from a particular person or fictional character, as in Duncan’s examples above.

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Jan. 27; results will appear Feb. 16 in print, Feb. 13 online.

He gets under your skin? This way he can be over your foot. This week's second prize.
He gets under your skin? This way he can be over your foot. This week's second prize.
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a pair of black and gray socks with a picture of a rather slim Donald Trump with the legend “We Shall Overcomb.” For better or for worse, these are the kind of socks that don’t show above your shoe. Donated by Hall of Fame Loser Beverley Sharp.


Other runners-up win one of our new “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mugs or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “Too-Weak Notice” or “Certificate of (de) Merit.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “Gag Reflux” is by Kevin Dopart; Chris Doyle wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column — published late Thursday afternoon, Jan. 16 — reviews each new contest and set of results. This week she shares some of the song parodies “performed” last weekend at the Losers’ Post-Holiday Party. Check it out at

Alas, SpongeBob lived to regret his affair with the Wicked Witch of the West. [From Week 1338, honorable mention by Beverley Sharp] (Cartoon by Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Alas, SpongeBob lived to regret his affair with the Wicked Witch of the West. [From Week 1338, honorable mention by Beverley Sharp] (Cartoon by Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago …


Gag reflux: Retrospective winners from Week 1363
Week 1363 was Part 2 of our retrospective, in which we invited readers to enter (or reenter) any of 24 recent contests.

4th place:
Week 1349: Find a sentence in the Congressional Record and pair it with your own questions:
CR: “It is one of the reasons all of us who got elected to this office decided to do it.”
Q: Hey, senator, did you enjoy that two-week junket to Hawaii? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

3rd place:
Week 1337, riddles with an anagram in the punchline:
Where can you be sure to find Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s nose?
[The answer is an anagram of the question above:] Consensually buried in the creases of Trump’s orange behind, a year now … (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

2nd place and the skull-motif mouth-covering scarf:
Week 1340, slightly change a famous name:
Mick Nagger: “Can’t always get what you want? Well, if you’d just try sometimes … ” (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)


And the winner of the
Lose Cannon:
Week 1357, song parodies about the news:
Song of Mitch McConnell (to "Right Here Waiting")
Rambling tweets, paranoid swill,
Sure, you might have gone insane.
But there are benches left to fill,
So I surely won't complain.
Each time you name a crackpot,
I know I've hit the jackpot.

Whatever you say, whatever you do,
I will bless right-wing judges for you.
Keep naming those flakes; I won't apply brakes.
Alive and right-wing? I'll move 'em through.

They'll side with business, they'll wipe out Roe;
No more rules when I campaign.
What do I care if you held up dough
Or if you shook down Ukraine?
Each day more folks are squirmin',
But I'm still here, confirmin'.

Whatever you say, whatever you do,
I'll push through cranks and zealots for you.
Unqualified hacks? I'll have all their backs.
Hey, send Don Jr.! He'd be fine, too. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)


Redo-nothings: Honorable mentions
Week 1336, things you could say in two different situations:

Something you might hear at a job interview and in bed:
“Is there any way you can enhance the size of the package?” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

At the doctor’s and when Trump visits your country:
“Will this lump go away on its own?” (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

At the supermarket and the doctor’s:
“Looks like you’re ready to check out.” (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

On a game show and in bed:
“I think I’ll take a pass on Door Number 2, Bob.” (Mark Raffman)

Week 1337, riddles with anagrams:
Q. What name change has the president proposed for the nation’s highest tribunal?
A. The SUPER ME Court. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

Q. What civil rights leader was falsely accused of being a communist?
A. The NEVER-RED Martin Luther King. (Mark Raffman)


Q. What’s that movie where a bunch of old superheroes beat up bad guys with their canes?
A. “Avengers: AGED MEN.” (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)

Week 1339, song parodies about modern woes:

To “She’s Gone”
Everybody, Mommy’s on a mission,
I’m so angry as I hunt for what belongs to me
My children aren’t showing much contrition
But it’s plain to see there’s been some thievery

Sorry, family, for the inquisition
I think you’ve got it (got it), you’ve got to tell me where it went
I need to hear a real quick admission
’Cause it’s down, my phone, to, ooh, 1 percent
It’s gone, (it’s gone)! My charger, How?
You better find it, let’s face it
It’s gone, (it’s gone)! So you, right now
You little devils must replace it
It’s gone, (it’s gone) before I have a cow!

Get up in the morning, reach for my cellphone
I’m sure it was plugged in when I went to bed
But it ain’t hooked to any cord now,
And I can see that it is completely dead!
It’s gone (it’s gone)! My charger, AACK!
You think you kids are so clever
It’s gone, (it’s gone)! So you lost track?
I’m grounding everyone forever
It’s gone, (it’s gone)!
Want out? Bring it back! (Hildy Zampella)


Week 1340, change a famous name:
Dee Nye the Science Guy: Fox News’s new climate expert. (Ryan Martinez, Takoma Park, Md.)

Joe Bidet: A Washington fixture. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

Week 1341, combine two words into a portmanteau:
Perplexiglass: What fun house mirrors are made of. (Raymond Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)

Foxygen: Evidently Grandpa can’t survive if you turn it off. (Hildy Zampella)

Kowtownhall: A staged forum where the candidate answers “questions” like “What inspired you to become such a dedicated public servant?” (J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

Recantankerous: Ill-tempered about having to walk back a lie. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

Week 1342, combine two abbreviations:
RSVP.S.: “I know it wasn’t on the invitation, but we’ll be bringing the twins and their friends.” (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)


Week 1344, limericks featuring “gr-” words:
Lady Liberty
Her coppery skin has turned green,
Her welcoming lamp is still seen,
But her engraved invitation
To join this great nation?
Valid only if you’re Europeen. (J. Larry Schott)

Week 1345, fake trivia about food:
Fifty years later, President Trump could not forget the grainy black-and-white images of the Frito Bandito stealing Americans’ corn chips. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

Florida leads the nation in the production of fruitcakes. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

On Buddha’s birthday, Jews in China go out to eat in American restaurants. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

Before a crackdown by the then-new FDA, Manwich contained up to 11 percent man. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

Joey Chestnut’s wife holds the record for fewest hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes. (Jesse Rifkin, Arlington, Va.)


The gelatin used to make the marshmallows in Lucky Charms comes from rabbits’ feet. (Jesse Frankovich)

Week 1346, neologisms starting with A and ending in Z, B-Y, etc.:
Brothely: Describing love, but not the Philadelphia kind. (Beverley Sharp)

Week 1348, compare any two items on a list we supplied:
Bedbugs and Will Shortz: Both will leave you scratching your head late at night. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

Week 1349, questions from Congressional Record sentences:
A. “That was an important first step, but we need to do more.”
Q. What did Neil Armstrong’s tiger mom say to him when he got back home? (Steve Honley, Washington)

A. Let’s think of what that means.
Q. President Clinton, now that we know what “is” is, what should we think of next? (Beverley Sharp)

Week 1350, poems featuring new dictionary words:
It is such an encouraging sign
When the cops have a positive line
That they choose to affix
In the place of their tix,
Like this one that I got: “Parking Fine.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Week 1353, change a word in a movie title to its opposite:
Fixed-Front Mountain: Ennis and Jake inexplicably decide to get vasectomies. (Mark Raffman)

A Whole Lot of Day Music: A newcomer to a gentrifying D.C. neighborhood calls the cops on the go-go that’s playing at the local cellphone shop. (Steve Honley)

The Teeny Inferno: A fire breaks out in Donald Trump’s library. (Duncan Stevens)

Mary Pop-Outs: In a sequel to “A League of Their Own,” slumping Mary O’Hara hits flyball after flyball. (John Shea, Philadelphia)

I Know What I Did Last Summer: In this sequel to “Partial Recall,” a diplomat suddenly regains his memory with the help of a congressional subpoena. (Frank Osen)

Week 1355, “air quotes”:
K“ale”: You have your health food, I have mine. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Suffo“cat”e: To sleep on a person’s face. (Jesse Frankovich)

Week 1357, song parodies:

(Parody of “You Can’t Take That Away From Me” by Gary Crockett; vocals by his daughter, Emily Crockett)

Call From a Ukrainian Cafe (To “All I Want for Christmas”)
He don’t care about Burisma,
He could not be any blunter.
He just wants a nice neat package
With the heads of Joe and Hunter.
Shouting on the telephone,
“Gordon, are you there alone?”
“Oh, sir, you know it’s true,
This call, it’s all just me and you!” (Frank Osen)

Another one to the same song:
I don’t like this War on Christmas! We just need a great big wall!
I don’t care about impeachment! Trump said it’s a perfect call!
Climate change is not a threat — so the coasts get slightly wet!
Trump is loved by Jews! All I know I owe to Fox News.

I don’t have a beef with Putin — Russians look like a lot like me
And I don’t trust those fake news outlets — give me old Sean Hannity!
I pray after every shooting they won’t take my firearm.
Stock accounts keep rising higher (so’s the debt, but where’s the harm?)!
Trump’s terrific for the blacks! I’m all ears for anti-vax!
But not so right-to-choose.
All I know I owe to Fox News. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

The Redskins Follower’s Song (To “The Major-General’s Song” )
I am the very model of a modern Redskins follower —
In sorrow for their never-ending follies I’m a wallower.
Their offense and their defense and their special teams are terrible;
The thought of watching one more game is practically unbearable.
With fellow fed-up fans I sit in FedEx Field a-grumbling
About their knack for dropping passes, missing kicks and fumbling.
They nearly are the worst in every measurement statistical;
The fact they’ll miss the playoffs is a matter fatalistical.
The notion that they ever had a chance is just preposterous
Considering how bad at each position their whole roster is.
My hopes that they’ll go far next year could not be any hollower —
I am the very model of a modern Redskins follower! (Jesse Frankovich)

And Last: Congressional Record:
A. Students, middle-class families, homeowners and seniors across this nation are the losers.
Q. Well, if I didn’t get any ink in the Invite this week, who did? (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

And even Laster: Air quotes:
Invi“tat”ional: With this contest, you literally get ink. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

And totally Lastly Last: Anagram riddles:
Q. What do you call a real stretch of an Invitational entry shamelessly designed to get one’s name in the paper?
A. One giant leap for DAMN INK. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

Still running — deadline Monday, Jan. 20: Our contest for new terms that include the letter block L-I-A-R in any order. See

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