Style Invitational Week 1382: For us, it’s still Post Time — it’s our annual foal name contest
Plus winning song parodies about Life in the Age of Corona

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

By Pat Myers
April 30, 2020 at 11:58 a.m. EDT

Breed Real Quiet (1998) with Smarty Jones (2004) and name the foal RealLY Quiet
Decidedly (1962) x Whiskery (1927) = Covid Day 19

His Eminence (1901) x Pensive (1944) = Cardinal Knowledge
MacBeth II (1888) x Chant (1884) = Double Double

Like Everything Else in the World, this year’s Kentucky Derby has been postponed from the usual first Saturday in May; it’s now scheduled for Sept. 5. But why should that stop The Style Invitational from galloping on ahead with what’s usually our most popular contest of the year? There’s a twist, though: We’re not using the usual list of horses nominated for this year’s Triple Crown races. Below is a list of 100 of the 145 previous Kentucky Derby winners, from 1875 to 2019. “Breed” any two of the names and name the “foal” to humorously reflect the parents’ names, as in the examples above. As usual, you get to submit up to 25 foal names.

Might this be better than actually winning? This week’s second-place trophy. (Trophies2Go)
Yes, there are only three fillies on the list. And there are several geldings. We’re word people, not science experts. Sheesh.

As in actual thoroughbred racing, a name may not exceed 18 characters including spaces, but the characters may include punctuation and numerals. You may run words together to stay within 18 characters, but the name should be easy to read. Please note the formatting instructions on this week’s entry form. They’re very simple but you need to follow them, lest the Empress go even nutsier than she’ll be already with the usual 4,000 entries to this contest.

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, May 11; results will appear May 31 in print, May 28 online.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a trophy, too — one donated specifically for the foal contest by Loser Drew Bennett: It’s a shiny brass rear half of a horse on a faux-marble pedestal.

Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mug 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 “Distance-sing” is by Tom Witte; Tom also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the 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, reviews each new contest and set of results. Especially if you’re thinking of entering the horse name contest, check out the Convo at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago …

Distance-sing: Songs of Life in the Age of Corona
In Week 1378 we asked for song parodies (or recordings of originals) about Life in the Age of Corona. As usual, the Empress received hundreds and hundreds of songs, along with at least 20 videos. Click on the links in the titles to listen to the song being parodied. If a video doesn’t show up on your screen, click on the accompanying link.

4th place:

To Be Our Guest:

We must test, we must test,
See how far this has progressed.
Only then can we go back to work, The experts all suggest.
We need more, quite a lot,
To find out who’s well or not;
Being lacking in this vein meant
Major failures in containment.

Trump delayed, underplayed,
And so now we’re all dismayed
That in total covid cases we’re the best!
Go on, stop being grouchy,
Please heed Doctor Fauci:
We must test! We must test! We must test! (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)


3rd place:

To: There’s No Business Like Show Business

There’s no virus like cov-virus like no virus we know;
Everything about it is surprising, even though our scientists are shrewd;
No one has a cure, there’s no disguising: we’re realizing we’re prob’ly screwed.
Take heart, people! Be smart, people; stay home and you’ll survive —
Even though that turkey’s looking mighty bleak —
It’s grown a fungus and tends to reek;
Still, you get to eat it for another week!
Enjoy being alive! (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)


2nd place, and the poster “Thou Shalt Not Covid Thy Neighbor’s Spouse”:

To I Hope You Dance:

I welcome you to this week’s virtual meeting;
A couple Zoom rules I think really bear repeating:
May you never interrupt the one who’s speaking,
… Hold on … Shirley, press your mute, your kids are shrieking,
Vanessa, move your cat, ’cause he’s blocking off your screen there,
Oh, Larry, back up, we’re all looking at your nose hair,
Promise me that you’ll eat breakfast in advance,
And if you do stand up, I hope you had the chance
To put on pants.
Dear God, wear pants. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)


And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

To New York New York:

"Stop readin' the news, it's fake anyway,
Don't say that I'm the start of it,
New York, New York.
Your governor's views aren't leanin' my way,
And so I'll have no part of it,
New York, New York.

Did I make promises that I don't plan to keep?
There's other orders to fill —
Read 'em and weep!
If your ICUs are troubled today,
Then let's get to the heart of it, New York New York …
You want to ventilate?
Then tell your Prez he's great,
It's up to you, New York, New York! (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)


The second wave: Honorable mentions

To Be Our Guest (it’s a running joke how often parodies of this song see Invite ink):

Bash the press! Bash the press! That’s how Donald deals with stress:
Fires mortars at reporters whose accounts expose his mess.
Yells “disgrace,” calls them “fake,” “nasty,” “horrid,” on the take.
Why this bullying and railing? To distract us from his failing
To slow down covid’s spread; this pandemic’s on his head,
And he knows this fall will surely bring redress.
He’s facing retribution, so his one solution
In distress — can you guess? — bash the press! (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)


Video: To “Let It Go” (Sandy Riccardi, Asheville, N.C., accompanied by Richard Riccardi)

Let It Go, Let It Grow

My roots shine white on my partline tonight
Not a bottle to be seen
I’m stuck here in isolation
And the world’s in quarantine
My friends are howling tryin’ to cover up their grays
But that won’t be me
The silver’s here, it stays

Just let them out
Just let them see
Be the goddess you know you oughta be
Reveal, unpeel, just let it show
For now they know
Let it go
Let it grow
Don’t dye it black anymore
Let it go
Let it grow
Throw away the bottle from the store
One less bill that I have to pay
Let my friends dye on
I don’t have enough money anyway

And this social distance
Will give me a head start
I’ll get three inches
Then oh, be still my heart
It’s time to see what kind of hue
Will show up nat’-ur’lly and break through
No use for young, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go
Let it grow
I’m done with the bleach and dye
Let it go
Let it grow
And you never need to ask why
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the years roll on….

No powders pouring through the air into my lungs
No more split ends from frosted tendrils fractured like snake’s tongues
And one thought crystallizes like each icy strand
I'm never going back, I’ll save a hundred grand
Let it go, let it grow
Take my chair at the hair salon
Let it go, let it grow
That skunky line is gone
Here I stand in the light of gray
Let my friends dye on
My age never bothered me anyway
(Sandy Riccardi, Asheville, N.C.)


To Tonight:

Tonight, tonight, I’ll be at home tonight,
I’m not supposed to set foot outside
Tonight, tonight, I’ll eat alone tonight,
Since my table is not six feet wide
Tonight, I’ll watch last year’s World Series,
A ’90s U.S. Open, the Frazier-Ali fight.
The sky’s still light, but I’ll be turning in for the night.
Good night. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)


To I Walk the Line:

I’ve spent a weekend surfing Google Chrome;
I’ve hummed “La Traviata” on a comb;
I’ve sculpted busts from scraps of packing foam;
As none may roam, I stay at home.

I’m streaming Disney+ and Netflix too,
There’s nothing left unwatched to fill my queue.
I guess it’s time to stream them all anew;
We still can’t roam; I stay at home.

I worked a fortnight, fastened to my seat,
Until these jigsaw puzzles were complete.
The ones I haven’t solved are stacked to 30 feet;
No chance to roam; I stay at home.

I guess I’ll read that Dostoyevsky tome
Or carve a Neutrogena garden gnome.
I’ll even watch my disc of “Biodome”!
Until we roam, I stay at home. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)


Video: “Six Feet Away or Six Feet Under” (original song by Jonathan Miller, Downers Grove, Ill., a First Offender)

video at

I see you there, in the aisle at the grocery store
This white linoleum could be our dance floor
You wobblin’ just a little, shopping in them high heeled shoes
But I can’t offer you my arm, ‘cause I got these six-feet-away blues


I'm torn in two, because I could not want you more,
I want to whisper close that you're the one I adore,
But baby, the times have changed,
and although my heart's a-thunder, I better
Stay six feet away or we could be six feet under

You look so exotic as you hold your cream of wheat
Baby, you don’t need no stovetop to produce a certain heat
Your dress is silky and red, your legs deliciously long
I want to come nearer, but that would be so very wrong

(Repeat refrain)

(Jonathan Miller, Downers Grove, Ill.)


To Everything’s Coming Up Roses:

Get a mask! Tie it tight!
Wear it when you go out day and night!
Never cough! Never sneeze!
Look out, everything’s coming out noses!

Hide your lips! Hide your grin!
Cover up from your eyes to your chin!
Cut some cloth! Sew it up!
Look out, everything’s coming out noses!

Don’t use plastic. Grab an old pillowcase.
Add elastic! Then it will be so fantastic!

You’ll be chic! Right in style
When you race down the grocery aisle!
Basic black or bright red,
Tie it tight on your head.
Just start right now and do this thing I ask!
Look out, everything’s coming out noses, so just wear your mask! (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.)


To My Cherie Amour:

My dear grocery store, how I miss pre-Covid days
Tasting samples, seeing what the bulk food weighs
Now it seems so fraught, hope a viral load has not been caught
Fear it’s more than food that I have bought
Six feet apart in line.

I can order food, have it sent right to my home
Where’s the fun in that? Through the store I want to roam.
I miss shopping! Running into neighbors at the store,
Used to think that it was such a chore.
From now on I’ll never whine.

Maybe someday, I’ll come back with my list in hand,
No more face mask, I’ll say hi to the produce man,
Oh dear grocery store, packed with people, sights and smells galore,
Now I will appreciate you more.
Grocery store, you are divine. (Jennifer Martin Broadway, Marquette, Mich.)

Video: To “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan (Wayne Wilentz, Montgomery Village, Md., a First Offender)

Hey, Covid 19

Way back when in 87
We all were nervous bout HIV
Then came SARS, Ebola and MRSA
Bubonic plague a distant memory

Hey 19
No we can’t hang together
No we can’t touch at all
Please wash your hands 20 times a day

Hey 19- that’s Ronald Reagan
He was so useless when we had AIDS
Now your best buddy is called the Donald
He treats a crisis just like he’s in 3rd grade

Hey 19
No we can’t hang together
No we can’t touch at all
Please wash your hands 20 times a day

Can’t go to Clubs
Can’t go to baseball games
Man this bug’s a terrible thing

Can’t go work out
Can’t even fly on planes
Man this bug’s a terrible thing

(Wayne Wilentz, Montgomery Village, Md.)


To Another Hundred People:

Another hundred people don’t get off of a train
And come up through the ground
While another hundred people don’t get off of a bus
’Cause they aren’t around
And another hundred people who won’t fly on a plane
Aren’t looking at us ’cause we’re not on the train
Or the plane, or the bus.
A pandemic day.

We’re a city in danger — some go to work, some with pay,
A city in danger — some stay at home, locked away,
But every day, some try to play …

They find each other in the empty streets near the padlocked parks
Or they bike near fountains or by dusty trees with the battered barks
Or they social-distance past the postered walls with the crude remarks

And they meet at parties or post wildlife on chat video:
“Will we pick up lunch, or just deliver in, or shall we let it go?
All my stores were closed, although I went in vain
Can we binge-watch ‘Tiger King’ if it begins to rain?
This experience is ’Groundhog Day’ but harder to explain.”
And another hundred people don’t get off of a train. (Richard Zorowitz, Bethesda, Md., a First Offender)


To It Was a Very Good Year:

When I turned on the news
In January this year,
There was a nasty bug in China, they said,
Many people were dead.
But the president said
It would never get here,
There was no reason to fear.

A dozen cases popped up in February this year,
Then Diamond Princess was stopped with dozens more
But the president swore: Like a miracle here, It will soon disappear.
We have no reason to fear.

News was more and more grim by March and April this year.
’Cause spring break and Mardi Gras only hastened the spread,
“It’s fake news!” he said.
And then declared an emergency …
It was confusing to me.

Now summer’s coming on; the world’s upended, I fear:
The White House casts out the blame like seeds in the wind
And then will not rescind any slander or smear.
But this one thing is clear:
The election’s later this year. (Jessica Steinhice Mathews, Stanley, Va.)


Video: To “All by Myself,” original by Eric Carmen (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

To "All by Myself"








(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)


To Consider Yourself:

Essential you’re not. Stay home!
Those people you spot? They’re your family.
You’ve shunned them so long, well, pops,
Just pray they don’t go and call the cops.

That woman in tears? Your wife.
She’s kept two careers, one domestically.
Those brats on the lawn? Your spawn.
Beware, they’re always awake at dawn.

Since you may have to share common air for quite a spell
Like a ring of hell, why grouse?
There is a chance you’ll find peace of mind with your kids
And a new bond with your spouse.

Just view this as your new gig, the easy commute a perk —
And after some consideration you might wait
To hustle yourself back to work. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)


To Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious):

Take hydroxychloroquine and add azithromycin,
Safer than plutonium, less poisonous than ricin!
Knock out covid-19 like a punch from Michael Tyson,
Take hydroxychloroquine and add azithromycin!
(Um, anecdotal-dotal, um, little lie …) (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)


To The Major-General’s Song (perhaps the most parodied song ever):


Whoever would have guessed I’d have to educate my progeny?
(I wasn’t meant for DIY-home-schooling … pedagogeny.)
Frustration’s on the rise (as is my 5-o’clock-libation rate);
My patience has a limit, and it’s reached its expiration date …
I try to teach them math, but they just look at me amusedly;
I try to do it THEIR way, but I botch it up confusedly.
Geography? Forget it! All those names have had a makeover,
(Which prob’ly indicates that all those countries had a takeover …)
There’s just no doubt about it! All these lessons leave me stultified;
The hours in the day just drag along — I think they’ve multiplied!
The teachers of this world should be immortalized in galleries;
They’re heroes one and all — we should quadruple all their salaries! (Beverley Sharp)


The Ex-Prez Recalls 2020

I was the very model of a major wartime president.
I took on covid-19 and was anything but hesitant.
As Fauci said, I kept my daily briefings aspirational
To give the nation hope and, wow, the ratings were sensational!

I plugged hydroxychloroquine, a treatment for malaria
And chalked up a historic win defeating mass hysteria.
I trusted in my instinct and intelligence abdominal,
And pointed out 200,000 deaths would be phenomenal.

What happened last November, though, is still a total mystery.
I suffered what they’re saying is the greatest loss in history.
Today I get to make a weekly call and speak to Hannity
About how AG Harris treated me with inhumanity.
I am the very model of a bigly loser president —
I cannot golf or tweet because I’m now a prison resident. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)


Video: To “Show Off” from “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Fiona Smith, Bethesda, Md., a First Offender)

"Stay Home" lyrics - parody of "Show Off" from The Drowsy Chaperone:

I don’t wanna stay home no more
I don’t wanna be bored no more
There’s nothing left to do indoors
I don’t wanna stay home

I don’t wanna use Zoom no more
See my friends from my room no more
Hear the prophets of doom no more
I don’t wanna stay home

Don’t try to control me
I’m going insane
Stuck inside, I’ll die
I’m sick of being contained

I don’t wanna wear this no more [holds up facemask]
I don’t wanna do this no more [mimed “namaste” gesture]
I don’t wanna do this no more [mimed “live long and prosper” sign]
I don’t wanna stay home

I get your intentions
I understand why
But it’s been a month
I can’t keep this up
It’s all just too much
Can’t keep it up
Can’t keep it up
This extrovert’s going to cry

I don’t want this grim news no more
Havin’ the stay-at-home blues no more
Being mocked by my own front door
I don’t care if you scoff
I don’t wanna be caged no more, stir-crazed no more
Tired no more, bored no more, alone no more
I don’t wanna stay home
I don’t wanna stay home (Fiona Smith, Bethesda, Md.)


To Camelot, as sung by President Trump to the Coronavirus Task Force:

Hear this, hear this, my order to you all:
The country must be perfect by the fall.

My post-impeachment polls were trending higher,
With Joe stuck in his basement I might win.
To pull this off we’ll need to take a flier — where to begin?

Your scientific jargon has no meaning,
I told you all that matters is the spin
Then Laura said one word to me last evening:
It’s chloroquine!

Chloroquine, chloroquine, I know it’s for malaria,
But with chloroquine, I’ll begin to end hysteria.

You say the benefits are anecdotal,
No time for double-blinds, I’ll tempt the fates
What do I have to lose?
I’m screwed unless I choose
To open up the country so the red states don’t turn blue. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)


To Oklahoma!:

Ohhhh! Corona! You’re a nasty virus, no mistake!
First we said “fake news” and hit the snooze –
Now GM must ventilators make!
Ohhhhh! Corona! Have you seen what’s happened to the Dow?
Needless work avoid, I’m unemployed
Gotta save our economics now!

My streaming is way out of hand,
And I’m tired of food that is canned!
And when we pray . . . Lord!
Please get me through this day!
Protect us from the covid-19 from corona,
Oh, corona! Go ’way! (Jessica Steinhice Mathews)


To Rubber Duckie:

Raw bat: yucky! Do not eat! Try a less exotic treat —
One that doesn’t cause ongoing lung distress.
’Cause the side for that entree — group coronaviridae —
Leaves you needing to signal an SOS.

When the researchers look and see, they say, “Crikey!
Man, what an ugly varmint — it wears a garment that’s spiky!
Oh, me no likey.”
If we’re lucky, we’ll soon pen
That aggressive pathogen;
Nasty globule — I’ll give you a kick, and
Ugly bug, let’s get rid of you quick, ’cause
Little virus, I’m thoroughly sick of you. (Duncan Stevens)


Still running — deadline Monday, May 4: Our contest for bogus trivia about spring. See

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Here are 100 of the previous Kentucky Derby winners from 1875 through 2019, listed chronologically:
Day Star
Joe Cotton
MacBeth II
Ben Brush
Typhoon II
His Eminence
Stone Street
Old Rosebud
George Smith
Omar Khayyam
Sir Barton
Behave Yourself
Black Gold
Flying Ebony
Bubbling Over
Gallant Fox
Twenty Grand
Burgoo King
Brokers Tip
Bold Venture
War Admiral
Shut Out
Count Fleet
Hoop, Jr.
Jet Pilot
Dark Star
Venetian Way
Carry Back
Northern Dancer
Lucky Debonair
Kauai King
Forward Pass
Majestic Prince
Dust Commander
Foolish Pleasure
Bold Forbes
Seattle Slew
Spectacular Bid
Genuine Risk
Spend A Buck
Winning Colors
Sunday Silence
Strike the Gold
Sea Hero
Go for Gin
Silver Charm
Real Quiet
War Emblem
Smarty Jones
Street Sense
Big Brown
Super Saver
Animal Kingdom
I’ll Have Another
California Chrome
American Pharoah
Always Dreaming
Country House