Style Invitational Week 1403: Who was that masked man?
Give an old (or new) TV show a covid or other current story line. Plus more false trivia.
Image without a caption
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
September 24, 2020 at 10:17 a.m. EDT
Add to list
(Click here to skip down to the winning fake trivia about summer)

This week on “Dancing With the Stars”: It’s the Socially Distant Tango!

Tonight on “Star Trek”: Mr. Spock is barred from the bridge when he can’t find a mask to go over his ears.

On this week’s “West Wing,” President Bartlet asks noted scientists for help on ending the pandemic, then actually believes them.

This week’s contest was suggested by newbie Loser Bill Bouyer: Create a short listing for a current or past TV show that has a coronavirus story line, or one reflecting some other issue in the news right now, as in Bill’s own examples above. The latter would probably be funnier in a classic series than a current one. A clever title for the new episode is an option, too. Don’t give a long synopsis of the story, just a line or two as above.

The Empress, who won’t be seen without her tiara even while working from home, models this week's second prize.
The Empress, who won’t be seen without her tiara even while working from home, models this week's second prize. (Mark Holt)

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Oct. 5; results will appear Oct. 25 in print, Oct. 22 online.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives another in our series of Ridiculous Bordering on Scary Face Masks.

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, “No ’Bility” or “Punder-achiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “The Fibbin’ Is Easy” is by Chris Doyle; Chris also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at, and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.


BRAND-NEW PODCAST! In Episode 4 of You’re Invited, host Mike Gips interviews Duncan Stevens, the Loser who’s been inking up the joint like no other. Hear it at (Episodes will appear monthly after this one.)

The Style Conversational: The Empress's weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week's at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

The fibbin' is easy: Summer fictoids from Week 1399
In our ongoing campaign of Lies for All Seasons, we asked in Week 1399 for untrue trivia about summer, or things that happen/have happened in the summer.

4th place:
Ironically, in the Midwest, Popsicles are known as Softdrinksicles. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

3rd place:
Three days after the 2020 Republican National Convention, Amazon announced that Kimberly Guilfoyle would be the voice of its new Alexa for Seniors. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

2nd place
and the ‘energy stick’ science toy:
A quadruple rainbow appeared in the sky over the Queens hospital where Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946. — M. Pence, Washington (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
Virtually all "cotton candy" in the United States is now made of polyester. (Jeff Rackow, Bethesda, Md.)

Dim summers: Honorable mentions
Each summer a typical American consumes a tablespoon of human blood by swallowing inhaled mosquitoes. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)


San Francisco’s 1967 Summer of Love exceeded all expectations, proving far more popular than the 1966 Summer of I Like You but Only as a Friend. (Frank Mann, Washington)

The planned Summer of Haight in San Francisco was a dud until the event got new promoters. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

“Zucchini” is Italian for “way too much.” (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

1946 saw not only the naming of the bikini, inspired by the Pacific atoll, but the thong, inspired by the little-known Daffy Duck version of “Song of the South.” (Noah Meyerson, Washington)

According to 1960 Census Bureau data for Surf City, Calif., there were 1.21 girls for every boy. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

After Labor Day, antifa stops hurling chilled summer soups like gazpacho and cucumber bisque, and switches to bags of hearty autumnal fare like split pea and butternut squash. (Frank Osen)


The 2021 list of Atlantic hurricane names includes “Sharpie.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Although everyone knows about Jimi Hendrix’s iconic “Star-Spangled Banner” from Woodstock on Aug. 18, 1969, few remember his request that the audience join him afterward in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

BBQ stands for “badly burned quadruped.” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

At the 1992 Town Picnic in Chernobyl, Ukraine, the three-legged race was won for the first time by a single person. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Lightning bugs never land in the same place twice. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

Coronavirus cases in France dropped by 80 percent in August 2020 as the virus, following national custom, refused to do any work during that month. (Mark Raffman)


Donald Trump’s sister alleges that when he turned 50 on June 14, 1996, he paid a man named Joe Shapiro to take his colonoscopy for him. (Larry Rifkin, Glastonbury, Conn.)

In Siberia, summer is known as perezimovat′, or “month between winter.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

During summers in Victorian-era opera houses, admirers of some divas would vie to keep them cool offstage by waving peacock plumes above them as they reclined on the settee. This is the origin of the phrase “I am your biggest fan.” (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)

The Inuit now have 38 ways to say, “Hot enough for ya?” (Frank Osen)

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower changed his original plans for a D-Day invasion in the South of France, fearing that his soldiers would be distracted by topless beachgoers. (Ryan Martinez, Takoma Park, Md.)


Marco Polo was deathly afraid of the water. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

From June 1 through Sept. 15, the EPA mandates that Amish citizens modify their buggy horse feed to “summer blend,” containing 1.5 percent less hay. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

In most coastal states, if your sand castle lasts on a beach more than four days, you begin to acquire legally binding rights to the land underneath the castle. (David Kleinbard)

On July 4, 1982, the All England Club changed the name of Wimbledon’s “Gentlemen’s Championship” to “Men’s Championship” when John McEnroe played Jimmy Connors in the final. (Mark Raffman)

It is illegal in 16 states to burn a calendar that marks Flag Day. (Duncan Stevens)

In water polo, players consume large quantities of beans just before a match to improve buoyancy. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)


Though the hypothesis was first posited in the late 1950s, it was not until August 2020 that scientists established definitively that there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues. (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)

Most praying mantises found in the United States are Presbyterian. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

On Aug. 6, 1965, even though he realized he could never do as much for disenfranchised people of color as the Trump family would, President Johnson still signed the Voting Rights Act into law. (Kevin Dopart)

At the urging of the White House, thermometer manufacturers have announced plans to make outdoor models that top out at 89 degrees. (Frank Osen)

Sharks will attack only if you’ve eaten in the last hour. (Noah Meyerson)

Store-bought tomatoes taste like Styrofoam because they are injected with it to keep their shape. (Terri Berg Smith, Rockville, Md.)


The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, because who wants to sit outside in the winter to watch fireworks? (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)

The dog days of August are called that because everyone knows that’s when the DEMOCRAT party kills dogs and feeds the meat to their child sex slaves! — John Barron, Washington (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Still running — deadline Tuesday night, Sept. 29: Our contest for new words whose letters add to 14 points in Scrabble. See

DON’T MISS AN INVITE! Sign up here to receive a once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style Invitational and Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete with links to the columns.