Style Invitational Week 1440: It’s parody time
Write us a song about something in the news. Plus new plots for movie titles.
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(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
June 10, 2021 at 10:02 a.m. EDT

It’s been six months since the last Style Invitational song parody contest; for that one, the Empress asked for songs for or about certain jobs. And before that, more than a year ago, was one for “life in the Age of Corona.” Which means we’re woefully late for … This week: Write a satiric song about anything in the news these days, set to any familiar tune. Videos are welcome as well (send us a YouTube link along with your lyrics); in fact, if you make a video, feel free to write your own music. The results that will run in the print Post — including the top four winners — will be set to very well known music so that readers can sing along without a reminder. See this week’s entry form for more instructions about how to submit your entries, and this week’s Style Conversational column for more about Invite songs in general.

Submit your entry or entries on the form at (no capitals in the Web address). You have a week longer than usual this week: Deadline is Monday, June 28; results appear July 11 in print, July 8 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an amazing prize that we wish we had last week for the cicada diorama contest: it’s “The Seventeen-Year Buzz,” a bottle of vintage 2004 home-brewed mead with an intact 2004 cicada floating inside. Becky Ross of Gaithersburg, Md., tells us that her late husband, Bill Mitchell, had been a fan of the Invitational, “so I know he would have been tickled to have you offer it as a prize.” You bet, Becky; we’re genuinely touched.

That's a 2004 cicada in there: This week's second prize.
That's a 2004 cicada in there: This week's second prize.
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 “Punderachiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “Plotty Humor” was submitted by both Howard Walderman and Jesse Frankovich; Jesse also 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; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you might enter a song for Week 1440, see this week’s — published late Thursday, June 10, at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago …

Plotty humor: From Week 1436, old movie titles, new stories
In Week 1436, the Empress asked the Losers for alternative plots for movie titles. Too many people to credit offered that “Kill Bill” starred Mitch McConnell.

4th place:
Seed of Chucky: A horrified Prince Charles watches the Oprah interview. (Susan Geariety, Menifee, Calif.)

3rd place:
Portnoy’s Complaint: Karen Portnoy wanders aimlessly through life … until the day a waiter serves her a regular Coke instead of Diet. (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)

2nd place
and the ‘Biggest Loser’ T-shirt:
Joe Versus the Volcano: The definitive documentary of the 2020 presidential campaign. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
Paper Moon: In Part 1 of "Back to Our Offices: 2021," a hilarious documentary about a contest for best butt photocopy. (Ann Martin, Brentwood, Md.)

Second unit: Honorable mentions
12 Angry Men: Soon after Christmas, a young man rounds up a dozen pipers against their will and gives them to his true love. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

28 Days Later: With humor and resignation, 12-year-old Emma sees “my next 40 years” as she enters her second month of puberty. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

8½: At age 64, Bo Derek is still impressive in this long-awaited sequel. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

A Raisin in the Sun: Undocumented Mar-a-Lago workers enjoy their daily snack. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

All About Eve: A suspense-filled urban documentary: Will the ball drop? (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

Avatar: Can picking just the right World of Warcraft character change the life of a shy teen? Spoiler alert: No. (Todd DeLap)

Baby Boom: A Japanese hospital records two births in a single week. (Steve Leifer, Potomac, Md.)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Or “How I lost my job with the Secret Service.” (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)

Duck Soup: The Robinson “Dynasty” guys wring out their beards in a vat of hot water. (Frank Mann, Washington)

F9: Vin Diesel schools John Cena in refreshing Word documents fast and receiving Outlook emails furiously. (Jeff Rackow, Bethesda, Md.)

Five Easy Pieces: Humiliated by his performance at the jigsaw tournament, a man decides to start over in the beginners’ division. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

Friday the 13th: A man on a desert island is shocked to learn the grisly fates of Robinson Crusoe’s 12 previous helpers. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: The Canadian rock band is reduced to playing “American Woman” in supper clubs. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Knives Out: Martha Stewart’s tutorial for making your table settings just right. (Matthew Zimmer, New York)

Life of Pi: Mathematician parents celebrate their child’s 3.14159265359th birthday. (Duncan Stevens)

Mean Girls: The story of three young women of average height, weight and intelligence from Normal, Ill. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

Nomadland: Everyone’s anger ceases when Prozac is quietly added to a city’s water supply. (Bruce Carlson, Alexandria, Va.)

Pride and Prejudice: Quietly but assertively defying Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s homophobia, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley marry and settle down together at Pemberley. (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)

Psycho: A hotel owner can’t understand why no one wants to stay at his fancy establishment in downtown Washington. (James Bershon, Leonardtown, Md., a First Offender)

Pulp Fiction: A Washington Post reporter discovers that there is no pandemic toilet paper shortage. (Allan Zackowitz, Brookeville, Md.)

Raging Bull: Ferdinand has finally had enough with the flowers. (Kara Laughlin, Leesburg, Va., a First Offender)

Raise the Red Lantern: Colorblind foster parents welcome a superhero child into their home. (Sue Lin Chong, Baltimore)

Ruthless People: No woman is safe after a supremely judgy gang in D.C. loses its moral center. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Saw 2: A reporter searches for GOP congressmen willing to acknowledge that Trump lost. (Ryan Martinez, Takoma Park, Md.)

Silent Running: High water bills lead a man to replace his toilet bowl flapper. (Mark Calandra, Wenham, Mass.)

Sons and Lovers: Oedipus and Jocasta meet cute. (Michael Doyle, Arlington, Va.)

Stripes: Rep. Matt Gaetz models a potential new wardrobe. (Joel Cockrell, Damascus, Md.)

The 39 Steps: A woman begins her Fitbit regimen slowly but with great resolve. (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)

The 39 Steps: Documentary peeks in on AA’s new “premium plan.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

The 40-Year-Old Virgin: A food connoisseur embarks on a quest to find a bottle of 1981 vintage olive oil. (Brian Cohen, Winston-Salem, N.C.)

The Bad News Bears: Longtime rivals Smokey, Yogi and Pooh unite to warn the world about the impact of climate change on our forests and on honeybees. (Alan Horowitz, Silver Spring, Md., a First Offender)

The Best Years of Our Lives: The Beatles reminisce about their pre-Ringo days. (Chuck Helwig, Centreville, Va.)

The Lovely Bones: Does Kirk have a thing for McCoy? (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

The Magnificent Seven: A rookie learns that wearing Joe Theismann’s number will not enable success with the WFT. (Jim McCormack, Fairfax, Va., a First Offender)

The Remains of the Day: “So, Igor, did you bring me anything interesting this evening?” (Mark Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)

The Thing: A woman fights covid brain fog to recall concrete nouns. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

This Is the End: The teacher in Proctology 101 starts with the basics. (Duncan Stevens)

Total Recall: A man remembers what he had for breakfast. (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church, Va.)

Hidden Figures: A documentary on the Miss America pageant, which hasn’t just dropped the swimsuit competition, but now features the Baggy Sweats round. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

Romancing the Stone: Gwyneth Paltrow becomes very fond of her jade egg. (Duncan Stevens)

Doctor Strangelove: In this rare porn flick, the actors try the missionary position. (Ken Gallant)

Toy Story: She loved her toys and they loved her back — especially Woody and Buzz. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

Sorry to Bother You: One January day, the Capitol is visited by a wide-eyed tour group whose wacky bumbling leaves quite a mess to clean up. Laughs abound. (Irene Plotzker, Wilmington, Del.)

Trolls: After an invasion at Troll Village, Hatey McHateface must lead his Internet troops to someone else’s parents’ basement to continue unleashing their comments. (Madelyn Rosenberg, Arlington)

12 Angry Men: The new Georgia voting restrictions narrow the electorate to the GOP’s target voters. (Seth Tucker, Washington)

Bringing Up Baby: In the prequel to “Hansel and Gretel: A Sweet Goodbye,” the Witch struggles with bulimia. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: The star pitcher for the baseball team is sidelined when the game is scheduled for Yom Kippur. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

A Star Is Born: The action-packed biopic of Aristrarchus of Samothrace, inventor of the asterisk. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis)

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo: A jet-setting couple set a dubious record for the Mile High Club. (William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

This Is Spinal Tap: Documentary on the new breakdancing-influenced dance style. (Frank Mann)

The Fast and the Furious: Usain Bolt leaves the toilet seat up FOR THE LAST TIME. (Todd DeLap)

Promising Young Woman: Representative from New York touts Medicare and free college tuition for all. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

The Third Man: There aren’t many suspects in the murder investigation of a shepherd named Abel. (John McCooey)

She Done Him Wrong: Stories from the worst little whorehouse in Texas. (Gary Crockett)

And Last: Les Misérables: Hundreds of Style Invitational entrants fail once again to get ink. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

Still running — deadline Monday night, June 14: our Vowel Play contest for song titles. See

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