Style Invitational Week 1441: ’Rick rolling — songs written as limericks
Sum up a song in 5 hickory-dickory-dock lines. Plus winning ‘typo’ neologisms.
Image without a caption
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
June 17, 2021 at 10:06 a.m. EDT

(Click here to skip down to the inking “typo” neologisms)

Whenever we go to the zoo,
The hummingbirds fly right to you!
In your face they will flit,
And I’m irked, I’ll admit:
See, I’d like to be Close to You, too.

This week’s contest was suggested to the Empress by Style Invitational reader John Vigour of Charlottesville, Va., who was inspired by a widely circulated — but, as far as I can tell, anonymous — set of “Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks.”

And just as we did recently in a contest that originally was about movies, we’ll take John’s suggestion to make it musical: This week: Sum up or otherwise reflect a well-known song as a limerick, as in the example above. No matter how obvious it is to you, please supply the title of the song you’re limericking. The title doesn’t have to appear within the limerick itself. If you’re focusing on a single verse, rather than, say, the whole “American Pie,” I might be able to run it for comparison along with the limerick, in which case the song doesn’t have to be quite as familiar.

We're offering you a handout — or some fingers, anyway: life-size wall hooks, this week's second prize.
We're offering you a handout — or some fingers, anyway: life-size wall hooks, this week's second prize.
Please see our guide “Get Your ’Rick Rolling” at for our fairly strict rules on limerick rhyme and meter (in a nutshell: “perfect” rhyme, and a strong “hickory-dickory-dock” rhythm in Lines 1, 2 and 5; a “dickory-dock” in Lines 3 and 4; additional unaccented syllables on either side are fine).

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, June 28; results appear July 18 in print, July 15 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives Digit Hooks: four substantial hooks that are eerie life-size replicas of four curved human fingers; you screw them into a wall or whatever and they beckon to hold your coat or umbrella or whatever you like. They seem to date from the 1970s and were donated still in the box by Style Invitational Devotees member Sheri Sutherland.

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 “Our Typo Humor” is by Jesse Frankovich; William Kennard 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. See this week’s, published late afternoon Thursday, June 17, at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Our typo humor: Inking neologisms from Week 1437
In Week 1437 the Empress invited readers to make a fat-fingered “typo”: to add or change a letter in a word, name or phrase by a letter adjacent to it on the keyboard, or to double a letter. She almost gave big ink to this one by Tony Allenye — The Tan Commandments: Includes “Keep hands on steering wheel and visible at all times” — until she noticed that Ten/Tan doesn’t qualify because A isn’t adjacent to E.

4th place:
Microsoft Bung: An even less popular search engine. (Hannah Seidel, Alexandria, Va.)

3rd place:
Marathin: Any diet that lasts more than two weeks. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

2nd place
and the squeeze toy of a foot-eating shark:
In God We Tryst: The story of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell Jr . . . (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
Jest lag: The awkward silence between telling a joke and getting a laugh. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

HonoRabble mentions:
Manority: The top 1 percent. (Susan Geariety, Menifee, Calif.)

Hellful: “How would you rate our Customer Service Virtual Assistant?” (Jeff Loren, Seattle)

Gullabaloo: What happens when you leave half a sandwich on the beach. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

NAGA: A Trump stan who won’t shut up about the last election. (Leif Picoult, Rockville)

Apoxalypse: What mankind would have faced if anti-vaxxers had held sway in the 1950s. (Lee Graham, Rockville)

As Shepherds Watched Their Flicks by Night: Even out in the meadows on Christmas Eve, the Binge-Viewing of “Love, Actually.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)

Barfalounger: A frat house recliner. Actually, any piece of frat house furniture. (Chris Doyle)

Cicaca: What you get after your dog eats what seems like half of Brood X on your morning walk. (Hannah Seidel)

Corpse de Ballet: What’s left when the arts budget is cut. (Diana Oertel, San Francisco)

EEKG: A false heart rate reading from your Apple Watch. (Terri Berg Smith, Rockville)

Fadebook: Any social media platform once it starts attracting your parents. (Jonathan Jensen)

Fear Evan Hansen: It’s YOUR arm he’ll be breaking next. (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)

Freedoom: Having the right to vote. But you have to vote for Trump. (Erika Ettin, Washington)

Greedom: The sacred GOP principle of capitalism at any cost (to others). Also known as “Ka-ching! Let it ring!” (Brad Levy, Lawrence, Kan.; Frank Mann, Washington)

Honorrhea: The award Trump deserves for surviving his “personal Vietnam.” (Chris Doyle)

Hostalgia: Pining for Alex Trebek. “Hostalgia skyrocketed during Dr. Oz’s week on ‘Jeopardy!’ ” (Chris Doyle)

Ibanka: Presidential adviser with an eye on the bottom line: hers. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Ignoranus: “Colonoscopy? Heck, no — I don’t even want to know what’s in there if they’re gonna do THAT.” (Richard Lorentz, Woodland Hills, Calif.)

James and the Giant Pesach: A boy travels around the world on a massive piece of matzoh. (Duncan Stevens)

Kegacy: The stories you deny at your confirmation hearing. (Gabe Goldberg, Falls Church, Va.)

KinkedIn: We give networking a whole new meaning — connecting perverts around the world with dozens of unsolicited emails a day! (Peter Boice, Rockville, Md.; Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

Lolliplop: That “all-day sucker” your kid drops on the ground within two minutes at the county fair. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Louis DeeJoy: Hip-hop artist who shows up to his concerts a week late. (Duncan Stevens)

Mehovah: His Witnesses don’t even bother to walk up to your door. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

O’ergasm: That chill when a singer nails the high note in the national anthem. (Chuck Helwig, Centreville, Va.)

Pixnic: A carefully staged outdoor meal that you can photograph, but not eat (unless you want to taste shaving cream on the pie). (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)

Pokémob Go: Game where you locate, battle, and capture virtual congressmen at the Capitol. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

Pooltergeist: Who (your brother says) pushed you off the diving board. (Richard Franklin, Alexandria, Va.)

Raiders of the Lost Arm: An archaeologist’s quest for the last missing piece of the Venus de Milo. (Donald C. Dimitroff, Beltsville, Md., a First Offender)

Sexiled: Just-a-friended. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Thesus monkey: 1. A grad student who is inhumanely treated at research universities. 2. A grad student. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Unformation: What you get from embracing QAnon. (John Kammer, Fairfax, Va.)

X Æ A-Xiii: The robotic, shape-shifting tech heir from the future sent back to terminate X Æ A-Xii Musk. (Kate Baughman, Arlington, Va.)

Yip-hop: Dog rap. “Yo, they call me Fluffy, and I’m a Pomeranian/ My ancestry is Polish with a hint of Lithuanian.” (Duncan Stevens)

Yuckleberry: The fruit of the pokeweed. (Jeff Contompasis)

Defoxification: Removal of poison from political discourse. (Chris Doyle)

Assteroids: Okay, okay, call them hemorrhoids, if you want to be all technical. (John Kammer)

NeWTF Gingrich: Is there even a typo here? (Frank Mann)

And Last: Achievemeht: “So you won, what, a magnet the size of a business card?” (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

And Laster: Snort-term memory: The ability to recall neologisms from previous Style Invitationals. (Jesse Frankovich)

And Even Laster Than That: Staaker: A cartoonist groupie. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

And Lastest of All: The Stule Invitational: A contest full of poop jokes. (Marni Penning Coleman, Falls Church,Va.; Jeff Contompasis)

Still running — deadline also June 28: our contest for parodies or other songs about topics in the news. See

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