Style Invitational Week 1466: Be Invitationally correct
Write a funny newspaper correction. Plus our job-switch winners.
Let the rag out of the cat: This week’s prize tissue dispenser.
Let the rag out of the cat: This week’s prize tissue dispenser.
By Pat Myers
December 9, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. EST
(Click here to skip down to the winning job switches)
Wednesday’s Miss Manners column incorrectly stated that if a crouton falls down the dress of the lady seated next to you, etiquette dictates removing it with the sugar tongs. While that remains the case in Europe, Americans follow the precedent set by Woodrow Wilson at a 1916 state dinner, in which the fingers were used. (Mike Fransella)
Due to a transcription error, the Indian prime minister’s wife at Tuesday’s White House dinner was incorrectly described as wearing “a sorry ensemble.” (Elden Carnahan)
Due to a typographical error, an obituary stated that Joseph McDonald was survived by his wife of 270 years. They were actually married for 27 years. It only seemed like 270. (Tom Witte)
As the saying goes, newspapers are the first draft of history, and, well, first drafts can sometimes be, well, not quite correct. But reputable papers like The Washington Post — yes, it is one, even though it runs this column every week — make it a point to fess up when they get something wrong. Here’s a contest we haven’t done since the Empress’s first year, back in 2004: This week: Give us a funny “correction” that a newspaper or magazine might offer, as in the examples above from Week 609.
Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1466. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 20; results appear Jan. 9 in print, Jan. 6 online.
Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a darling plush kitten from whose butt you pull out tissues or toilet paper. Donated by Invite Staff Prize Donor Dave Prevar, who also suggested redoing the correction contest.
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 new lusted-after Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviteFAQ. The headline “Shift Workers” is by Chris Doyle; Jon Gearhart wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; 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 Thursday, Dec. 9, and featuring the Week 609 ink) at wapo.st/conv1466.
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .
Shift workers: Job switching from Week 1462
In Week 1462 we asked Greater Loserdom to tell us what would happen if any two people switched professions.
If Genghis Khan switched places with Jeff Bezos: The Post’s disclaimers would say “(Genghis Khan owns The Washington Post)” and “(Jeff Bezos owns Asia).” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Kamala Harris as tennis star Peng Shuai: “I’m still here. Everything is fine.”
Peng Shuai as Kamala Harris: “I’m still here. Everything is fine.” (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
and the toy virus microbe and antibody:
Donald Trump and Rodney Dangerfield:
Donald: I’m disrespected big league . . . hey, this job is easy!
Rodney: The ex-Prez gets no respect, I tell ya. The other night I told the Secret Service to watch my wife — they placed a camera in her shower. I told them to find me a body double: They put a toupee on a tangerine. (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)
And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
Edgar Allan Poe writes children's books:
"Still that hatted cat comes calling, Nameless Things with him enthralling
Children who, their caution falling, Heed their parents nevermore."
Dr. Seuss writes horror:
"Then I heard from the floorboards a thumpety-thump,
like a tocker whose ticker just started to jump." (Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)
Worn-out flip-flops: Honorable mentions
If Joe Biden and Tom Brady switched places, Tampa Bay would still have an immobile quarterback who goes to bed at 8 p.m., but the country would no longer have to worry about too much inflation. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)
Megan Thee Stallion and Donald Trump: Donald: Delights in making millions using the P-word, plus having “Stallion” in his name. Megan: “I won ALL the Grammys, including Best Polka.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Trump once wrote a Little Red Book; Chairman Mao once read a little book. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
If you and Elon Musk switched places, you could travel into space, and he could pay income taxes. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)
A hit man as Emily Post: “Always leave your calling card.” Emily Post as a hit man: “The shrimp fork should be placed between the jugular vein and the carotid artery.” (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
If Imelda Marcos and Oliver Twist switched jobs, at least Oliver wouldn’t have had to go barefoot. (Ilene M. France, Silver Spring, Md., a First Offender)
Colonel Sanders and Dan Snyder: The Colonel improves the Washington Football Team’s performance and the food at FedEx Field. Dan enjoys owning a franchise where pictures of breasts, legs and thighs don’t get you investigated. (Mark Raffman)
If Donald Trump became Harry Truman: (Pointing to his pocket) “The buck stops here!” (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
Euclid and Ed McMahon would both continue to excel with straight lines. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Teacher turned flight attendant: “Okay, who can tell me the velocity of this plane if we’re going 500 miles an hour and we’re getting there at 2:35? You, in 11B.”
Flight attendant turned teacher: “Watch me as I show you how to place your books in the slot on the right side of your desk.” (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
If Brad Pitt and Tom Brady switched lives: Every other male would still hate their stinking guts. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)
If Cesar Millan switched places with Larry David, he could have a TV show called “Curb Your Dog.” (Roy Ashley, Washington)
If Jimmy Carter and Hugh Hefner switched places, Jimmy would be confessing to lusting roughly 24/7, while Hugh would have tried to hire the giant swimming bunny. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
If Joan Jett and Mitch McConnell switched jobs, he would be the new leader of the Blackhearts. Some would argue that so would she. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)
If MC Hammer switched with M.C. Escher, the song would be “U Can’t Build This.” (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
If Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson switched roles, MTG would schedule missions to find Jewish space lasers, while Nelson would use his free time — no committee assignments — to search the skies to discover what planet MTG came from. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)
Pee-wee Herman and Sen. Mitch McConnell:
Senate Pee-wee: “Today’s secret word is ‘filibuster’! Ha-ha! For the rest of the day, whenever anybody says the secret word, scream real loud!”
Playhouse McConnell: “Globey melting? What an unhinged socialist delusion!” (Roxi Slemp, Bariloche, Argentina, a First Offender)
If Salvador Dali and David Lynch changed places, the petunias would eat the walruses last, Emily. (Duncan Stevens)
If Prince and Prince Charles switched, Great Britain would have purple reign. (Ilene M. France)
Ken Jennings as Forrest Gump: “I believe you have omitted four shrimp dishes.”
Forrest Gump as Ken Jennings: “What is shrimp?” (Amanda Yanovitch)
Juliet Clampett: Jethro, wilt thou whisk me away from these peasants to a mansion in Beverly Hills?
Ellie May Capulet: Hey there, Romeo. Why’d ya haffin’ go and be a Montague? (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Kim Kardashian as Sir Mix-a-Lot: Kim tops the charts with “I Got Back.” (Gary Crockett)
Sen. Ted Cruz as Oscar the Grouch: “Why does that blue guy get free cookies? He doesn’t even have a job!”
Oscar the Grouch as Sen. Ted Cruz: “You’re saying I get paid for complaining about everything? I love this trashy job! Heh heh heh!” (Amanda Yanovitch)
The Dalai Lama as “Shark Tank’s” Kevin O’Leary: “You seek $100,000 for 5 percent of your business, but you need only look inward for true fulfillment.
O’Leary as the Dalai Lama: “You want me to give you the secret to true happiness? But what’s in it for Mr. Wonderful?” (Lori Lipman Brown, Silver Spring, Md.)
Rambo swaps with Rimbaud:
They drew first blood, not I, and yet
As spring soft turns to summer, it’s their turn;
The air is hot, the jungle wet,
A thousand dreams within me softly burn,
As I burn these Vietcong camps with my flamethrower. (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee, Fla.)
DNA scientist James Watson and Steve Bannon:Watson obtains a broader platform for his controversial views on race and intelligence; Bannon discovers the mysteries of the cell, without having to live in one. (Mark Raffman)
Anthony Fauci as Jerry Seinfeld: “What’s the deal with people wearing their masks on their chins? Their noses are out. Their mouths are out. Why even wear the mask? If anything, you’re masking the chin — and what has the chin done to anyone?” (Joe McManus, Silver Spring, Md.)
Still running — deadline Monday night, Dec. 13: Our contest for 2022 news events. See wapo.st/invite1465.
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.