The Invitational Week 9: Film Flim-Flam
Use all the letters in a movie title to make a new movie. Plus out-there art concepts.

By Pat Myers and Gene Weingarten, Empress and Czar of The Invitational

CASABLANCA > SCAN ALL CANS, ABS: Trying to forget Ilsa, Rick hits the beach and checks out the babes.

STAR WARS > SWAT WARTS, TATS: Hard up for work after the Empire is defeated, Luke Skywalker offers to use his lightsaber to remove skin growths and fix bad tattoos.

CATS > SCAT, CAST – STAT!: Realizing that his movie is going to be an embarrassing flop, a director releases all the actors from their contracts.

This week’s Invitational contest comes at the suggestion of Duncan Stevens, who’s such a Loser that he keeps failing to lose our contests: He’s won the whole thing 23 times – including the past two weeks – since he started Inviting in 2012. For Week 9: Use all the letters in a movie title – as many times as you like, but at least once, and only those letters – to coin a new movie title, and describe it, as Duncan does above. You could also quote a line from the new movie. Relating your answer to the original movie is a good idea but not required. All that’s required is to be funny, as it was in 2021 when we did a similar contest involving TV shows.

Click here for this week’s entry form. Please read the EZ formatting directions on the form, so we don’t have to blahblah them here.

Deadline is 4 p.m. ET Saturday, March 11. Results will run here in The Gene Pool on Thursday, March 16.

Winner receives Panic Pete, a classic (since 1950 – it has a Wikipedia page!) stress toy whose little-ball eyes, ears, and mouth all pop out on stems when you squeeze him, then relax when you do. Donated by the ever-serene Dave Prevar. It’s the face that greeted you at the top of this post.

First Offenders receive the Fir Stink for their first ink: a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener.”

Hooting Gallery: Fool-Arty Concepts From Invitational Week 7
On the anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death, we asked for audaciously funny ideas for contemporary artworks. The Czar elected to rerun this very old contest because he recently got just such an idea and wanted a pretext to brag about it right here, in boldface, in The Invitational: “Display 75 Toblerone bars, each labeled with the name of the airport at which it was purchased.”

One amusing insider fact: We were going to run this excellent entry: “A section of lead pipe mounted on a plaque, upon which is written, “Ceci est une pipe.” And then we discovered this.

Okay, the final results:

Third runner-up: A live pine tree that has been sculpted to look like a cellphone tower. (Jeff Rackow, Bethesda, Md.)

Second runner-up: An artist struggles to close her overly full suitcase, stuffing in the items that spill over the sides, sitting and bouncing on the top, getting the zipper to finally complete its task, and then wrestles a compression strap to fasten around the middle. She calls the performance piece “Size 6 Jeans.” (Pam Shermeyer, Lathrup Village, Mich.)

First runner-up: Before you enter the gallery, you are sprayed with water. You go in, and you are assigned a spot to stand in front of a wall. On the wall are a splash of fresh paint and a pair of googly eyes. You remain there while the paint watches you dry. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

And the winner of the children’s educational book The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts: A display of expensive but broken vases, bone china teacups, Fabergé eggs, etc., each accompanied by a description of the object and the excuse of the child who broke it: “This vase with gold inlay was made in 1890 by Wedgwood and shattered in 2004 by six-year-old Hannah Jacobs while proving that Polly Pockets could fly.” (Jon Carter, Fredericksburg, Va.)

The Faint of Art: Honorable Mentions
A wall-size reproduction of Picasso’s “Guernica,” with the addition of an enormous yellow smiley face and the words “Have a nice day!” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

A large speaker plays timeless, elegant classical music very loudly, but directly into soundproofing material. It’s a meditation on futility or something, I dunno. (Seth Christenfeld, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., a First Offender)

A gallery that is wired so that whenever visitors use words like “deconstructed,” “juxtaposition,” “oeuvre,” or “genre, Alexa, in a loud but polite voice, invites them to kindly fuck off. (Jon Carter)

An igloo on the ceiling labeled “Antarctica,” which continually drips on patrons and may or may not crash down upon them at any time. (Marni Penning Coleman, Falls Church, Va.)

Paint decidedly unrealistic cans of various flavors of Campbell's soup using those flavors of soup as paint. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

An ornately framed sign stating “Sign.” The accompanying explanatory wall plaque says “Sign” with the artist’s name. (Judy Freed, Deerfield Beach, Fla.)

A brick wall stands in the middle of the stage. A woman faces the wall, speaking to it in gibberish, with increasing levels of volume and agitation. Simultaneously, a man walks peacefully around the stage, scratching himself, smoking a cigar, in what seems to be a state of happy oblivion. (Judy Freed)

A crude finger painting consisting of the words “My 6 year old could have painted this.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

A good-old-boy mechanic in bib overalls, with grease-stained hands, a wrench in one hand and a hammer in the other, is trying to fix a Tesla. The hood is open. He just keeps walking around the car, squinting at things, approaching the car, then backing away. This goes on forever. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

On an 8-by-5-foot canvas, paint a huge signature. In the lower right hand corner, paint a tiny landscape. (Frank Mann, Washington, D.C.)

Paint a still life of grocery store fruit stickers. (Kevin Dopart, Washington, D.C.)

On Twitter, accuse yourself of torturing puppies. Sue yourself for slander, and sue Twitter for publishing it. Refuse to testify, citing your Third Amendment rights and your need to stay home and repel soldiers. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Widescreen movies are squished to a narrow 4:3 ratio and projected onto an undersized bulbous surface to recreate the classic experience of watching them on old tube TVs. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

Situated at the entrance to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, a Lady Liberty-sized statue of Greta Thunberg, constructed entirely out of coal, gas stoves, and wood from the Amazon rain forest. (David Garratt)

A painting in which dogs in sexy clothes are sitting around a table playing strip poker; one embarrassed dog is nude. (Beverley Sharp)

A portrait of Donald Trump painted in ketchup on the back of a classified document. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

A man in a bed, looking sleepy, is surrounded by a roomful of identical alarm clocks, all set to different random times, like 5:39 and 5:53. Every few minutes, one goes off, and he races around the room trying to find and silence the offender. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

A bronze sculpture of a man in resplendent African traditional garb. The label next to it explains: “This sculpture depicts Prince Billah of Nigeria. Viewers are invited to deposit $100 into the deep pockets of his dashiki to redeem his fortune, and return tomorrow to discover their payout.” (Mark Raffman)

Display, side by side, the Last Supper, the Mona Lisa, and Whistler’s Mother. In the lower right corner of each, spray-paint “By George Santos.” (Duncan Stevens)

All the bronze statues of Confederate leaders that have been removed are melted down and sculpted into a giant Black middle finger and erected in front of Stone Mountain. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

The long-awaited response to “The Vagina Monologues”: In “The Pudendum Conundrum,” men read episodic personal monologues about their confused and clueless relationships with the female anatomy. A sequel is planned titled “The Pudendum Conundrum Continuum.” (Jon Ketzner)

“The Sound of Silence”: This conceptual artwork explores the paradoxical nature of silence by inviting viewers to listen to it. The exhibit consists of a soundproof room with a single, silent object placed in the center. As viewers enter the room, they are instructed to listen closely to the sound of silence emanating from the object. While some viewers may be initially confused or disappointed by the lack of sound, others will be amazed by the subtle nuances and variations in the absence of noise. The artist invites viewers to reflect on the power of silence and the importance of taking a moment to listen to the quietest parts of the world around us. PLEAST NOTE: The previous is quoted verbatim from ChatGPT. I had asked it, “Can you think of a funny new conceptual art description?” After it responded with the paragraph above, I replied, “Wow! This is hilarious! Thanks” – but the chatbot thought I was being sarcastic: “I’m sorry if my previous response didn’t meet your expectations for humor.” Poor thing. (Kathleen Delano, Arlington, Va.)

“Hooting Gallery” and “Fool-Arty” in the headline for the results are by Kevin Dopart and Jesse Frankovich, respectively; Jesse also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead.

Still running – deadline 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4: Our Week 8 contest for “pokes” – old jokes, or your own, cast in the form of rhyming poems. Click here or type in

Sunday, March 19: Ingest foodstuffs with genuine Losers! This month’s Loser Brunch will be at the Spanish Diner, José Andres’s home-cooking place in downtown Bethesda, Md. (free parking in the garages). The Empress and Royal Consort plan to be there. More info and RSVP at Our Social Engorgements on the Losers’ website,

Banter and share humor with the Losers and the Empress in the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook; join (tell them you came from The Gene Pool) and the Devs will anagram your name every which way. And see more than 1,000 classic Invite entries in graphic form, also on FB, at Style Invitational Ink of the Day.

Idea:(Duncan Stevens)
Examples:(Duncan Stevens; Duncan Stevens; Duncan Stevens)
Title:(Kevin Dopart; Jesse Frankovich)
Subhead:(Jesse Frankovich)
Prize:(Dave Prevar)