The Invitational Week 11: Hello, Dall-E!
Our new contest partners you and a machine. How's that gonna work out? Plus winning pangrams of movie titles.
Gene Weingarten
Pat Myers

Today The Gene Pool’s weekly Invitational episode will take a stutter-step into the great unknown, walk a dental-floss tightrope without a net, and whatever other metaphors for recklessness you’d like to apply. We have created a contest genre we’ve never tried — relying, for the first time, on the actions of a third party we do not control. There is no precedent, and there are no guarantees. We’re going to ask you to use an artificial-intelligence site to create funny images, and we will give you not much help after that. Whee.

The Invitational, Week 11, Hello Dall-E, by Empress Pat Myers and Czar Gene Weingarten
A week ago we asked you to go back to the 20th century to enter contests from 1993, the Invitational’s first year. Today, very gingerly and with some trepidation, we peer into the future.

For Week 11: Get the artificial-intelligence site Dall-E 2 to create an image that is funny. You type in what you want to see, and Dall E paints, sculpts, cartoons, photographs whatever you ask for, theoretically brilliantly. It happens in seconds. Sometimes it succeeds, as in the illo of the Czar atop The Gene Pool, by Dali, through Dall-E. Sometimes Dall0E fails, sometimes spectacularly. Both results can be funny, if properly prompted and explained by you. Sometimes the artwork itself — if cleverly conceived by you and executed by Dall E — will be all you need to communicate the humor, but sometimes, the humor will require you to explain what it represents. Your call. We will give you no further guidance for fear of limiting the range of your creativity. Here is how to do it:

1. Go to , click on “Try Dall-E,” and set up a free account if you’re asked to.
2. Then, at the prompt at the top of the page, supply a request for a specific picture, e.g. “A can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup painted in the style of Pablo Picasso.” Or: “Draw a manga cartoon of a hamster devouring a locomotive.” Wait a minute (or maybe just a few seconds) and see what you get — probably several choices.
3. Try as many times as you need to get what you want. Choose a favorite and download it to your computer by hovering on the top right of the picture; three dots will appear. Click on the dots and select "Download."
4. Upload up to 10 pictures on this week’s entry form ( A few more instructions — including what to do if you’re having trouble — are on the form itself.

NEW! Starting this week: Finally, after three months of free lunch, you need to be a paying subscriber to enter The Invitational. On the entry form, be sure to note the email address associated with your Substack account, and we’ll look you up.

Deadline is 4 p.m. ET Saturday, March 25. Results will run here in The Gene Pool on Thursday, March 30.

“Mana Lisa,” pride of the Museum of Bad Art.
The winner receives the book “The Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks,” a pre-Dall-E collection celebrating such indelible images as “Mana Lisa” above. First Offenders receive the Fir Stink for their first ink: a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener.”

The results of Week 9 are below, but first, two paragraphs of boring but necessary boilerplate:

After the intro (which you are reading now), there will be some early questions and answers added on – and then I'll keep adding them as the hour progresses and your fever for my opinions grows and multiplies and metastasizes. To see those later Q&As, just refresh your screen every once in a while.

As always, you can also leave comments. They’ll congregate at the bottom of the post, and allow you to annoy and hector each other and talk mostly amongst yourselves. Though we will stop in from time to time.

FLIX MIX: Movie Pangrams from Week 9 of The Invitational
In Week 9 we asked you to use all the letters in a movie title — as often as you liked — to create a new title. In anguished communications with his Gene Pool partner, The Czar doubted whether we’d get enough good material for this contest, but within one minute of starting to read the Empress’s first-cut list, he had to call her on the actual oral phone (we almost always IM or email) to report that he couldn’t stop laughing. And he had only read the very first entry, as it were, about Deep Throat.

Third runner-up: REAR WINDOW > WOW, A WIDE REAR … AND RAW!: Jimmy Stewart finds something else to train his binoculars on. (William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

Second runner-up: GONE WITH THE WIND > OH GOD, HOW THE WHITE WHINE: Scarlett O’Hara’s descendants mourn the passing of a way of life in modern-day America. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

First runner-up: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN > A GULAG OF THEIR OWN: It’s not hijinks that ensue after the Russian women’s basketball team denounces the war in Ukraine. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

And the winner of the Panic Pete classic stress toy:
SOYLENT GREEN > ELON LOSES, GETS GORY: A suddenly cash-strapped CEO tries to save money by firing half his workers and feeding them to the other half. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

POPEYE > POPE YE: The rapper formerly known as Kanye West drops his presidential ambitions in favor of pursuing the papacy, saying the Vatican is the one place he knows THEY don’t control. (Jon Carter, Fredericksburg, Va.)

ANATOMY OF A MURDER > UNDER A MEAT MART: EYE, EAR, ARM, TUMMY, FANNY, FOOT, AND TOE: A psycho butcher runs a surreptitious sideline selling “exotic cuts” out of his basement. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

GROUNDHOG DAY > HUNGARY, URUGUAY, UGANDA, ANDORRA! A weatherman stuck in a time loop in Punxsutawney, Pa., gets bored and takes to reciting all the countries of the world during his report. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

NETWORK > OK, REWORK TONE NOW: A burned-out news anchor, after counseling, modulates his message to “I’m mildly annoyed but I will take it for the time being.” (Duncan Stevens)

PINOCCHIO > POPPIN’ INCH: A puppet discovers things about being a “real boy” that nobody told him before. (Mark Raffman)

FIELD OF DREAMS > DILDO OF DREAMS: “If you build it, they will come.” (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

GONE WITH THE WIND > NO WIN? WING IT NOW. DO NOT GET DOWN WHEN DONE!: Long-defeated Confederates rally to rewrite history and spread “Lost Cause” mythology. (Dave Airozo, Silver Spring, Md.)

SPOTLIGHT > POST LIGHT: Docudrama about the downsizing of a great metropolitan paper. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

STAR WARS > TSAR’S WAR: The Empire Strikes First. (Jeff Contompasis)

THE NAME OF THE ROSE > THE ERROR OF THE ENEMAS: A medieval abbey has to be evacuated after friars are given sin-cleansing colonics. (Chris Doyle)

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS > THE MISCHIEF OF THE CANNIBAL: Hannibal Lecter has a DoorDash guy de-livered. (Jesse Frankovich)

DEEP THROAT > THE ODD PETER EATER: Linda Lovelace returns from the dead. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

ANIMAL HOUSE > HEY, I’M A LEMON MOUSSE!: John Belushi’s zit impersonation gets a makeover for a food fight set at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

AMADEUS > MAD ASS DUDE: In a somber sequel, Salieri goes insane with anger and envy over his realization he will never escape from the genius of Mozart, and begins writing increasingly idiotic ditties, including the original versions of “MacArthur Park” and “Havin’ My Baby.” (Dave Airozo)

APOLLO 13 > 1 LOO, ALL 3 POOP, LOL: Mission Control pranks the crew by mixing Ex-Lax with their Tang. (Mark Raffman)

BAMBI > I AM BI: A courageous young deer faces adversity when Florida’s governor declares open season. (Mark Raffman)

CINDERELLA > LICE-RIDDEN AND ACID-LADEN IN A CELLAR: Memoir of a nightmarish youth —including the time the author tripped on LSD and thought she went to a ball and met a prince, only to wake up covered in mice and pumpkin detritus with her foot stuck in a Mason jar. (Jon Carter)

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND > HOST TUCKER C. — INDECENT, CHILDISH, FULL-OF-SHIT DUNCE — IS SECRET UFO ET: The aliens plant an agent to stunt the advancement of human civilization. (Jon Carter)

FORREST GUMP > MUPPET FROG SUES FOR STUMPS: The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company has expanded into frog legs, and now legless Kermit — no longer able to ride a bicycle — leads a class action lawsuit on behalf of his fellow amphibious amputees. (Jon Carter)

GONE WITH THE WIND > I WON’T DINE TONIGHT: Scarlett O’Hara has eaten her last turnip. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

ISHTAR > I SHART: The daily life of the head of Columbia Pictures during the filming of what will clearly become a spectacularly costly, legendary box office bomb. (Stu Segal, Southeast U.S.)

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR > HE JUST SHARES SCRIPTURES: Jesus of Nazareth arrives in Jerusalem to proclaim the word of God. Nothing else happens. (Laura Clairmont, Venice, Fla.)

LASSIE > AISLES: Timmy has to be rescued after getting hopelessly lost at a Walmart Supercenter. (Jeff Contompasis)

MARY POPPINS > NANNY’S MINOR SPOON: A governess changes the behavior of her unruly charges with some special Colombian medicine. (Kevin Dopart, Washington, D.C.)

MONEYBALL > NOBLY MALE: MLB encourages less blatant crotch adjustments and spitting in an attempt to gentrify the game. (Chris Damm, Charles Town, W.Va.)

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON > GEORGE SANTOS SHOWS HIM A GOOD TIME: A new congressman is thrilled to be escorted around town by a Nobel Prize-winning military hero. (Chris Doyle)

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE > EAT MY TOE, YA DIPPY PIMPLED PEON: Same movie told from a bully’s point of view. (Jon Gearhart)

PLATOON > PANTALOON: In this alternative-history film, a woke, emasculated U.S. military gets crushed in World War II. (Chris Doyle)

REAR WINDOW > I WON A RARE DARWIN AWARD!: A super-stupid ghost returns to Earth to brag about his accomplishment. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

RAMBO > ROOMBA BOMB: A muscle-bound Vietnam vet employed as a housekeeper discovers that with a little ingenuity, anything can be a weapon. (Duncan Stevens)

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN > THE MAN’S AMAZING DIAPERS: The superhero gets a suit that keeps him on the job 24/7. “With great power comes great absorbability.” (Chris Doyle)

THE ENGLISH PATIENT > THE THINGLESS PATIENT: A reissue of “The Sun Also Rises.” (Jesse Frankovich)

THE BOYS IN THE BAND > THAT BEHIND IS SO BONY!: As the evening progresses at Michael and Donald’s party, the snark gets more and more personal. (Roy Ashley, Washington, D.C.)

THE GODFATHER > HEDGEHOG HEAD? FROG? EGRET? When no horses are available, Don Corleone ponders other options for threatening a snitch. (Duncan Stevens)

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS > MOSES: THE CON MAN AND THE STONE: A “prophet” goes up a mountain and carves some tablets. (Mark Raffman)

TRAINSPOTTING > TRANS SPOTTING: A new training film for prosecutors in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. (Chris Doyle)

And Last: PLANET OF THE APES > PLANET OF THE TASTELESS PEOPLE: Invitational Losers colonize Uranus. (Jesse Frankovich)

The headline “Flix Mix” is by Jesse Frankovich; Neil Kurland wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Thanks to Loser Gary Crockett for electronically validating today’s inking entries.

Still running – deadline 4 p.m. Saturday, March 18: Our Week 10 contest to enter any of the contests from The Invitational’s debut year, 1993. Click here or type in

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.

Title:(Jesse Frankovich)
Subhead:(Neil Kurland)