(Bob Staake For The Washington…)
Mr. Hitchcock kept fans on their toes
By the offbeat locations he chose.
But who would have guessed
That for “North by Northwest”
He would pick poor George Washington’s nose? (Jay Livingston, New York Magazine Competition, 1982)
This week’s contest marks a particularly delicious milestone for us: We’ve just outrun the 973 installments of the renowned New York Magazine Competition, the contest that the Empress’s predecessor, the Czar, ripped off in the sincerest form of flattery when he created the Style Invitational back in 1993. That contest, run by the famed Mary Ann Madden, was retired in 2000, but since then we’ve continued to redo several of its contests — and happily provide a new outlet for some of its best contestants, such as Chris Doyle. It was Chris who remembered the contest we present this week in NYM’s honor; it was initially suggested by rookie phenom Loser Robert Schechter: Write a limerick humorously describing a book, play, movie or TV show. See wapo.st/limrules for our guidelines on writing limericks.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins — and this is the sort of thing that sets our contest apart from the refined Ms. Madden’s — a very special leather coin purse, donated by Dave Letizia and made in Australia. It’s very special because it’s made from a kangaroo pouch — a male kangaroo pouch. It is entirely seamless. It looks something like this one.
Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt, a yearned-for Loser Mug or the new, ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 11; results published July 1 (online June 29). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 974” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/StyleInv. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline for the “Next week” line is by Craig Dykstra. Join the Style Invitational Devotees on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev .
Report from Week 970
in which we asked you to pair a line from a famous poem with a second line of your own. Fabulous entries, many from well-known light-verse poets who are becoming first-time Losers. Many more of these are in the online Invite. Click on the poets’ names below to see the original poems.
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
Since there’s no help, come, let us kiss and part;
I read Dave Barry books, and you read Sartre. (Michael Drayton , 1563- 1631/Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
2. Winner of the Lil William (Shakespeare) “posable figure”: Funny — to be a Century — and see the People going by
And scream at them, “Get off my lawn!” and stare them down with evil eye. (Emily Dickinson/Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
3. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree.
“No auto elevator? Gosh! That’s not a house for Ann and me.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge/Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
4. Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold
And will again, when I get paroled. (John Keats/Mary E. Moore, Gladwyne, Pa., a First Offender)
Poetry in demotion: Honorable mentions
They flee from me, that sometime did me seek.
My Arrid Extra Dry ran out this week. (Thomas Wyatt/Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
As Katy Perry often will.
(Maya Angelou/Andy Bassett, New Plymouth, New Zealand)
It is an ancient Mariner, and he stoppeth one of three,
And he said, “They called me A-Rod, then found steroids in my pee.” (Coleridge/Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me.
He thinks I’m in al-Qaeda, and reports to Leon P.
(Robert Louis Stevenson/Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)
No man is an island, entire of itself:
He is, at most, a pimple on the continental shelf.
(John Donne/Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)
Peace, peace! He is not dead, he doth not sleep;
Please leave your name and number at the beep.
(Percy Bysshe Shelley/Brendan Beary)
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
To have an unsuspected silent pee. (T.S. Eliot/Basil Ransome-Davies, Lancaster, England, a First Offender)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . .
Should we count the lies or just the lays? (Elizabeth Barrett Browning/Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)
And all should cry, Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
But I was brave, and then and there, I chopped it off! Now his head’s bare. — M. Romney, Cranbrook School (Coleridge/Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va., a First Offender)
I wandered lonely as a cloud
From which no downloads are allowed. (William Wordsworth/Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)