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Style Invitational Week 1322: Call them Spellimericks

Might 16 at 10:44 AM

(Click on right here to skip all the way down to the successful Nice Tales as informed by way of different writers)

Fraud is rampant in balloting, you realize!
All the ones generators purpose most cancers to develop!
Largest tax lower we’ve had!
Spies have been monitoring me! Unhealthy!
Every migrant’s a felony foe!

Sure, we’ll nonetheless have our annual Limerixicon in August. However this week the Empress used to be moved so as to add any other limerick contest, roughly 1.78 seconds after studying the recommendation by way of Obsessive Loser Jesse Frankovich, entire with examples.

This week: Write a funny limerick that’s an acrostic: a pertinent five-letter phrase or title spelled out by way of the primary letter of each and every line, as in Jesse’s instance above. Don’t trouble to make use of boldface or a unique structure to focus on the phrase you’re spelling out; even the Empress can determine that out, and the access shape received’t display it anyway.

Please see wapo.st/limericks-1332 for our slightly strict regulations on limerick rhyme and meter (in a nutshell: “best” rhyme, and a powerful “hickory-dickory-dock” rhythm in Traces 1, 2 and five; a “dickory-dock” in Traces three and four; further unaccented syllables on each side are superb.

Publish entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1332 (all lowercase).

Winner will get the Lose Cannon, our Taste Invitational trophy. 2d position receives a smaller, much less unwieldy, however nonetheless alarming model of a prize we’ve given two times sooner than: It’s a ceramic mug in a rattlesnake motif, with a bit of ceramic rattlesnake head hissing at you from within. Donated as sooner than by way of No longer a Loser Mary Ellen Stroupe.

Different runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our “Entire Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one in all our lusted-after Loser magnets, “Too-Vulnerable Understand” or “Certificates of (de)Advantage.” First Offenders obtain just a stinky tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for his or her first ink). Closing date is Monday night time, Might 27; effects revealed June 16 in print, June 13 on-line. See common contest regulations and tips at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Rewordsmiths” is by way of Jesse Frankovich; Jesse additionally wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Sign up for the vigorous Taste Invitational Devotees staff on Fb at on.facebook.me/invdev. “Like” the Taste Invitational Ink of the Day on Fb at bit.ly/inkofday; practice @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Taste Conversational: The Empress’s weekly on-line column, revealed past due Thursday afternoon, discusses each and every new contest and set of effects. Test it out at wapo.st/styleconv.

And from The Taste Invitational 4 weeks in the past . . .

REWORDSMITHS: WINNERS FROM WEEK 1328

In Week 1328 we requested you to retell or summarize a e book or play, or a scene from it, within the voice of any individual else. The Empress used to be no longer surprised that lots of the best possible entries venerated the 2 maximum influ-ential writers in English: William Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss.

4th position:

Hamlet’s soliloquy, as informed by way of Dr. Seuss
Lately there’s a factor that I’m loss of life to understand,
A query that haunts me anywhere I am going:
An individual’s an individual, regardless of how small,
However is it value being an individual in any respect?
With all of the unhealthy issues on the planet that I’m seeing,
It can be that being is worse than NOT being.
However no one is aware of. There’s the rub: we will have to dread
That perhaps it’s going to no longer be a laugh to be useless,
And difficult as we discover it to be a reside particular person,
When we are long past all our issues might aggravate.
(Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)


You handiest need to drink a couple of oz. of espresso sooner than this mug will wake you up excellent. This week’s 2nd prize. (Pat Myers/The Washington Submit)

third position:

“A Story of Two Towns,” by way of Donald Trump
It used to be the most productive of occasions, it used to be the most productive of occasions, it used to be the best time you’ve ever observed, consider me, it used to be a gorgeous time, it used to be in reality nice, the general public don’t know this but it surely used to be the most productive of occasions, it used to be massive, no longer like the ones occasions that weren’t so nice, it used to be improbable, numerous persons are announcing it used to be the most productive of occasions, with the exception of for the Faux Information, but it surely used to be the most productive of occasions, NO COLLUSION! (Laurie Breaking point, Cleveland, Mo.)

2d position

and the Spock prayer candle:
“A Tale of Two Cities,” by Ogden Nash:
It was the best of times, yet also not so hot,
When lots of Bourbons got guillotined by the sans-culottes,
Which technically means “without breeches,”
But at that point meant “a bunch of folks whose revolutionary zeal sort of overreaches,”
Led by Madame Defarge,
Who ordered blood spilled like she was spreading a croissant with marge,
Meaning plenty of martyrdom, so someone had to do the martyn’,
Namely Sydney Carton.
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

“Green Eggs and Ham,” by William Shakespeare
O friend! I prithee! Let us take a ride,
For truly, sir, thy life is incomplete
’Til viridescent ovum thou hast tried
Together with a slice of glaucous meat!
O! Wouldst thou in a locomotive train?
Perhaps aboard an airplane in the skies?
Or wouldst thou in a boat upon the main?
Thou shouldst! For ’tis a dish that thou wouldst prize!

When travel I on land or sea or air,
By any mode of transport I may go,
However thou mayst urge this bill of fare,
Wouldst sample I this dish? I tell thee no!
I liketh not the egg of greenish hue,
Nor care I for thy cut of proffered ham,
So, verily, if to myself be true,
I shall not eat thy dish, Sir Sam-I-Am.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Rewriter’s block: Honorable mentions

Polonius’s advice to Laertes in “Hamlet,” by Donald Trump
Never a lender, but a borrower be!
Let no man see thy purse’s content,
Claim it too exhaustive for any to comprehend.
Give no man thy ear, but all thy voice;
Allow no time for judgment, speak boldly beyond the point of vulgarity.
Make thy name into a brand and brand into fortune
By constantly proclaiming thyself and thy works great.
This above all: regardless of fact, declare thy words true!
(Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

Hamlet’s soliloquy, by Dr. Seuss
To be — or be not? — that’s the thing that I ask,
For when life gets so hard that to live is a task,
And your luck is so bad that there’s no way to win,
There’s an easy way out! You can do yourself in!
But wait! Are you sure? Do you feel just a shred
Of that dread in your head to be deader than dead?
Could it be that self-killing is not right for you?
(More a thought that you think than a thing that you do . . .)
(Mark Raffman)

“Charlotte’s Web” by Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee:
People will believe what you post on the Web.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

“2001: A Space Odyssey,” as told by Cheech and Chong
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: Who is it?
Dave: It’s Dave, man. Open up, I couldn’t save Frank.
HAL: Who is it?
Dave: Dave. It’s Dave, man! C’mon, I don’t have my helmet with me.
HAL: Dave?
Dave: Yeah, Dave.
HAL: Dave’s not here, man.
(Steve Smith, Washington)

Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” explained by Mister Rogers
Have you ever had a bad day? Gregor Samsa had a very bad day. He turned into a giant cockroach. He had six long legs and a thousand tiny eyes; Imagine what you could see with all those eyes! One thing he could see was that his whole family didn’t love him anymore because he was a disgusting insect. Would that make you sad? I know it would make me sad. (Frank Mann, Washington)

“1984”: In Room 101, O’Brien finally breaks Winston Smith’s will, by Dave Barry
Smith: Oh God, rats?!
O’Brien: No, Miami cockroaches.
Smith: I can handle bugs.
O’Brien: But can you handle THIS?! (Music builds.)
Smith: Not “Copacabana”!
O’Brien: And “Mandy” up next!
Smith: Stop! I’ll LOVE Big Brother!
O’Brien: “Big Brother and the Miami Cockroaches” would be a good name for a rock band.
(Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

The opening of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s ¨Paul Clifford,¨ as told by Peter Mark Roget
It was a crepuscular and tempestuous eventide . . .
(Roy Ashley, Washington)

A Christmas Carol,” by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
“But then the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come took Scrooge even further into the future, where he was revered for refusing to let his clerk burn coal . . .”
(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

“Macbeth,” by Mother Goose
Lady Macbeth cried out for death,
Her husband murdered Duncan,
Planning to pin the bloody sin
Upon his servants drunken.
Noble Macduff, so brave and tough,
Declared the false king must die.
His weapon he drew, and cut him in two,
And said, “What a good boy am I!”
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

The Elements of Style (Strunk and White), by Emily Dickinson
A break in thought — a change of gears
May make them grind — and clash —
Use commas — or parentheses —
Don’t — overuse — the dash — (Duncan Stevens)

“Gone Girl,” by Geico
Faking your own murder, killing your ex-boyfriend, and using frozen sperm to get yourself pregnant so your husband won’t turn you in? Surprising! What’s not surprising? How much money you can save by switching to … (Mark Raffman)

“The Scarlet Letter,” as told by the writer of that annoying commercial for Head On:
The Letter A — apply directly to the bosom!
The Letter A — apply directly to the bosom!” (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

Hamlet’s soliloquy, by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I should like to be.
Or not. Which is it? Let me see.
To die may be a welcome nap,
But what if it’s a painful trap?
What if in that nap you dream
Horrific things that make you scream?
If death does not improve on life,
There’s no point falling on my knife.
Life is lived by fools like me.
But only God knows if to be. (Robert Schechter)

“Gone With the Wind” by Jerry Herman
( to the tune of “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage aux Folles”)
I don’t give a damn
I don’t need you, Scarlett O’Hara
You’ll end up alone
All on your own
Crawling to Tara.
You’re scheming. You behave too boldly and too brashly.
Dreaming of the day you wed your wimpy Ashley.
Your life is a sham
Frankly, my dear, I say,
I don’t give a damn! (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.)

Still running — deadline Monday, May 20: our contest to add or delete text from a sentence in the paper. See wapo.st/invite1331.

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.

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