New contest for Week 1131: One man’s trash
Asphalt roof shingles Plastic hockey rink Carpet tiles Purple linen napkins Odor-eater fabric Plastic ballot boxes Cargo parachutes 10-milliliter glass vials Ski lift cable
Climbing rope Bowling alley wood Fire hose Rubber sheets Escalator handrail Mineral oil Street sweeper brushes Synthetic turf
The Empress hates to do away with stuff until it’s utterly used up, even if it’s not her own — Losers sometimes receive their runner-up prizes in boxes and envelopes fished out of newsroom wastebaskets. So she was tickled to see the cool stuff the Royal Consort showed her on RepurposedMaterialsInc.com, one of several sites that sell surplus industrial objects with the hope that some imaginative, enterprising person with a very big truck could put them to a better use than to build up a landfill.
No, the Royal Consort didn’t want the Empress to install a plastic hockey rink in the front yard (cool as that might be); he was just suggesting a contest. This week: Suggest a humorous way to reuse one or more of the items listed above — or anything else advertised on
RepurposedMaterialsInc.com (click on “Products”). Writing a bit about your idea might enhance the humor, if you are a funny writer. Don’t worry if it says “Out of Stock,” “only one left,” etc.; just assume there’s an unlimited supply. You have to outdo reality, though; it seems the rotating street-sweeping brushes are the beloved back scratchers of itchy cows and pigs.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a, uhh, picturesque little ceramic sculpture of an outhouse, complete with a little ceramic door that swings open to reveal a little ceramic embarrassed person sitting there. A thrift shop discovery by Pie Snelson — ready to be repurposed.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet designed by Bob Staake: either “The Wit Hit the Fan” or “Hardly HarHar.” First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday night, July 13; results published Aug. 2 (online July 30). You may submit up to 25 entries per contest. Include “Week 1131” 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/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Chris Doyle; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Beverley Sharp. 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.
3THE STYLE CONVERSATIONAL The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/ styleconv.