New con­test for Week 1131: One man’s trash

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS -

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 losers@wash­post.com 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.

BOB STAAKE FOR THE WASHINGTON POST

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