New contest for Week 1219: Cast your Bred upon us
my name is Cow, and wen its nite, or wen the moon is shiyning brite, and all the men haf gon to bed — i stay up late. i lik the bred. — Sam Garland, a.k.a. Poem for Your Sprog
The sometimes mystifying social community Reddit has been enchanted hundreds of times over by Sam Garland, a postdoctoral student who took to posting comments on a wide variety of others’ Reddit posts — in the form of rhyming poems. Last October someone posted an amusing anecdote about a cow that had made her way into the kitchen of a recreated French fortress and started licking all the loaves of bread — and Sprog responded with the fauxChaucerian doggerel above.
Almost instantly, according to the website Know Your Meme, “i lik the bred” sparked a new genre, with parodies and similar verses popping up all over Reddit and Tumblr blogs, in topics ranging from kittens to Tudor history. So let’s Invitize it: Write a Lik the Bred verse about someone in the news lately. For our own purposes, here are the parameters:
— It begins with “My name is . . . ” or some other firstperson introduction. — It ends with “I [verb] the [noun].” You may substitute “we” for “I,” and “a” or “my” for “the,” etc. — It consists of four rhyming lines, AABB (Sprog breaks them into eight, but we will probably use a fourline format to save space). Thirtytwo syllables total. — The meter is strongly iambic: baDUMP baDUMP baDUMP baDUMP. (My NAME is COW . . . ) — The spelling may be faux Middle English but could also be modern; the Empress hopes to run both types. Either way, the verse shouldn’t be a slog to read.
Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1219 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a brandnew KreepE, a twoinchlong, bright green electronic insectoid that scurries around with “realistic bug movement.” Well, it at least vibrates a lot. Donated by Loser Nan Reiner, who no doubt, like the KreepE, “selfcorrects when flipped.”
Other runners-up win the new mug announced today or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our new lustedafter Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind” or “Magnum Dopus.” First Offenders receive only a smelly treeshaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, March 27; results published April 16 (online April 13). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Jesse Frankovich; the honorablementions subhead is by Roger Dalrymple. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/ inkofday; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
THE 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.