Style Invitational Week 1492: A Conservative Humor Contest

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What is the difference between a conservative commentator and a liberal commentator? One is called a conservative commentator; the other is called a commentator. (Jeff Contompasis, Week 558)

How do you know if a van belongs to a Liberal? That’s a trick question – Volvo doesn’t make vans! (Bruce W. Alter, Week 558)

One of the entries for week 1488 – ideas for reusing various odd surplus items – included this note to the Empress: ‘Interesting to see if any conservative-leaning entrants are released.’ Accompanying entries: “55 Gallon Bung Barrel: The Last Thing Joe Biden Blamed For Inflation.” “Baking pans for 32 hamburger buns: what the White House Biden sent to red states instead of formula.” “500 31-Inch Pieces of Rope: Philadelphia Voters Group in the 2020 Election.” Alright, Mr. Michael Magee of Arlington, they’re published!

The E’s are still perplexed on that last one with the rope, but she was inspired — particularly in the week of 1492, evoking a year that for much of our polarized nation is no longer one to happily celebrate — to bring back one of his first contests. Noting that the political jokes in his last contest in 2004 had “gone from Gentle Tweaking of the [G.W. Bush] Administration to Raving Leftist Screed,” she asked, and did it again: Send us conservative humor in the form of a Q&A joke or a knock-knock joke, as in the examples above. What is “conservative”? Over the past 19 years, “conservative” has been equated by many with “bigoted”, “hateful”, etc.; well, don’t send us anything bigoted or hateful. But surely the blue world has plenty of worthy mind targets. (This week’s cartoon illustrates Steve Honley’s “News in Preview” Week 1260 winning prediction that on October 12, 2018, the city of Columbus would get a new name.)

Submit up to 25 entries to (no capitals in the web address). The deadline is Monday, June 20; results appear July 10 in print, July 7 online.

The winner takes the clown making, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an enclosure topped by a young Donald Trump wearing boxing gloves. Press the levers at the back and the arms come out. If you replace the battery, it also says things like “My attitude is huge” and “Don’t touch the hair”, but now it’s off. Gift of loser Steve Leifer. And we’ll even add an old collection of paperbacks “The Speeches of Spiro Agnew”, given back by loser Howard Walderman.

Other finalists earn their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour High End” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our coveted Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare”. First-time offenders are only given a smelly tree-shaped “air freshener” (stinky tree for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The track “Refurb Madness” is by Jon Gearhart; Kevin Dopart and Chris Doyle each came up with the honorable mentions subtitle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at; “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The conversational style: The Empress’ weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. This week, released late Thursday, June 9, includes more conservative humor from past contests.

The “You’re Invited” podcast: eighteen half-hour episodes, including a dish from the Empress and the Tsar, and advice from the best losers. See

Refurb madness: second use ideas of the week 1488

In Week 1488 we directed the losing community to the website of Reused materials and asked how they could reuse one of the surplus items listed here. Most of them, it seems, didn’t know (or, more likely, didn’t want to know) that a bung barrel is just a tub with a hole in which you can put a cap or tap. Meanwhile, a disturbing number of people wanted to match those 500 pieces of rope with members of Congress. Frankly.

Baking molds for 32 hamburger buns; set of 134: With these 4,288 footprints to use as breeding tanks, my mosquito breeding farm is going to get BIG! (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Virginia)

Pink Steel Pipe Nipples: Even better than tearing down Confederate statues is giving them lasting pink nipples! (Kevin Dopart, on vacation in Naxos, Greece)

and the vintage Elvis tray:

Mall Kiosk Display Unit: During a pandemic, or just to save gas, you can still get the mall experience by setting it up in your living room and walking right past it. (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Maryland)

And the winner of the clownish achievement:

80ft Artificial Grass Roll: Love hiking, but hate rocks, tree roots and mud? Just unroll this baby every 80 feet and you’ll keep your shoes clean and your toes won’t get bumped. Turn the Appalachian Trail into a walk in the park in just 145,200 easy steps. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

Non Used: Honorable Mentions

55 gallon bung barrel: For those mornings when 54 gallons of coffee just doesn’t seem like enough to wake you up. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Virginia)

8 x 80ft Artificial Grass Roll: Perfect for a rooftop garden where you can grow artificial flowers and vegetables. (John O’Byrne, Dublin, Ireland)

500 pieces of 31 inch rope: Ideal for elementary school science fair projects, such as a diorama of gut worms from Clifford the Big Red Dog. (Kevin Dopart)

Examination gloves, small: Five-way condoms! (Did I say small? Big. I meant big.) (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Maryland)

20-foot, 8,000-pound concrete road barrier: I live at the end of a dead end street and drivers are constantly turning into my driveway. When I put this in the way, that’s the end of THAT inconvenience! (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Maryland)

Motorway barrier: Build a wall next to the Mexican section of “It’s a Small World” at Disney World, because it’s not THAT small. — R. DeSantis, Tallahassee (Mark Raffman, Reston, Virginia)

Motorway barrier: A perfect prop to kick off the “Christie 2024” campaign in Fort Lee, NJ (Frank Mann, Washington)

300 7 x 9 inch foam food trays: Paint them gray, yellow and green and set up giant puns on the mall. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.; Duncan Stevens)

300 foam trays: Use a burger mold to cut out as many foam discs as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Put them on the grill for no more than two seconds, and voila, the best vegan barbecue ever! (Lee Graham, Reston, Virginia)

300 Foam Trays + Zycosil Multi-Surface Water Repellent, 5 Quart: Really you have Want to re-tile your bathroom… (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Virginia)

20,000 2-ounce plastic bottles: Now you can carry over 300 gallons of wine on your next flight. (Kevin Dopart)

5 gallons of multi-purpose synthetic grease: Start your company’s big city building project by inviting local officials to a “hands-on” planning meeting. (Mark Rafman)

500 pieces of 31 inch rope: Put them end to end and use the measurement of 24.46338383838384 percent of a mile to calibrate your pedometer. (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church, Virginia)

500 pieces of 31 inch rope: Package each piece separately to sell at MAGA gatherings as “Authentic 6th January Souvenirs”. (Lee Graham)

500 used burlap coffee bean bags: Perfect for storing 500 pieces of 31 inch rope. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Maryland)

Used turf from a sports arena: The children play football? Set it up in your basement, and they can practice falling, twisting, and grabbing a knee or ankle to trick the ref into calling a foul, just like the pros! (Roy Ashley, Washington)

750 feet of bubble wrap: I cut it up to sell as Mini-Bubble-Stress-Anxiety-Fidget-Relief-Push-Popper-Sensory-Squeezers – with the holistic benefit of being single-use: that way, they are used with enough mindfulness, they can be thrown away with all your negative energy. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, CA)

750 feet of bubble wrap: Next Halloween, play as the Michelin Man with monkeypox. (Kevin Dopart)

Bowling Lane Wood + Steel Rivet Shelves: The floor looks great in my family room and the shelves hold all the shoes I rent out to my guests. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Maryland)

1,800 disinfectant wipes: Whip them the next 1,800 times your tween does something rude! Then restock next week. (Duncan Stevens)

Industrial crane: “Honey, can you take that box of tomato paste from the top shelf?” (Jesse Rifkin, Arlington, Virginia)

(1) Tie the 31 inch pieces of rope together to rappel down the skylight at the electoral center in Rome, Georgia. (2) Stealing ballots. (3) Place them in the 300 7 x 9 inch food trays and those inside used jute bags. (3) Transport them in a big truck and hide them with the artificial grass roll. (4) Secure one end of the firehoses at a giant fan and blow fake modified ballots through the skylight in a 50 gallon bung drum marked “VOTE HERE”.

And so the election was stolen. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, NY)

Finally: 500 magnetic strips: “Oh, those old things? Just a few times I got ink. (Color printer sold separately.) (Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania)

Two competitions still in progress — deadline for both: Monday evening June 13: Week 1490: Write a current affairs song parody (see; and Week 1491: Add a letter to a word or name to create a new one. (

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