Posts Tagged ‘Contests’

Fun With Song Titles

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Here are my entries in the Washington Post Style Invitational’s “add some words in parentheses” to a song title contest:

Let It Snow (Somewhere Else)

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (That Don’t Require A Restraining Order)

The Tide is High (Because You Over-Filled The Washing Machine)

(Optometrists Warn Us) Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes

(Why The Heck Would You Garnish My Martini With A) Peppermint Twist

(I Didn’t Say I Like You) Just the Way You Are (I Said I Like You Just The Way You Were)

I’ll Dance at Your Wedding (If You Guarantee Tips)

(Message) I Care

Guitar Polka (Has To Be Better Than Accordion Polka)

Bridge Over Troubled Water (In New Jersey)

It’s Time to Pay the Fiddler (Cuz He’s Threatening To Strike)

Livin’ on a Prayer (Cuz My Food Stamps Were Cut)

(I Have A Headache, So Don’t) Play that Funky Music

(How I Wish Our House Came With A) Handyman

On Second Thought (I Don’t Take You To Be My Lawfully Wedded Wife)

He’ll Have to Go (To The Bathroom)

Accentuate the Positive (If You Can Find Any)

(I’m Going To Hold My Breath) Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)

One Bad Apple (Will Ruin Your Pie)

Remember The Time (Our Wedding Is Supposed To Start)

What’s She Doing Now (And How Much Has She Had To Drink)

(You Don’t Deserve A) Good Hearted Woman

To All The girls I’ve Loved Before (I Have Some Really Bad News)

(Pay Your Movie Streaming Bill Or) Get Off Of My Cloud

One Way Or Another (I’ll Win This Contest)

You can find the entertaining winners list (which doesn’t include me) here.

Reality TV Humor (New York Magazine Contest)

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

New York Magazine recently started a new weekly contest. This week’s challenge is to invent titles of a “premodern reality-television series.” You can enter either on Twitter or in the contest page’s comment section.

Here are my entries (on Twitter) so far:

The Real Cavewives of Windsor

The Dinosaur Hunter

Reinventing The Wheel

Dancing With The Bard

Keeping Up With The Bardashians

The Sorcery Apprentice

No Cross Words About My Latest Contest Loss

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

In a recent Washington Post Style Invitational contest, we were given some crossword puzzle answers and asked to provide our own amusing clues for some of the words. Many of the winning clues are hilarious, and you can read them all here.

But first, here are my losing entries:

ACID: Air conditioner’s name

ACTUAL: When you give it an “F,” little changes

BAGPIPES: Some music lovers would scotch this oboe’s cousin

CAPFUL: Conceited man’s hat

CIAO: An edible farewell

CLEFT: It fits the staff to a T

GUESTTOWEL: If you have to guess where it is, it’s time to go home

HENHOUSE: Its pecking order won’t change, even with a fox in charge

IRAN: I was late, so _____

IRAN: I was caught with nukes, so ______

LAVA: Virginia, in France

LUCKYROLL: Vincent Piazza in Boardwalk Empire

MILK: To take advantage on the farm

MOUE: The sneering sound of a disdainful French cow

OBOE: It begs for a rhyme

OBOE: This wooden wind is A-okay

OBOE: Playing this instrument’s a gamble, with odds of failure 440-1

PLACE: Where a noun you must bring;
neither person, nor thing.

POPSINGLES: Unmarried dads

PROSY: Averse verse

YEAH: Archaic doctor’s order

Rating The Movies

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

A recent Washington Post Style Invitational contest asked us to “suggest some new movie ratings to warn against various objectionable aspects of films.”

Here are my entries, one of which won me Second prize. Yippee!!! Can you guess which? (The answer will appear “upside down” at the end of this post.)

Rated BYOJ: A comedy so unfunny, you should “Bring Your Own Jokes.”

Rated DDM: “Dreadful Dramatic Music” can’t disguise the lack of a plot.

Rated THU: Too Hard to understand.

Rated WEF: Weird Enough to be Foreign.

Rated PGD: Rated “Please Get Dressed” because it features barely clad actors who don’t exercise enough.

Rated WOR: Way Over-Rated.

Rated DBG: “Don’t Bring your Girlfriend,” if you ever want to see her again.

Rated TVEFQT: Too Violent Even For Quenton Tarantino.

Rated P2BP: Pretending to be Profound.

Rated ZZZ: Impossible not to sleep through.

Rated SHIT: Stay Home. It’s Terrible.

And here (in upside down form) is the entry that won Second Prize:

˙uƃıǝɹoɟ ǝq oʇ ɥƃnouǝ pɹıǝʍ :ɟǝʍ pǝʇɐɹ

You can read all the winning entries here.

Fun With News Headlines

Friday, December 13th, 2013

A recent Washington Post Style Invitational contest asked us to find a REAL headline in any publication, and “then write a ‘bank head’ that reinterprets the headline or comments wryly on it.”

Here are my entries, one of which got an Honorable Mention. Can you guess which? (The answer will appear “upside down” at the end of this post.)

Obama scoffs at people who call him a ‘socialist’
Socialists file libel suit

Saudi Arabian man arrested for giving out free hugs
“What? I should charge for them?” says Saudi hugger

Adam Levine is ‘People’ mag’s Sexiest Man Alive
People demand second opinion

Meet Magnus Carlsen, the ‘Justin Bieber’ of chess
Hunky Norwegian seeks World Chess, World Chest championships

Strand Bookstore ‘uses sprinklers to evict homeless’
Homeless thank Strand for first shower in years

Jake Gyllenhaal Punches Mirror on Set
In “fairest of them all” title dispute

Kidnapped Girl Found After 19-Year Manhunt
A girl-hunt might have been faster

Apple and Google “Dog Fight”
Pet-lovers stage boycott

Some Doctors Challenge New Statin Guidelines
Claim “whoever did the math must be on drugs”

Beaver steals hunter’s rifle
Pleads self-defense

Rob Ford stripped of key powers
Ford strips in protest, powers hurriedly restored

Belief is more powerful than proof
Prove it!

Dow, S&P close at new highs
Fox News explains why this is bad news for Obama

The Rules for Eating Lunch at Your Desk
Rule 1: Don’t!

Ted Turner wants to go to heaven
Clarifies: “No rush! Heaven can wait.”

Amazon Deforestation Rises
Increased e-book sales will reverse trend, Amazon claims

Chicago woman hopes to turn things around after 396 arrests
The 397th time’s the charm

Robots Allow Doctors To Remotely Advise, Diagnose Patients
Shrug off blame for “epidemic of golf course overcrowding”

Head defends dialect ban in class
Body disagrees

Dog Predicts Polar Bear Pregnancy
Denies paternity

Train Heading to NYC Goes Wrong-Way, Ends Up in Philly Suburbs
Stubborn conductor refuses to stop, ask for directions

McDonald’s restaurant turns to opera to drive out loitering teenagers
“Gounod’s Faust drives those devils out in five minutes flat,” says manager

Dinosaur Fossils Recreated Using CT Scanners and 3D Printers
Had great old time “doing it”

Rep. Trey Radel busted in cocaine sting
Poised to challenge Toronto’s Rob Ford in ’14 mayoralty race

Costco sorry for labeling Bibles as ‘fiction’
Relabels Bibles “sci-fi”

And here (in upside down form) is the entry that received an Honorable Mention:

„ɥsnɹ ou„ :sǝıɟıɹɐןɔ
uǝʌɐǝɥ oʇ oƃ oʇ sʇuɐʍ ɹǝuɹnʇ pǝʇ
:pɐǝɹ oʇ sɐ os ʇnɔ sɐʍ ʇı ‘ɹǝʌǝʍoɥ

„˙ʇıɐʍ uɐɔ uǝʌɐǝɥ ¡ɥsnɹ ou„ :sǝıɟıɹɐןɔ
uǝʌɐǝɥ oʇ oƃ oʇ sʇuɐʍ ɹǝuɹnʇ pǝʇ

Snopes Definitely Won’t Back Me Up

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

I love learning about the origin of words and phrases. But sometimes you just have to make things up:

1) In the first draft of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge said “Bach! Humbug!” (Dickens despised Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.) But Dickens’ editor was worried about lawsuits and changed it to “Bah! Humbug!”

2) The second chair bass player of a now defunct symphony orchestra fantasized about playing first chair bass and marrying the principal bass player’s wife. When pulling strings didn’t work, he tried a different technique — poison. And that’s how he “got to first bass.”

3) In the early days of Broadway theater, actors had a bad habit of showing up for rehearsals dead drunk. Frustrated directors finally struck a deal with Actors’ Equity, which required actors to arrive at dress rehearsals sober. These final run-throughs were designated “dry runs.”

4) “Your Number’s Up” is a prize-winning tale about a society that murders its citizens on their 86th birthdays. The story climaxes with a revolt by the elderly, who “86″ their would-be killers.

5) Philosopher René Descartes was a boating fanatic with a speech defect. This led him to be credited with saying “Je pense, donc je suis” (“I think, therefore I am.”) Alas, what he really said was “Je punt, donc je suis.” But people were so impressed with what they thought he’d said, that he never bothered to correct them. This paid off in dividends, allowing him to purchase more than a dozen shallow water punts.

6) When people are “down in the dumps,”
They’ve been saddened by life’s little bumps.
But that phrase’s first sense
(Please do NOT take offense)
Was “plunged in what comes from our rumps.”

(I wrote these in response to a Washington Post Style Invitational contest that challenged us to write “bogus stories of the origins of familiar expressions.” You can read the winning entries here. And alas, I didn’t win.)

Fun With Song Lyrics

Friday, November 29th, 2013

A recent Washington Post Style Invitational contest challenged us to “quote a song title or a line from a song and supply a question that that line might answer.”

I had a lot of fun with that contest, even though I didn’t win anything. Here’s what I submitted:

1) Yes sir, yes sir: Three bags full.
“Did you bring the cash?” — Congressman to Lobbyist

(Baa Baa Black Sheep)

2) Big Bad John.
Who’s the worst Speaker ever?

(Big Bad John)

3) Just Go Away!
“What do you want me to do?” — Obama to Republican leadership

(Just Go Away)

4) The candy man can.
Who can get me coke, quick?

(The Candy Man)

5) Get off of my cloud!
What message do you get when you’ve forgotten to pay your movie streaming bill?

(Get Off Of My Cloud)

6) Spacious skies.
What’s the upside of homelessness?

(America, The Beautiful)

7) Shady Lane.
What’s K Street’s nickname?

(The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane)

8) Doesn’t really matter to me.
How do Republican pols view unemployment?

(Bohemian Rhapsody)

9) Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
“What happens if I don’t find a husband?”

(Hush, Little Baby)

10) That’s what it’s all about!
Can’t you think about anything besides money?

(The Hokey Pokey)

11) All the girls I’ve loved before.
Why so many paternity tests?

(To All The girls I’ve Loved Before)

12) No more tears!
What do embarrassed Republicans keep saying to John Boehner?

(No More Tears)

13) Girls just want to have fun.
Why shouldn’t a woman be president?

(Girls Just Want To Have Fun)

14) It’s only make believe.
What do nay-sayers say about global warming?

(It’s Only Make Believe)

15) I’m leaving it up to you.
What do Republicans never say to women?

(I’m Leaving It Up to You)

16) I’m gonna be your number one.
What are your plans for 2016, Senator Paul?

(The Tide Is High)

17) I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha!
“What are you planning?” — Obama to Republican leadership

(One Way Or Another)

Musical Humor Courtesy of the Washington Post Style Invitational

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

In a recent Washington Post Style Invitational contest, we were asked “to find a question that was part of a song, and supply a humorous answer.” That “Week 1041” contest yielded some hilarious results, and I was pleased to get an Honorable Mention for this one:

* Why don’t we do it in the road?
The road doesn’t have cable.

(Why don’t we do it in the road? – Beatles)

Here were my other entries:

1) Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Not anymore. Not anymore.

(Frère Jacques)

2) Who’s crying now?
Whoever spilled the milk.

(Who’s Crying Now? – Journey)

3) Where the party at?
On TV, complaining about the other party.

(Where the Party At?” – Jagged Edge)

4) Can U handle it?
Put That Thing Back!

(Can U Handle It? -Usher)

5) Why do I keep counting?
You still have fingers left.

(Why Do I Keep Counting?” – The Killers)

6) What kind of fool am I?
Res ipsa loquitur.

(What kind of fool am I? – Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley)

7) How can you mend a broken heart?
I can’t. I’m a gynecologist.

(How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? Bee Gees)

8) Isn’t she lovely?
Finally, an upside to blindness.

(Isn’t she lovely?- Stevie Wonder)

9) Do you wanna touch me there?
I’m calling the cops.

(Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Gary Glitter/Joan Jett & the Blackhearts)

10) Why don’t you get a job?
It’s The Economy, Stupid.

(Why Don’t You Get A Job? – The Offspring)

11) What’s the name of the game?
“What’d I say? Answer a question that’s posed in a song.”

(The Name Of The Game – ABBA)

12) Should I stay or should I go?
Eenie meenie miney mo.

(Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash)

13) Why does my heart feel so bad?”
Quadruple bypass?

(Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? – Moby)

14) Why do I feel so sad?
Why do I feel so sad?
Why are your songs so bad?
Why are your songs so bad?

(Why Do I Feel So Sad? Alicia Keys)

Limerick Ode To The New Yorker Festival

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

The New Yorker Festival is holding a limerick contest, and the winner gets a batch of Festival tickets for two. Here’s my entry:

Limerick Ode To The New Yorker Festival
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The New Yorker is hosting a fête —
A must-see for the erudite set.
Famous people galore
Shall be speaking full-bore,
And no intellect’s need goes unmet.

Happy National Punctuation Day — Two Days Late

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Somehow I managed to miss National Punctuation Day on Sept 24th. “Shame on me!”

Oh my — I just used an exclamation point! And I did it again!

As you can tell from my limerick, I’m not a big fan of the exclamation point, a/k/a the bang.

STOP YELLING!!!!!!!!!!!! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Those points that are meant to exclaim
Often bug me. Yes, bangs seem quite lame.
I abuse them, at times,
When excited by rhymes!!!!
But usage that’s spare is my aim.

By the way, it isn’t too late to celebrate National Punctuation Day: is doing it with a punctuation-related haiku contest. (The deadline is September 30th.)

And speaking of contests, the Washington Post is hosting another limerick competition. (As I mentioned previously, I got an honorable mention in their last one.)

Anyway, the Washington Post’s latest limerick contest sounds like a lot of fun. Much like my Limerick-Offs, WP provides limerick lines. However, the WP contest is definitely harder than mine: I provide A-rhyme first lines, while the WP contest offers us B-rhyme lines.

The Washington Post contest deadline is October 4th. Good luck!

My Husband’s a New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Finalist

Monday, January 12th, 2009

My husband Mark, who has a really good eye for visual humor, recently started entering the New Yorker’s fun weekly cartoon caption contest. And we’re both thrilled that he’s one of only three finalists for this week’s New Yorker contest.

I hope you’ll check it out and vote for Mark’s caption. His is the best one, … and I’d say that even if he weren’t my husband.