The Style Invitational Week 861: It's incumbent upon us

By The Empress

Saturday, March 20, 2010; C02


The Watt-Eshoo-Inouye Sex-Change Regulatory Act (Carol Vance, Washington)


Every two years, at the beginning of each session of Congress, The Style Invitational invites readers to combine the names of two or more freshman members (and sometimes, oddly, newly departed ones) to create "joint legislation." That's not often enough for some Losers, such as Mark Eckenwiler of Washington, who suggests an off-year contest so that we can exploit the colorful names of the incumbents as well. So we'll do sort of the converse of the freshmen contest: This week's pool of legislators includes only those who were elected to their seats before 1994, the first year we ran the freshman contest. The example above is from the time we used the entire Congress, way back in Week 5, in 1993; it's the only entry from that contest whose legislators are all still in their original seats. (And it demonstrates that while you might not be able to stay young forever, you can sure stay juvenile for 17 years.) The longtime incumbents:


Ackerman, Akaka, Andrews, Bachus, Bartlett, Barton, Baucus, Becerra, Bennett, Berman, Bingaman, Bishop, Boehner, Bond, Boucher, Boxer, Brown, Burton, Buyer, Byrd, Calvert, Camp, Castle, Clyburn, Coble, Cochran, Conrad, Conyers, Costello, Deal, DeFazio, DeLauro, Diaz-Balart, Dicks, Dingell, Dodd, Dorgan, Dreier, Duncan, Edwards, Ehlers, Engel, Eshoo, Faleomavaega, Farr, Feingold, Feinstein, Filner, Frank, Gallegly, Goodlatte, Gordon, Grassley, Green, Gregg, Gutierrez, Hall, Harkin, Hastings, Hatch, Herger, Hinchey, Hoekstra, Holden, Hoyer, Hutchison, Inhofe, Inouye, Johnson, Johnson, Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kerry, Kildee, King, Kingston, Kohl, Leahy, Levin, Levin, Lewis, Lewis, Lieberman, Linder, Lowey, Lucas, Lugar, Maloney, Manzullo, Markey, McCain, McConnell, McDermott, McKeon, Mica, Mikulski, Miller, Mollohan, Moran, Murray, Nadler, Neal, Norton, Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Ortiz, Pallone, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Peterson, Petri, Pomeroy, Rahall, Rangel, Reid, Rockefeller, Rogers, Rohrabacher, Ros-Lehtinen, Roybal-Allard, Royce, Rush, Scott, Sensenbrenner, Serrano, Shelby, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith, Smith, Specter, Spratt, Stark, Stearns, Stupak, Tanner, Taylor, Thompson, Towns, Upton, Velázquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watt, Waxman, Wolf, Woolsey, Young, Young.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets a comic book we're surprised we hadn't heard about before: This 1970s series was about a group of Nazi-fighting World War II heroes -- one for each branch of the services -- who called themselves the Losers because they kept getting refrigerator magnets with stupid cartoons on them. No, it was because men had died under their command. Whatever, this is an original comic, sealed in plastic, and was donated by Fighting Loser Peter Metrinko.


Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Loser Magnets. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 29. Put "Week 861" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results to be published April 17. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's results is by Mark Richardson; this week's honorable-mentions subhead was sent by both Judy Blanchard and Roy Ashley. The idea for limiting the congressional pool to old-timers was suggested by Michael Kilby in The Style Conversational.


Report from Week 857, in which we asked you to produce new words or phrases containing a block of three consecutive letters of the alphabet -- backward. Seems that challenge was a bit more daunting than its forward-looking predecessor.


The winner of the Inker


Flingpong: Having your own affair to get even with a cheating spouse. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)


2. the winner of the "Sweeney Todd" Peeps diorama: Burpon: Carbonated whiskey. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park)


3. Zyxzag: Path created during a DWI test when the cop makes you walk 20 steps while reciting the alphabet in reverse. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)


4.Intellectual DCbility: The newly revised term for "governmental retardation." (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


PON Scum: Honorable mentions


Ghostponement: A stay of execution. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)


Barf-edit: To blue-pencil all 2,000-some pages of the health care plan. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)


Colon-music: A prettier term than "farting." (Dion Black, Washington)


Boybandonment: Finally tossing the 'N Sync posters. (Tom Witte)


Soonmom: Teenager's unit of time, roughly equivalent to the half-life of carbon-14. (Ira Allen, Bethesda)


Coccyx winks: Stupid butt tricks. (Kevin Dopart)


Jihades: Where suicide bombers end up. (Tom Witte; Rick Haynes, Potomac)


Keg-fed: On the fraternity diet. (Erik Wennstrom, Bloomington, Ind.)


Eonmail: Dial-up. (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)


ABCbabble: "The View." (Mae Scanlan)


Fedhora: The Romanian hat dance. (Tom Witte)


Inkjinx: The fate of an athlete who gets on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Jack Clark, Westfield, N.J.)


Iraqpot: A cauldron for a stew that's heated for seven years. (Rick Haynes, Potomac)


Marshmallow-vulture: The kid who'll eat the ones that fall off the stick. (Kevin Dopart)


Songfester: An even grosser term for a catchy tune than "earworm." (Mae Scanlan)


Snottonmouth: The failure of one's mustache filter. (Dave Prevar)


Ponderosé: A posh dude ranch. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


Fedgerdemain: The congressional budget process. (Ira Allen, Bethesda)


Glazed Downuts: Stockholders, these days. (Mae Scanlan)


Snoutspend: Pay through the nose. (Pam Sweeney, St. Paul, Minn.)


Next week: Same OED, or The punabridged dictionary