The Style Invitational: Week 913 — bringing up the rear

By Pat Myers, Sunday, April , 12:00 AM


Eglu: What makes your tongue stick to an ice cube.


Tat-trac: An especially alluring piece of body art.


Ten weeks ago we introduced a super-successful neologism contest in which we asked you to move the first letter of a real word to the end of the word, and define the result. Not only did we get two weeks’ worth of results out of the thing — allowing the Empress to sit around nibbling on eclairs for a week — but we get to milk another contest out of it as well. The inevitable follow-up, which was actually requested by numerous Losers: Move the last letter of an existing word or name to the front of the word, and define the new term, as in the examples above. Since a lot of people will inevitably send in the same words, it’s the funniest definition that gets the ink. We won’t rule out rearranged words that end up as real words, as long as the definition is especially clever.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a genuine 1970s View-Master slide viewer with a disk showing the wondrous sights of Graceland. Loser Cheryl Davis, who donated this classic artifact, has even thrown in a pair of Elvis sunglasses.


Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions win a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to or fax, if you absolutely must, to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, April 11; results to be published May 1 (April 29 online). Include “Week 913” in the subject line of your e-mail, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See more rules at The revised title for next week’s results is by Kevin Dopart; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Chris Doyle. Today’s headline was suggested by Craig Dykstra.


Report from Week 909, in which we asked for new uses for the various Style Invitational prizes, as well as for a few other useless things. The most common suggestion was for the pantyhose with a run: Send it to the Nationals — they need all the runs they can get.


The winner of the Inker


Use Inkers to re-create scenes from great drama. See image at top left: “Alas, poor Yorink.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington, winner of, now, 14 Inkers )


2 Winner of the inflatable toast, inflatable fruitcake and bacon place mat: A old cellphone charger makes a handy substitute for a forgotten phylactery — call it a tefillin fill-in. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)


3Pantyhose with a run: Wear them under your long dress when you must attend some dreaded social event; that way you can say in all honesty, “So sorry, got a run!” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)


4Tattered underwear: Female answer: For a rag or dust cloth. Male answer: For underwear. Duh! (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)


Refashion victims: Honorable mentions


You mean the Inker ISN’T a garlic smasher? (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, winner of two garlic smashers)


As the “bonus prize inside,” put Inkers in giant-size boxes of Immodium. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)


Wear a Loser T-shirt as a pair of shorts. A little tight around the legs, but the extra hole is handy. (Kevin Dopart)


Put the handful of pennies in the Loser mug. It won’t make the coffee taste better, but the pennies will be shinier. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)


A fun game to play at shopping malls is “stick the Loser magnet on the artificial limb.” (Jeff Brechlin, owner of hundreds of Loser magnets, who lives suspiciously close to the Mall of America in Minnesota)


Keep your credit cards between two Loser magnets — it’s amazing how much less you end up spending that way. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.; James Alper, Lorton, a First Offender)


Pantyhose with a run makes for a superior robbery mask, since witnesses will describe you as having a scar running down your face. (Russell Beland, Fairfax)


After your beach vacation, tie the perfectly good shoelace tied around your toe to remind you to wear shoes and socks to work. (Arlee Green, Las Cruces, N.M.)


Conserve water by building an outhouse out of old National Geographics. And save on paper by using the walls for both reading material and TP. (Andrew Hoenig)


National Geographics: Replace the picture of “your family” that came with the frame with a great photo from “your vacation.” (Kevin Dopart)


A charger for your old cellphone: Glue a crystal to it, dub it the “Chi Charger” and sell it to New Agers. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)


Tie two Inkers together with the shoelace to create the coolest Loser weapon: Dumchuks. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)


Tattered underwear and one perfectly good shoelace: The contents of Bear Grylls’s overnight bag. (Michael Greene, Alexandria)


Shred up National Geographics and attach them all along the perfectly good shoelace. Then tie it around your waist, have your picture taken (preferably topless) and send it to National Geographic. (Catherine Howell, Arlington)


List the pantyhose with a run and tattered underwear on eBay as recovered from a paper bag in the Clinton White House trash. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)


And Last: Loser magnets: Throw them away; they’re superfluous — Losers are loser magnets. (Beverley Sharp)


Next week: Your ad there, or Snark plugs