The Style Invitational Week 940: Mess with our deads

By Pat Myers, Friday, October 7, 3:03 AM



(originally ‘rude welcome’)

Nebraska players distracted by marching band, lose to Wisconsin


In response to requests from the Facebook group Style Invitational Devotees, an encore of this variation on our perennial “Mess With Our Heads” contest: Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, or change spacing or punctuation, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on from Oct. 7 through Oct. 17, and elaborate on it in a “bank” headline (subhead), as in the entry above by Mark Holt, taken from a story in the Oct. 2 Post.


Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a two-foot-long green-and-white Gummi Snake, which should be edible, if a bit stale by now. Donated by Melissa Yorks.


Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get 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 to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 10; results published Nov. 6 (Nov. 4 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 940” in your e-mail subject line or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at The revised title for next week’s results and this week’s honorable-mentions subhead are by Kevin Dopart.


Report from Week 936, in which we asked for neologisms based on foreign terms: Each entry below contains a link to the original word or phrase.


The winner of the Inker


Cogito ergo bum: Sudden realization of graduating philosophy majors. (Greg Deye, Kensington, a First Offender)


2. Winner of the Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning: Altar ego: “I do, and so does she.” (Jim Reagan, Herndon, Va.)


3. Après moi le deluxe: My wife’s run off with a millionaire. (Barrie Collins, Long Sault, Ontario)


4. Bon voltage: What you wish a homeowner as the sky grows dark and the wind whips up. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)


Crème de les crumbs: Honorable mentions


Ave. Maria: It’s around the corner from Church St. (Matt Monitto, Elon, N.C.)


La Belly Époque: 21st-century America. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)


Avant-garden: The flowers are lovely, but I’m not sure about the urinal in the middle of the rhododendrons. (Laurie Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)


Schlitzkrieg: Pregame rush at the convenience store. (Michael Greene, Alexandria, Va.)


’Fro pas: A perm disaster. (Elise Jacobs, Silver Spring, Md.)


Meat culpa: Confessions of a lapsed vegetarian. (John Shea, Philadelphia)


Fin de sickle: When the hammer fell on the Berlin Wall. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)


Fit accompli: When the screaming 2-year-old finally gets the cookie. (Jo Ann Staebler, Manassas, Va., a First Offender)


Domino’s vobiscum: Pizza be with you. (Mel Loftus, Alexandria, Va.)


Hatwa: Declaring an open season of snark on Princess Beatrice. (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)


Ode de toilette: Bathroom stall poetry. (Tony Arancibia, Falls Church, Va.)


No-bless oblige: First Amendment protection for atheists. (Mark Richardson, Washington)


Mi casa es Sue’s casa: I can’t believe the judge gave her the house! (Gene Hartis, Sealy, Tex., a First Offender)


D’oh naturel: Forgot my pants! (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Alma matter: The slew of fundraising mail from your university. (Tom Panther, Springfield, Va.)


Maison d’ebtre: A house about to be repossessed. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)


Quid pro quote: “A penny for your thoughts” adjusted for inflation. (Yuki Henninger, Vienna, Va.)


Je ne sais ha: I don’t get it. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)


Magna cum fraude: Graduating with high honors from Diploma Mill U. (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)


Horse d’oeuvres: Appetizers made with filly mignon. (Marian Carlsson, Lexington, Va.)


Mirage à trois: In your dreams, man. (Keith Maynard, Annapolis, Md.)


Arroz con polio: The second-worst health code violation in the restaurant industry, just behind Enchiladas con Ebola. (Robert Schechter)


Ipso fatso: “So, yes, I’m afraid that means you need to buy two airplane tickets, sir.” (Mike Harbert, Leesburg, Va., a First Offender)


Perishtroika: Russia’s return to All Putin All the Time. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)


Persona non tata: A flat-chested woman. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)


Tour de forceps: Delivery of a 16-pound baby. (Theresa Kowal, Silver Spring, Md.)


Trump-l’oeil: A combover that fools no one. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)


Deductio ad absurdum: A good way to get audited. (Pam Sweeney)


Bin voyage: Burial at sea. (Jay Cummings, Greenbelt, Md., a First Offender)


Cart Blanche: What Dorothy and Rose have to do after a wild night on the Miami strip. (Dion Black, Washington)


Caveat empty: Batteries not included. (Brian Cohen, Potomac, Md.)


Coltus interruptus: When Bob Irsay pulled out of Baltimore, 1984. (Theresa Kowal)


Church la femme: “Your mother and I think you and your girlfriend have been living together long enough.” (Stan McLeroy, Herndon, Va.)


Entrée gnu: Roast beest. (Mark Segal, Rockville, Md., who got his only previous Invite ink in 2002)


Laissez-ferry: A vessel steered by an invisible hand. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)


Mardi Gas: Fart Tuesday. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


Obgyn d’art: A Georgia O’Keeffe painting. (Christopher Lamora,, Guatemala City)


Bum de terre: A couch potato. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)


Pox copuli: An STD. (Barrie Collins)


Zitgeist: Spirit of the teenage. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)


Affaire de cur: Ciao, baby, I’m not into meaningful relationships. (Barrie Collins)


Après mop le déluge : Just when I’ve dried out my basement after Irene, here comes Lee. (Pam Sweeney)


Nouvelle cuy-sine: The latest culinary trend — Andean guinea pig. (Kathy el-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)


Hare Krishnag: Mommm. . . mommm . . .mommm . . . (Judy Blanchard)


Veni, veni, veni: I had a very nice time. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)


Ex Post fixo: Retired newspaper copy editor. (Susan Thompson , Cary, N.C.)


And Last: La page aux folles: The back of the Sunday Style section. (David Keating, Chevy Chase, Md., a First Offender)


Next week: Staake it to him or Caldenotts