The Style Invitational Week 991 V-O-T-E now

By Pat Myers, Updated: Thursday, October 4, 3:30 PM


Vel-veto: A smooth, easy-to-swallow but ultimately cheesy rejection: “He gave her the old ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ vel-veto.”


Love-toad: The once and future prince.


Given that the results to this contest will be published the weekend before Election Day, we figured that the letter block for our ninth annual Tour de Fours neologism contest ought to be pertinent (but shouldn’t be a-r-g-h). This week: Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block V, O, T and E and define it, as in the examples above; those four letters may be in any order, but there may be no other letters between them. Hyphenate and capitalize (or not) as you wish. Using the word in a funny sentence is fine; using the word in a blah sentence is unfine.


Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a vintage but unused U.S. military surplus “Supporter, Athletic” from 1946. Donated by Loser Andrea Kelly, who dates from well after that. It’s the Style Invitational, where we give you an old jock for your new joke.


Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive 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. 15; results published Nov. 4 (online Nov. 1). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 991” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Beverley Sharp; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results” line is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at


Report from Week 987, our perennial contest in which we asked contestants to take any headline from a week’s worth of The Washington Post and and follow it with a made-up “bank head,” or secondary headline, that either misinterpreted the original or commented humorously on it:


The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial


(Actual Post headline) Romney: ‘The sky seems to be crying’

(Fake bank head) ‘It’s called rain, sir,’ explains butler who had accidentally lowered boss’s umbrella (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)


2. Winner of the Japanese teeny toy potty with rubbery yellow mini-poo: Nats throw away chance at the end, fall to Atlanta

New version of ‘Gone With the Wind’ is big hit in Ga. (Steve Honley, Washington)


3. With Senate at stake, GOP awaits Akin’s next move

Many hope it’s to Paraguay (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)


4. Rookie Morris gives ground game just what it needs

New Redskins chef makes perfectly seasoned squirrelburgers (Larry Carnahan, Arlington, Va.)


The outer banks: honorable mentions


Thousands protest new austerity cuts

‘Keep government’s hands off our austerity!’ protesters chant (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)


Bound for greatness, but not yet

New Obama campaign slogan announced (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)


Councilman’s license suspended in past

Brown says he can’t produce document because of ‘time warp’ problem (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)


Obama reaches out to middle-class voters in Colorado

GOP accuses president of ‘inappropriate touching’ (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)


Capitals players prepare for lockout

Hide extra Verizon Center key under mat (Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)


Garcon ‘very limited’ in practice

Maitre d’ slams trainee for insufficient snottiness (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)


Woolly Mammoth goes to the mat, artfully

But mastodon can’t master backflip on the balance beam (Gary Sampliner, Rockville, Md., a First Offender)


Prince Harry back in Afghanistan

Palace relieved he escaped Vegas to safer locale (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)


Reiley loses job at MWAA

Aunt Edith deemed much better at making kissing noises (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)


A rockin’ place to be

Veranda is most popular area at Lazy Acres Nursing Home (Mae Scanlan, Washington)


Chris Christie versus the world

‘May the bigger equator win,’ says N.J. governor (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)


After robbery, church won’t change open-door policy

Action delayed until door is recovered (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)


Lessons learned in College Park

Experimental academic offering complements football program (Elden Carnahan)


Where are all the Redskins bars?

Fans complain of poor cellphone reception at FedEx (Matt Monitto, Elon, N.C.)


Tuskegee Airman broke barriers

WWII Army deducted barrier cost from his paycheck each month (Mel Loftus, Alexandria, Va.)


A 60-day drive to Election Day gets underway

Romney vows this time Seamus will ride inside car (Robert Schechter)


DNA considered in MacDonald case

Farmer to stick with EIEIO (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)


Citing leak, Netanyahu defers security meeting

‘When you gotta go. . .’ prime minister explains (Roy Ashley, Washington)


He had the world on a violin string — until it unraveled

New theory of creation poses challenge to Flying Spaghetti Monster (Adam and Russell Beland, Fairfax, Va.)


The top cars for tailgating

Models with good brakes top the list (Zack Beland, Fairfax, Va.)


A president cornered

Obama stunned to find his office no longer oval (Ira Allen)


Take the kids this weekend

Desperate for break, local mom goes public with plea (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)


Born with a one-way ticket south [an article about dragonfly migration]

Breast-sagging linked to genetics (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)


Love of the Boss crosses party lines

Holidays especially tricky time for office romance (Steve Honley)


Vick salvages ugly opener

Inexplicably scores in bar with ‘Hey, baby, what’s your sign?’ (Mel Loftus)


Friday’s top rushers, passers

Police release list of Beltway’s most obnoxious drivers (Beverley Sharp)


Become a snap organizer

Clothing factories offer jobs you’ve never even heard of (Christopher Lamora)


Precipitation, participation, perspiration

‘. . . preparation! THAT’s what I was supposed to do,’ Eastwood says (Gary Crockett)


Medvedev: Release three punk rockers

A, ‘And give them a five-minute head start’ (Gary Crockett)

B. Hope he didn’t really say ‘rockets’ (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)


Bartlett says he regrets remark

‘Just wanted to get in my own dang book,’ says quotation compiler (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)


Obama doubles down

White House pillows restuffed with extra feathers (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)


Maryland at Temple

Jewish holiday draws entire state population (Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.)


Clinton urges calm as Asian nations feud

Stress, for once, dampens ex-president’s libido (Roger Hammons, Ashburn, Va.)


Recognizing the sacrifices of grandparents

Continued denial of Nana and Pop-Pop’s Santeria rituals is futile (Jeff Contompasis)


Breast-feeding professor spurs debate

‘If students can have a snack in class, why can’t I?’ he asks (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Ovarian cancer screenings not recommended as a routine

Miss America contestant must find new talent (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.; Melissa Balmain)


Strasburg decision will be felt for years to come

Pitcher invited to choose Nats’ new ball caps for next decade, goes retro (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring, Md.)


More officials on board to connect Loudoun, Prince William

Critics claim a road would work better (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)


Millions saved by teleworking

New no-visit strategy pays off for Jehovah’s Witnesses (Steve Honley)


Nicaragua refuses departure of U.S. citizen after prison release

Farting in jail cell earns him another 30 days (Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)


And last: Influential imbeciles

But others claim Style Invitational Losers actually have no clout (Roy Ashley, Washington)


Next week’s results: A Faster Break, or Fools Speed Ahead,