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Copyright The Washington Post Company Mar 16, 1997

The first signs of spring:

1. The District of Columbia Public Works Department switches from not plowing the streets to not picking up lawn trimmings.

2. There is a shortage of yellow "Police Line" tape.

3. White House sleepovers can now take place on the South Lawn

This Week's contest was suggested by Elden Carnahan of Laurel, who wins a mouse pad advertising fever-blister medication. Elden suggests that you come up with the first signs of spring in the Washington area. First-prize winner gets one of the neatest things we've ever awarded: two gilt-wrapped squares of very, very stale chocolate handsomely displayed in a gold frame. Mounted with them is a document that reads, in its entirety: "This will authenticate that after-dinner chocolates 1 1/3 inches by 1 1/3 inches square in gold foil wraps stating `Malacanang Palace, Manila, Philippines' were obtained from Marcos Estate Auction, Sunrise Galleries, New York City, on August 15-16, 1986." We're not sure what this is worth, but we bet it is a lot.

Runners-up, as always, receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser's T-shirt. Honorable Mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to The Style Invitational, Week 209, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, fax them to 202-334-4312 or submit them via Internet to this address: Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, March 23. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced three weeks from today. Editors reserve the right to alter entries for taste, humor or appropriateness. No purchase necessary. The Faerie of the Fine Print & the Ear No One Reads wishes to thank David Genser of Vienna for today's Ear No One Reads. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 206,

in which you were asked to create new words by combining the first half of a hyphenated word in that day's newspaper with the second half of a different hyphenated word in the same article.

Fifth Runner-Up: Hot-mometer, n. A device that men use to scope out good-looking chicks pushing strollers. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Fourth Runner-Up: Popu-mouth, n. The act of punching a New Yorker in the face. (David Genser, Vienna)

Third Runner-Up: 62-year-rated, adj. For very, very mature audiences only. (Mike Connaghan, Gaithersburg)

Second Runner-Up: Narcot-rifice, n. Any body cavity used to smuggle drugs. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

First Runner-Up: Think-ter, n. The muscle in one's brain that contracts under stress to prevent crude or embarrassing thoughts from emerging. (David Hartman, Oakton)

And the Winner of the genuine fencer's mask:

Pro-zakstan, n. A country that is always at peace. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Honorable Mentions:

Accountabil-ly, n. A form of music favored by financial advisers in West Virginia. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg; Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Ameri-bile, n. Rantings on talk radio. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Boom-gram, n. A package from Ted Kazcynski. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Boom-in-hand, n. A hand grenade with a very short fuse. (Rob Klotz, Olney)

Bud-lightenment, n. A sudden, bloated truth about the obvious that one attains after drinking a case of sissy beer. (Paul J. Kocak, Syracuse; Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Circum-town, n. Tel Aviv. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Conserva-na, n. An earthly paradise where there are no taxes. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Dad-boy, n. Father Walton. ("Goodnight, Dad-boy.") (Maja Keech, New Carrollton)

Ego-town, n. The nation's capital. (Bill Stein, Bethesda)

Gam-ference, n. The mistaken belief that a woman is coming on to you just because she is wearing a short skirt. (David Genser, Vienna)

Grandchil-ly, adj. The atmosphere when you've dropped the kids off at grammy and grampy's house one too many times. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Homosexual-retariat, n. A horse-breeder's nightmare. (Mike Connaghan, Gaithersburg)

Inter-um, n. A word that, like, you know, bridges the gap between phrases in a teenager's sentence. (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

Love-be-walled, n. A chastity belt. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Manag-uum, n. The state in which a worker may temporarily exist with a lack of

supervisory oversight, usu. characterized by surprising surges in productivity. (Dorothy Hickson, Washington)

Missis-be-walled, n. Ross Perot's crazy aunt in the basement. (Jessica Steinhice, Riverdale)

Rat-and-a-half, n. The result of the first primitive attempt at adult mammal cloning. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

Rep-ture, n., archaic. The feeling of having a really good congressman. (Steve Offutt, Arlington)

Retire-tirement, n. Describes the condition of having retired from the job you took after you retired from your government job. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Seis-miliation, n. You guys know what I mean. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Stud-ites, n. Extremely handsome men who shun technology. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Ta-taurant, n. A topless restaurant. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Testicu-time, n. A very short period of time that seems very long, e.g., the time a boxer is allowed to rest after receiving a low blow, the time it takes to go over a really big speed bump, or the 8 seconds the rodeo rider has to stay on the bucking bronco. (David Genser, Vienna)

Third-dergardners, n. Illiterate 9-year-old victims of a deteriorating education system. (Rob Klotz, Olney)

Uncondition-rishioner, n. One who stands by his church, no matter what. (Walter J. Probka, Silver Spring)

Un-quisition, n. A less successful reign of terror whose main weapon was "The Wedgie." (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

Wis-dicator, n. A tiny wet spot on the front of one's trousers. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

Next Week: Tied to be Fit

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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