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The Stool Invitational

Week 281: Calculate the Odds
Sunday, August 2, 1998



illustration
(Bob Staake)

This Week's Contest: In each horizontal row, tell us which item does not belong with the other two, and why. First-prize winner gets a handsome rubber spaghetti-and-meatball popsicle ("Spaghetti en la Sticko"), generously donated to The Style Invitational by Washington Post film critic Rita Kempley, who got it as a freebie from producers of the cheeseball movie "Mafia!" Corporations think that by giving us trinkets, they can prevent us from savaging them in print. This is ludicrous, of course. We cannot be bought off with trinkets. (Except, perhaps, by Ronnie Mervis, whom we will call "The Beast of Johannesberg" until such time as he gives us reason to reconsider, if you get our drift.)

First runner-up gets the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser 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 281, 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: losers@washpost.com. Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Also, please do not append "attachments," which tend not to be read. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Aug. 10. Important: Please include your postal 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. Today's Headline No One Notices was written by Jennifer Hart of Arlington, based upon a concept by James D. Lyman of Kensington. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.


Report from week 278:

  • Fifth Runner-Up: Foreploy: any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

  • Fourth Runner-Up: Fortissimoe: the musical moment produced when someone serially slaps the faces of the first-violin section. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

  • Third Runner-Up: Tatyr: a lecherous Mr. Potato Head. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

  • Second Runner-Up: Doltergeist: a spirit that decides to haunt someplace stupid, such as your septic tank. (David Genser, Arlington)

  • First Runner-Up: Giraffiti: vandalism spray-painted very, very high, such as the famous "Surrender Dorothy" on the Beltway overpass. (Robin D. Grove, Arlington)

  • And the winner of the two-foot-high baby bottle:

    Sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and

    the recipient who doesn't get it. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

  • Honorable Mentions:

    Necronancy: communication with the late Ernie Bushmiller. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

    Contratemps: the resentment permanent workers feel toward the fill-in workers.

    (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

    Coiterie: a very very close-knit group.

    (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

    Whitetater: a political hot potato.

    (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

    Impotience: eager anticipation by men awaiting their Viagra prescription. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

    Elepants: too-tight jeans on broad-beamed people. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

    Lollapalooka: someone who has taken one too many turns in the mosh pit. (Philip Delduke, Bethesda)

    Auto-da-feh: the extermination of heretics via drowning in a vat of pus. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

    Stupfather: Woody Allen. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    Reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    DIOS: the one true operating system.

    (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    Inoculatte: to take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

    Thripp: a bug. (Bee Perrin, Washington)

    Hipatitis: terminal coolness. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    Writer's tramp: a woman who practices poetic licentiousness. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

    Goodzilla: a giant lizard that puts out forest fires by stamping on them. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

    Taterfamilias: the head of the Potato Head family. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

    Guillozine: a magazine for executioners.

    (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

    Osteopornosis: a degenerate disease.

    (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

    Adulatery: cheating on one's wife with a much younger woman who holds you in awe.

    (Joseph Romm, Washington)

    Suckotash: a dish consisting of corn, lima beans and tofu. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

    Emasculathe: a tool for castration.

    (Steve Fahey, Kensington)

    Sata: a mythical being who brings toys to bad children. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    Burglesque: a poorly planned break-in.

    (See: Watergate) (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

    Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like a serious bummer. (Meg Sullivan, Potomac)

    Genitaliar: an image-enhancing object that can be carried in a man's front pocket.

    (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

    Glibido: all talk and no action. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

    Antifun gal: a prude. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

    Vaseball: a game of catch played by children in the living room. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

    Eunouch: the pain of castration.

    (Jonathan Paul, Garrett park)

    Hindkerchief: really expensive toilet paper; toilet paper at Buckingham Palace.

    (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

    Deifenestration: to throw all talk of God out the window. (Paul Kondis, Alexandria)

    Hozone: the area around 14th Street.

    (Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)

    Acme: a generic skin disease. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

    Dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

    Hindprint: indentation made by a couch potato. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

    Intaxication: euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. (Greg Oetjen, Lorton)

    Newtspaper: the Washington Times. (Fil Feit, Annandale)

    Nazigator: an overbearing member of your carpool. (Elizabeth Monte, Fairfax)

    Synapple: a perfect beverage to accompany brain food. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

    Socceur: the proper spelling of the sport for the next four years, alas. (Kevin Eade, Columbia)

  • And Lust: an unseemly craving for this position in the column. (Dave Zarrow, Herndon)

    Next Week: Treacle-Down Theory

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