The Style Invitational
Week 317: Pick Us a Winner
Sunday, April 11, 1999
A contest to come up with a new name for backward somersaults.
A contest to come up with a name for a new exercise machine that rubs out fat behinds.
A contest to come up with a suitable stage name for a fat female vocalist who sings only to cello accompaniment.
A contest to come up with an obvious yet appropriate nickname for Slobodan Milosevic:
This week's contest was suggested by Richard C. Henry of Colesville, who wins a package of Australian kangaroo jerky. Richard hypothesizes (correctly) that The Czar must constantly reject certain contest ideas because he realizes there will be only one good entry, and everything else would pale by comparison, as in the examples above. Your challenge is to come up with similarly flawed contest ideas, and the single, obvious, too-good-to-beat entry. First-prize winner gets one of the greatest prizes ever, a plastic-wrapped, unopened vintage four-color cardboard 1950s souvenir from Ausable Chasm, N.Y. It is intended to be hung on the door of a bathroom or outhouse. By positioning a spinning pointer appropriately, one can alert the next user to the condition of the air within. ("Enter at your own risk," etc.) Attached is a leatherbound register in which visitors can leave their names. Curiously, this item carries the title: "Chick Sales Barometer." We have yet to decipher the meaning of this, and welcome any pertinent information. This item is worth $100.
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 317, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; fax them to 202-334-4312; or submit them via e-mail to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail 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, April 19. 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 Promo No One Needs was written by Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park. Employees of The Washington Post and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes.
Report from Week 314, in which you were asked to take a name and create a progression of names, words or phrases leading to a final, appropriate name. Each item in the progression must be either a definition of, or a homophone of, the previous item. Fully four-fifths of the 3,000 entries were eliminated because they did not follow the rules: You tried to create linkages merely by simple associations ("JFK" cannot be followed by "Marilyn Monroe") and you interpreted homophones wayyyy too liberally (Sorry, but "Roberto Benigni" is not remotely a homophone for "Nadia Comenici"). For the purposes of this contest, homophones must really sound alike, with just minor variations in inflection, or the substitution of a single consonant; ideally, they should evidence some spirit of linguistic adventure. We are getting very specific here because we are going to do this contest again, and want you forewarned. Also, because there weren't all that many good entries, and we need to fill space.
Fourth Runner-Up: Seinfeld / series / Ceres / cereal / wheat / farm oats / farm oafs / bumpkins / bupkis / nothing. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)
Third Runner-Up: Elia Kazan / Oscar winner / Oscar Mayer wiener / schnitzel / snitch.
(L. Rosa, Miami)
Second Runner-Up: Milstein / millstone / weight / wait / wait / wait / wait / bide / bite / chomp / chump. (Dave Pickering, Bowie; Peter J. Hughes, Alexandria)
First Runner-Up: Stallone / Sly Stone / nostalgia novelty / yo-yo / "Yo."
(Sue Lin Chong, Washington)
And the winner of the William Donald Schaefer plate:
Monica / monocle / ridiculous spectacle. (Elisa Nichols, Kensington)u Honorable Mentions:
Larry King / marry king / queen / gay / cheery / weary / sick of it / sycophant.
(Jim Thelen, W. Nyack, N.Y.)
Stephanopoulos / Snuffleuppagus / imaginary friend. (T.J. Murphy, Arlington; Jim Thelen, W. Nyack, N.Y.; Oliver Turner, Middleburg)
Tinky Winky / gay character / DeGeneres / generous / charitable / good / all well / Falwell.
(T.J. Murphy, Arlington)
Roberto Benigni / rob Autobahn mini / grab German Acura / stab German actor / Harm Oskar Werner / Ham Oscar winner.
(Steve Fahey, Kensington)
Dole / pineapple producer / Hawaii / honeymoon destination / Niagara / Viagra.
(Art Grinath, Takoma Park)
Monica / mistress / mistrust / deceit / de-seat / impeach. (Kelli Midgely-Biggs, Columbia)
Elia Kazan / Oscar winner / Unforgiven.
(David Genser, Arlington)
Herve / heavy / levy / tax / strain / strand /maroon / moron / idiot / idjit / midget.
(Mike Elliott, Oberlin, Ohio)
Parton / Dolly / cart / car / wheels / wails / howls / owls / hooters. (Chris Doyle, Burke)
Slobodan Milosevic / Showboat and mean low savage / Michael Jordan, Adolf Hitler / Ball king, putscher / Balkan butcher.
(Steve Fahey, Kensington)
Elton / skeleton / bones / Bones /Dr. Leonard McCoy / rocket man.
(Elaine Pollard, Centreville)
Paltrow / plateau / Pluto / heavenly body.
(Susan Reese, Arlington)
Quayle / quail / bird / birdie / sub-par.
(Ed Shakin, Potomac)
Tripp / trip / voyage / voyeur.
(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
u Rookie of the Week:
Elvis / elves / Santa's helpers / stocking stuffers /goodies / Gouda / Big Cheese / King.
(Michael Biggs, 11, Columbia)
u And Last:
Czar / Russian / rushin' / too fast / to fast / Lent /a loan / alone / solitude / squalid dude / Loser
(Stephen Dudzik, Silver Spring)
Next Week: Fermenting Trouble
© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company