Week 545 : Put It in Reverse

week's contest is by Chris Doyle of Forsyth, Mo.

Full Text (1282   words)
Copyright The Washington Post Company Feb 15, 2004

lagelli: a gangster's favorite pasta

Kartma: a third-class railroad

ecnatsid: an annoying insect that you wish were far away from you

eroma: the fragrance of love

After 544 weeks, we can't deny that many, perhaps most Style Invitational contests are in some way variants -- and occasionally out-and-out repeats -- of previous ones from the past decade. But this week's, we are convinced, is utterly new. And not just that: It is also elegantly simple in concept and addictively fun to do. It was suggested by Richard Grantham of Melbourne, Australia, who for some reason chose to move from the way better-named Indooroopilly. Richard is a word wizard with his own contest site that we will celebrate and publicize as soon as we figure out the best way to rip it off. He wins a souvenir bust of President Bush, provided he comes to our office to pick it up.

This Week's Contest: Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. The Empress expects to be inundated with thousands of entries, so strive for originality and really clever wording.

First-prize winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational Trophy. First runner-up wins a cross-section model of the human ear, including a eustachian tube clogged with "Infection, Inflammation and Edema." Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted- after new Style Invitational Magnets, which you might not want to stick on your computer. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries via fax to 202-334-4312 or by e-mail to Snail-mail entries are not accepted. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 23. Put the week number in the subject line of your e-mail, or you risk being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published March 14. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Chris Doyle of Forsyth, Mo.

Report from Week 541, in which you supplied scenarios in which someone yakking on his cell phone instead of responding to the person addressing him would get what he deserved:

{diam}Fourth runner-up: Homeowner talking to landscaping contractor while attending the State of the Union address: "I want to get rid of the entire hill -- but first things first, I want to take out all the bushes." (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

{diam}Third runner-up: Doctor : "That was a terrible blow your face took. How's your nose doing?"

Yakker to union shop steward: "I can't picket anymore since I went into the hospital because of that scab. Can someone picket for me?" (Bill Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)

{diam}Second runner-up: Waiter at a Chinese restaurant: "May I take your order?"

Yakking veterinarian: "Yes, your cat will be fine. Just make sure that it's warm and the shoulder doesn't get too tender." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

{diam}First runner-up, the winner of the shot glass with the coat of arms of the "U.S. Navel

Academy, Annapolis": Flight attendant: "Now boarding for Los Angeles."

TV exec yakking to a colleague about a planned sitcom:

"Hi, Jack? Look, we've got a real bomb here -- let's go ahead and kill the pilot."

(Jonathan Kaye, Washington)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: Florist: "This bouquet will really cheer up your girlfriend in the hospital. What would you like to say on the card?"

Yakker, with bad reception: "Yo. We're breaking up. I have GOT to find a better

service provider." (Erika Reinfeld, Somerville, Mass.)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Surgeon: "Now, the implants are available in various sizes . . ."

Yakker to wedding dress designer: "Just brushing the floor would be perfect." (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

Campaign fundraising official: "How much can you contribute?"

Yakker selecting a pepper grinder on his niece's wedding registry at Crate & Barrel: "Put me down for a mill."

(Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Talent agent during a routine traffic stop: "Trust me, I've got the perfect heroine. Of course, you're going to have to pay something extra."

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

Hot chick at bar: "So would you like to take me home?"

Yakker talking about his first time piloting the family sailboat: "I'm really excited about this, but I'm gonna have my dad watch the whole time so I don't mess up too much. I want him to bring his video camera so he can go over in detail later what I was doing wrong." (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Reporter: "So what do you think of Lieberman for president?"

Yakker, speaking to his wife who is at the grocery store: "Forget it -- we don't need any more juice!"

(Erica Rabbin, College Park)

Car salesman: "Well, in addition to the DVD, the GPS and satellite radio, options include heated seats, spoiler kit, built- in cell phone, chrome wheels . . ."

Yakker to Girl Scout: "You sweet dear -- I'll just take one of everything you've got. Just charge me and drop it off at my house." (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)

Co-worker: "My kid is swimming in a pool fundraiser this weekend. Would you like to sponsor him?"

Yakker negotiating with an entertainment agency for a stag party: "Okay, how about 50 bucks a lap?"

(Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Auctioneer: "Bidding for the 2,000-year-old Aramean chalice, believed to be the Holy Grail, now stands at $3.45 million. Are there any other offers? Going once, going twice . . ."

Yakker to chiropractor: "Well, I'm raising my right hand directly toward the ceiling and shaking it vigorously, and it still doesn't feel any better."

(Peter Levitan, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)

Obstetrician: "Mrs. Jones, would you like to try to deliver naturally or opt for the Caesarean?"

Yakker to her mechanic about an

engine overhaul: "You just go ahead and yank that thing out of there. It's been tapping and rattling and

sometimes I even see smoke coming out of my rear end."

(Judith Cottrill, New York)

Urologist: "Please turn your head and cough while I check this out."

Yakker to wife about problems with

cable company: "Hell, you can cut the damn thing off, for all I care -- it's not like we're using it all that much."

(Michael Levy, Silver Spring)

General: "What should we do with the new suspect?"

John Ashcroft yakking to his wife about their new puppy: "Hit him with a rolled-up newspaper and then put his nose in his poop."

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Police officer: "Have you been

drinking, sir?"

Yakker to plumber about leaky toilet: "I'd say, oh, about a quart every hour or so." (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Cop: "License and registration, please, ma'am."

Yakker to mechanic: "I know you

people try to rip me off just because I'm a woman. But my husband told me it shouldn't cost a penny more than a hundred dollars to get something like this fixed."

(Tom Kreitzberg, Silver Spring)

Cashier: "Debit or credit?"

Customer to home heating repairman: "Just clean out that register and dump everything in the bag."

(Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

Teacher at parent-teacher conference: "Billy is having trouble with bullies."

Father to lawyer about his upcoming case: "Well, you just make sure his hands are tied. He needs to take it

lying down!" (Emily Conron, Alexandria)

Michael Jackson in court, discussing the ears of corn and steamed crabs he wants for his victory cookout, and the jet he's chartering afterward: "I want them fresh . . . all males, gotta be all males . . . and Virgin, definitely


(Russell Beland, Springfield)

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