Week 732: The Chain Gang

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mary Ann Madden, Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker, Tinky-Winky, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton, Isis, King Tut, Steve Martin, Mary Martin, J.R. Ewing, Stella Dallas, Stanley Kowalski, Dr. Livingstone, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach, W.A. Mozart, Figaro, Red Barber, Mel Allen, Gracie Mansion, New York, Mary Ann Madden.

The above chain of 25 names, composed by Style Invitational Hall of Famer Chris Doyle, was the winning entry for an Invitational contest seven years ago. (That chain begins and ends with the name of the editor of the erstwhile New York Magazine Competition, the long-running inspiration for the rather less refined feature that currently looms before your eyeballs.) This week: Supply a chain of 25 names as in the example above -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "George W. Bush." As in the example, the links can be based on a connection with the names, or on some relationship between the two elements. The trick is to make the links clever, original and imaginative, but not impossibly obscure.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a half-dozen of the deluxe Sigmund Freud Head lollipop pictured here, donated (unsucked on) by Loser Mark Eckenwiler of Washington.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions (or whatever they're called that week) get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 1. Put "Week 732" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks 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 Oct. 20. 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 Roy Ashley. This week's Honorable Mentions name is by -- ta-da! -- Chris Doyle.

Report From Week 728

in which we asked you to make up words containing, contiguously, the letters A, S, T and R, in any order: Most commonly submitted entry: "Astronut: Lisa Nowak." Best example of how not to tell a joke: "Astrograph: Autograph from a Houston Astro."

4. First-Rationalizer: Unofficial title of the White House press secretary. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

3. E-fenestration: tossing out your old version of Windows. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

2. the winner of the dinosaur poop fossil: Retrash: To have a yard sale to get rid of all the junk you picked up at other people's yard sales. (Dot Yufer, Newton, W.Va.)

And the Winner Of the Inker

Oughtacrats: People who have half a mind to solve all the world's problems with their brilliant ideas, one of these days . . . (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

The STRA-gglers

Overstraightment: I am not gay. I never have been gay. The men I have sex with are not gay either. (Chris Doyle, Kihei, Hawaii)

Dorkestra: A kazoo ensemble. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Drivertashk: A DUI test. "See, offisher, I can touch my noezh! Gimme another drivertashk, like balanshing on the light wine!" (Randy Lee, Burke)

Arstistic: Able to make creative butt-pictures on the photocopier. (Stacey Kenkeremath, Alexandria)

Reprocrastinate: Put off having children. (Dan and Suzanne Colilla, Pittsburgh)

I-strain: What egotists give others. (Tom Witte)

B'arstool: What's left after a grizzly sits in the woods. (Chris Doyle)

Aversatile: Repelled by anything. (Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

Starjones: A huge celestial body that loses two-thirds of its mass and disappears from "View." (Rick Wood, Falls Church)

Understarved: Obese. (Kevin Dopart)

E-tasr: The cyber equivalent of a poison-pen letter. (Patrick Mattimore, San Francisco)

Brat's-Mitzvah: An opulent party thrown by over-indulgent parents. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Camper-trash: Those aspiring to become trailer-trash. (Dot Yufer)

Dogastrophe: What the Atlanta Falcons suffered. (Dan Gordon, Arlington)

Airsatz: What we breathe inside planes. (Chris Doyle)

Tsartisfaction: What the Bolsheviks didn't get no of. (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church)

Earstool: Nasty wax buildup. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Tapperstance: Position on the throne marked by widely spread legs, noisy feet and, perhaps, crossed fingers. (Tom Savonick, Milford, N.J.)

Bra-stapler: "Order this fine chastity belt in the next 30 minutes and receive, for no extra charge . . ." (Dot Yufer)

Eweparts: What support ramparts. (Tom Witte)

Fantastrick: A guy who's so skilled that he gets one on the house. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

Flotsram: Your three previous computers that are still in your basement. (Dan Colilla)

OnSartre: A navigation system that provides no route and sees no exit. (Ellen Raphaeli)

Ickstras: Background freaks in a Fellini film. (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

Tarsupial: Roadkill possum. (Chris Rollins, Cumberland, Md.; Tom Lacombe, Browntown, Va.)

Pornstarch: Viagra. (Russ Taylor, Vienna)

Precrastination: Waiting till tomorrow to decide to put things off. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

Teetertatarstan: A politically unstable Russian republic. (Chris Doyle)

S-ration: The Army finally renames the MRE for what it tastes like. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

Seat-sardine: The person on a plane between two fat guys. (Pam Sweeney, Germantown)

Carstrati: Police on Segways. (Ellen Raphaeli)

Starmina: A measurement of one's ability to stay in the news for months without doing anything remotely interesting. (Laurie Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)

Strategicalifragilistic: The greatest plan you ever heard and this is how it goes . . . -- G.W.B., Washington (Russell Beland)

Straddlesore : Said of a politician who grows weary of having to pander to every view. (John Shea, Lansdowne, Pa.)

Ultra-sedate: Dead. (Kevin Dopart)

Untrashy: What Britney ain't. (Tom Witte)

And Last: Trashure: Style Invitational prizes. (Ellen Raphaeli)

Next Week: Otherwordly Visions, or Reading Between the Lies

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