(Click here to skip down to the winners of our Week 1094 Tour de Fours neologism contest, featuring the letter block T-A-X-I)
Review for a box of Morton’s Iodized Salt:
This product works great for killing the slugs in my garden. I just roll the cylinder between the rows and it smushes them really good. Please send me the next size up so I can deal with the gophers. — David Genser, Week 960
A couple of years ago, the Empress capitalized on the thousands of “product reviews” — most of them would have been printed in Sarcasm Font had that typeface been available — that people had posted on Amazon.com for some of the literally millions of items available through Amazon’s portal. The review above got ink in our early 2012 contest in which the E solicited reviews for any of five boring everyday products.
Not only did Week 960 yield some zingy paeans to emery boards and dish cloths, but we’ve concluded that the contest also must have caught the attention of Amazon’s chairman and CEO — and that The Style Invitational must have so utterly beguiled him that he decided he wanted a Washington Post of his very own.
So now that it’s all in the family, let’s give it another go. This week: Send us a creative “review” for any of the items below that are listed on Amazon.com, mostly through third-party sellers. The reviews must not be harmful to the manufacturer or seller. Feel free to post the reviews on Amazon itself, but not until we post the results online Dec. 11. While some reviews on Amazon run hundreds of words, we’re looking for much shorter entries; 75 words would be lengthy for us. Search on Amazon.com with the exact words below, or click on the links, to find the product to “review.”
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a solar dancing turkey, or at least a bobbing turkey, donated by Jeffrey P. Bezos of the Seattle area. (Indirectly, anyway.) Watch it “dance” here.
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet in one of our two new Bob Staake designs: either “The Wit Hit the Fan” or “Hardly Har-Har.” First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to email@example.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 24; results published Dec. 14 (online Dec. 11). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest. Include “Week 1098” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. This week’s headline for the results is by Mark Raffman; the honorable-mentions subhead is by Danielle Nowlin. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev, and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of the Day at bit.ly/inkofday.
The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
In honor of the 11th running of our Tour de Fours neologism contest, the four-letter block included “XI.” And the challenge was to make up a term incorporating the letter block T-A-X-I, in any order. So of course there were lots of entries on taxes and taxis, but with, as always, cleverly varying approaches.
Prophylaxity: The way to unplanned parenthood. (Ann Martin, Falls Church, Va.)
and the Bubble Geezer machine:
A_XI_TY: The consuming fear that you’re about to blow it on “Wheel of Fortune.” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Imaxative: That gut-wrenching 3-D scene where the camera appears to go over the waterfall or off the cliff. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
Punxatini: Special Groundhog Day cocktail made with ice-cold gin and a touch of furmouth. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Taxidormy: The unspoken dream of many a college student toward an annoying roommate. (Christopher Lamora, Los Angeles)
Taxiti: Offshore paradise where the rich hide their bank accounts. (Jim Stiles, Rockville, Md.)
Flixtank: To go straight to DVD. “Who would have thought ‘Edison Force,’ with both Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman, would flixtank?” (Chris Doyle)
Taxilax: What the government uses to clean you out. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Mexitacky: Restaurant decor featuring cactuses, pinatas, and chihuahuas in sombreros. (Kathleen DeBold, Burtonsville, Md.)
Intaxication: The giddy feeling Democrats get when they think of all the social ills they can solve by raising the tax on liquor. (Steve Glomb, Alexandria, Va.)
Xi attack: Getting the most Scrabble points with the shortest word possible. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
Aspixiate: To smother with cloying cuteness. “That ‘My Little Pony’ special aspixiated me in five minutes flat.” (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
Taxticles: What the IRS comes for when you’re out of arms and legs. (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)
Earwax-Tip: This product was a marketing failure until someone thought of a more appealing name. (Not that it should ever be used for that purpose, of course.) (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Natxiety: Familiar feeling of dread among D.C. baseball fans in the ninth inning of a close game. (Mark Raffman)
Shtixa: Non-Jewish female comic. Many people don’t realize that Tina Fey is a shtixa. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Va.)
Asphinxiate: To stop breathing because your nose fell off. (Jeff Shirley)
Twixathon: The day after Halloween. (Mark Raffman)
Zitax: The toll exacted on teenagers for their existence. (Wendy Sparks, Rockville, Md., a First Offender)
Cat-o’-IX-tails: Used to give the IIIrd degree; outlawed by the VIIIth Amendment. (Alex Heppenheimer, New York)
Extail: Divorce with benefits. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Mannexation: What the “other woman” is guilty of. (Tom Witte)
Christmasphyxiation: Every year, it seems to strangle its victims earlier and earlier. (Frank Mann, Washington)
Betwixt-air: A very polite term for a fart. (Tom Witte)
Exitation: The feeling that surges through FedEx Field during many a fourth quarter. (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.)
Spandexitation: Girdle-off euphoria. (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church, Va.)
Exitañata: The person who leaves a gathering and then gets bashed by everyone else: Henry was the exitañata of the party — as soon as he walked out the door, we all started talking about his hairpiece. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Plaxity: Poor dental hygiene. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
Luxative: White-truffle and beluga Metamucil. (Gary Crockett)
Foxating: Binge-watching Megyn Kelly, Ainsley Earhardt, etc., just for the news and analysis, mind you. (Mike Gips; Frank Mann)
Taxigermy: One reason to switch to Zipcar. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
Dexitasse: Espresso with a shot of amphetamines. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Axit/Taxit: The usual Republican-Democratic “debate” in Congress. (Robert Gerstl, Silver Spring, Md., a First Offender; Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
Taxidermatology: The surgical science of making a person look like a mannequin; see “Joan Rivers,” “Renee Zellweger” (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
Lunatix: Stadium seats being scalped for so much you’d have to be insane to even consider— oooh, they’re on the 50-yard line! (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
ITAXU: Gov. O’Malley’s license plate. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
Dyslexiat: A new political class whose motto is “Workers of the world, untie!” (Frank Osen)
Trix tartare: Chilly rabbit. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Axtion figure: A Lizzie Borden doll. (Kevin Dopart)
Extiara: A beauty pageant has-been: “Dodie was Miss Disposable Diaper of 2012, but now she’s lucky to get some extiara work on daytime cable.” (Frank Osen)
Syntaxic: Having poisonously bad language skills: “Our syntaxic translator declared that the vice president desired to have warm relations with the Iranian delegation on the table right now. (Frank Osen)
Raxtiles: Fabrics used to make bras. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Nixathon: The Empress’s weekly slog through the entries. (Chris Doyle)
Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest to “clarify” some advice in a horoscope. See bit.ly/invite1097.
Next week’s results: TankaWanka, or Hai-Fives, our contest for current-events poems in the five-line tanka form (like a haiku with two extra lines) but including a rhyme. See bit.ly/invite1095. (Alternative headline by Mae Scanlan)