Week 642: It's Open Season

Ribbled: Amused someone with a dirty joke. " 'The Aristocrats' ribbled
the audience constantly, except the lady who'd thought she'd be seeing a
Merchant Ivory film."

The Empress was alerted recently, by chronic Loser Roy Ashley of
Washington, to Merriamwebster.com's "Open Dictionary," to which anyone
can submit a new word and a definition. Most of the entries so far are
pretty lame; they're often unnecessary variations on existing words, such
as "occupate" to mean "occupy." You -- yes, you personally -- can do much
better: Come up with a brand-new word and its definition. And the word
must begin with O. Oh, okay, O, P, Q, R or S. Make sure that Google is
not already overflowing with uses of your "new" word. It's okay to use an
obscure existing word if your definition has nothing to do wih the real

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First
runner-up gets a colorful dreidel-motif hospital scrub shirt handcrafted
by sometime Loser Marleen May of Rockville, who has to work her nursing
shift tonight, the first night of Hanukkah, because, you know, Jews get
to work on Christmas.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt.
Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational
Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail
tolosers@washpost.comor, if you really have to, by fax to 202-334-4312.
Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 3. Include "Week 642" 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 humor
and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post.
Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published
Jan. 22. 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 Russell Beland of Springfield.

Report From Week 638, in which we asked for ideas for holiday movies or TV specials that would
counter their usual sappy themes:

4 "A Cockroach Christmas": Ernest the bug tries desperately to find a
morsel of food, but the house has been sterilized by the germ-obsessed
lady of the house, and his family can't even celebrate Christmas because
they're getting exterminated. (Sasha Lamb, Washington)

3 "Bill Nye's Physics Phun With Santa": The Science Guy disintegrates the
Santa myth as he uses a blowtorch and a hot dog to demonstrate reindeer
thermodynamics at the speeds needed for Kriss Kringle to stay on
schedule. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

2 The winner of the "Christmas With the Kranks" Advent calendar and the
book "Christmas's Most Wanted":

"Holy Guacamole": When they decide they've seen a miraculously appearing
Nativity scene in a bowl of mashed avocado, the Hernandez family learns
how to make a little extra Christmas green. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

1 And the Winner of the Inker

"Apocalypse Noel": Captain Benjamin Willard dog-sleds deep into Yukon
Territory to assassinate deranged Colonel Nicholas Klaus, who has
appointed himself Santa to a devoted Inuit tribe. (P.H. Stevenson,
Scottsville, Va.)

Honorable Mentions

"Not a Creature Was Stirring": The doors are shut at the soup kitchen on
Christmas Day after no one volunteers to help out. (Marty McCullen,
Gettysburg, Pa.)

"Mr. Potter's Revenge": George Bailey watches as an interstate is built
past Bedford Falls, the industries move out of town, the residents move
to the suburbs, his savings and loan is accused of redlining, and finally
a Wal-Mart is built on the outskirts of town and decimates what remains
of the central business district. (Christopher P. Larsen, Portland, Ore.)

"Christmas in Iraq": Join our troops for the ceremonial lighting of the
Yule detainee. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

"Put It on Lay-Away": This year's hottest toy is the Baby Farts 'n'
Giggles doll, and the biggest toy store in town doesn't have any -- on
the shelves, that is. The manager has plenty in his office, though,
because he knows some moms will do just about anything to get one!
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

"New Year's Zero-Tolerance Eve": Live from Washington! Watch as D.C.
police arrest every driver who's smiling. 0.08% fun! (Jeffrey
Contompasis, Ashburn)

"A Holiday Dirge: The Ghost of Christmas Future" shows Scrooge a band of
zealots insisting on terminology meant to exclude Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
His view of mankind confirmed, Scrooge sends the Cratchit family to
debtors' prison and uses Tiny Tim's crutch for firewood. (Dave Kelsey,

"Axmas, or Shop Till You Drop": A trip to the mall on Christmas Eve
becomes last-minute chopping for this group of teens. (Tom Witte,
Montgomery Village)

"Miracle on 14th Street": A Washington lady, infused with holiday spirit,
bestows some special gifts on visitors from the surrounding suburbs. (Roy
Ashley, Washington; Martin Mould, Springfield)

"Red Nose of Death": Taunting from peers turns North Pole outcast Rudolph
into a psychotic loner obsessed with revenge. (John Johnston, St.
Inigoes, Md.)

"Santa Clausewitz": Santa and his team of reindeer are redeployed to
Iraq. Their platoon gets lost in the fog of war. Unfortunately, Rudolph,
with his nose so bright, makes an excellent target at night. (Cecil J.
Clark, Asheville, N.C.)

"The 87% Solution": Holiday classics improved with having the ending cut
off. The box set includes the Grinch leaving with all the loot; Frosty
melted; and George Bailey ready to jump off the bridge. (Kevin Dopart)

"Terry Schiavo's Animated Christmas Special." Two hours of videotape
showing Terry's delight as her parents dangle ornaments and sing
Christmas classics. Viewers at home are encouraged to sing along and wave
at Terry. (P.H. Stevenson)

"Be the Grinch": Contestants vie to see who can break into the most
houses on Christmas Eve and relieve their victims of presents and
decorations. (Robert Gluck, Herndon)

"The Loneliest Candle": Rejected from Teleflora the week before Christmas
as too limp, a sad candle is rescued from the dumpster by a homeless man,
and achieves blazing glory as the source of a fatal three-alarm fire on
skid row. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

"Kathie Lee Gifford's Desert Island Christmas": Tom Shales gives this
special his highest recommendation, as Kathie Lee is stranded with the
"Survivor" cast and they kill her for meat. (John Johnston)

"The Bipolar Express": A young boy finds that the exhilaration of candy
canes and sugar plums can come crashing down in disappointment and
loneliness. (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

"The Love Yule Never Know": Originally made as a tender, open-minded love
story, but when PBS rejected it the show went to Fox as a no-holds-barred
expos of the relationship between Santa and the third elf from the left.
(Bill Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)

"A Death Row Christmas": It's Christmas Eve, and the men on death row
plan their last meals and share anecdotes about the children they'll
never see again. When words spreads that the governor will pardon one of
them, a fight breaks out; but peace is restored once they realize it's
just another of the warden's holiday pranks. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

"A Michael Brown Christmas": When Charlie's father is put in charge of
the "Peanuts" holiday pageant, he loses the script, ignores the puddles
on the stage, and shows up late for the performance. But what a nice suit
he's wearing! (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.; Joseph Romm, Washington)

"Two Eyes Made Out of Coal": A snowman waits, lonely, despondent, in an
empty field, knowing that a warm front is on the way. (Michelle Stupak,
Ellicott City)

"Elf-B.I.": Agents go undercover at the North Pole to hack into Santa's
naughty/nice database as part of their stepped-up surveillance of the
citizenry. They see you when you're sleeping, they know when you're awake
. . . (Brendan Beary)

"Gift of the Magnificent Seven": Yul Brynner sells his hair to buy a
holster for Robert Vaughn's gun while Robert Vaughn sells his gun to buy
a comb for Yul Brynner. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Next Week: What's the Small Idea? or Too Clever for Worth