Style Invitational Week 1068: An iffy proposition; plus the ‘X-and-Y’

By Pat Myers
Published: April 17

*Report from Week 1065: Pun and suffering: In Week 1065, we asked you to “slightly alter” some well-known phrase of the form “X-and-Y” and define the result.

Some Losers had a novel idea
of “slightly,” analogous to “it is slightly uncomfortable when a bull
elephant walks atop your sandaled foot”: One entry “slightly” altered
“bells and whistles” to “Bill and apostles”; another came up with
“Juan’s Am-Feral” from — but of course — “once and for all.”

*The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial: *

*Skull and void:* Louie Gohmert’s X-ray. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

*2nd place, winner of the Pig Jax
pig-shaped jacks and the Gummi-type
chicken feet: *

*The agony and the XYZ:* Losing at Scrabble because you can’t get rid of
those dang high-value consonants. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*3rd place: *

*Hearse and baggie: *Super economy package at the funeral home. (Larry
Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)

*4th place:*

*Comings and gorings: *The Pamploma Tourist Guide (Stuart Rogers,
Toronto, in his first inking entry, though he once suggested a contest)

*Losers and whiners: honorable mentions*

*Low and Behold:* A great name for a colonoscopy clinic. (Dudley
Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

*Staff and nonsense: *Truth in advertising for a typical management
retreat. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

*Dilbert & Sullivan:* “I am the very model of the modern micromanager .
. .” (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

*Police and tank queue:* A less than polite visit from Russia to Crimea.
(Chris Doyle)

*Hugh and bye:* Experience of many a Playmate at the mansion. (Roy
Ashley, Washington)

*Love and mirage:* The difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.
(Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

*Shave and a pair cut:* Vet slang for a neutering. (Jeff Rhody,
Clarksville, Md. an actual vet)

*Froot Loops and fancy fee: *Breakfast at Tiffany’s? (Beverley Sharp)

*The pound and the fury:* The PETA principle. (Nan Reiner)

*Quit and canoodle: *Two popular options for politicians, not
necessarily in that order. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

*Oops and downs:* A recap of last year’s Redskins season. (Jeff Covel,
Arlington, Va.)

*Hiss and ride: *Snakes on a train! (Mary Shawhan, Silver Spring, Md., a
First Offender)

*Floss some and jet some:* Extra-effective dental hygiene. (Syd
McPherson, Woodbridge, Va.)

*Lard & Taylor:* The story of Liz’s most enduring relationship. (Larry

*Clown and out:* Result of a victory dance /before/ touching home plate.
(Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

*Hot and brothered:* The cute girl in high school you date at your own
risk. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

*Do ’em and glue ’em: *Slogan of a hairstyling/toupee salon. (Ray
Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)

*Pen and teller: *Two items that magically disappear when you are in a
hurry to cash a check. (Syd McPherson)

*Seize and de-cyst:* A seriously misguided method to treat sufferers of
the black plague. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

*C’s and D’s-ist:* Tutor for students who want to graduate with the
absolutely minimum effort. (Perry Beider, Silver Spring, Md.)

*Sleaze and D-list:* Your guide to the D.C. ballot. (Nan Reiner)

*[sic] and tired:* How copy editors feel on encountering yet another
mistake-filled draft. (Christopher Lamora, Los Angeles)

*Pickin’ Jews:* Borscht Belt Bluegrass. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.).

*Cursed and foremost:* Obamacare, to Republicans. (Howard Walderman,
Columbia, Md.)

*Smurf and turf:* A real Blue Plate Special! (Monrah Hammond, Falls
Church, Va., a First Offender)

*Frown and serve: *At last, dinner rolls the way Mom made them. (Frank

*Full and compete stop: *What begins the mad dash to retrieve overhead
bags and be first to stand in the aisle for 10 minutes while the flight
crew “prepares the doors.” (Bob Brown, Alexandria, Va., a First Offender)

*TED and buried:* A controversy is put to rest by a persuasive slide
presentation. (John Conti, Norfolk, Mass.)

*Stand and re-liver:* The lab exam in Organ Transplantation Techniques.
(Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)

*Expand and deliver: *Steps 2 and 3 in “Pregnancy for Dummies.” (Doug
Hamilton, College Park, Md.)

*Cute and dried: *Fluffy, after a visit to the taxidermist. (Beverley

*Belles and missiles: *The makings of a porn movie. (Tom Witte,
Montgomery Village, Md.)

*Wood, and plenty:* All a man needs to have one nightstand. (Danielle
Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

*Five and rhyme:* The minimum requirements that disqualify half the
entries to Style Invitational limerick contests. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*Thanks and beans:* What you get for writing for the Empress. (Danielle

*Still running — deadline Monday night: our contest to alter a quote and
attribute it to some -one else. See


*If I were commissioner of baseball, my first act would be to require
that all teams’ Opening Day games had to be played at home.*

*If I were Pharaoh, my first act would be to tell the royal
hieroglyphics painter to stop portraying everyone in profile. For one
thing, I have a very fetching smile. *

While 203-time Loser Christopher Lamora has a pretty big-shot job
heading up the L.A. passport office for the State Department (following
a globe-trotting diplomatic career), he, like all of us, sometimes
yearns wistfully for just a little chance to issue an imperious edict or
two. (Except for the Empress, of course, who’s, hey, the Empress.) So,
in a pretty wide-ranging contest: *This week: Suggest some humorous
action that you would take if you were in someone’s position, more or
less in the form “If I were ____ my first act would be ___,”* as in
Christopher’s examples above. The wording could vary slightly; if a
slightly different form yields a funnier sentence, go for it. Be
concise; don’t write a long paragraph.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives — also from Christopher — a little
tchotchke (actually, a fairly sizable tchotchke) he found at a flea
market or something: It’s a round container — perhaps a toilet paper
cozy? — made of coils of white tissue paper to simulate the body of some
small mammal (we guess a puppy) and topped with a ball of the same paper
but with eyes, nose and mouth glued on (plus coils for ears and feet
and, why not, a pink hair ribbon). To add insult (because that’s what we
do), the “neck” of the cozy has lost some of its shape, causing the
head-ball to perch precariously over the tissue paper abyss. We value
this prize at $98.27.

*Other runners-up *win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug
or the ardently
desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag.
mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate

or Puns of Steel.
Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). E-mail entries to /
/ or, if you were born in the 19th century,
fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, April 28; results published May
18 (online May 15). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week.
Include “Week 1068” 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
. This week’s honorable-mentions subhead was
submitted separately by Mike Ostapiej and Jeff Shirley; the “Report from
Week 1065” subhead is by Nan Reiner. Join the lively Style Invitational
Devotees group on Facebook at /
,/ and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of
the Day at / /

*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 .

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