Style Invitational Week 1079: Little riddle rhymes; and the winning car

Cyclops eyedrops, of course. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers 'Style Invitational Week 1079: Little riddle rhymes; and the winning car
July 3 at 2:44 PM

*Q. What medication can last twice as long?
A. Cyclops eyedrops. *(Sue Lin Chong)

*Q. I was in a coma — how did “Survivor” turn out, anyway?
A. Shrewd rude nude dude out-IQ’d multitude. *(David Genser)

*Q. What do users of Viagra hope for?
Never-fail-ya genitalia.* (Sue Lin Chong)

It doesn’t SAY it’s Martha Stewart as the salt shaker, attached via
magnet to Puppy Pepper; the set is this week’s second prize. (Pat Myers)

Given the multitudinous lists of rules for some recent contests, this
week’s couldn’t be simpler: It’s one that we’ve done just once before
(in this form, anyway), 14 years ago in Week 365. *This week: Ask a
question and answer it with a rhyme,* as in the examples above from
2000. You may rhyme more than two words, but they all have to be the
same rhyme. Loser Matt Monitto says his family used to play a similar
game called Inky Pinky, but we’re guessing that Matt’s family didn’t use
the edgy, sometimes highbrow, often topical rhymes that tend to get
Invite ink (and did so last time). You can see all the Week 365 winners
at (scroll down past that
week’s new contest).

Note that while the Empress has her standards on what counts as a rhyme
— we’re using the classic “perfect rhymes” — she will do her best to
accept that not everyone pronounces vowels the way they’re spoken in her
native Philadelphia, that “berry” and “marry” more or less rhyme in less
enlightened dialects, for example. And today’s headline? While the /tt/
and /dd/ of “little” and “riddle” are pronounced very differently in
Britain, in American English the /tt/ in “little” is what’s called the
“American flap” — closer
to a D than a T — and close enough for us.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives a fabulous addition to any formal dinner
table: a set of little ceramic salt and pepper shakers, of a lady and a
dog; there’s a
tiny magnet on the muzzle of the dog, and another on the backside of the
lady. Donated by 243-time Loser Dave Prevar.

*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, July 14; results published Aug.
3 (online July 31). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest.
Include “Week 1079” 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 is by
Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results” line
was sent by both Nan Reiner and Tom Witte. 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 .

The latest in our series of totally bogus trivia, this time about motor
vehicles, roads, stuff like that.

The Empress loves that old joke: In
Texas you can drive across your ranch all day without reaching the
boundary lines. . . . Vermonters have cars like that, too. But she
wasn’t so thrilled to see it sent to a contest for original humor. There
might be other retreads in here as well; if you see one, just enjoy the
ride, okay?

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

Rather than producing an undignified beep when a driver neglects to
fasten his seat belt, a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow emits the sound of a
discreetly clearing throat. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

2nd place and “Heads of State,” a book of memorabilia featuring
presidents’ crania:

So far, the Google self-driving car has passed its driving test only in
Florida. (Martin Bancroft, Bellevue, Wash.)

3rd place

The name of Erik Prndl, inventor of the automatic transmission, is
displayed on most cars’ dashboards. (Edward Gordon, Austin; Jeff
Shirley, Richmond)

4th place

To build its Garden State Parkway, the State of New Jersey paved over
351 gardens and 79 parks. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Faux on the floor: honorable mentions

Factory-applied stain-proofing chemicals inadvertently cause car seat
cushions to retain human flatulence for up to three weeks. This is why
dogs prefer to ride with their heads out the window. (Kathleen DeBold,
Burtonsville, Md.)

GM nearly sold off the Chevrolet brand because “it sounds too French.”
(Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)

The voice actress for the Garmin GPS made a guest appearance as an extra
in the third season of “Lost.” (David Friedman, Arlington, Va.)

It is well known that Pierre L’Enfant designed the layout of the streets
of Washington, D.C., but few know that he was assisted by the Marquis de
Sade. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

West Virginia politicians are considering subsidies for coal-powered
SUVs. (Ken Gallant; Peter Siegwald, Lauzerte, France)

“Tom and Ray,” the hosts of public radio’s “Car Talk,” are actually one
person who does two slightly different voices. He knows little about
cars but was an early adopter of Google. (Robert Schechter)

The grille of the Ford Edsel was designed by Georgia O’Keeffe. (Mark

In Florida, residents over age 80 must renew their driver’s licenses
every 10 years or 2,000 miles, whichever comes first. (Jeff Covel,
Arlington, Va.)

The state of Massachusetts hired New England Patriots Coach Bill
Belichick as a consultant to help train DMV employees how not to smile.
(Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)

Used-car dealers in Cuba are using American TV ads from the 1950s to
promote their inventory. (Mark Raffman)

When shown a yellow light, 9 out of 10 test mice preferred the gas pedal
to the brake pedal. (Jeff Covel)

By 2018 in California, all new cars will be fitted with a computer chip
that detects if the vehicle is speeding, and then automatically deducts
the fine from the driver’s bank account. (Robert Schechter)

After intense lobbying by child safety groups about the dangers of prom
night, Maryland now requires all limo passengers 18 and younger to wear
safety harnesses — called “feet belts” — when standing in an open
sunroof, waving their arms and yelling “Wooooh!” (Daniel Bender,
Bethesda, Md.)

In D.C., the number of additional fees that may be added to a cab fare
is capped at infinity. (Frank Mann, Washington)

Because of the high number of false alarms, new cars will be equipped
with an additional sensor connected to a check check engine light light.
(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

The word “car” came into vogue in the early 20th century as a shorthand
term for “horseless carriage,” once it was realized that “hor” was not
going to work. (Mark Raffman)

Foreign versions of Punch Buggy — in which you hit your friend when you
see a VW Beetle — include (in India) Purple Nurple Tata and (in Serbia)
Crotch Pop Yugo. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

“The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” is based on a true story.
(Jeff Shirley)

At a gift shop on Route 66 in Tulsa, the biggest seller is the set of
souvenir shin guards. (Dave Leveton, Gainesville, Va.)

/And we have room for one more song parody from Week 1074:
The contest was to write a song about a stage
or screen musical, using the tune of a different musical: /

*“The Wizard of Oz”
Sung to “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music”*
So, young dear, what have we here?
Hey, it seems you’re on the run!
See, the blame is on yourself;
Ha! But killing can be fun!
Oh, one sister squashed and dead;
Ah, the other melts like snow;
Gee, those poppies messed your head —
Please just grab your mutt and go! (oh oh oh) (Jeff Shirley, Richmond)

*Still running — deadline Monday night: our Hyphen the Terrible
neologism contest. See . *

Next week’s results: *Dactyly Fractaly,* or *Bodacious Double-D’s, * our
contest for the short, galloping poems called double dactyls.