Style Invitational Week 1231: TankaWanka 3

Haiku with a little extra. Plus winning ‘life form’ neologisms.

(Bob Staake/For The Washington Post )
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers

June 8


(Click here to skip down <#report> to this week’s winning neologisms
from Week 1227)

*Trump got elected!
The keys to this nation sit
In his tiny hand.
But will he be defeated
By the stuff he has tweeted?*

It’s time again for our own variation on the ancient Japanese poetic
form called tanka, which is pretty much like haiku with two more lines
tacked on, for a total of five still-little lines. The Invitey twists
that make it a TankaWanka: a current-events subject and — sorry, but we
can’t get enough — rhyme.

You're guaranteed to be the focus of the party with this week's second
prize (dweeb not included).

*This week: Write a TankaWanka about something that’s been in the news
lately. The poem must consist of five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7
syllables in that order. And at least two of the lines must rhyme, * as
in the example above by Willy Wanka, a.k.a. Gene Weingarten, The Style
Invitational’s Pooet Laureate. You may add a title, perhaps quoting a
news headline, if it helps the reader understand what you’re talking about.

*Submit entries at this website: * *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy — one of the last few before we come out with a new design.
Second place receives a prize we’ve given out at least twice before, one
we’ve enjoyed at Loser social events, for obvious reasons: It’s the
*Basket Case Headband Hoop Game, *
which some ping-pong-ball-size foam basketballs are tossed into a net
suspended over someone’s noggin by the means of said highly dweeby
Headband Hoop. Donated by Loser Nan Reiner.

*Other runners-up *win our new “You Gotta Play to Lose”

Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our new
lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind”
“Magnum Dopus.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, June 19; results
published July 9 (online July 6). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for the results is by Jesse Frankovich; the honorable-mentions subhead
is by Tom Witte. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook
at / ./ “Like” Style Invitational
Ink of the Day on Facebook 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

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

The neologism challenge for*Week 1227* was to
coin a new life form whose name — in the spirit of genetic diversity —
had no two of the same letter.

An animal called the *turdle* was
described by many Losers, remarkably often as having orange fur. And of
course there was the noisy, preening *trumper swan. *

4th place

*Phickle:* A food that’s sometimes sweet and sometimes sour. (Selma
Ellis, Rolling Meadows, Ill.)

3rd place

*Oldfish: *A critter that has managed to stay alive for a whole week
since you brought it home from the pet store. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

2nd place and the book about old-fashioned sex aids:

*Ruskito:* An insect that not only sucks your blood, but hacks your DNA.
(Frank Mann, Washington)

And the winner of the
Inkin’ Memorial:

*D.J.T. Rex*: A carnivorous biped distinguished by its diminutive
forelimbs and backward vision. (Seth Tucker, Washington)

No’s Ark:
honorable mentions

*Dogirafe:* The only canine that can fetch a Frisbee stuck in a tree.
(Shani Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia, a First Offender)

*Peonay: *A flower that reacts to dog urine by emitting a mild electric
charge. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

** *Amorel:* A fungus that could potentially burst into a mushroom
cloud. (Kevin Dopart, Washington).

*Begona:* Flower used for breakup bouquets. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

*Crankodile:* A pale, emaciated reptile found lurking around meth labs
. (Warren Tanabe,
Annapolis, Md.)

*Adolfin:* Mascot of the alt-right. (Frank Mann)

*Flounderp:* Dumbest of all the fish. Just look at it. (Nancy Della
Rovere, Silver Spring, Md.)

*Gunviolets:* A kind of daisy that pushes up all over America. (Kevin

*Iowasp:* This cicada-like insect emerges in large, noisy swarms in
four-year cycles. (Kevin Dopart)

*Kremling:* A Russian weasel noted for its tiny paws and orange fur.
(David Peckarsky, Tucson)

*Mesquito:* A parasite that feeds off the neighbors’ barbecues. (Duncan

A two-headed hyena that does a mating dance for three hours every
morning. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)

*Spiceroy:* A butterfly attracted to Mid-Atlantic bushes, now on the
critically endangered list. (Kevin Dopart)

*U-tern:* Bird that flies north for the winter. (Mark Raffman)

*Vladger:* Known for gobbling up its neighbors and leaving a bad smell
on anyone it contacts. (Mark Raffman)

*Yo’ma:* A flower that despite being exceptionally unattractive,
malodorous and oversized, is pollinated near-constantly. (Seth Tucker)

*E. moji:* A bacterium manifesting itself in poop, soft-serve ice cream,
and a face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye. (Dave Matuskey,

*Bergil:* A small, furry rodent that’ll steal your heart. And your
lungs. And your kidneys . . . (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

*Beaglu:* A dog that never leaves your side. Literally. (Jeff Shirley,
Richmond, Va.)

*Escrow:* The avian species that best feathers its nest. (Brad
Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

*Felis up:* A particularly aggressive species of orange tomcat. (Warren

*Pornbush:* An almost extinct species of foliage. (Tom Witte, Montgomery
Village, Md.)

*Ost-rich:* A bird that buried its head in the sand and found oil. (John
O’Byrne, Dublin)

*Pseudoryx:* A troublesome species of antelope, also known as fake gnus.
(Kevin Dopart)

*Rodnstaph:* A virulent yet comforting bacterium. (Gary Crockett, Chevy
Chase, Md.)

*Shyena:* An animal that only giggles, with its paw over its mouth.
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*Tse fly:* An African insect and principal transmitter of the
somewhat-less-than-dreaded catnapping sickness. (David Garratt, Silver
City, N.M.)

*Umble python:* A snake that only eats crow. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

*Fleamingo:* Imagine how far this bird could jump using /two/ legs. (Ray
Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)

*Wombath:* The latest pet craze — because everyone likes a wombath at
the end of the day. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

*Funkgi:* Aromatic organisms often found on unwashed feet. (Bella
Portillo, Silver Spring, Md.)

*Girhalf:* April’s baby. (Mary Kappus, Washington)

*Hefalump:* A heavily wrinkled biped often seen in the company of
bunnies. (David Garratt)

*Masturdon:* A lumbering, shaggy-haired mammal given to nocturnal
bellows and preening shows of dominance. (Chris Doyle)

*PACterium: *Organism that dies quickly in the absence of money. (Mark

*Peach mint*: Some in Congress would like to send this herb over to the
White House. (James Colten, Washington)

*Shampire: *All-talk, no-action monster. “I’m going to suck so much
blood. It’ll be beautiful.” (Duncan Stevens)

*Sycolephant:* Large animal with a long, brown nose (Larry Gray, Union
Bridge, Md.; Tom Witte)

*Whombat:* Fussy, annoying creature unable to adapt to a changing world.
(William Kennard, Arlington)

*Tydebola*: A virus that sterilizes itself. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

*Melonia:* A fleshy fruit that lives in a symbiotic relationship with
off-your-gourds. (Kevin Dopart)

*Parsleigh:* What Gwyneth Paltrow leaves out for Santa. (Rick Haynes,
Boynton Beach, Fla.)

*Muhel:* A rabbi who stubbornly refuses to perform circumcisions. (Roy
Ashley. Washington)

*Dzykfjxqugh’s brown palm civet:* A small, nocturnal Asian mammal named
for the renowned zoologist Thomas Dzykfjxqugh. (Jesse Frankovich,
Lansing, Mich.)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, June 12: our contest for short
descriptions of how a Creator came up with some creations. See .*