Style Invitational Week 1289: Fake gnus — animal fictoids

Plus winning wrong-but-creative answers to trivia questions

In the Southern Hemisphere, a falling cat always lands on its back.
(Not.) (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
by Pat Myers July 19 Email the author


(Click here to skip down <#report>to the winningly wrong answers to
trivia questions)

*In the Southern Hemisphere, a falling cat always lands on its back.*
(Bob Mulvaney)

*Bats urinate only while perched upside down. The noxious odor coats
their * *bodies with a scent that repels predators. *(Patrick Mattimore)

*Director Chuck Jones based the Porky Pig character on a real stuttering
pig his parents once owned.* (Brendan Beary)

This week’s results got the Empress in the mood for another call for
totally bogus trivia. *This week: Tell us a fictoid — a humorously false
“fact” — about the nonhuman animal kingdom, *as in the examples above;
all of them were inking entries in our first, general fictoid contest,
Week 702
in 2007. (Amazingly, a full 11 years later, each of them is still
untrue, as far as we know.)

Submit entries at the website **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a triple-pack of
*Useless but Nifty Paired Animal-Appendage Finger Ornaments* —
tentacles, cat paws, and human hands — donated by Loser Ann Martin. Plus
one *Elephant Trunk Finger Ornament,* from Inge Ashley.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better”
“IDiot Card.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, July 30; *results
published Aug. 19 (online Aug. 16). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
“To Err Is Humor” is by Jesse Frankovich; Kevin Dopart wrote the
honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees
group on Facebook at . “Like”
Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at
; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

*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 . . .


In *Week 1285* the Empress asked for a
typical trivia question accompanied by a humorously wrong answer.

4th place:

*Q: Centuries before it became traditional, Archduke Maximilian of
Austria became the first recorded person to give what to his bride-to-be?*
/Correct:/ A diamond engagement ring.
/Bad guess:/ Chlamydia? (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

Second-place liar about animals gets all these appendages plus a
finger-elephant-trunk. (Pat Myers/The Washington Post)
3rd place:

*Q: What color are Smurfs?*
/Correct: / Blue.
/Wrong: / Red, after they’ve been steamed.
(Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

2nd place and the horrible golf tees shaped like women's bodies:

*Q. Which North American mammal nests in other mammals’ bedding?*
/Correct:/ The short-tailed weasel.
/So wrong:/ Scott Pruitt. (Well, actually . . .)
(Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*Q. Where does the expression "Hasta la vista, baby" come from? *
/Correct: /The movie "Terminator 2."
/Wrong guess: / The Spanish proficiency test for ICE agents?
(Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

The alt-wrong: Honorable mentions

*Q: The NFL recently announced that what action will incur a penalty?*
/Correct:/ Hitting with the helmet.
/Guess: /Offending Donald Trump?
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

*Q: Au is the symbol for what chemical element? *
/Correct:/ Gold.
/Incorrect: / Cutekittium.
(Dan Helming, Maplewood, N.J.)

*Q: And which element is Pb?*
/Correct:/ Lead.
/Guess:/ Peanut butter?
(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

*Q: What fabled angry little troll would take away your firstborn child
if you couldn’t guess his name? *
/Correct:/ Rumpelstiltskin.
/So wrong!: /Jeff Sessions? (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

*Q: Cheddar cheese originated in which country?*
/Correct: /England.
/Guess: /Kraftghanistan? (Tom Witte)

*Q: What is the only Division I college team to take its nickname from a
U.S. politician?*
/Correct:/ The Austin Peay Governors.
/Incorrect:/ The Syracuse Orange.
(Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.)

*Q: What state was named for one Thomas West? *
/Nope: /West Virginia?
/Correct:/ Delaware: West was Baron de la Warr.
(Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

*Q: In response to current events, this business recently changed its
name, removing any reference to its founder.* /
Correct:/ Trump SoHo Hotel.
/Wrong:/ Edward Coli Lettuce Farms.
(Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

*Q. During a Passover Seder, what is traditionally said regarding
strangers who are poor and have no place to go?*
/Correct:/ “Let all who are hungry come and eat!”
/NOT correct:/ “WOMP, WOMP.”

(Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)

*Q: Per a recent fad, what “spy” is placed inside a house, reporting
back to Santa on who has been naughty and nice?*
/Correct:/ The Elf on the Shelf.
/Guess:/ Alexa?
(Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

*Q. Who famously said, “I never met a man I didn’t like”? *
/Correct:/ Will Rogers.
/Incorrect: /Hannibal Lecter.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*Q: The band Imagine Dragons claims its name is an anagram. Which one
did the group most likely have in mind?*
/Most likely:/ Raging Mad Noise.
/Least likely:/ Gonad Migraines. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*Q. The Bill of Rights is composed of how many amendments? *
/Correct:/ Ten.
/So wrong: /One: the Second. — D.J.T.
(William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

*Q. What does the acronym NASA stand for?* /
Correct: /The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
/Incorrect:/ Not, Apparently, a Space Agency (Dan Helming)

*Q. What renowned theater figure said, “There are no small parts, only
small actors”? * /
Correct:/ Konstantin Stanislavski.
/Oh, no:/ Peter Dinklage.
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

*Q: Who was the lead of the pop group Spanky and Our Gang? *

** /Correct:/ Elaine McFarlane.
/Wrong: /Stormy Daniels.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*Q. Where is Mount Rushmore?*
/Correct:/ //South Dakota.
/Guess: / New York City?
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*Q. On what date did the South surrender?*
/Correct:/ April 9, 1865.
/Alternative answer: /It did?
(Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)

*Q: In “Of Mice and Men,” what California man wants only to pet bunnies? *
/Correct: /Lennie.
/Not at all correct: / Hugh Hefner? (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

*Q. An ancient-alien theorist is a person who believes what? * /
Correct: /That extraterrestrials helped humankind to develop civilization.
/Alternative answer:/ Anything. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

*Q: What was Richard M. Nixon’s middle name?*
/Correct:/ Milhous.
/Noooo: /Madhous.
(Dinah Rokach, Silver Spring, Md.)

*Q: Who composed the Minute Waltz?*
/Correct: /Frédéric Chopin.
/Guess:/ George Minute? (Art Grinath)

*Q: What is the heaviest naturally occurring substance found on Earth? *
/Correct:/ Uranium.
/Guess:/ Urmama?
(Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

*Q: What 10th-century Buddhist text established the line of succession
of Dalai Lamas?*
/Correct:/ The Book of Kadam.
/Guess: /“Children of a Lhasa God”? (Chris Doyle)

*Q: What is the slogan of Melania Trump’s public-service campaign?*
/Correct:/ “Be best.”
/So wrong:/ “Be best.”
(Lisbeth McCarty, Norman, Okla., a First Offender)

*Still running — both deadlined Monday night, July 23:
Song parodies about the news (;
* and
*Disclaimers and product warnings (

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