Style Invitational Week 1312: TOUR de Fours XV

A neologism contest. Plus winning captions for Bob Staake cartoons.

By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
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December 27, 2018

Too many people sent “abra-cadaver” for Picture C, but this week’s
winning captions — for single and combined cartoons — feature lots of
weird takeaways. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down <#report> to this week’s winning cartoon captions.)

Dadven*turo*us: Daring to wear a fanny pack, socks with sandals, or a
“World’s Best Farter” T-shirt.

T*outr*ageous: Preposterously boastful. “The other world leaders laughed
at his toutrageous claim that his administration had done more in two
years than most others had in the history of the country.”

It’s our annualish Tour de Fours neologism contest, in which you make up
words that contain a given block of four letters. This week, Amazingly
Successful Loser Jesse Frankovich suggests that the letter block come
straight out of the name. *This week: Coin a word or multi-word term
that contains the letter block T-O-U-R and describe it,* as in Jesse’s
examples above; *the letters may be in any order,* but there may be no
other letters between them (you may insert a space or hyphen). You might
make your entry funnier to read if you include a good example, or
showing how the term would be used, since there’s a good chance that
someone else will come up with the same term you did.

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our new Style Invitational trophy.

Whoever is so unlucky to land in second place receives *Mr. Turdy,
kind of a perverted Mr. Potato Head. You actually form Mr. T yourself
with the enclosed modeling clay, then stick on the appendages. Donated
by Loser Nan Reiner.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our “Whole Fools”

Grossery Bag. 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, Jan. 7; * results
published Jan. 27 (online Thursday, Jan. 24). See general contest rules
and guidelines at . The
headline for this week’s results was suggested by both Jeff Contompasis
and Jon Gearhart; Bill Dorner wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join
the Style Invitational Devotees 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 1308* we asked for captions for
any of the Bob Staake cartoons above, or a combination of them. Or you
could tell us what was wrong with the picture. At least a dozen people
captioned Picture C *“Abra-cadaver,” *while icky Sylvia Plath jokes
abounded for Picture D.

4th place:

*Picture D: *“C’mon, that wasn’t an insult -- I /love/ Hamburger
Helper!” (Nancy Della Rovere, Silver Spring, Md.)

3rd place:

*Picture A: *Watch out, glass ceiling! (Susanne Pierce Dyer, Green
Valley, Calif.)

2nd place and the 'World's Okayest Girlfriend' mug:

*What’s wrong with Picture D:* The low-hanging pink lamp is clearly an
OSHA violation. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*All four pictures* can be described with the same letters — all
anagrams of one another:
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

Couldn't carry a toon: Honorable mentions

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)


Elon’s mom has her own plan for getting to Mars. (Jesse Frankovich)

Even though it didn’t have the best safety record, Esther’s Discount
Airlines was still better than flying United. (John Hutchins, Silver
Spring, Md.)

Ethel’s elevator phobia was intense. (Susanne Pierce Dyer)

After massive budget cutbacks, NASA did the best it could. (Mark
Raffman, Reston, Va.; Al Fisher, Rockville, Md.)

Wile E. Coyote had to admit it was a nice catch. (Gary Crockett, Chevy
Chase, Md.)

They could take away Juliana’s pilot’s license, but they could never
take away Newton’s third law of motion. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

June was going to make those ants regret pitching their tent under her
new ski jump. (David Peckarsky, Tucson)

Mrs. MacLintel desperately wanted to be in that social set of ladies who
launch. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

Helen isn’t fooling anyone with her inflatable anvil. (Jesse Frankovich)

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)


Every time he tells a lie, Paul Manafort’s ankle monitor grows. (Jesse

Target’s latest security system stops shoplifters before they make it to
the parking lot. (Jill Renkey, Frederick, Md.)

One of the reasons they don’t want people wandering around Chernobyl is
the cherry grove. (Barbara Turner)

So all those beautiful sunsets have just been special effects! (Gary

Randall had to admit that his bunion was starting to get in the way of
his dancing career. (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)

Edgar put his right foot out, but that was the end of his hokey-pokey.
(Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

And suddenly, Larry caught a glimpse of what it’s like to be wiped out
by a heavy period. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)

The lesser known, but no less treacherous, Running of the Balls. (Bird
Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

“. . .And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.” (Tom Witte,
Montgomery Village, Md.)

“Medicine ball?! Doc, please tell me you’ve got this in liquid form.”
(Hildy Zampella)

It’s hard to walk when only one of your legs has a knee, even before
someone drops a giant bowling ball on your ankle. (Mark Raffman)

/*What’s wrong:* /The small red ball is correctly labeled “B” for
background, but the large red ball is missing the “F” for foreground.
(Dave Conger, Sterling, Va., a First Offender)

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)


Some magicians ask to be buried six feet over. (Will Stutzman,
Millersburg, Ohio)

The sawing-in-half went terribly wrong, but Colette is still part of the
act. (Gary Crockett)

Hiring Lazarus was the smartest thing Mandrake ever did. (Jon Ketzner,
Cumberland, Md.)

“And for my next trick, I will make half my jacket disappear!” (Duncan
Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)


“Jeez, I only asked for gluten-free coffee . . . (Colette Zanin,
Greenbelt, Md.)

The other “Hell’s Kitchen” judges expressed disapproval with greater
subtlety than Gordon Ramsay. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

The dessert chef put too much yeast in his gingerbread man again. (Jon
Gearhart, Des Moines)

The untimely end of the Pillsbury Doughboy. (John Kupiec, Fairfax, Va.)

“Hey, I ordered baked Alaska -- not Alaskan.” (Joanne Free, Clifton, Va.)

*What’s wrong: *The “3” on the woman’s jersey is crooked. (Jesse Frankovich)

*What’s wrong: *The tea drinker has failed to extend her pinkie finger.
(Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

*Pictures B and C: *The entertainment was intense at the Onesie Tux
party. (Duncan Stevens)

*A and C:* You have to get creative when the Stairway to Heaven is out
of order. (Robyn Carlson, Keyser, W.Va.; Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

*A and B:* To cease the giant ape’s rampage and save the city, one brave
vet launches herself into the behemoth’s nether region and neuters King
Kong. (Bird Waring)

*B and C:* What’s wrong is that both of the men’s bow ties are clip-ons
and well, that just lacks panache. (Jeff Shirley)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Dec. 31: our “year in preview”
contest: See *