Style Invitational Week 1355: The inside word — our ‘air quotes’ contest

Find one telling word within another. Plus winning Halloween ideas.

Second place in our contest for Halloween ideas: Carve a pumpkin that
shows everyone what a loser you are (at right, lit from inside).
Designed and carved by Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich., who's
definitely going to perplex those trick-or-treaters. Other ideas below.
(Jesse Frankovich)

Pat Myers

Image without a caption

Pat Myers
Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003



Oct. 24, 2019 at 9:26 a.m. EDT

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning Halloween costume and
party ideas)

*F“lawless”: Describing the president’s perfect phone call.*

*An“tip”athy: The feeling waiters have toward cheapskates.*

*Con“trite”: Sorry for having sent the Empress a joke that has 7 million
Google hits.*

One more time, since it seems there’s no end to the possibilities
offered up by Any Word or Name in the English Language. *This week:
Highlight part of a word, name or short phrase in “air quotes” to give
the word a new meaning or description, *as in the examples above by
Jesse Frankovich, who conveniently supplied the new ones above while
reminding the Empress that we hadn’t done an “air quotes” contest in a
year and a half. You can’t change the spelling of the original; I’m not
going to ban tinkering with capitalization, punctuation and spacing, but
I think they might weaken the joke.

** **Submit up to 25 entries at **
(no capitals in the Web address).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a coloring book
titled*“How Librarians Swear,”

* which embeds inside various kaleidoscopic designs such imprecations as
“You stupid doorknob,” “What the fun” and “Oh shootdarn it.” Donated by
soap-mouthed Loser Drew Bennett. My guess is that actual librarians find
this a load of @#^%ing @#$%&.

*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, “Too-Weak Notice”

or “Certificate of (de) Merit.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday, Nov. 4;* results published
Nov. 24 in print, Nov. 21 online. See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
“Wise Guise” was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and Bill Dorner; Chris
Doyle and Jesse Frankovich both came up with the honorable-mentions
subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook
at / ./ “Like” the Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at /;
/ follow @StyleInvite
on Twitter.

*The Style Conversational: *The Empress's weekly online column,
published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of
results. Especially if you plan to enter (see the links to earlier "air
quotes" winners), check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


**In *Week 1351* the Empress asked for ideas
for timely and creative Halloween costumes or party ideas. Judging from
many of the entries, we’ll preduct that a lot of people will show up at
your nerdier parties as a Republican congressional invertebrate:
spineless, see, harharhar.

*Meanwhile: So where’s Bob? *

Custom-carved Style Invitational pumpkins are certainly cool, but we’re
eagerly awaiting the return of Invite Cartoonist Since 1994 Bob Staake,
who decided to idly loll around after emergency surgery last week to get
a new aortic valve. Bob reports that “no coronary disease was found,
meaning that readers of The Post and Invite are stuck with me for
another 26 years.” Bob aims to be back drawing misshapen animals next week.

4th place:

Wear a suit with a whistle around your neck, a paper bag over your head,
and a bull’s eye on your back. /(Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.) /

3rd place:

Build an upright casket with a revolving stand at the base. Invite
guests to dress as their favorite Founding Fathers. While playing an
audio loop of the president, have the guests step in and take a spin in
their grave./(Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.) /

2nd place

and the zippered bag that looks like a fat belly:

See Jesse Frankovich’s pumpkin, above.

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

Stick some googly eyes on your rotating lawn sprinkler and say it's Rudy
Giuliani. /(Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.) /

Gave up the ghost: Honorable mentions

Answer the door wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red tie, and tell
the trick-or-treaters that you’ll be happy to give them some candy if
they get you dirt on Joe Biden. /(Hildy Zampella; Steve Smith, Potomac,
Md.) /

A Superman costume: Go naked, except for glasses. Not to worry, though:
No one will recognize you later without the glasses./(Duncan Stevens,
Vienna, Va.) /

Break into the morgue, steal a cadaver, don its skin, and voilà — you’re
dressed up as Keith Richards!/(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.) /

Buy a Native American costume, cut it into 1,024 pieces, and pin one of
them on your blouse to go as Elizabeth Warren./(Jesse Frankovich) /

At a Republican Halloween party, they might play “Pin the Fake Tale on
the Donkey.”/(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.) /

A GOP party: Serve canned dog food in bowls without utensils. Ask the
guests to lap it up, compliment it as both delicious and healthy, and
praise you as the best cook in history./(Neal Starkman, Seattle) /

Wear an orange wig, a red tie — and a bare belly where you’ve drawn on
six-pack abs with a Sharpie./(Bob Kruger) /

Dress as a bell tower with lots of bats suspended from the roof.
Everyone will guess that you’re Trump, but it’s still more subtle than
going as a giant rotting orange. /(Jeff Hazle, San Antonio) /

Dress up as George R.R. Martin. Go trick-or-treating four years from
now, or whenever./(Mark Raffman) /

(Photo still of Nosferatu with pink tutu pasted on: Lee Graham, Rockville [EJC])

Go as a group of crickets that occasionally chirp, and tell people
you’re the home crowd at FedEx Field. /(Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)/

Go as the Nats bullpen and constantly relieve myself. (/Ira Allen,
Bethesda, Md.) /

If you’re a white politician put on blackface, and you can be toast.
/(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.) /

Put on a thin, revealing outfit with large holes that reveal way more
than you intended, and go as a White House Phone Transcript. /(Stephen
Litterst, Newark, Del.) /

Repurpose an old snake costume by putting an “AOC” nametag on, and be a
“Green Nude Eel.” /(Stephen Litterst; Jon Gearhart, Des Moines) /

Come as Lindsey Graham: Dress up as a cute little lap dog with a shiny
brown nose./(Seth Tucker, Washington) /

Get a nice tan, put on a “Life Is Good” T-shirt, grab a margarita, and
be Gen. John F. Kelly./(Steve Smith) /

A scary party activity: bobbing for hot dogs in a tepid water bath from
an authentic D.C. hot dog cart./(Jeff Hazle) /

A Reverse-Halloween party: Invite children to dress as corporate
executives and sell candy to the adults./(Neal Starkman) /

With eight of your friends, dress up as “Sexy Supreme Court.”/(Mark

This year I am buying only congressional Republican pumpkins — guts
already removed. /(Rivka Liss-Levinson, Washington)/

Use the back half of a two-person horse costume and be Trump, because he
stands on his own. /(Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)/

Wear a Fonzie mask and bunny ears wrapped in tinfoil, place a cardboard
box with the front cut out over your head, and be Joe Biden’s television
set. /(Steve Smith)/

Wear a shirt with a giant “M” on it and carry a peach and a sprig of
mint. Clearly, you’re . . . Captain Obvious. /(Hildy Zampella) /[Indeed,
to judge from the number of entries suggesting this very idea, you’ll be
seeing peach costumes by the bushel this year.]

// *Still running — deadline Monday night, Oct. 28: Our contest to
discover new words in a word-search grid. See
. *