Style Invitational Week 1418: Tour de Fours XVII — just UNDO it
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Plus our Loser-predicted 2021 Year in Preview timeline.
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat MyersJanuary 7
(Click here to skip down to the Year in Preview)
OUND: Alice in Wounderland: The tale of a girl who falls down a rabbit hole and lands in an unsupervised skateboard park.
OUND: Quarter-mounder: A four-ounce burger with 12 ounces of toppings.
UDON: PseudoNoms: The plastic replicas that bakeries and sushi shops put out instead of the fresh ones.
“UNDO” should be The Word of 2021, suggests Hall of Fame Loser Jeff Contompasis. No, no, not the election results, but almost everything else that erupted last year. In any case, it’s a good four-letter block for our 17th annual Tour de Fours neologism contest.
This week: Coin a word or multi-word term containing the letters U-N-D-O — consecutive but in any order — and describe it, as in Bob Staake’s example for his cartoon and JefCon’s other neologisms. You may insert a space or hyphen between the letters. It’s likely someone else will send the word you thought of, so the ink would go to the more clever description, or the word used in a funny sentence, especially if it shows how the neologism could be used in real life.
Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1418 (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Jan. 18; results appear Feb. 7 in print, Feb. 4 online.
Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our new Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a fabulously annoying electronic Elvis-impersonator penguin; tap his foot as he sways back and forth to a recording of “Jailhouse Rock.” We won’t be blue when he leaves our building. Donated by Loser Steve Smith.
Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End”Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “No ’Bility” or “Punder-achiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Auguration Day” is by Kevin Dopart; both Tom Witte and Chris Doyle submitted the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late Thursday afternoon, Jan. 7, at wapo.st/conv1418.
The “You’re Invited” podcast: Eight half-hour episodes, including dish from the Empress and the Czar, and tips from top Losers. See bit.ly/invite-podcast.
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago …
Auguration Day: The year in preview
Week 1414 was our annual contest in which those ever-prescient Losers (prescient, adj. meaning wildly off base but funny anyway) contributed to the 2021 timeline below. The events in this crowdsourced timeline sometimes contradict one another, but what, you expected logic?
Jan. 19: Rudy Giuliani, wearing a colander on his head, holds a news conference at the Air and Space Museum, claiming Martian votes were not properly counted. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
When you finally return to the office this year, the singing, swaying Elvis penguin is a must-have desk accessory.
September: Coming as no surprise to entomologists and social media, murder butterflies are discovered in Florida. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
and the glittery Hallmark poop emoji ornament:
Following a frank closed-door meeting with Vice President Harris, President Biden pledges to never again say “woke” in public. (Dave Airozo, Silver Spring, Md.)
And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
October: A video teaser for "Borat III" reveals that Sidney Powell is actually Sacha Baron Cohen. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)
Non-prophets: Honorable mentions
Jan. 15: Trump’s presidency ends in confusion after someone mixes up his lists of last-minute pardons and executions. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Jan. 20: Dr. Jill Biden doubles down by wearing a mortarboard to the inauguration. (Greg Dobbins, Boynton Beach, Fla.)
Jan. 20: Fox News cuts away from Biden’s swearing-in ceremony to show Trump’s cussing-out ceremony. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Jan. 20: Trump tees off precisely at noon and is expected to remain teed off for the next four years. (Kevin Dopart)
Jan. 21: Federal marshals gently nudge Ben Carson awake and escort him from the building. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
Jan. 21: Finally unshackled from Trump’s control, Republicans open communications to “Former Vice President Biden” in a letter addressed to “current occupant.” (Drew Bennett)
Jan. 25: Vladimir Putin gets a raw deal when he gives Trump a Moscow hotel in exchange for all the top-secret intelligence he can remember from his Oval Office briefings. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)
Jan. 31: Louis DeJoy refuses to leave office, claiming that President Biden’s letter relieving him of his duties was lost in the mail. (Duncan Stevens)
February: Not understanding that he really, truly is not allowed to continue his presidential duties anymore, Donald Trump insists on watching cable news all day and playing golf every weekend. (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
Feb. 2: Punxsutawney Phil refuses to come out until he can get his second dose of the vaccine. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Feb. 14: Trump’s new reality sinks in when Kim Jong Un doesn’t respond to his Valentine’s Day card and chocolates. (John Hutchins)
Feb. 15: As roads remain congestion-free, WTOP begins reporting “Zoom traffic and crashes on the 8s.” (Steve Smith)
Feb. 25: Most popular T-shirt at this year’s CPAC conference: “I Got Pardoned!” (Mark Raffman)
March: Donald Trump Jr. writes an op-ed insisting that President Biden’s son isn’t entitled to call himself Hunter, since he’s never shot a single elephant. (Frank Osen)
March: Not to be upstaged by Cleveland, the Boston baseball team is renamed the Sox of Color. (Kevin Dopart)
March: Venezuelan officials reveal that Hugo Chávez’s last words in 2013 were “Program the Dominion voting machines to help out Joe Biden!” (Duncan Stevens)
April 1: President Biden throws out the opening pitch at Nationals Park, a perfect fastball right across the plate. Immediately Mitch McConnell complains that the ball went way to the left, while Bernie Sanders complains that it went too far to the right. (Wendy Shang, Falls Church, Va.)
April 22: Kids miss school nationwide for the first Take Our Daughters and Sons to Telework Day. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
April 25: Envious of Chadwick Boseman’s Oscar, Trump tweets, “Why hasn’t anyone given ME a posthumous award? SAD!” (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)
April: The Cleveland baseball team moves 172 miles west and changes its name to the Indianans. (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)
May 9: President Biden announces that malarkey has finally been eradicated from the body politic. May 10: The White House clarifies that the recent announcement regarding the demise of malarkey was premature. (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)
May: In an effort to increase gender diversity, the Washington Post Fact Checker replaces Pinocchios with Kayleighs. (Beryl Benderly, Washington)
May: Wuhan street vendors celebrate the success of the vaccine by offering a 75 percent discount on bat sandwiches. (Scott Straub, Winchester, Va.)
June 10: Forty-seven Proud Boys are blinded after Dr. Fauci reminds Americans it’s not safe to look directly at today’s solar eclipse. (Kevin Dopart)
June 14: To celebrate Trump’s birthday, a crowd of people in hooded masks gather in Alabama and burn a big wooden “t.” (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)
June: The Biden administration officially converts the border wall into a pole-vault practice facility. (Duncan Stevens)
July 22: The Golden State Warriors win the NBA Finals and mistakenly reject a White House invitation out of habit. (Jesse Rifkin, Arlington, Va.)
July 24: In Tokyo, an Olympic fencer is injured in preliminaries after getting the all-clear memo to athletes to participate without a mask. (John Bauer, Gaithersburg, Md.)
July: Responding to complaints from progressives, President Biden appoints a bipartisan commission to study whether his administration has taken an “establishment approach” to governing. (Steve Smith)
Aug. 7: A year after their blockbuster hit, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion release a follow-up single, written from the perspective of someone singing to Mike Pence. They call it “DAP.” (Duncan Stevens)
August: The Cleveland Browns are renamed the Cleveland Latinx. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)
August: The Washington Football Team announces its new name: the Senators. The players immediately refuse to play under such a slur. (Edward Gordon, Austin)
August: Three thousand passengers set sail on an anti-vaxxers-only cruise. Ten days later the ship plunges over the edge of the earth. (Lee Graham)
September: NBC announces the relaunch of “The Biggest Loser,” promising a surprise first guest. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
Oct. 7: In his new memoir, “I, Fly,” an insect tells how he rose from a fetid outhouse to share the debate stage with the vice president of the United States. (Mark Raffman)
Nov. 3: To get back into the headlines, Donald Trump shoots somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Dec. 31: The 9 p.m. broadcast of CNN begins, “Some disturbing news tonight out of Wuhan, China …” (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)
December: Rumors are finally confirmed when it is revealed that Duncan Stevens, Mark Raffman and Kevin Dopart submit their weekly entries to the Style Invitational on $20 bills. (Mike Phillips, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Still running — deadline Monday night, Jan. 11: our contest for poems about people who died in 2020. See wapo.st/invite1417.
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