By the E, Pat Myers
As I note every single year in basically a continuous drone, the Invite’s horse-naming contests always — always — generate many more worthy entries than any sane person would want to read in a sitting.
For a dozen years, we printed the entire list of horses eligible for that year’s Triple Crown races: usually more than 400 names. Starting in 2006, I trimmed that list down to 100, a mix of the actual top contenders (so we’d be likely to see some of the names in the races) and the most pun-promising names. And for the past few years, we’ve kept the “parent” list to 100 and set a 25-entry limit as well. And also since 2006, we’ve also given the horse-obsessives a second outlet each year with the spinoff grandfoal contest, which, while never drawing as overwhelming a response as the original, still is plenty whelming for the Empress, and — as you’ll see in this week’s results — the quality of entries remains very high.
In the past couple of years, I’ve received various suggestions for a 3.0 contest, and my curiosity won me over to Jonathan Hardis’s idea: to use the horse names from the first list (Week 965) that didn’t result in any “foals” four weeks later. The problem was that I was so pathetically generous that week — I gave ink to something like 70 foals — that only a couple of dozen would-be parents were left childless. And my supplement to the list — the horses who ran in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes but weren’t on my initial list — resulted in only a few more names.
Will we have enough results? I think so. I haven’t checked, but it’s entirely possible that I received some very good foal names in week 965 from a breeding of two of the horses on this week’s list — after all, my initial “short” list of worthy entries numbered something like 300 names. And so there’s certainly a chance that two of this week’s parents produced some of the remaining 230 foals.
And if it’s a flop? Believe me, I have other stuff to fill up the page. If there’s a problem, my hunch is that it would be not in a lack of good entries, but in too much duplication. We have really very little duplication in both the foal and grandfoal contests. This time, I think there were two or three very good answers that too many people sent; I predict a few more than that this time around.
Note that I say explicitly that, yes, you may resend entries that you submitted for Week 965. They do count toward your limit of 25 entries (will anyone come up with 25?).
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE: THE RESULTS OF WEEK 969
As I said above, I had a more manageable field of “grandfoals” than the roughly 5,000 of Week 965 — maybe half that number? — but I certainly had more than enough worthy names to choose from, and many lists of 25 entries. Perhaps it’s because the grandfoals contest might draw fewer casual entrants, especially those who realized they were wildly outclassed the first time around. And once again — even more than four weeks ago — puns ruled the day.
As in previous years of the grandfoal contest, I wasn’t looking most of all for the grandfoal names that cleverly managed to incorporate every element of both parents’ names; in fact, most of the inking entries ignore significant parts of one or both parents’ names. I tried in vain to come up with an explanation of which parts of the name were more ignorable; basically, I think the humor came most from a funny pun or other wordplay in a foal name, along with its reference to at least one element in each parent’s name. Kathy El-Assal’s brilliant winner, for example, alludes to Paul Bunyan, not to a bunion, but it more than compensates for getting in Sandra Bullock’s “Miss Congeniality” as well as “Myth,” since Paul Bunyan is that, too.
In the set of results for Week 965, the Style Invitational Devotees page was working overtime as readers sought and traded explanations for the more obscure references in the foal names. This time, I don’t think there are many confusing entries; I added a few links to the term or name being punned on, but if you’re still scratching your head over something, feel free to ask about it — no one will mock you. In person, anyway.
I just realized that it’s not only the first win, but the first ink at all “above the fold,” for Kathy El-Assal of Wisconsin, who gets her seventh ink since her debut in Week 923. (One memorable honorable mention, from our analogies contest: “Jon Stewart is to Bill O’Reilly as a whoopee cushion is to a fart.”) Kathy posts lots of clever things on Facebook — limericks are a strong suit — and I’m sure that she’ll be blotting up pools of ink before long if she sticks with the Invite.
Second place goes to someone who now has — oh, for Pete’s sake — 170 inks above the fold, Mr. Chris Doyle. The last we heard from Chris, he was spending a month in Maui, no doubt in search of the most conducive entry-writing setting.
Kathy Hardis Fraeman has already messaged me that she’s eager for one of the new Grossery Bags for her third-place “I’m a Bereaver.” This is Kathy’s 56th ink (and eighth above the fold). And it’s a big week for the Hardis family: Kathy’s brother, Jonathan Hardis, got two honorable mentions, plus credit for suggesting this week’s “Unlucky in Love” contest. (The bags were promised to be at The Post by today.)
And it’s a return for John Winant, who picked up a few inks when he lived in the Washington area, then became scarce after he decamped to Nebraska with the Department of Defense. We’re glad he’s back in touch with us, and picking up his second above-the-fold ink.
It’s another fruitful family activity for the Thompsons of Cary, N.C.: Dad Dudley, mom Susan and middle-schooler Sammy all got ink — a total of five blots among them. In this year’s first round, Susan won the Inkin’ Memorial, and Dudley and older son Russell got honorable mentions. It was great to see the whole family of four at the Flushies this month. I first met the family at a Loser brunch at Elden Carnahan’s house in ... hmm, it was either 2001 or 2003. The kids were itty-bitty things.
The weekly HAW! from Sunday Style Editor Lynn Medford (“Lots of gut-busters!”) went to “Babe Roof” by First Offender Duane Douglass, with Kathy Fraeman’s “I’m a Bereaver” finishing a nose behind.
MAN, URE ASKING FOR IT: THE FOUL FOALS (DON’T READ THESE IF YOU DON’T LIKE CRUDITY)
Given that we started with a list including Auto Eroticism, Deep Throat, Summa Come Loud, Sex Fifth Avenue, Where Are My Pants, and more, it’s not surprising that many foals were sent over here to run in the Blue/Gross Stakes. I hope you’re all pleased with yourselves.
A Perfect X x Auto Eroticism = Both Hands (Mark Richardson)
ESPQR x Sex Fifth Avenue = Glad He Ate Her (Steve Price)
Yankee Doodled + Auto Eroticism = Stuck a Feather In (Craig Dykstra)
Just First Base x Deep Throat = A One-Gagger (Tom Witte)
Auto Eroticism + La Femme Makita = I Came I Sawed (Ellen Raphaeli)
Kneel Diamond x Summa Cum Loud = The Jizz Singer (David Genser)
James Joist x GungServiceWorker = Beam in the Broad (Ellen Raphaeli)
Four-Part Homily x Tipper Over = Do Unto Others’ As’ (Becky V. Fisher)
Deep Throat x Prig Latin = Ellatiofay (Steve Price)
Muir Cowbell x Deep Throat = Blew Oyster Cult (Laurie Brink; Tom Witte)
Kiss My Ascot x Deep Throat = Bow Job (Tom Witte)
Deep Throat x No Ship, Sherlock = Blown Ashore (Roy Ashley)
Deep Throat x Sex Fifth Avenue = Head Shoppe (Jeff Contompasis)
Deep Throat x No = Spit (Jeff Loren)
Deep Throat x Instant Canoodles = Oops, Sorry (David Genser)
Deep Throat x Do Wit Yourself = Gag Writer (David Genser)
Deep Throat x Iraqnid = Gagdad (Tom Witte)
Where Are My Pants x Auto Eroticism = Jerky Shorts (Edward Gordon)
Auto Eroticism x Praise the Ford! = Crank That Shaft (Stephen Dudzik)
Sex Fifth Avenue x Auto Eroticism = Streetwanker (Tom Witte)
Deep Throat x Auto Eroticism = Fellate of Sole (Jeff Contompasis)
Praise the Ford! x Auto Eroticism = Driving a Stick (Jeff Contompasis)
Auto Eroticism x J. Paul Yeti = Jackoff Oil Trades (Chris Doyle)
Auto Eroticism x Rowed to Damascus = Wankers Aweigh (Jonathan Paul)
Auto Eroticism + Doesn’t Auger Well = Dulldo (Larry Yungk)