Style Invitational Week 1075: Falsity is Job One — write some fake auto trivia


(Bob Staake for The Washington Post )
June 5

In Florida, the use of directional signals is mandatory even when not turning.

On cars purchased in Massachusetts, however, turn signals are optional equipment. Nevah use ’em — why pay for ’em?

It’s high time that The Style Invitational furthered its mission to unenlighten the reading public with a contest seeking totally bogus trivia. This week, on the suggestion of 377-time Loser Jeff Contompasis (rhymes with “quantum gases”): Send us some fictoids about cars and trucks and driving and stuff, like the examples above, which Jeff wrote for our Week 998 contest for fictitious laws.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives “Heads of State,” by Carl Sferazza Anthony (back when he was a Washington Post researcher, his latter two names were transposed). This nifty book depicts such fabulous artifacts as a screaming-green Richard Nixon Head candle, a Herbert Hoover Head lemonade pitcher (the head is lopped off at the top for easy access); and a George W. Bush Head jack-in-the-box, from which W pops out complete with lectern. We’d love to offer a few of these heads ourselves, but our second-prize budget is zero. So we thank Loser Pie Snelson for donating the book, at least.

Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate or Puns of Steel. First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 16; results published July 6 (online July 3). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest. Include “Week 1075” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. This week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Jeff Contompasis; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Chris Doyle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev, and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of the Day at bit.ly/inkofday.


You can get a Nixon candle on eBay, but this week’s second-prize winner gets a picture of one (but so much more!). ( Bloomsbury Books, 2004)

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 wapo.st/styleconv.

REPORT FROM WEEK 1071: THREE ON A MATCH

In Week 1071, the Empress sent people to a Web site containing a huge list of three-letter abbreviations, from AAA to DZZ. Each of them links to a list of things that those three letters stand for. The contest was to choose any two or three of those things and compare or contrast them.

THE WINNER OF THE INKIN’ MEMORIAL

ACE: Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and American Coaster Enthusiasts: Both have folks willing to wait in long lines just so they can raise their hands and shout, “Jesus!” (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

2nd place and the genune alligator-foot back scratcher:

CWB: Canadian Western Bank and counterproductive work behavior: “Well, you seem eminently qualified; this letter says that at your last financial job you were devoted to CWB.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

3rd place

AGA: American Gas Association, American Gastroenterological Association and American Go Association: Maybe those three groups don’t really overlap. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

4th place

DRI: U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island and the band Dirty Rotten Imbeciles. People seldom refer to a band member as “Judge.” (Frank Osen)

TRI AGAIN: HONORABLE MENTIONS

AAA: Antiaircraft artillery; Morse code for aerial attacker; and American Accordionists’ Association: They all produce anguished screaming. (David Friedman, Arlington, Va.)

AAI: Airports Authority of India and Atheist Alliance International: You need to put your faith in the first; you can’t in the second. (Christopher Lamora, Los Angeles)

ABA: Australian Breastfeeding Association and American Basketball Association: Neither seems to have a problem with dribbling, tantrums, and people who suck. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.; Rob Huffman)

ABC stands for both the TV network and the liquor license agency: How do you explain “Cop Rock”? (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

ACA: Affordable Care Act and Atheist Community of Austin: Both are pretty much guaranteed to send a Texas Republican into apoplexy. (Roger Dalrymple)

AFT: American Folklore Theatre and Americans for Fair Taxation: Both are for people who like to talk about fairy tales. (Rob Huffman)

AJA: American Journal of Archaeology and the American Jewish Archives: One could help in finding ancient coins, while the other could help in finding ancient Cohens (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

ASA: Acoustical Society of Americaand American Seniors Association: I SAID THEY’RE BOTH ABOUT HEARING THINGS. (Rob Huffman)

ATL: The anti-regulation lobby Americans for Technology Leadership and the Atlanta Braves: Both are doing an excellent job of stymieing Washington. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

AZA: Aleph Zadik Aleph, a Jewish high school fraternity, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Both make teenage girls shriek, “Ew, gross!” (Edward Gordon, Austin, a former AZA member)

BCS: Bachelor of Computer Science and Bowl Championship Series: The first helps people make money by using logic; the second helps people make money by rejecting it. (Kelly Ronayne, Alexandria, Va.)

BFD: Binary File Descriptor Library and bidirectional forwarding detection: Two phrases the president hurriedly interjects whenever Joe Biden starts to say, “You know, this is really a . . .” (Frank Osen)

BRS: Brown recluse spider and Boston Red Sox: Having either in the cellar would make my life miserable. (Chris Doyle, Kihei, Hawaii)

BSE: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is associated with crazed herds; Bachelor of Science in Engineering is associated with crazed nerds. (Jeff Contompasis, and yes, he’s an engineer)

CAA:You can find Choral Association Australia Down Under; the Canadian Avalanche Association can find you down under. (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

CAT: Clear Air Turbulence and Coital Alignment Technique: Both are covered in “The Mile High Club Guidebook.” (Chris Doyle)

CCC: Civilian Conservation Corps and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian abbreviation): Of these two ways to try to build a strong nation, the second failed because it had to stop for a P. (Doug Frank, Crosby, Tex.)

CCC: The Cetacean Conservation Center encourages the release of sperm whales, while the porn company Color Climax Corp. encourages the release of . . . tension. (Niels Hoven, San Francisco)

CCR: California Code of Regulations and Creedence Clearwater Revival: One required the other to notify concertgoers of the location of the nearest bathroom. (Chris Doyle)

CDA: Canadian Dinghy Association promotes recreational use of your dinghy; the Communications Decency Act, not so much. (Jim Lubell, Portland, Ore.)

CIT:The Cork Institute of Technology sounds like the perfect place to train colonic irrigation technicians. (Chris Doyle)

CLA: The Canadian Library Associationis well read, while the Communist League of America is, well, red. (Niels Hoven)

CPU: Central Processing Unit and Communist Party of Ukraine: One carries out instructions from Input, the other from Putin. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

CSM: Client/service manager and continuous shuffling machine: “Smithers, after five years at this firm, I guarantee you’ll be a complete CSM.” (Frank Osen)

CVS: Cardiovascular system and cyclic vomiting syndrome: You don’t mind standing in line at CVS with somebody picking up a prescription for the cardiovascular system. (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)

DAR: Designated Airworthiness Representative and Daughters of the American Revolution: The second is concerned with heir-worthiness (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

DOA: Department of Agriculture and dead on arrival: The former may involve farming, while the latter may involve planting. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

DSI: Deep Space Industries and Docking Score Index would both be good names for sci-fi porn flicks. (Steve Honley, Washington)

DVM: Digital voltmeter and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine: Take my word for it — just let the second of these probe your dog’s rear end. (Frank Osen)

DWI: Driving While Impaired and Deathwish Inc.: One has more words. (Chris Doyle)

Next week’s results: The Tile Invitational, or Between a Rack and a Hard Place, our contest in which we supplied a list of ScrabbleGrams letter sets and asked you to coin new words from them. See bit.ly/invite1072.

Still running — deadline Monday night: Our parody contest to describe one musical with a song set to the tune of another. See bit.ly/invite1074.

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