Style Invitational Week 1078: Hyphen the Terrible — neologisms plus winning parodies


The tour-tle, a Hyphen the Terrible winner in 2000 for 87-time Loser Paul Kondis. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
June 26

(Click here to skip down to the winning and Losing song parodies from Week 1074.)

Tour-tle: An out-of-towner who walks really slowly in front of you. (Paul Kondis, 2000)

Pro-zakstan: A country that is always at peace. (Tom Witte, 1997)

Think-ter: The muscle in one’s brain that contracts to prevent crude or embarrassing thoughts from emerging. (David Hartman, 1997)


Take your morning constitutional in this T-shirt. If you win this week’s second prize. (Nan Reiner)

We’ve run at least 15 neologism contests over the years that have asked readers to combine parts of two words to create a new one. This week we bring back the contest’s original name (rather than the more recent “Join Now”) because we’re redrafting the original punctuation mark: This week: Combine one side of any hyphenated word or compound term with one side of another word to make a new hyphenated term, and define it humorously. Both halves must appear in the same issue of The Post or another print newspaper, or in writing published the same day on washingtonpost.com or another online publication (online articles usually have the publication date attached) any day from June 26 through July 7. This is one week that print-paper readers might have an advantage, because narrow newspaper columns often break up long words at the ends of lines, while online publications usually don’t. So you’ll have more hyphens in print. Please mention the two hyphenated words you’re combining, as well as what publication you got them from. You may combine two first halves or second halves, or put a second half first in your new word.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets a cool T-shirt that Loser Nan Reiner found in Florida (it turns out that the proprietor of the In Touch With You T-shirt shop on Key West was familiar with the Invite!): It says “We the People” in old-style Constitution lettering; then under it, in italics, it says: “are piffed.”

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, July 7; results published July 27 (online July 24). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest. Include “Week 1078” 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 Beverley Sharp; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results line is by Christopher Lamora. 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.

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.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

PARODY-HOPPING: THE RESULTS OF WEEK 1074

The challenge in Week 1074 was to write a song about a stage or screen musical — set to the tune of a song from a different musical. The Empress was deluged with all kinds of devilishly funny parodies of everything from Disney flicks to operas. The links on the titles below go to YouTube recordings of the originals, so you can hear the tune as you sing the parodies to yourself. And I’ll be sharing even more of the deserving entries with the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook over the next several weeks; go to on.me.fb/invdev to join.

THE WINNER OF THE INKIN’ MEMORIAL:

“The Sound of Music”
Sung to “Put On a Happy Face” from “Bye Bye Birdie”
Come join our troupe of seven — here in our sappy place.
Lyrical sucrose heaven — it’s a von Trappy place.
Clad in the drapes, we traipse so merrily; each day is fun,
Under the lilting lead of — verily — a singing nun!
Soon she’ll enrapture Daddy — with ingénue aplomb.
He’ll be so blithely glad, he — joins in our gay ensemble,
And we’ll keep singing, though Nazis may chase,
’Cause we’re in a sappy place! (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.; Nan sings this and her other parodies herself on the links to her songs)

2nd place and the 1994 Style Invitational Year 2 Loser T-shirt:

“Frozen”
Sung to “I Cain’t Say No” from “Oklahoma!”
(start video clip at 0:36)
I’m just a girl who makes it snow,
Yet looks as sultry as hell.
Sick of my song? Oh, let it go —
Or blame Idina Menzel.
She’s the one who sings it after all;
I’m just another glamorous cartoon
Who’s proportioned like a Barbie doll,
With eyes so wide they’d make a lemur swoon.
What does a 2-D princess know?
Well, I can say beyond doubt:
People who grumble and shout
Trying to stamp earworms out
Just make them grow. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

3rd place

“Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway
Sung to “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid”
(start video at 0:16)
Here is a play from a Disney movie
Brought back to life on the Broadway stage.
“Dad, can we please?” “Mom, it’s really groovy!”
4 to 14 is the target age.
You grown-ups might find it ranklin’:
You know this plot all too well
And each ticket costs a Franklin —
Why put yourself through this hell?
It’s rated G! It’s rated G!
Sure it is lame, but suitably tame,
Profanity-free!
Family fun for one and all
As long as you’re under 4 feet tall —
Come out and clap for recycled pap, ’cause
It’s rated G! (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

4th place

“The Phantom of the Opera”
Sung to “A Spoonful of Sugar” from “Mary Poppins” (start video at 0:20)
A canoe in the sewer
Is the way I get around!
My mind is most unsound
But I am romance bound!
A canoe in the sewer
Is the way I get around
’Neath the Paris Opera House.

Though I’m an ugly S.O.B.
She loves my air of mystery
And longs to get a peek inside my mask.
But if her boyfriend dares appear
I’m gonna drop the chandelier
You’ll scream! With fright!
And then I’ll sing “The Music of the Night” . . . (Kathleen DeBold, Burtonsville, Md.)

THE PARODIES OEUVRE: HONORABLE MENTIONS

“Sweeney Todd” to “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” from “Oklahoma!”

(Intro verse:) When I bow and show you to my chair,
You must think I’m going to cut your hair.
Never mind the bloodstains on those snow-white linens,
There’s no reason why you should beware.


Gents and chaps and blokes better worry —
I’m not here to make ’em less furry.
They’ll be cut up into a slurry once I’ve used my strop.

When they sit and show their carotid,
Drape laid out and carefully knotted,
They’ve used up the time they’re allotted and the clock must stop!

My chair has levers, the upholstery’s red,
It has a chute to the pie shop.
My clients go down to Mrs. Lovett’s, dead,
So no one will find them in my shop.

Some might think this treatment is nasty.
It’s no worse than some rhinoplasty.
Down to meet their fate as a pasty they will go, kerplop,
Once I kill ’em with my razor in my fine Fleet Street shop. (David Franks, Greenland, Ark.)

“Les Misérables”
To “Seventy-Six Trombones” from “The Music Man”

Seventy-six young men led the prison gang, with a hundred-and-ten-mile slog just begun.
From a horrible death one’s freed, by the superhuman deed of a man called 24601.
Seventy-six young men storm the barricades, while the wretched Fantine sells more than her hair.
Through the sewers crawls Jean Valjean (he’s our 24601) out of reach of grim gendarme Javert.

In the village, times are fat for the Thenardiers: Thundering, plundering everything in sight.
Peasants, though, are starving for some party days … hearty days which should be theirs by right.
At the barricades, all eyes are trained on Marius: Yearning to turn his head, all the girls connive.
Against a foe nefarious, his fate is so precarious, you pray he just makes it out alive.

Seventy-six young men meet their massacre, while a hundred and ten small girls start to sob.
After almost four hours passed, comes the curtain down at last:
Sacré bleu! – Mon Dieu! – and Halleleu! Adieu – to tout “Les Misérables!” (Nan Reiner)

“Les Misérables” To “Anything Goes” (start at 0:35)
Aboard the ship the slaves are rowing,
We don’t know where they are going, but we surmise
Everyone dies.
Javert, it seems, has quite a passion
For giving Valjean a lashin’ for stealing ryes —
Everyone dies.
And when they start to sing
It won’t mean a thing —
They sing everything,
And the songs they sing
Tug at every string
So we hope you bring
Along Puffs for your eyes!

The women turn to prostitution,
The men start a revolution, say their goodbyes,
Everyone dies.
They build a barricade of wicker,
They should’ve used something thicker.
It’s no surprise
Everyone dies. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

“The Book of Mormon”
To
“Hard Knock Life” from “Annie”

It’s the knock-knock life for us,
It’s the knock-knock life for us,
Door-to-door we travel with
All the words of Joseph Smith,
It’s the knock-knock life.

To Uganda we must go,
There the knock-knock row to hoe;
Though Orlando was our hope
We will find some way to cope.
It’s the knock-knock life.

Don’t you feel no one wants to be converted,
Don’t it seem no one wants to see the light?
Add some “Star Wars” and they will be diverted
And you’ll have a congregation overnight!
Do you have any issues that you’ve skirted,
Do you fight inner demons in the night?
If you have feelings you might think perverted,
You can shove them down and bottle them up tight!
That’s the knock-knock life! (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

“West Side Story”
to “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” from “A Chorus Line”

Dance: ten; fists: three —
It’s a fistfight simulation,
Not a gangbang altercation --
That ain’t it, man, that ain’t it, man
Dance: ten; fists, three —
It’s, like, so lame;
Left the theater and went uptown to
Catch the Islanders game.

Jets and Sharks: It’s no rumble when it’s ballet;
Rough-and-tumble dudes don’t chassé
No true grit in it, no one hit in it
Sharks and Jets: Ports-de-bras and pirouettes,
All the while throwing punches from pliés!
Jets and Sharks are easy marks
In grands jetés! (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

“Chicago” to to “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from “Frozen”

Do you want to kill your husband?
You’ll spend some time in jail.
Just feign confusion, fake distress, and woo the press;
They’ll want to pay your bail!
Your face will fill the papers,
Your name in lights,
In minutes you’ll be a star!
Do you want to kill your husband?
Then go ahead and kill your husband;
You’ll go far. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

“Cabaret” to “On the Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady”

I have often come down this way before
But the shows I saw were never this risqué before
Girls in garters dance, absent all romance
In this smoke-filled Berlin cabaret.

Intellectuals and the working Jew
Are depicted as an ape who wears a pink tutu.
It’s just like I feared, things are getting weird;
And it starts in this Berlin cabaret.

But oh, her voice is enchanting,
Can’t describe how good it all feels.
And yet, I hear myself panting
Being dazzled by this dude in 10-inch heels.

When the house is drunk, then I start to think
I would like to hope they’re all as dumb as Colonel Klink
But reality proves Reich Number Three
Spends its nights in this Berlin cabaret . (Frank Mann, Washington)

“Oh! Calcutta!”to “Food, Glorious Food” from “Oliver!” (start vi deo at 0:48)
Nudes! Glorious nudes!
Full bosoms and nethers!
Both women and dudes
In their altogethers!
Just flashing some naughty bits,
In all of their glory,
Sure rescues a show when it’s
Got no story!

No, no, we’re not lewd;
It’s not pornographic --
We’re harshly reviewed,
But what pulls in the traffic?
One rule’s let us run for years:
Lure out-of-town prudes
With ... nudes! Fabulous nudes!
Everywhere, nudes! Glorious nudes!
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

“Sweeney Todd,” to “Being Alive” from “Company” (start at 1:49)

Someone to grind up your limbs,
Someone to chop off each toe,
Someone to pluck out your hair,
And wrap you in dough,
And make you prepared
For being a pie — being a pie!

You surely made a mistake --
You only wanted a shave,
But it’s unfortunate fact
You’re doomed to a grave (Well, digestive tract)
’Cause now you’re a pie, Now you’re a pie! (Laurie Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)  

“Sunday in the Park With George,” to “Guys & Dolls”
When a show’s main plot’s painting millions of dots,
You can bet that the subject is Georges Seurat.
When he jabs his brush with a swift rat-a-tat,
And repeats this technique, till after a week, he’s finished a hat.
He unmakes his heart, blots his love out for art,
While you stare with a puzzled “Je ne sais quoi…”
Call him daft, call him crazy. (Get too close and the picture’s hazy.)
You can bet that the cuckoo is Georges Seurat – okay, Seurat? –
We get that the lunatic’s Georges Seurat! (Nan Reiner)

“Sunday in the Park With George,” to “You Gotta Have Heart” from “Damn Yankees”

You gotta have art!
Put some paintings in your heart.
Show the critics all the talent you’ve got
’Cause every last dot is smart.
You gotta mix paint.
Brush it on with some restraint.
It’s okay to be eccentric or nuts
Or even a putz who ain’t a saint.
First you gotta have art.

Make your mistress pose on Sunday.
Tell her not to move a hair.
When she says she wants a fun day,
Tell her you don’t really care . . . (chorus)

When your creditors are looming,
Just forget your dot designs.
‘Cause your business will be booming
If you simply paint some lines!
There’s nothing to it but to do it . . . (chorus) (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.)

Verdi’s opera “Otello” to “Oklahoma!”

Des-demona, girl, I fear you’ll be the death of me!
I’ve got a real Achilles’ heel:
My fatal flaw’s my jealousy!
Des-demona, your behavior’s gotten quite risqué!
Your handsome hunk has just got drunk
And “in vino veritas” they say!

I know Mr. Cassio’s confessed —
Why, that rascal’s a cuckoo in my nest!
You scheming ho’! (I know! I know!) Iago told me so! (It’s sayonara)
You’re going down Desdemona, Desdemona, oh woe!

Des-demona, I just simply have to face the facts
That despite my rank, you brazen skank,
You’ve been making that beastie with two backs!
Des-demona, I can prove your infidelity.
I’d spare you if that handkerchief
Were with your other lingerie!

I’m sorry I couldn’t fulfill thee,
And I’m sorry I now have to kill thee.
Now wrong’d Othell-o will send you straight to Hell! (oh now I’ve done it)
I’m all undone, Desdemona, Desdemona, farewell! (Anne Hodgkinson, Utrecht, the Netherlands)

“Oklahoma!” set to “Greased Lightning” from “Grease” (start at 0:22)
The wheels are yeller, upholstery’s brown. (Oh, yeah!)
The dash is leather, the curtains roll down. (Oh, yeah!)
With sidelights both a-blinkin’, ain’t no finer rig I’m thinkin’,
The chicks and ducks will scream, and the dairy cows make cream
For Fringed Surry. (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney)

“Lady and the Tramp” to “Jet Song” from “West Side Story”

When you’re a pet, you’re a pet all the way.
You got shots at the vet, you’re no dirty old stray!
.When you’re a pet, you get food from a can,
And you don’t have to fret ’bout ‘Bout the dogcatcher man.
But love’s movin’ in -- that mutt that you just met, he
Got under your skin, and soon you’re going steady,
To slurp spaghetti !
There’s no regret when he comes home to stay:
In a flash you are set in a family way!
Did they forget to spay a pet? (Mark Raffman)

“The Lion King” to “Suddenly Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors”
(start at 0:37)

Up at Pride Rock, we animals gather:
Some presentation is about to occur.
Why are we here, so early this mornin’?
Now a baboon has a small ball of fur.
Suddenly Simba is hoisted before us.
His father, Mufasa, presents us his son.
Suddenly Simba is here to provide us
Royal succession – Simba’s the one.

Hang on a minute, nothing comes easy.
Uncle is trouble, mean as can be.
Voiced by the actor who played Claus von Bülow
And the main bad guy from “Die Hard 3.”
Suddenly Simba is deep in the doo-doo.
His uncle takes over when dad bites the dust.
Suddenly Simba is running away now.
So much for ruling – Simba’s a bust.

He meets a meerkat and later a warthog –
Comic relief in a serious flick.
(Please understand that my space is restricted,
So like it or not, I will finish up quick.
Finally Simba’s done with vacation,
Teenager Simba defeats Uncle Scar.
Leave it to Disney to bastardize Hamlet.
When you’re finished reading,
When you’re finished reading,
When you’re finished reading,
I’ll be in the bar. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)

Look for more parodies each day for at least a week on the Style Invitational Devotees page on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.

Still running — deadline Monday night: our Tom Swifty contest. See bit.ly/invite1077.

Next week’s results: Falsity Is Job One, or Faux-Wheel Drive, our contest for bogus trivia about cars and the automotive world. See bit.ly/invite1075.

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