(Click here to skip down to the results of our contest to slightly change the name of a music group.)
Textravaganza: A previously enjoyable family dinner.
Extravaganja: Rocky Mountain Highest.
Exbravaganza: At this women’s festival, they’re letting it all hang out.
Along with the limericks and the horse names and the Your Mama jokes, The Style Invitational never strays too long from one neologism contest or another. The last one was eight weeks ago, when we asked you to combine halves of two hyphenated words in the paper; now we’re back to a variation of our famous change-by-one-letter contest, this one suggested by Chris Doyle, the highest-scoring Loser ever:
1. Start with any 12-letter word, name or multi-word phrase.
2. Add one letter OR drop one letter OR substitute another letter OR switch the positions of two letters to create a new term, as in the examples above. (Adding or dropping will result in a 11- or 13-letter term.)
3. Define or describe the result humorously. You might use the word in a funny sentence. You might also use the word in an unfunny sentence, if you’d like the Empress to roll her eyes and fill her wastebasket further.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a T-shirt that, while not one of our official Loser T-shirts, is a handsome school-bus-yellow T-shirt that says, “It’s Official! You’re a Loser.” Which is close. Donated by Invite Hall of Famer Elden Carnahan, who also gave us a huge stack of various Loser T-shirts he’d won since Year 1 (we’re now in Year 22). We’ll continue to offer those (dust) collector’s items occasionally as runner-up prizes.
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 email@example.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Sept. 1; results published Sept. 21 (online Sept. 18). No more than 25 entries per entrant per contest. Include “Week 1086” 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 for the “next week’s results” line is by Tom Witte. 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.
In Week 1082, we asked you to slightly change the name of a music performer or band and then describe it in some way, such as what song the band played. The Empress received a deluge of some 2,200 suggestions — a SXSW of name puns. A number of great names weren’t quite matched by their descriptions; among them are Keith Suburban, Sid Viscous, Creche Test Dummies, Lynryd Cohen, Sheryl Cro-Magnon, Minivan Halen, Duron Duron, Carport Convention, the Siberian Trans Orchestra, Eric Clap, Lycan Tina Turner, the Tijuana Bris, the Filth Dimension, the Bee Geez Us, Miley Vyrus and David Owie.
Kerry & the Peacemakers: Nobody bought his “We Can Work It Out,” so he’s currently singing a cover of “When Doves Cry.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Tennessee Ernie Fraud: Aha! Company store records show that he actually loaded only 15 tons! (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Iron, Maiden: A notoriously anti-feminist band. (J. Calvin Smith, Talking Rock, Ga.)
NORAD Jones’s big hit was “Bomb Away With Me.” (Marc Shapiro, Alexandria, Va., a First Offender)
The Village Peephole: Hmm, maybe you don’t want to stay at the YMCA . . . (Beverley Sharp)
The Chris Christie Minstrels: Mistakenly believed to have recorded “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” (Joe Godles, Bethesda, Md.)
Pink Freud: “Hey! Teacher! Leave them ids alone.” (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Olivia Neutron-Bomb: Her music won’t break a glass, but it kills any human who happens to hear it. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)
Paxl Rose: This star of Guns ’N Doses opened the Pharm Aid concert. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
Naomi & Wynonna Fudd: Dazzling crowds with “Wockin’ With the Whythm of the Wain.” (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
They Might Be Gents: Cross-dressing alternative rock band. (Jill Renkey, Frederick, Md.)
Crosby Steals Hash of Young: Possibly the reason the band broke up. (Jay Cummings, Greenbelt, Md.)
OREO Speedwagon: They hit No. 1 with “Can’t Fight This Filling.” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
The Bee Pees: This “pop” act recorded “How Can You Mend a Broken Well?” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Run-D.M.V.: They’re surly as hell, but people still wait for hours in line to see them. (Mark Raffman)
The Fifth Dementia: “Would you like to ride on my beautiful baboon?” (Beverley Sharp)
Dionne Warlock hit it big with “That’s What Fiends Are For.” (Dann Sklarew, Arlington, Va.)
Urp, Wind & Fire: They did the new Taco Bell jingle. (Andy Schotz, Thurmont, Md., a First Offender)
Alices in Chairs: This old-school group literally rocks! (Margaret Welsh, Oakton, Va.; Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
Johnny C. Ash: He actually fell into a ring of fire. (Chris Doyle; Christopher Damm, Charles Town, W.Va.)
Maria Callous bitterly wrote Jackie about her ex, Aristotle Onassis: “Beware of Greeks wearing lifts.” (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)
Kraft-Twerk: German synth rock with “Shake das Booty.” (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
The Five Stains: They had that big doo-wop hit “In the Spill of the Night.” (Roy Ashley, Washington)
Frank Snotra: Ol’ Red Nose is back! (Mike Ostapiej, Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Dank Sinatra: “I’ve Got You Under My Sink.” (Roy Ashley)
The Belch Boys: Their hits included “Burpin’ U.S.A.” and “The Little Old Lady With Gas Edema” (Mark Raffman)
Cialis Cooper: “I’m Eighteen (plus 48).” (Seth Tucker, Washington)
Gurney: The reinvented power-pop band scored with the seniors’ rock anthem “Please Stop Relievin’.” (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
Boston Pop Orchestra: Famed for its rendition of the “1812” Overture with giant rolls of bubble wrap. (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
Paul Sanka: Did a hit cover of “Waking Up Is Hard to Do.” (Roy Ashley)
The Bland: Gentle Americana like “The Night They Drove Aunt Dixie Down to the Supermarket.” (John Shea)
Nixon Airplane: They topped the charts with “Somebody to Kick.” (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Borenaked Ladies: They leave behind disappointed groupies wherever they tour. (Pam Sweeney)
Tammy Whynot: She stood by her man — and everyone else’s. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)
Gordon Leadfoot : “The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald’s Ferrari.” (Steve McClemons, Arlington, Va.)
FLABBA: Toothsome Swedes hit it big with “Dairy Queen” and “Can’t Get My Pants on Me.” (Rob Huffman; Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)
AABBA: Their biggest hit began, “There once was a boy named Fernando . . .” (Mark Raffman)
The Self-Righteous Brothers: How DARE you lose that lovin’ feelin’! (Steve McClemons)
Adele Dazeem: “See, I only altered her name slightly . . . isn’t it obvious?!” — J. Travolta (May Jampathom, Oakhurst, N.J.)
Cyndi Pauper: Famed for “Dime After Dime” and Girls Just Wanna Have Funds.” (Jon Gearhart)
Cyndi Leper: Her career peaked with “Toe after Toe.” Then everything fell apart. (David Friedman, Arlington, Va.)
The Polite: “I’ll be watching you, as long as it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable.” (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
And Last: Ink Floyd: “We don’t need no erudition, we don‘t need no taste control . . . ” (Bruce Carlson, Alexandria, Va.)
Still running — deadline Monday night: Our contest for ideas for souvenirs from real and imagined gift shops. See bit.ly/invite1085.
Next week’s results: Everybody Get Appy, or Game of Phones, a contest for imagined new apps. See bit.ly/invite1083.