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Week 884: Combine two products to make a new, funnier one

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
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By The Empress
Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Escaladder: A combination escalator and ladder, similar to an escalator that you climb step by step. This device is often found in Metro stations. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

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Here's a contest -- to combine two devices or other products to make a new one -- that we last did in 1998. We're hoping that the last dozen years have yielded enough new stuff to make for fresh combinations, or at least that Loser brains can churn up some new mash-ups of old stuff. (Yes, surely their stomachs can.) You can see the results of Week 265 on the online version of this column here.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins this fabulous electronic stuffed lamb, sent to The Post by the Gospel Music Channel, probably in 2007, which is when we gave away another one like it; the Empress recently recovered it from a newsroom discard pile and installed it on her desk. Turn it on, and the lamb's hoofs wave in rhythm as a baritone leads a funky choir with great, unending gusto. You can imagine how much the assiduous writers and editors on the fourth floor of the Post building enjoy having the Empress stop by.

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Loser Magnets. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Sept. 13. Put "Week 884" in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results to be published Oct. 2. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's results is by Kevin Dopart; this week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Craig Dykstra.

Report from Week 881

in which we asked to to find "hidden messages" in the names of people or organizations, consisting of letters extracted from the name, in order: While we said we'd accept a few identifying words appended to the name, we also warned you not to go overboard with lengthy descriptions that might yield a couple of useful letters. The best of the latter type -- which still wins no magnet -- was by Jim Reagan of Manassas: "Tiger Woods, Major Nike Company Investment, No. 80 in Winnings" contains "Too many swings." On the other hand, we did fall for an entry that made going overboard part of the joke: See the long, long, long one near the end of the list.

The winner of the Inker

Vice President Joseph Biden: I, I , I (Russell Beland, Fairfax)

2. the winner of the 12-piece glow-in-the-dark set of Frogmen vs. Radioactive Octopus: Rush Limbaugh: Ugh. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

3. Kevin Bacon: VI. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

4. The British royal family: It's a fail. (Stephen Gold, Glasgow, Scotland)

More intel inside : Honorable mentions

Yoko Ono: OK? No. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

Parents Television Council: "Pants ON!" (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Bill O'Reilly: Ill! Ill! (Edmund Conti)


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