Yes, he does it. Whenever Adam Goldstein finds himself in the checkout line at the grocery store, some supernatural force takes possession of his 25-year-old body and impels his hand toward those breathless newspapers that are always neatly displayed within easy reach.
For the next couple of minutes, Adam gorges on UFOs, three-legged cats, Victoria Principal and everything else a citizen of the 1980s would ever need to know. So it should come as no surprise that Adam is the winner of this month's neologism contest. You might say he has been preparing for the winner's circle every time he shops.
The May challenge that Adam faced was:
You're checking out of the grocery store. You glance around to make sure no one who knows you is watching. Then, with a wicked grin, you reach for them -- those gossipy newspapers that are always right there and always shout, MOM KILLS HUBBY WITH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, or worse. The irresistible urge to read these scandal sheets while waiting in the grocery line is called . . . .
Precisely right, I thought. The force is magnetism. The papers are rags. A marriage made in heaven.
Actually, the marriage was made in Silver Spring, which may not be heaven, but which is where Adam Goldstein lives and works (as a marketing executive for a company that sells newsletters).
Our winner is Brooklyn-born and mostly Brooklyn-bred (a couple of years in Arizona snuck in there during his teens). Adam came to Washington to attend Georgetown University, and never fell out of love with the place.
Hats off to an excellent winner. Same to these entrants, who came mighty close:
Ragneed: Beverley N. Benda of Alexandria.
Interlewd: Nancy Flinn of Arlington.
Impulse Spying: Martha Newman of Springfield.
Pruriosity: Virginia Mathes of Arlington and Beryl Benderly of Northwest.
Rumortism: David Devereux of Glenwood, Md., and Ellen Burns of Arlington.
Grossery Checkout: Joachim U. Herz of McLean and Stuart Rochester.
Yellow Yearnalism: Scott Dennis of Vienna, Elizabeth B. White of Takoma Park and Margaret Isenman of Chevy Chase.
Shocklifting: William H. Reynolds of Northwest.
Pulpitations: Anne S. Rowan of Northwest, Tony Hope of Northwest, Margaret R. Nathan of Arlington and Robert Kassabian.
Scandalmonium: Edward J. Spence of Alexandria.
Ragread: Michael A. Triebsch of Arlington and Nancy Peth of Silver Spring.
Surreptitillation: Eleanor Davis of Camp Springs and Nancy G. Price of Vienna.
Maga-Low-Mania: Kim McClung of Alexandria and Lynn-Jane F. Lipnick of Arlington.
Slimusitis: William R. DeBenedetto of Woodbridge.
Morbid Journalosity: Barbara Strandt of Bethesda.
Trashination: Dennis Chamot of Burke.
Con-queue-piscence: Nan Terpak.
Salivary Glance: Patricia Schultz of Silver Spring.
Shelf Indulgence: Stanley R. Durkee of Bethesda.
Mea Pulpa: Scott Sheffield of Burke.
Involuntary Mind-Slaughter: Philip G. Desmarais of La Plata, Md.
Entrashment: Liz Davenport of Northeast and Johari Rashad of Southwest.
Sleizure: Lorin Kusmin of Northwest and Rosemary Battaglini of Brownsville, Pa.
Calumneed: Ellen L. Watson of Cabin John.
Checkin' Muck Nuggets: Robert A. Templeton of Arlington.
Trashier's Check: Robin Pellerin of Northwest.
Prurient Express: Judith Hatfield of Unionville, Md.
Peekadillo: Rudolph Paul Hock.
Decravity: Paul Halverson of Fairfax.
Nice bunch! Now let's try to amass another. Here's the June challenge:
You're a normal-sized person who has decided to go to the movies on a Saturday night. You get there 20 minutes before showtime so you can get a good seat. The theater fills up slowly but surely. Just as the lights are dimming, some hulk who's about 6 feet 10 takes the last free seat in the whole place -- which happens to be right in front of you. This phenomenon is called . . . .
If I had any class at all, first prize would be tickets to a movie of your choice where no one over 5 feet 2 would be admitted. But a lawsuit lurks behind that idea, so I offer instead my usual, litigation-free prize: Lunch at a restaurant of the winner's choice somewhere in the Washington area. Levey (who is midway between 5 feet 2 and 6 feet 10) will keep you company. Better: He'll also pay.
These are the rules: You may enter as often as you like. Entries may be on one piece of paper or many. Entries will not be returned or accepted by phone. Entries must bear a daytime and evening phone number.
Please mail all entries to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071. Deadline for the June contest is June 30.