She claims to have been excited when she found out she won. But why? After the year she's had, Julie Edwards ought to greet another victory the way the rest of us greet our boring cousin Arthur.
Julie began the year by accompanying a friend to Atlantic City. There, she played craps for the first time. Her $100 doubled.
Then she entered a contest on radio station Q-107. The prize: free Michael Jackson tickets. The result: Bingo.
Next, she entered a similar Q-107 contest for Bruce Springsteen tickets. Bingo again. Finally, one day last month, she sat down at her desk during her lunch hour to enter my October neologism contest.
The challenge was: You get on an empty elevator at the ground floor and push the button for the 10th floor. The elevator stops at the third floor and someone gets on. He can see that the "10" button is already pushed, but he pushes it again, anyway. What do you call this phenomenon?
"I sat there and said, 'Hmmm,' " recalled Julie, between bites of her celebratory steak at The Palm. "It should have 'push' in it, I decided. And it should have something cute. It just came to me."
Post push-em depression.
That's a delightful entry on its face, and even more so for its puns-within-a-pun. "Post" spoofs the very journal you're holding in your hands. And "depression" refers not just to the act of depressing a button, but to the emotional downer caused by having to watch some yokel punch it a second time. All in all, a worthy winner.
"Worthy" is a pun, too, since our winner is an accountant. She works for the National Council of Senior Citizens, lives in Arlington and turned 26 on election day. She's an "Army brat" who graduated from Marshall High School and Marymount College. And she ascribes her victory to her parents.
"They always encouraged all three of their daughters to do well in English," Julie said. "That's what makes winning your contest so special. The $100 and the Jackson tickets and the Springsteen tickets I won by chance. This I won with my brain!"
Other good brains were busy on the October challenge, and their entries were almost Palm-worthy, too. The best of the near-misses:
Confloormation (Robert I. Levine of Northwest).
Verifloorcation (Beth Massey of Burke).
Reinfloorsment (Lorraine Randecker of Falls Church first, several others later).
Uptimism or Pressimism (Joan T. Gilmour).
Redundabutton (Noel R. Jablonski of Vienna).
Tentenabulation (Katharine R. Leach-Lewis of Centreville).
Dope-pushing (John Buckley of Silver Spring).
Presstidittotation (Jeff Covel of Arlington).
Echopunchure (M. Kathleen Welsh of Arlington).
Floorabunda (Virginia E. Hogan of Bethesda).
Floorsure (Barbara C. Stanley of Falls Church).
And Compulsapush (Claire Weiner of Gaithersburg).
For November, the challenge concerns an all-too-common situation (with thanks -- but mostly abject apologies -- to the spouse who suffers heavily from this, Jane Freundel Levey).
You're approaching a toll plaza on a highway. You ask your front-seat passenger to hand you exact change so you can use the exact change lane. He or she does. But as you're pulling up to the booth, you glance at the coins so you can see with your own eyes that what the passenger handed you is correct.
As always, the prize is a free lunch with Levey, so you can see for yourself what kind of man regularly doubts his wife's ability to amass exactly 50 cents. Entries by Nov. 30, please, to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.