And what, pray tell, was your inspiration, Debra Leopold? "An old boss," she replied. "He gave me a book as a present once. It was inscribed. To him."
So it goes in the world of gift-giving -- and gift re-giving. And so it went for Debra when she noticed our October neologism contest. She immediately remembered her dear, sweet, cheap boss. She entered. And she walked off with first prize.
The October challenge was:
What do you call people who give gifts that they obviously got as gifts?
That seemed to catch the wave exactly right. Foolanthropists try to fool the person who's receiving the gift for the second time. But the real fool is the re-giver. All in all, a clear winner.
Debra credits her success not just to her foolanthropistic former boss, but also to a high school pastime. She was captain of the Latin Scrabble team at Montgomery Blair High School. That sharpened up her language skills "like nothing else," Debra says.
Debra is a businesswoman nowadays. She is president of First Class Inc., an adult continuing education center near Dupont Circle. She says the business leaves her less time than she'd like for Latin Scrabble and her other passion, ballet. But Debra just proved that it takes only a few seconds and a few scribbles to carry the day. Well done!
Same goes for this month's Almosts and Nearlies. They are:
Re-Presentative: More than 350 of you.
Re-Donne-Dant: Andrea Zuercher of Takoma Park.
Repeat Offerenders: Joan Casey of Bethesda.
Giftovers: Minnie Durante of Arlington.
Miss Wrap-resend-ation: Carol Saltzman of Northwest.
Gift of Gaffe: Milton Kohn of Silver Spring.
Ingrates of Wrap: Debra Lashbrook of Falls Church.
Poor Relegations: Brian K. Harvey of Burtonsville.
Re-Presenthensible: Leroy R. Brown Jr. of Annapolis.
Trashpassers: Darryl Adams of Gaithersburg.
Wrapeat Offenders: Todd Okun of Burke.
Alms Away: Elizabeth Bailey of Alexandria.
Buypassers: Babs Klein of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Frugiftal: Pat Robins of Rockville.
Present Imperfect: Caroline B. Sanchez of Bethesda.
Buck-It Brigade: Jacki Lippman.
Chutzpalmoffer: Barbara McGarry Peters of Alexandria.
Twicicles: Miles Klein of East Brunswick, N.J.
Cad-eaux: Christine M. Du Bois of Northwest.
Spurnt Offerings: Mary Oleson of Chevy Chase.
The Great Re-Tender: Richard Coleman of Alexandria.
Geeks Bearing Gifts: Phyllis A. Caples of Rockville.
Reflipients: Michele Gordon Kolsky of Northwest.
Second-Hand Rogue: Joan Runge of Beltsville.
Presentidigitator: Andrea Mallette of Beltsville and Bonnie Crystall Price of Northwest.
Two Time User: Paula O'Hearn of Dumfries.
Bargain Shunter: Anna L. Patrick of Alexandria.
Reebox-er: Robert Gallagher of Falls Church and Joe Welch of Harwich, Mass.
Stocking Slougher: Capt. Jim Ferguson of Southwest.
Omnipresent: Cynthia Potter of Bethesda.
Double Dupers: Joe Tabian of Bethesda.
Free Unloaders: A. W. Vandermeer Jr. of Virginia Beach.
Buycyclers: Nancy Gregory of Fairfax.
Gallbearers: Anne Underwood of Arlington.
And Parcelmonious: Ted, Linda and Abby Greensfelder of Northwest.
From one odd behavioral kink, we move to another. Here's the November challenge (it's the brainchild of Saretta Zitver of Bethesda).
What do you call it when you put mail in a mailbox, close the lid, then immediately reopen it to be sure the mail went down?
The game works the way it has lo these many years. First prize is that which they say there ain't no such as -- a free lunch. It's free because Levey pays. He also shows up to keep you company and to find the waiter when you want more iced tea.
You may enter as often as you like, on one piece of paper or several. Entries will not be accepted by phone, and will not be returned. All entries become my property. Entries that do not bear the entrant's daytime and evening phone numbers will be disqualified. In case of duplicate entries, the winner will be the one that's postmarked earliest.
Entries for the November challenge must be postmarked by Nov. 30. Please mail them to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071. And if you'd like to reopen the mailbox to see if your entry went down, that's okay by me.