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Staying power: The long-running ‘foal’ name and ‘joint legislation’ contests

Example for the Week 799 joint legislation contest:  The Schock-Warner Act to mandate beach alarms to announce the approach of flabby guys in Speedos. (2009) (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

These two hardy perennials rank among the Invite’s most widely entered contests every year.

Horse ‘breeding’

Every year since 1995, upon the suggestion of Loser and racing enthusiast Mike Hammer, we’ve presented a list of horses eligible for that year’s Triple Crown and asked you to “breed” any two and name their “foal” based on a clever combination of their names. Before the Empress instituted a 25-entry limit, some Losers would submit 500 names in a week. Since 2006, there’s also been a spinoff contest for “grandfoals” from the winning entries.

Among the notable nags of the past decade:

Rock Hard Ten x Read the Footnotes = Centimeters (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax, Va., Week 552, 2004)

He’s a Lumberjack x Lawyer Ron = Chop Suey (Rich Muenchow, Bethesda, Md., Week 656, 2006)

Love Me Tendon x Crude Remark = In Sinew VIII (Russell Beland, Springfield, Va., Week 660, 2006, from the first grandfoal contest)

Months Ending in R x Nats Blow Another = Days Ending in Y (Pam Sweeney, Germantown, Md., Week 712, 2007, another grandfoal)

Pyro + Mapmaker = Your Heatin’ Chart (Cy Gardner, Arlington, Va., Week 759, 2008)

Pitched Perfectly x Gone Astray = Don Larceny (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville, Md., Week 810, 2009)

D’ Funnybone x Lethal Combination = MansLaughter (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va., Week 863, 2010)

You’re A-Peein’ x Excessive Passion = The Whizzer of Id (Malcolm Fleschner, Palo Alto, Calif., Week 867, 2010, a grandfoal)

‘Joint legislation’

Every two years, with each new session of Congress, we have a contest to create a “bill” that combines the names of two or more (sometimes many more) congressional freshmen. Among the spicier sausage-making:

The Foxx-Stenholm resolution, stating that no daughter of mine is leaving the house dressed like that. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md., Week 590, 2005)

The Bright-Lee-Fleming- Massa-Cao-Fudge Bovine Biofuels Development Act (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C., Week 799, 2009)

The Rush-Farr-Olver-Waters-Slaughter-Towns-Kaptur-Hastings-Castle-Kildee-King Act to commemorate the achievements of William the Conqueror in 1066. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park, Md., Week 861, 2010, in an off-year contest in which only longtime members of Congress could be used)

The Duncan-Pearce Act to reform CIA interrogation techniques. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City, Week 903, 2011)

The Johnson-Hanabusa Act, which that would make self-gratification a federal crime. (Matt Kane, New York, Week 903, 2011)

Be sure to check out the many other segments of this 20th-anniversary Style Invitational retrospective: classic limericks; song parodies; neologisms (new words); and dozens of other winning entries from the past decade. Plus how to enter this week’s new contest, and a look at the Losers and their remarkable subculture. And more! See the index of articles here.

Next: The best jokes ever? Three dozen gems sifted from 515 contests.


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