Nadvil. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post )

(Click here to skip down to the winning "(un)True Confessions)"

Nadvil: Relieves post-vasectomy pain. (Tom Witte)

Non-interferon: A black-market drug often slipped to unsuspecting in-laws. (Meg Sullivan)

Herbal Hoover: A tranquilizer that's been taken off the market because it was found to cause depression. (Chester Myslicki)

Here's a contest we haven't run since 2000 (when it was suggested by the 5-year-old son of the Czar), and surely we could use some more suggestions to cure what ails us: This week: Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat, as in the examples above from Week 356.

Submit entries at this website: (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives yet another in our series of Tacky Sculptures Made Entirely of Little Shells, and in fact our second of the Shells Playing Poker subgenre. In this one, it's all shells except for the cards; even the pile of poker chips is an itty-bitty snail house. This fine artwork was donated years ago by either Chronic Shell Art Donor Cheryl Davis of Chronic Shell Art Donor Nan Reiner; neither can remember, so I'll call it a nefarious conspiracy between them.

Other runners-up win our "You Gotta Play to Lose" Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, "I Got a B in Punmanship." Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, "No Childishness Left Behind" or "Magnum Dopus." First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air "freshener" (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Nov. 13; results published Dec. 3 (online Nov. 30). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week's results was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and Tom Witte; Tom also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at "Like" Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational The Empress's weekly online column, published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of results. Check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In Week 1248 we asked for some "(un)true confessions" like the ones in Stephen Colbert's long-running bit. About a dozen people confessed that they were the one who let the dogs out.

We also invited true true-confessions. Among them were several that the Empress greeted with "Well, sure, I do that": They included eating the entire apple, including the core; refilling bottles of brand-name water from the tap; and, of course, singing along with pop songs but correcting their grammar. I mean, doesn't everyone?

I messed around with the letters on this church marquee . . ." anagram by Jon Gearhart, Des Moines) (Photoshop play by Jon Gearhart)

4th place:

When I see the sign “Caution! Wet Floor,” I do. (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.)

3rd place:

When people post photos of their children on Facebook, I respond using the “sad” emoticon. (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)

2nd place

and the big cloppy wooden shoes:
The truth is, I trust my husband completely. I just like getting invited to all those fancy business dinners. — K. Pence (Hildy Zampella, Falls Church, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

I cut my tofu into animal shapes. I usually eat the heads first. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Disc‘losers’: Honorable mentions

If I finish the toilet paper roll, I leave a stick-it note on the holder to remind my wife. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

I pour my Sam’s Club Scotch into a Costco Scotch bottle so people will think I’m classy. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

I sometimes sneak up behind my co-workers and scare them by popping a paper bag. Look, you’ve got to find ways to pass the time when you’re in the Secret Service. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Although I have never been there, I have done that. And I would do it again. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

I extend the five-second rule to 10 for spilled beer. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

In public toilets I belt out “Elmo’s Potty Time Song” to mask the gross sounds my body is making. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

One time a date seemed to suspect my “British accent,” so I started driving on the left side of the road to maintain the ruse. (Ben Aronin, Washington)

Sometimes I call in sick to work when I’m actually sick. (Leigh Giza, Bristow, Va.)

To be completely honest, I kind of went trepidatiously where no man had gone before. — J. Kirk, Riverside, Iowa (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

I kept my legs crossed for a whole 2½ minutes so that we could have the first baby of the New Year. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

To toughen my kids up, I throw their old art projects in the recycling bin without turning them face down. (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

Last night I rearranged the letters on the local church marquee: “CHOOSE THE BREAD OF LIFE OR YOU WILL SURELY BE TOAST” became “SHARE OF YOUR LOAF OR YOULL BE SLICED TO THE WEE BITS.” (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

In restaurants, I pretend to blow my nose so I can hide that I’m picking my teeth. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

I regularly pee in the pool. You do, too? Well, I mean the carpool. (Mike Creveling, La Plata, Md.)

I told the police officer I was texting. Truthfully, I was painting my toenails. (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick, Md.)

After years of picking up after my dogs, I found that if I first put my hand in the plastic bag and use it like a glove, I didn’t have to actually touch the poop! (Steve Fahey, Kensington, Md.)

I try to impress girls by telling them I played football for the University of Phoenix. (Larry McClemons, Annandale, Va.)

Instead of using lots of little pet waste bags, I’ll use a 20-gallon trash bag until it’s full. (Jeff Shirley)

Sometimes I eat ice cream out of the carton. But if I don’t like it, I put it right back in the grocer’s freezer. (Bruce Niedt, Cherry Hill, N.J.)

Sometimes I wash my hands after going to the restroom, so I won’t have to tell a lie. (Lee Graham, Washington)

When I’m dissolving a corpse in acid I can’t help singing the Roto-Rooter jingle: “. . . and away go troubles down the drain.” (Gary Crockett)

Every Valentine’s Day, I send several flower arrangements to myself at work, each with a large card reading, “To the World’s Greatest Lover.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

I always stand during the national anthem, but when I do, I fantasize about moving to Canada. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

I defiantly take a knee for the national anthem. Well, actually, I sit. Well, I stay seated on my couch. So I guess I take a butt for the national anthem. (Duncan Stevens)

I enjoy eating just half of one Lay’s potato chip. (Kevin Dopart)

I watch five minutes of lots of terrible movies on Netflix, just to mess with the algorithm for the rest of the family. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. And I know how he got in my pajamas. (Mike Connaghan, Alexandria, Va.)

When I realized I had 13 items in a 12-item checkout line at the grocery store, I avoided the guilt by eating the candy bar. (Dave Prevar)

When I step on a crack, it doesn’t break my mother’s back, but it does give squirrels hemorrhoids. (Steve McClemons, Arlington)

I, personally, did not wang chung last night, as I had wang chunged the previous night. (Duncan Stevens)

You scratch my back, I’ll still never scratch your disgusting back. (Rob Huffman)

I had to look up the meaning of “FOMO” because I was afraid of missing out on what all the cool kids were saying. (May Jampathom, Oakhurst, N.J.)

My friend once sang out of tune. I stood up and walked out on him. (Duncan Stevens)

I once drank all the Communion wine because my pastor said God helps those who help themselves. (Jesse Frankovich)

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard even though it's actually made with nondairy frozen dessert. (Danielle Nowlin)

Nearly as hard as writing 2,500 entries for this week’s contest was coming up with 99 believable pseudonyms. (Fresse Jankovich, Gland Redge, Mich.)

And some actually true confessions!

I once called 911 to report a home invasion because I forgot it was my wife’s day off. (Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

The only “Science Friday” episode I understood was the one about making jam. (Sandy Moran, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Sometimes when my child couldn’t find a favorite book he wanted me to read yet again, it’s because I’d just kicked it under the couch. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

(See this week's Style Conversational column, published late Thursday afternoon, for some other true true-confessions that are fascinating if not exactly funny.)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Nov. 6: Our contest for Things to Be Thankful For. See