(Click here to skip down to the winning neologisms from Week 1277)

For many years, the Empress has had a lovely neighbor around the corner whom we’ll call Dave, since his name is Dave. And when they see each other around the ’hood, Dave will often say, “You know, I see that thing of yours in the newspaper, that contest — and man, I just don’t get it.”

Dave, here is your contest. It is the most gettable of contests.

You know those googly eyes you can stick onto things? Get yourself a pack at the dollar store, or just draw some, and . . . This week: Send us a photo of something that you have made funny by pasting googly eyes on it; funny titles and captions are optional. This is, we know, not a new idea; five years ago, for example, BuzzFeed published “40 Pictures That Prove That Everything Is Better With Googly Eyes,” and there’s even an online generator where you can put virtual googly eyes on the photo of your choice (do not use this). But fortunately for us all, there still are some things out there that do not have any googly eyes on them.


Here's one way to be a standup comic: with a dry-erase text balloon on a headband. (Mark Holt)

How we’ll do this:

Get googly eyes. They’re very cheap at dollar stores, craft stores, etc., usually coming dozens to a bag in various sizes for a buck or two. Or if you can’t find them, just draw some on a piece of paper.

— Put googly eyes on something or someone and take a photo. It must be an original photo; we don’t want to get into copyright problems. For this reason, also don’t paste eyes on a photo that someone else took, unless the photo is part of a sign, on packaging, etc. Don’t just Photoshop eyes onto a photo.

— Obviously, this isn’t one of our cerebral, more-clever-than-funny contests; we’re hoping for gut laughs. But you know we can’t resist witty wordplay and clever jokes. So a funny title or caption accompanying your googly-eyed toaster might pop it above someone else’s googly-eyed toaster.

— Upload your photo at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1281 (all lowercase). For this week, please submit just one photo per entry form. You may still, however, send as many as 25 entries. If you have a title and/or a caption, put those in the first field of the form, where the text of entries usually goes; then scroll down to the upload part near the bottom. If you have trouble getting Mr. Form to accept your photo, don’t get all panicky; you may email it as an attachment to the Empress at pat.myers@washpost.com (put “Week 1281 photo” in the subject line). Don’t forget to include your first and last name and your postal address in the email.


Get yourself a bag of eyes at a craft store, or just draw some.

— You’ll get an extra week to get the googly eyes, persuade your toaster to pose for you, etc. So the deadline is Monday night, June 11; results published June 24 (online June 21).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a set of three handy, or perhaps heady, headbands, each supporting a comics-style text bubble made of dry-erase board — one for comments, one for thoughts, one for action noises — on a spring several inches above your head. Think of all the talking you won’t have to do at parties, and not only because everyone there will avoid you like a subpoena. Donated by Loser J. Larry Schott.

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, “We’ve Seen Better” or “IDiot Card.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). . See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Beeologisms” was submitted separately by Tom Witte, Kevin Dopart and Jesse Frankovich; Tom also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; 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. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

BEEOLOGISMS: REPORT FROM WEEK 1277

In Week 1277 we presented 15 sets of 7 letters each, and asked you to create a new term from the letters of any of the sets. The twist, in a shout-out to the New York Times Spelling Bee game, was that you could use any of the letters more than once, or not at all.

4th place

From ROXTANE: Ranx: Shapewear and deodorant in one! (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

3rd place

From ROXTANE: Oxanne: No, really, you shouldn’t turn on any lights. (Kathleen DeBold, Burtonsville, Md.)

2nd place

and the red crab beanie:
From FINCOUT: FU-ton: A couch so uncomfortable, it appears to be designed out of spite. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

From PTACKRO: Krapatoa: A presidential Twitter eruption. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

PTACKRO -->Crap pack:
Honorable mentions

From WMALTER: “Maaaaaaaate!”: What excitable announcers yell during a chess match. (Duncan Stevens)

Lawmart: At this big-box store, you WILL have 12 items or less in the express lane, or ELSE! (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

Were-ewe: A sheep in wolf’s clothing. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

WMATA ETA: A known unknown. (Pete Morelewicz, Fredericksburg, Va.)

Tartar Melter: Cool Mint & Drano mouthwash, recommended by four out of five surviving dentists. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Erratata: A third nipple. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

From PHANETY: Yentanet: You got questions? We got advice. You don’t? We got it anyway. (Sue Taubenkibel, Washington, a First Offender)

Hyenatape: Sitcom jargon for the laugh track. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

Ant-panty: A thong. (Kathleen DeBold)

Ante-panty: A fig leaf. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

From CHELOAN: Hello-hole: New Yorker’s term for Midwest town where strangers dare to smile at you on the street. (Duncan Stevens)

From CYMENGR: Gene me: “Let’s do some baby-making.” (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

McGermy: The ball pit at the PlayPlace. (Bill Dorner)

Mergency: A shotgun wedding. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

From FINESTY: Styfine: “No allowance till you clean your room! (Kathleen DeBold; Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

Yesfest: A Trump Cabinet meeting. (Janelle Gibb, Rockville)

Sinfinity: A very long day at the confessional. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

From FOUTHGL:Hugglut: A visit to Grandma’s. (Sue Lin Chong, Baltimore)

From LABGENT: Alt-Age: The radical wing of AARP. (Terry Smith, McLean, Va., a First Offender)

Gall gene: The biology that permits you to hire Bill Clinton’s lawyer to defend you against an investigation you claim is masterminded by people who are out to get you because they secretly support Hillary. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Balge: One reason we don’t like Speedos. (Michael Rolfe, Cape Town, South Africa)

From RONTCUD: Courtoon: A comic strip featuring the president’s current lawyer, a person named Kasowitz Dowd diGenova Toensing Cobb Giuliani. (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

From UBATRIE: Bratterie: A chic but honest day care center. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Rub-tuba: That moment during a massage when you relax a bit too much and accidentally let one out. (Matt Monitto)

Teeter-teeter: Playground activity with weight-mismatched kids. (Duncan Stevens)

From ROXTANE: Exxonerate: To absolve of blame even when wrongdoing is obvious. "Campaign donations are one way of being exxonerated after an oil spill." (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines; Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

From KETICYR: Erectricity: When there’s more than just a little spark between you. (Jon Gearhart)

Still running — deadline Tuesday night, May 29: our “air quotes” contest. See wapo.st/invite1280.

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