(Click here to skip down to this week’s winning food fictoids)
Quote from the Congressional Record:
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia.
Question it might answer: “ Yo, La-Z-Boy, who do you think left those peach pits and pork rinds in your cushions?
A. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia.
Q. “Hey, Mr. Chairman, do you know who I am with this shoe polish on my face?”
As Congress returned to “work” a few days ago after its summer recess, we thought it a good time to check in. This week’s contest — a variant on our perennial Questionable Journalism challenge — was suggested by the Empress’s Royal Consort, whose job often calls for him to
nod off while trying to peruse the Congressional Record, the daily transcript (with substantial revisions and additions) of each day’s proceedings in the House and Senate.
In our less than perfectly transparent federal government, we do have the ability to read the CR online, via a searchable PDF file for each day’s sessions. This week’s contest: Go to congress.gov/congressional-record and click on the PDF for any day’s Congressional Record — House, Senate or the whole thing, or the Daily Digest; choose any sentence (or substantial part of one) and write a question that it could answer, as in the examples above. Please note which transcript you’re using (and its date) so that the E could search for your sentence, were she so inclined. You may use any line in the whole document, even the bogus “revise and extend my remarks” fluff that the members add to please some constituent group or another.
Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1349 (no capitals in the Web address).
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a highbrow — in the sense that you put it high on your brow — game called Poop Hoop. This fine product distinguishes itself from other basketball-net-on-head games in two ways: (a) People toss not little foam basketballs but “poop emoji balls;” and (b) there’s a little toilet seat you can lower onto the net’s rim to increase the poo-toss challenge (of course the two positions are labeled “No. 1” and “No. 2”). If your boss has been lamenting, “Our office is entirely too dignified and professional,” you’ll have an immediate remedy to offer, you brown-nose. Donated by Marleen May.
Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “Too-Weak Notice” or “Certificate of (de) Merit.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday, Sept. 23; results published Oct. 13 in print, Oct. 10 online. See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Gulp Fiction” was submitted by both Tom Witte and Jon Gearhart; Duncan Stevens wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” the 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.
GULP FICTION: FOOD FICTOIDS FROM WEEK 1345
In Week 1345, The Style Invitational continued its campaign of bad-journalist disinformation with some food fictoids.
Before the late 20th century, heirloom tomatoes were called “deformed tomatoes.” (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)
In Aramaic, “manna” means “bird poop.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
and the ‘Brussel Sprout Puffs’:
Baby carrots must be at least eight weeks old before they are harvested away from adult carrots. (Robyn Carlson, Keyser, W.Va.)
And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
Pickled beef tongue can taste you back. (Byron Hoover, Stafford, Va., a First Offender)
Nom-nom-nominees: Honorable mentions
McDonald’s top-selling burger in Europe is the .1134 Kiloer. (Mike Phillips, Washington)
Trump Steaks failed because of the difficulty in pairing them with the proper ketchup. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
The word “cafeteria” originated as a combination of “cafe” and “diarrhea.” (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)
LaCroix is French for “the faucet.” (J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)
After eating a slice of American pie, most people are happy for a while. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)
An apple a day does indeed keep the doctor away if accurately thrown. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Cauliflower is actually a form of whitened broccoli; its distinct flavor is caused by the bleach. (Barrett Swink, Gainesville, Va.)
Consumer advocates have filed suit to force growers of Red Delicious apples to change the variety’s name to Red. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
In 2016, Ben & Jerry’s across the South sold a special-edition ice cream flavor named Butter Emails. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
In England, Lay’s Potato Chips are called Shag’s Crisps. (Bill Dorner)
In the Southern Hemisphere, upside-down cake is called right-side-up cake. (Ben Aronin, Washington)
Also in the Southern Hemisphere, M & M’s are called W & W’s. (Dean Alterman, Lake Oswego, Ore.)
Inspired by the Imperfect Produce delivery service, trendy restaurants are opening with such names as Crappy Value, Interminable Wait, and Tiny Portions. (Dan Helming, Trenton, N.J.)
Nabisco created what would become its biggest-selling cookie in honor of chef John Oreo, who in 1912 was tragically squashed between two manhole covers. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)
Scientists are working on Impossible Tofu, an all-meat product for people on a paleo diet. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
The easiest way to tell the difference between bison and buffalo is that bison don’t have wings. (Hildy Zampella)
There’s really only a single fruitcake joke in the world, and people keep telling it back and forth. (Sam Mertens)
A new interrogation method at Guantanamo involves feeding a suspect a single potato chip. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)
At a state dinner in Moscow, President Trump most enjoyed the serving of Russian chickpeas. (Ryan Martinez, Takoma Park, Md.)
Bacon is actually made entirely out of plants. No, really, it is. — Vegetarians (Terry Reimer, Frederick, Md.)
Biblical historians have now determined that Lot’s wife was actually turned into an anchovy. (Rick Haynes, Ocean City, Md.)
Long ago, cocaine used to contain Coca-Cola. (Byron Hoover)
In Canada, it’s customary for waitstaff to tip customers as a way to thank them for dining there. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
The German word Oktober translates to “over eight,” which is why attendees at Munich’s Oktoberfest are each expected to drink nine bottles of beer. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
In the Australian Outback, a quick substitute for Vegemite is sometimes made by mixing yeast extract with axle grease. (Dave Letizia, Pinehurst, N.C.)
Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream is actually 30 percent baboon. (Chuck Helwig, Centreville, Va.)
Also, ladyfingers contain 92 percent lady, but only 17 percent fingers. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)
Many older French people are still miffed that vichyssoise pairs just a bit too well with Rhine wine. (Brendan Beary)
McDonald’s has developed a genetically modified chicken that is notable for its oversize nuggets. (David Stonner, Washington)
Most mass-produced pumpkin spice flavorings include proprietary ratios of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, crack cocaine and ground cloves. (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
The Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville has never hosted a Seder. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
There are more Denny’s restaurants than people actually named Denny. (Michael Schwartz, Montgomery Village, Md., a First Offender)
Sales of B & M Baked Beans quadrupled after the brand added the ampersand. (Larry Yungk, Wyoming, Ohio)
Inspired by the song “Yankee Doodle,” American colonists often wore pasta in their hats. (Duncan Stevens)
Studies have shown that not eating your vegetables is a leading cause of not growing up tall and strong like Daddy. (Stuart Anderson, Seattle)
The best spaghetti bushes grow in the Spaghi Region of Italy, on the Adriatic Coast. (Tanja Cilia, Santa Venera, Malta)
Eating large quantities of fast food every day provides enough retina-thickening cholesterol to allow you to look directly at a solar eclipse . (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
After the FTC challenged its health claims, Rice-a-Roni had to shorten its original slogan: “The San Francisco Treatment for Constipation.” (Larry Yungk)
The soup-and-sandwich combo was invented in 1763 by the Earl of Soupandsandwich. (Jesse Frankovich)
There is no documented evidence that anyone in the United States has ever accidentally slipped on a banana peel. (Rick Haynes)
While the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving with local Wampanoag tribe did not feature turkey, it did include copious amounts of waterfowl, venison, lobster, berries, squash and fortune cookies. (Chris Murphy, Germantown, Md.)
The street name for quaaludes in Philadelphia is “pudding pops.” (Kevin Dopart)
Still running — deadline Monday night, Sept. 16: our perennial compare/contrast contest. See wapo.st/invite1348.
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