Style Invitational Week 1515: European “sister cities” and “air quotes”


Moron (Spain)-Lost (Germany) Election Denial Center

Chester-Brest all-gender bra (England, France)

The center for “adult activities” Essen-Emmen (Germany, Netherlands)

Brighton-Erle Alarm Clock Works Ltd. (England, Germany)

Ten weeks ago, the Empress sent the community of losers to search maps of the United States in a competition to provide two or more city names and a pun ‘joint venture’ (e.g., Jon Gearhart’s Iowa-Latta-Green student loan forgiveness program, cities in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Ohio).

This time, at the suggestion of loser Randy Lee, we’ll start over, but further: Choose two or more cities from the 51 countries in Europe/Eurasia and propose a joint venture that the “sister cities” would undertake, as in the examples above. And Randy also offers a very nifty tool: to, you can type any name, and it will tell you where in the world there is a city with that name. (But any source is fine as long as the city appears on Google.) Which 51 countries exactly? Let’s use the list for Europe on (You can use a city anywhere in Russia or Turkey, even if it’s in the Asian part of that country.) And even though I demanded that American cities be pronounced correctly, this time I’ll be more lenient towards visual puns, especially for less famous cities.

One more thing: in the week of 1505, many people went to town (so to speak) with long, unwieldy strings of towns that were meant to look like a long sentence or sentence. I’m not prohibition you to do it for week 1515, but unless they are very easy for me to read (and of course lederhosen-splittingly funny) I will favor shorter combinations.

Submit up to 25 entries to (no capitals in the web address). The deadline is Monday evening November 28; the results appear on December 18 in printed form, on December 15 online. (New entry form this week! Empress life is incredibly exciting.)

The winner takes the clown making, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a “navel feather duster,” which looks like a looping toilet brush if the toilet was the size of a walnut shell. It’s not much more than an inch long, so you’ll have plenty of room for more detritus prices in the future. Donated by loser Steve Smith.

Other finalists earn their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour High End” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our coveted Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare”. First offenders only get a smelly tree-shaped “air freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The title “In’SI’de Jokes” is by Kevin Dopart; Kevin also wrote the honorable mentions subtitle. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at; follow Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The conversational style: The Empress’ weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week on

In’SI’de jokes: Win “air quotes” of the week 1511

Week 1511 was another round of our “Airline Quotes” contest to find tell-tale words inside other words. Among the nearly 1,500 entries, there were many Pat “riots”, too numerous to be credited individually, but luckily hardly any more Asset” and “funeral.

First “ICU” ffs: Why it’s not the best idea to confront the guy who took your parking space. (Karen Lambert, Chevy Chase, Maryland)

S“ex”ter: How did you lose your wife. (Al Lubran, Rockville, Maryland)

and the “101 poo puppies” puzzle:

Wonderful “louse e” evening! : [Thinks] “What a moron!” (Ann Martin, Brentwood, Maryland)

And the winner of the clownish achievement:

“RSVP: Yes, we would be delighted! And we’ll bring little Makayla – don’t worry, her virus is almost better. (Rivka Liss-Levinson, Washington)

C’ha’ff: Honorable Mentions

Double “bleh” header: When sitting through a game isn’t boring enough. (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church, Virginia)

“Broccoli: A nutritious cruciferous vegetable that has been battered in beer, fried and served with a queso dip. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Virginia)

To “wander”-do: The following “hold my beer”. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Texas)

“Democracy: We have the beta version. Thanks for finding the issues. (Howard Ausden, Damascus, Maryland)

Col“ono”scopy: This can not It’s been 10 years already – wait, holidays don’t count for that, right? (Dottie Gray, Alexandria, Virginia)

Tree “ST D” eaten: I will remember this night forever. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

“Approval: A big announcement about breaking links. “Whoa, that’s another massive ‘endorsement you just picked up.” (Susan Geariety, Menifee, CA)

Bye Bye”: Don’t wait for another shoe to drop. —Adidas Group (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Disappointment: When you swipe right and they swipe left. (Chris Damm, Charles Town, West Virginia)

Missis River “sip” ft: After months and months of drought, what remains when the Mighty has fallen? (Steve Smith, Potomac, Maryland)

To claim: Photoshopping your dating profile picture. (Pete Morelewicz, Fredericksburg, Virginia)

Sedition: [Capitol tourists] having [legitimate political discourse]. (Kevin Dopart; Mark Raffman, Reston, Virginia)

Aerofloot: The best airline in the world, elected annually by the Russian Ministry of Transport. (Chris Doyle)

“Defraud: “Well, sir, looks like your whole engine needs to be replaced.” (Karen Lambert)

GO “LAPD”: Los Angeles’ K-9 Shih Tzu Experimental Corps was quickly disbanded. (Chris Doyle)

“Leadership: A company management that does not like to change course, even if it means sinking to the bottom of the sea. (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, NY)

“Questions: A way to spread ridiculous misinformation under the guise of an investigation. “How do we know that AOC is not Vladimir Putin in disguise? Hey, I’m just asking questions here. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Virginia)

“Further away: The right distance with me after a tex-mex meal. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Maryland)

Governor: What you get with Virginia’s one term limit. (Terri Berg Smith, Rockville, Maryland)

Hot chocolate: This mood stabilizer does not require a prescription. (Judy Freed, Deerfield Beach, Florida)

Influence : An anti-vaxxer that does you go viral. (Ben Aronin, Washington)

I “dent”ify: That bumper kick that helps you tell your silver Camry apart from the other three in your parking row. (Scott Richards, Hollywood, Maryland)

Intellectual: No, you didn’t mention you were a member of Mensa – today. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, CA)

Met “downpour”: Transmit even more data to Mark Zuckerberg? Don’t count on me. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Maryland)

Mortgage: “The interest rate went up to WHAT?” (Karen Lambert)

Myself”: The only person I can count on to get me the perfect Christmas present. (Steve Smith)

Holidays: Eat, play, sleep, repeat. (John Klayman, Fairfax, Virginia)

“E-ducate”: Well versed in cryptocurrency matters. (Byron Miller, Cobble Hill, BC)

“Martyrdom: “You never call.” “Where have I failed? “What have I done to deserve this?” (Tom Witt)

Oscars: Co-hosted by Will Smith and Chris Rock. (Mark Rafman)

A hilar “glop”: Someone who likes British dishes like Toad in the Hole and Spotted Cock. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

“anti” by Ron DeS: Governor with strong positions on racial progress, science policy and Mickey Mouse. (Mark Rafman)

Bidet: The next technology after facial recognition. (Steve Baldwin, Bethesda)

B“oz”o: A clown from New Jersey who thinks Pennsylvania is the place to buy raw vegetables. (Kevin Dopart; Chris Doyle)

Boredom: “I’m sick of beige, honey – let’s paint the living room chartreuse!” (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Maryland)

E“arf”ul: What the dog gives you when FedEx comes to the door. (Byron Miller)

F“IRS” born: Congratulations, you got a bouncing baby deduction! (Pam Shermeyer, Lathrup Village, Michigan)

Halloween: The Bit O’ Honey and the candy corn left at the bottom of the bag. (Joanne Free, Clifton, Virginia)

Toxic: Unhealthy for China and the world. (Frank Mann, Washington)

Futility”: The exercise of trying to get a helpful Verizon person on the line. (Judy Freed)

Parody: Slip a Baby Ruth bar into the neighborhood pool. (Chris Doyle)

Save A”me”rica: The main beneficiary of the Trump PAC. (Neil Kurland, Elkridge, Maryland)

In the “stall”: Now let’s move on to excuse #7 for why my kitchen renovation isn’t complete. (Michael Stein, Arlington, Virginia)

Finally: C“low”ning Directed by: The first prize at the bottom of all literary prizes. (Drew Bennett, Rogers, Ark.)

Still running – deadline Monday evening, November 21: our everlasting “Ask Backwards” contest. See

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Invisible ink! Idea:(Randy Lee) Examples:(Jon Gearhart; Bob Staake) Title:(Kevin Dopart) Subtitle:(Kevin Dopart) Price:(Steve Smith) VisibleInk!

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