Issue 201, page 5

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The MENSA Invitational?

We have seen the below e-mail message posted over and over and over on the Internet.  It smacked a bit of urban-legend-ness, so we checked it out.  Nothing came up in a search of the Washington Post site.  Nothing came up on the urban legend sites, either.  Then we found that a few others had thought the message fishy.  The Sidefumbling blog was the first we found, and there we discovered a reference to the Push Back blog, which had a bit more information.  Ultimately, the words below were submissions to a contest at the Washington Post, but the contest, and the winners, were published in the Style  Invitational column of the Post.  The original column describing the contest is missing from the Post's on-line archive, but there does not appear to have been an association with MENSA in the original contest.  The column listing the winning words, however, is still on-line.  Having explained all of that, we will post the e-mail in its entirety below so this will all make sense.  Despite the information regarding the source of these words being a bit off, the words themselves are still quite amusing.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked members to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's [2005] winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

10. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

12. Glibido: All talk and no action.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Send us your e-mail, clipping or photograph (via e-mail or snail mail).  If we use it in Laughing Stock, you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Amazon.com!  Joan Witherspoon sent in this week's winner.  Thanks, Joan!

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