So, every year the Washington Post publishes the results of its "Mensa Invitational" - a contest through which the paper invites readers to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, then supplying a new definition for it.
Here are SOME of the 2010 winning submissions:
Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (This one is my personal favorite, by the way!)
Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
However, not to be out-worded, I decided to give it a whirl myself. And so, I give you, some of my possible submissions for the 2011 "Mensa Invitational."
Excelsire: The name given to the office spread sheet whiz whom the boss knights as royal master over his or her technologically-impaired colleagues.
Germinator: The moniker awarded to germ-phobic Moms, typically of toddlers, who douse their children in hand sanitizer, only to have the kids eat French fries off the shopping mall floor.
Faux pa: This is the result of Grandpa saying something politically incorrect; usually in a very loud, public and potentially offensive manner.
Exterminotor: A professional bug killer who's house is infested with multi-legged insects.
Visions of Grandoer: This is a specific talent for picking the workhorse for your next company picnic, office party or team shindig.
Rotification: The curious means by which store-bought fruit disintegrates and / or molds somewhere between the check-out counter and your refrigerator.
Daylight Shavings Time: The phenomenon by which a five-o-clock shadow suddenly sprouts into a ZZ Top-length beard due to a seasonal time change.
Compartmentalivation: This refers to the tag-team parenting tactics employed by working mothers and fathers whose children's soccer, football, cheerleading, dance, karate and piano practice / event schedules result in opposing, separate daily living schedules.
Please forward me your favorite, if you have one, and I'll be sure to contemplete it - or give it really, really lots of thought.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.