In a recent readers' contest, The Washington Post asked contestants to take any hyphenated heading at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a definition for the compound word they formed. Some of our favorite entries:
Advertising-Air: Touting a product when you already have a monopoly with no alternatives. "Seeing ads for U.S. postage stamps is like advertising-air."
Alcohol-Apartments: Universities used to call these "dormitories."
Balancing-Balloons: Silicone implants on just one side to "even things up."
Banquet-Beauty: A euphemism for a plus-size woman.
Child-Duct: An FCC-acceptable euphemism for part of the female anatomy.
Chiropractors-Christmas: A forecast of freezing rain and heavy, wet snow.
Curtain-Dancing: What burlesque queens resort to when they've lost the figure for fan-dancing.
Demolition-Dentists: Let us rearrange your mouth in a single visit.
Foam-Foods: The nation's top supplier of airline meals.
Granite-Grocers: Specializing in those holiday fruitcakes.
House-Human: The token normal person at Michael Jackson's home.
Iron-Jewelers: For the gift that tells her you'd tolerate her all over again.
Kitchen-Labor: Term of endearment likely to go over even less well than "the old ball and chain."
Lawn-Lawyers: Little statues of guys in business suits holding attache cases -- for the discriminating homeowner who'd never have a lawn jockey.
Movers-Moving and Nurses-Nursing: What I got on the 13th and 14th days of Christmas.
Piano-Pizza: An industry term for household pets that get in the way of furniture movers.
Radio-Ready: Less than photogenic. "That guy has a face that's radio-ready."
Rental-Reporters: The memo line on Armstrong Williams' pay stub.
Rubber-Safe: Where the bank puts the bounced checks.
Sheet-Social: Code phrase for a KKK rally.
Stools-Storage: Label on a vault in Howard Hughes' home.
Wedding-Welding: Up to 40 percent less likely to be put asunder!
Buy my book!
Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
If you have the cost of a latte and a Kindle, you can buy a copy at Amazon by clicking here.
Or buy it in print! Mundane Journeys Trade Paperback
Be sure to check out my blog at
-- maybe not as funny as the 5,000+ jokes here, but I ramble about life, technology and other things that make
the world... nutty.
Today's blog: Tribal Amnesia
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