Saturday, October 22, 2016

And the winner is...ME!

It's true. While many of you were sleeping, I was winning a contest.

Author and blogger Frances Garrood, who lives in Wiltshire in the U.K., said yesterday she was "offering a small mystery prize for the best limerick on the subject of...writing limericks." Something snapped in my brain. Resolving to keep it clean, I tossed one off and submitted it:

A blogger whose real name is Bobby
Said, "Limerick writing's my hobby.
I don't know which is worse,
The smell of my verse
Or the people queued up in the lobby."

Frances loved it, so I submitted another one:

A limerick writer, Nan Tucket,
Put all of her works in a bucket.
But next to George Harrison
Hers paled in comparison;
'Twould be rude to divulge where she stuck it.

Frances said, "Even better! You're on a roll today, aren't you?"

I said, "I'm trying, Frances, I'm trying!" and Frances said, "Well, keep on, RWP. I'm enjoying them."

Whereupon she promptly retired for the night.

Not me. Four time zones to the west, I kept writing:

Though writing a limerick is easy,
Especially the type that are sleazy,
It's hard to refrain
From becoming profane
And a struggle to keep one's tone breezy.

...and writing:

The problem, dear reader, is textual.
Whether to be intellectual
And be thought a prude
Or succumb to the lewd
And write something thoroughly sexual.

...and writing:

A contest with limericks? Curses!
Composing those damnable verses
Fried my brain to a crisp,
"Call a doctor," I whisp-
ered, "and two psychiatric ward nurses."

...and then I went to bed too.

Today I awoke to discover that I had been named winner of the contest. Frances did not single out a particular limerick. I think I overwhelmed her with sheer volume.

I am retiring undefeated as the champion of writing clean limericks about writing limericks. And I am keeping an eye out (it's only an expression) for that small mystery prize.

P.S. - I hasten to add that limerick writing is not my hobby at all. I just said that in the first limerick because I needed something to rhyme with "Bobby". But the real champion appears to be Garrison Keillor of National Public Radio fame. Watch the last few minutes of his final News From Lake Wobegon (17:22) from last July's final Prairie Home Companion show with him as host.


  1. Well done on winning the limerick competition! You are a skilled wordsmith. Hundreds of other competitors in The Frances Garood Limerick Competition must have been blown out of the water by your masterful and inspired contributions. Hurrah for The Bob!

  2. Thank you,YP, but to be truthful there were fewer than a dozen entries, five of which were from me. In a larger pool mine probably would have gone unnoticed. Frances is a good sport for not telling me to buzz off.

  3. Your limericks were very good. You mentioned Lake Wobegon. I never managed to find that either funny or interesting. Perhaps I should have carried on after the first book.

  4. I love limericks. You popped off several really good ones here. And all without resorting to any of the usual "dirty" staples of the genre. I am impressed.

  5. There was on an old timer called Bob
    Who gave up his IBM job
    With his wife called Ellie
    He'd watch the telly
    Stuffing M and M's in his gob

  6. May I apologise for my somewhat unpleasant limerick. I fear that it emerged from my inner "dark web". Sorry.

  7. Good job!! I liked your limericks :-)

  8. Thank you, Aodhnait!. I do believe you are the first person from Ireland to comment on this blog in nine years, so welcome!

  9. Sorry, Michelle, but your contribution didn't make the cut for publication even though most of us are adults and all. Thanks for the effort, though.

  10. YP, No apology necessary. I didn't find your limerick "somewhat unpleasant" at all. I should probably tell you that Michelle said (among other things) that she liked it a lot.

  11. Now my imagination is running wild, thinking about what Michelle must have written to warrant the famous Brague guillotine... Clearly Michelle appreciates high quality poetry.

  12. YP, it wasn't flagrant, just a bit naughty, but I don't allow certain Ango-Saxon words for human body parts, functions, or activities to pass my lips or appear on my blog. I realize this might cause some consternation to people who are Anglo-Saxon, but it remains my across-the-pond, somewhat Puritanical decision nonetheless. I hope it doesn't affect adversely any of my heretofore cordial transatlantic friendships with any Angle, Saxon, or Jute.

  13. With your French ancestry, I suspect that unsavoury Gallic language will always avoid censorship. It's discriminatory! What have you got against we salty Vikings and our ofttimes rough vocabulary? I am of Jute ancestry and like all Danes naturally foul-mouthed.

  14. YP, my brain tells me that the words to which we are referring are just sounds made with the mouth that were the normal way of identifying things in England prior to the Norman invasion of the 11th century, and that the language of the conquerors became the court or polite-society language while the language of the conquered peasantry went underground since it was less socially acceptable, and that the French had words of their own for the very same body parts, functions, and activities. Nevertheless -- call me a prude -- I don't like to have my ears or eyes subjected to the words that came to be considered vulgar, coarse, etc. even though originally they were nothing of the sort, just the words of the local-language speakers. My brain and my sensibilities thus being out-of-sync, I find that I use either the longer, Latin-based medical terms (defecate, urinate, copulate, etc.) or the words my Albanian in-laws used in their language to replace the more commonly heard ones. It can still cause unintended confusion; one time my mother-in-law thought a German woman was referring to human excrement (Albanian, mut) when the woman was referring to her own mother (German, mutter).

  15. Looking back over these comments, I see that I neglected to respond to both Graham Edwards and Emma Springfield for theirs.

    Graham, I think he's very much an acquired taste, like ratatouille. I do like the sound of his voice, though, and also Maya Angelou's.

    Emma, thank you for your kind compliment. I enjoy the genre too, the "dirty" staples not so much.

  16. I would like, if I may, to speak in my defence as it reads as though I sent something disgusting, when I can honestly say that no swear or curse word was in there and the only time a 'body part' was mentioned was due the a chap in it having the name 'Dick'. I did not necessarily think it would make the grade, but as curiosity has been piqued by the description of it, I wanted to slightly clear my name. It was suggestive, but nothing like many of the ruder limericks I know of. No offence was meant, but I'd never have sent something disgusting. It's all subjective of course. *nods and leaves with her head high * - Michelle

  17. Michelle is absolutely correct in saying that the only time a 'body part' was mentioned in her limerick was due to the chap in it having the name 'Dick' but a lady was sitting on his lap and said something about him (or it, I forget which) being right up her alley, and the juxtaposition made it, while quite humorous, a little too naughty for my G-rated blog, that's all. She's right also that it was nothing like any of the ruder limericks that so many seem to enjoy. I'm sorry if I left the impression that it was. It simply didn't make it past my own personal barometer.

  18. Thank you rhymes, very good of you *smiles*.