Edward Lear never called them limericks, but the 19th-century poet is widely considered the grandfather of the form, though not its inventor. But as the example above shows, Lear’s limericks tend not to be what we in the Invitational Age would call clever, and they certainly have none of the risque humor now associated with the genre.
Loser Extraordinaire Kevin Dopart suggests that we rectify that situation. This week: Write a limerick using the first two lines of any of Lear’s 115 limericks (see them here) plus your own three remaining lines, as The Washington Post’s Official Dean of Doggerel has done above.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a dignified game called Doody Head, in which one person wears a “grippy hat” while others toss “super squidgy doodies” (made of brown fabric and foam) at the head of the eager-to-please victim. Donated by Nan Reiner.
Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 3; results published Oct. 23 (Oct. 21 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 938” in your e-mail subject line or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised title for next week’s results is by Chris Doyle; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Matt Monitto.
Report from Week 934
Our perennial contest in which we supplied a randomly compiled list of objects and asked you to tell us how any two were alike or different:
The winner of the Inker
The difference between a toilet brush and a tattoo of Joe Biden: One’s a bristly Number Two tool; the other’s merely the depiction of one. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Winner of the of ear buds with little pink pig heads that stick out of your ears:
A Twitter hashtag is a pound sign. Fried butter on a stick is a pounds sign. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)
A toilet brush and okra sorbet: Faced with either one, most people would rather not lick the bowl. (Roy Ashley, Washington)
Precious bodily fluids and a tattoo of Joe Biden: Both are best kept to yourself on a first date. (Colette Zanin, Greenbelt, Md.)
Beyond compare: Honorable mentions
A toilet brush and three clothespins: If you don’t use the first, it’s good to have the second handy for guests. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)