washingtonpost.com
Week 678: Limerick Smackdown!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

In the results below and in a special supplement on washingtonpost.com, you will see 45 uncannily clever limericks, drawn from more than 1,000 submitted for Week 674. You will see several by Style Invitational Hall of Famers Chris Doyle and Brendan Beary, winners of our previous two limerick contests and also luminaries on the limerick Web site Oedilf.com. What you won't see are the dozens and dozens of other limericks they sent in -- a total of 43 from Beary and an even 100 from Doyle -- of which almost every one is outstanding.

This week, for the first time, The Style Invitational's name will actually make sense: We have invited Chris and Brendan -- and only Chris and Brendan -- to go head to head in a series of 10 limericks with the restrictions listed below. The Empress will rule on the winner of each round (readers will be invited to vote for their three favorite limericks overall) and the winner of the most rounds will be, whatever, The Big Limerician. These guys certainly don't need any more Inkers. The limericks will be posted Oct. 1.

Their limericks, in turn, must:

1. Concern an obscure mammal.

2. Explain a scientific or philosophical concept.

3. Be a note from George Bush to Condoleezza Rice.

4. Contain the names of five body parts.

5. Have each line begin with a vowel.

6. Consist of directions on doing some task.

7. Include the word "nasopharyngeal."

8. Contain five consecutive words beginning with five consecutive letters of the alphabet.

9. Be about each other.

10. Be their favorite limerick submitted for the contest below that did not get ink.

All you other Losers out there, you get a week off. So just relax.

Report From Week 674

in which we asked for limericks containing words beginning with ca-, for eventual posting on Oedilf.com, the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form. As noted above, there were many more worthy limericks than we have room to print here, so we're glad that those hundreds of verses won't be vanishing into the ether.

A rare Blind T-shirt goes to Jeff Brechlin of Eagan, Minn., who sent in a limerick extolling, in the first person, filial necrophilia. We can't print it here, but we will send a framed copy to Mr. Brechlin's mother. We also will garb Jane Auerbach of Los Angeles, who offered one that began: "I'll explain 'camel toe' and be blunt -- "

4 She said, " Call me," but later I wondered:
Could it possibly be that I blundered?
She struck me as shy
And demure -- so then why
Does her phone number start with nine hunderd?"

(Chris J. Strolin, Belleville, Ill.)

3 "An ailurophobe -- ugh," my cats purr.
"Your new girlfriend is worried our fur
Will cause wheezes and hacks
And allergic attacks,
So you shan't cast us Persians on her."

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

2 the winner of the hula dancer night light:

In the Alps lived a foundling so sad,
Till one day came a woman, said, "Lad,
Don't you recognize me?
I'm your ma, can't you see?"
"Yodeladyhoo married my dad?"

(Howard Spindel, Portland, Ore.)

And the Winner of the Inker

At Oxford, Bill Clinton dug classes,
The campus, the culture, the lasses.
When he told us a tale
("Ah didn't inhale"),
He was looking through Rhodes-scholared glasses.

(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

We Couldn't Be Rude / So We Had to Include ...

Some women are blessed with a sightly
Derriere; some men notice them, rightly.
But when one of them stuns,
You should not yell, "Nice buns!"
"Callipygian!" says it politely.

(David Franks, Wichita)

As Bizet cadged his beer from the barmen,
He groused in a tone less than charmen:
"The singers were flat
And unsexily fat:
It's my fate to be dogged by bad Carmen."

(Howard Spindel)

The scatterbrained fill me with dread
When their actions relate to my head.
A barber who's careless
Might render me hairless;
A doctor might render me dead.

(Tim Alborn, Port Jefferson, N.Y.)

"Très bien, monsieur, boeuf cassoulet;
I shall go tell ze chef, s'il vous plaît."
Off the waiter then sped
To the kitchen and said,
"Yo, Gus! Dogs 'n' beans, right away!"

(Brendan Beary)

Quite a sight the cad uceus makes;
It's the symbol a medico takes:
With the healing he brings
Signified by two wings;
And insurers are shown by two snakes.

(Dan Seidman, Watertown, Mass.)

I'm taking a sweet-loving belle
To a candy boutique I know well.
My hope is my charm'll
Be heightened by caramel
Or, if she prefers, caramel.

(Chris J. Strolin)

A cataract surgeon named Hamel
Refined his technique on a mammal.
He'd flatter and wheedle
The beast so his needle
Could pass through the eye of a camel.

(Chris Doyle)

The set for that big photo op
Was a carrier Bush strode atop.
But you know what was scarier?
'Tween Bush and the carrier,
It wasn't clear which was the prop.

(Jay Shuck, Minneapolis)

Though it sounds a bit callous and cruel,
A cadaver's a body that's cool.
In Anatomy, Gross,
Some sport tags on their toes
Boasting, "Ma, I'm in medical school!"

(Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

Old Joe, once a polished crusader,
Was burned for his role as invader.
At the caucus he said,
"Your small state will be red
This fall when I pull a Ralph Nader."

(Tim Vanderlee, Rockville)

"Carburetor," we say in D.C.,
Although none of our Brit friends agree.
For they add in one letter,
And say "carbuRETTor."
(You know how those blokes love their T.)

(Brendan Beary)

"High C We Sing," it's our motto,
And we boast of a killer vibrato
Our sound is unmatched
'Cause we're, well, unattached:
You're just nuts if you're not a castrato.

(Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D.)

To understand tangents I strived.
Integration I somehow contrived
Just to grasp so I'd pass
That darn calculus class.
Then I knew that at last I derived.

(Katherine Hooper, Jacksonville)

With a camcorder clutched in your hand
(Or affixed to a three-legged stand)
You can document all,
So to better recall
The spontaneous moments you've planned.

(Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, Friendsville, Pa.)

I make cherry preserves, quite a few,
And do a French dance step or two.
I put up my jams,
My skirt and my gams.
I can can and can cancan. Can you?

(Carole Lyons, Arlington)

The flamenco troupe struggled with debt ;
Their star dancer, Inez, was upset.
But a wealthy señor
Paid the debts off and more.
He was caught when Inez castanet.

(Sheila Blume, Sayville, N.Y.)

The calligrapher gained his renown
And he turned his whole trade upside down
With a fancy new script
At which somebody quipped,
"Seems we've got a new serif in town!"

(Brendan Beary)

The cardinal hates spontaneity;
He castigates us for our gaiety:
"The Devil's within
And your laughter's a sin . . . "
That's no way to be treating a laity!

(Chris Doyle)

And Last:

In a limerick contest the spoils
Get bestowed to the one who most toils.
No use working real hard,
I'll just play the ca- card,
And then hope my name's next to Chris Doyle's.

(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Online Only: Read More Honorable Mentions

Next Week: Cut Us Some Slack, or Losing on a Sunday Afternoon

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company