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Another round of biers: More obituary poems from Style Invitational Week 901

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Sunday, January 30, 2011; 12:00 AM

More honorable mentions from Style Invitational Week 900, our annual contest for poems commemorating people (and the occasional animal, concept, etc.) who died the previous year. (See the winners here.)

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Robert Byrd and Jimmy Dean:
The senator, the singer:
How different their careers.
But they had one thing in common:
Both served up pork for years. (Rick Haynes, Potomac)

Dick Francis:
The former jockey set his books among the British horsey set;
He's now about as well acquainted with the turf as one can get. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Higgledy-piggledy,
Harry B. Whittington,
Paleontologist,
Trilobite whiz,
Left quite a legacy
For future scholars, who
Someday will dig up a
Body once his. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Geraldine Doyle, model for World War II "We Can Do It!" posters:
Rickety rackety,
Rosie the Riveter
Turned in her apron to
Work with the guys;
Found that she liked her new
Employability -
That's why you have to eat
Frozen pot pies. (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

Higgledy piggledy,
"Dandy Don" Meredith -
Football announcer who
Owned Monday nights.
Time marches on - it's an
Immutability.
Don's show is over, so
Turn out the lights. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

Leslie Nielsen:
Way up in Heaven said Povich to Booth:
"Shirley, he's dead - yes, I'm telling the truth." (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Some guys have names that sound like dames;
It's not like there's a law
'Gainst appellation obfuscation -
Just ask Evelyn Waugh.
But why get surly once called 'Shirley'?
Why's that an upsetter?
Did Nielsen think his poop don't stink?
Was 'Leslie' that much better? (Brendan Beary)

Punk impresario Malcolm McLaren
Had impacts so vast that he won't be forgotten,
But still it seems odd to be praising a fellow
Who's always been mentioned with Vicious and Rotten. (Brendan Beary)

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua:
Yar'Adua no longer encumbers
His office; he peacefully slumbers.
But he can still hear ya
From below in Nigeria
If you call out your bank account numbers. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

David Warren, flight data recorder inventor:
His invention is a boon to all who've flown
Now, alas, he's in a black box of his own. (Dion Black, Washington)

Rue McClanahan, frisky actress on "The Golden Girls":
Higgledy piggledy,
Sweet Rue McClanahan
Bragged of the gentlemen
Lured to her bed.
Now Betty White, the new
Octogenarian,
Scandalous succubus,
Rues that Rue's dead. (Roger Stone, Gaithersburg)

Businessman John Kluge (pronounced kloogie):
God said to Mr. Kluge:
Well, John, it's time to buge. (Craig Dysktra)

Steve Landesman of "Barney Miller"
He played a cop named Dietrich,
The precinct intellectual,
Whose IQ didn't keep him
From being ineffectual. (Mae Scanlan, Washington)

George Blanda, NFL quarterback and kicker:
He played into his 40s when his hair had turned to gray,
A general of the football wars whose passes won the day.
A ticket to the Hall of Fame his long career did carve,
(And no, you fans of Number 4, the name was not Brett Favre.) (Barry Koch , Catlett, Va.)

Sister Eugenie Blanchard, 114:
The world's most recent oldest person lies beneath the sod.
Franciscan Sisters feel the loss of one of theirs to God.
For Eugenie Blanchard they grieve and offer up this prayer:
"She lived so long she had to leave - a nun the worse for wear." (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

Clay animation artist Art Clokey:
Remember when a little man of green
With flexibility beyond compare
Had great adventures none had ever seen
And with a name like Gumby, certain flair.
Back then my wife and I were young and wild;
We tried to twist and turn like Gumby, too.
I ended up in traction - she with child,
So when the baby came we named her Roo
Like Gumby, Pokey now must say goodbye:
The man behind it all has gone away.
But Clokey's legacy will never die -
He left behind a magic world of clay.
Tonight I want to honor our good friend:
Let's see how well my wife and I still bend. (Mike Ostapiej, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)

George Steinbrenner:
Yankee Stadium in Heaven; Zoom in on the dugout seats.
"Uh-oh," Billy Martin says, "That's it. I'm hanging up my cleats.
"Ninety pennants. What a run! And it's been swell, guys, while it lasted,
"But we're done for, now, 'cause God has drafted that Steinbrenner . . . fella.
"Never mind that we've got Whitey, Mick and Joe, the Babe, and Lou:
"He'll demand to pitch and catch, bat cleanup and to manage, too." (Nan Reiner, Alexandria)

Hey, batter, battera,
Dorothy Kamenshek
Baseball professional
Back in the zone.
She and her teammates are
Playing again in a
Paradisiacal
League of their own. (Chris Doyle)

Senior-citizen porn actress Juliet Anderson, a.k.a. "Aunt Peg":
Unlike most of those stars, who would hum a few bars,
Then allow their careers to decline,
Our "Aunt Peg" was so rare, for she kept going bare
working to (and, well, in) 69. (Dion Black)

Higgledy-Piggledy,
Juliet Anderson
Never faked orgasms
(So they report).
Cinematography
Showed all her charms until
She had a date with the
Non-petite morte. (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Here's to Bob Guccione, purveyor of porn,
A man whose demise only guys seem to mourn.
His Penthouse had pics far more graphic than Playboy's
(If Mom caught you looking, you'd better just pray, boys).
The centerfold photos showed nipples on boobs,
And they broke the taboo against publishing pubes.
What, then, got us to switch from this mogul of print?
A magazine hustler named Larry C. Flynt. (Chris Doyle)

And last: Shirley Dykstra (the author's mother):
By the end of Oh-Ten, I'm sad to report,
My dear mother, Shirley, had passed.
Last year in these pages she got her first ink -
She fittingly now gets her last. (Craig Dykstra)

The headline for this list is by Jeff Contompasis of Ashburn, Va.


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