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David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Limerick Contest Winners


Here are the winning entries from this year's Groundhog Day Limerick Contest. Apologies for the delay; LBB intervened.


With apologies for my delay in judging the limericks and announcing the winners -- Groundhog Day was fully a week ago, and even the Rodebacks' version of Groundhog Day (observed) was four days ago -- here are the winning limericks. Each is on one or more of four themes: Groundhog Day, national politics and government, American Fork, and life among the Mormons. As described in the contest terms for this year, and departing from past years' approach, judging is not within these categories; we're simply looking for the best limericks overall, as long as they fit at least one of the four themes.

The Winners

The top four limericks come from two poets who have won here before. Next year, we may have to make them judges. In any case, this year's triumph adds very slightly to their resumes and renown and wins them each a small prize. I judge the first of these four to be the best entry this year; after that, the winners are in no particular order.

Marilyn Nielson of West Jordan, Utah, ponders American Fork's newest burger chain and the alternatives:

I admit I have seen it before --
The long lines in-n-out of the store --
But I still can't quite figger
Why a burger's de rigeur
When there's Thai food for sale next door.

American Forker Sam Beeson bemoans his city's most conspicuous new institution, a city-wide presurrized irrigation system, and its comprehensive impact on the city's already-troubled streets. He also nods toward the Mormon propensity, which I don't believe he shares, to fetch, shoot, and dang (to heck) at will -- and with a clear moral and literary conscience.

In A.F. the city devised
A law that cannot be revised:
The smooth roads are gone!
To water my lawn
I must now use the danged pressurized.

Here Beeson looks forward to the election and invokes a famous Mormon motto, though perhaps not quite in the sense intended by the teachers of children's classes.

Obama seems nice and polite,
But another election's in sight.
It's easy to see
(And the Mormons agree,)
He'll win if he chooses the right.

Finally, Marilyn Nielson, who has babies of her own, notes the Mormon passion for population, but also the capacity of the "salt of the earth" to retain or to lose its savor:

We hope all our friends are well-neighbored
'midst the Mormons; if not, we're de-savored.
We have quirks, but not rabies --
though our surfeit of babies
helps redefine being "belabored."

Nielson really got in the mood for this contest; she ended up posting even more verse, her own and others', at her blog, which I'll be adding to my blog roll as soon as I have the chance.

Honorable Mention

Quite literally, these additional verses win the honor of being mentioned.

Nielson delights with her first two lines and wins brownie points later for using a word like emote. (Opine would score similarly, in its place. That's just how my brain works.)

When we're all mam- and cardiogrammed
By the state -- and expenses be damned --
Then will no one emote
O'er the collective throat
Down which "reform" was forcibly rammed?

These two entries come from Beth Jameson of Stanford, California. The second is the only eligible verse to mention Groundhog Day this year:

The first year of the spendthrift Obama
Caused the budget a great deal of trauma.
Our ledger's quite red,
We've a health bill to dread,
And the Bay State has increased the drama.

Our great leader's reforming away,
But the Senate may alter its sway.
Is the year '94?
Have we seen it before?
With health care I foresee Groundhog Day.

Finally, this entry came from halfway around the world. Eligibility for prizes in this contest stops at the US border, for legal reasons. Lynn Olsen would have been eligible, had he not moved from my street to Australia a while back -- an exodus which his limerick references:

As Groundhog Day does its spin,
We think of our faraway kin.
Across the wide ocean
We wait on a notion:
Will the groundhog come out or stay in?

By the way, in case anyone missed the news, said groundhog came out, saw his shadow, growled something about six more weeks, and went back in. Shortly thereafter, the the whole region experienced a bit of snow (just a few feet).

Thanks to all who submitted limericks this year. I foresee 51 more weeks of prose, followed by another contest next year, involving most or all of this year's themes, at least. So when the silly muse strikes you this year, make a note.

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