Thursday, May 25, 2006

Du vin, chichi code

This week they, again, were divining
Whose vintage is tops, or declining.
Thirty years since the test
When the U.S. fared best,
But the French haven't ever stopped wining.

California wines beat French again
By Laurie Daniel, San Jose Mercury News, 5/24/06

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Indulging my vanity

No need to ask "Where's the beef?" It's all there in the 192nd Carnival of the Vanities at Elisson's blog, including a tidbit on word origins.

Many thanks to him for including one of the Savant's recent posts in the feast:
The Limerick Savant is funny,
And, often, he’s right on the money.
In just one poem, he’s taken
Monty Python, Kevin Bacon,
And Al Qaeda. But where is Bugs Bunny?

Though he may have butchered the limerick form a bit in that one, it's a rare collection, and well done.

Carnival of the Vanities #192
Blog d'Elisson, 5/23/06

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Real Code

With nothing but utter disdain,
Our government's grown more arcane;
And tell me whose whim
Coined this new acronym
That's taken SAVANT's name in vain?!

Punting the Interesting Answers to the Secret Session
By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, 5/19/06

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Opie's Day

Ron hopes that more protests explode
When ticket sales start to erode.
It don't take Da Vinci
To know it's a cinch he
Already deciphered that code!

From Hollywood, a Prayer in 'Code'
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, 5/19/06

Friday, May 19, 2006

TEL tale signs

Legislators are trying to quell
Fears that Backwell's amendent won't sell
He's going all in
In order to win.
Call the bluff, cuz he's showing his TEL!

Ohio GOP offers scaled-down spending-limits plan
Sandy Theis, The Plain Dealer, 5/18/06

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coo coo cachoo

The Carnival of Satire (#34) is now up

Handled with kid gloves

Just learned Surfnetkids has been linking.
Well, something in Denmark is stinking!
Share Savant's twisted views
With suggestible youths?
What ever could Barbara be thinking?!

"I wouldn't want to link to any site that would accept a link to my blog"
----------L.S. 2006 (channeling Groucho Marx)

"Limerick Savant... I loved it!"
Surfing the Net with Kids
by Barbara J. Felman

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Having it both ways

Bush on Immigration:

Before I get feathered and tarred,
I've sent in the National Guard
To shore up the borders,
But given them orders
To really not do it too hard.

On Immigration, Bush Seeks 'Middle Ground'
President to Send 6,000 Guard Troops to Mexican Border
By Jim VandeHei and Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post, 5/16/06

Sunday, May 14, 2006

All in the family

Yes, but which one is meathead?

Whether right-wing or left, we have mothers,
But some are more pushy than others.
We can see Barbara Bush
Giving Jeb just a push
To make for historical brothers.

[Couldn't resist a little Mother's Day politics]

Jeb Would Make a 'Great President,' Bush Says
By Bill Brubaker, The Washington Post, 5/11/06

...that only a mother could love

"M" is for her every mot, très bon.
"O" is for the void she leaves when gone.
"M" for if I May
Celebrate her day
With a Limerick of All Mothers Marathon.

Welcome to the 1st (annual?) Carnival of Moms or, as it will forever be known on this blog, the Limerick of All Mothers Marathon. I have invited a number of bloggers more talented than I (and certainly those hacks at Hallmark) to help me create, if not the best, at least the wordiest Mothers’ Day card ever. I was overwhelmed by the response and touched to learn that so many of them had mothers too. Like many a greeting card you may find some humor, some poignancy and maybe even some schmaltz (see above rhyme) but, as far as I can tell, there are no fart jokes. So take your time browsing and pick out whatever you like but please don’t switch the envelopes.

It rhymes with “balm” or “bomb”

Yes, it seems it’s much easier for we sons to idealize the relationship. Maybe it’s the Oedipus thing, but just wait until Father’s Day.

Graham from Point2Point who is a talented limerickist and writer sent this link to a fine quartet of Mother’s Day limericks.

Aparna, who may be my alter-ego in India, with his newsmiricks blog provided this trio:
On this truth, I am ready to swear,
That since God could not be everywhere,
He fashioned these others,
And titling them 'mothers',
Gave them part of his creation to bear!

She held you nine months in her tummy,
Was excited when you called her 'mummy'.
She hugged and she scolded,
You were nurtured and moulded,
And she made all those cookies, real yummy!

You may feel you don't owe her a dime,
She's a nag, who's now well past her prime.
But remember those years,
When she hugged off your fears,
On this day, give her a gift -- of your time.

Robert Duplantier, who has actually figured out a way to make money writing limericks, generously contributed five of his which may be found among many others on his Politickles website.

"We bought goofy games to play
And weird-smelling modeling clay,
Plus lots of toys
That make loud noise,
To give Mom on Mother's Day."

Someone started a silly rumor
About Mother's sense of humor:
Seems she'd sworn
'Til the day I was born
That she planned to call me "Tumor."

How the concept contributes to mirth:
This idea that our mother's the earth!
Is your Mom fat and round,
Several septillion pounds,
With a 25,000-mile girth?

The fertility clinic messed up
And assigned to my wife the wrong "cup":
Thanks to their help,
She delivered a whelp
And I'm now the proud pop of a pup!

There's no better month than June
For a second honeymoon,
So it's off to Niagara
With a quart of Viagra
And an extra-large measuring spoon!

One of Aparna’s readers, Padmaja was kind enough to send this little ditty:

Do we need Mother's Day
To bring up the urge to say,
Ma, I love you n thank you
'Cos you are one of the few
With whom I always have my way!

Jeff at Have Coffee Will Write got the idea this was a contest. Maybe I’ll have to send him a yellowing copy of the Savant’s chap book, Four-year Funk for these acerbic selections:

Limerick of All Mothers I
Limerick of All Mothers II
Limerick of All Mothers III

Or maybe he should just cut back on the caffeine.

What’s it like growing up with an Italian mother? Tony at The Blast Furnace will tell you. He also passed along this advice for using limericks as a public speaking tool:

Funny story -- about 10-12 years ago, as part of a "Free Speech Day" celebration at Youngstown State, I was invited to participate in a reading sponsored by the English department. Most of the other participants in the event were very serious about the whole thing, but I couldn't shake Tom Lehrer's "dirty books are fun" quote out of my head for about a week prior to the reading. Determined to make people laugh (and squirm), I brought with me a tome of baudy limericks from the 1960's I borrowed from my mom with some of my favorites earmarked.

And mourning becomes Electra

Daughters and mothers seem to share a different perspective. Maybe that is because they can be, and often are, both.

One of my favorite blogs, when I find time to read them, is Texas Trifles. The very talented writer and proprietor, Cowtown Pattie, took aim and hit her mark.

An Ode to Joyce

My personal birth-giver is neither saccarine nor sour
And much too onery for any ivory tower
Her razor-sharp tongue filets to the bone
Never softening words, the meaning well honed
Who else but "the Joyce" could wield such maternal power?

(*Aye, tis true my mom is a thorny burr in my side, but I love her!)

Mad Kane, the matter to Bob Duplantier’s anti-matter, offers up this Mother’s Day Limerick. Check out the “Secret Shopper” post and her humorous political verse while you’re at it.

Jill, who Writes Like She Talks, and, unlike the Savant, doesn’t speak in rhyme, still sent along these two offerings:

There once was a mother named Jill
Whose life mirrored Sysiphus and the hill
Her three kids she did push
Til her brain was but mush
Yet her love for them grew even still.

Oh mother what color is your hair
I know it was once naturally fair
I swore that I wouldn't
Cause I always thought you shouldn't
But now that I do? What a scare.

Annie has been taking into consideration how that relationship with mom goes better with the right wine.

Thanks to Jude from the Hinterlands of Australia for reminding us about Remembering our mothers even when they no longer remember us.

Elaine of Kaliliy bravely shares the reality of being the primary caregiver to a parent who has never been your best friend.

Tamar lets us take in the unique wisdom of African-American mothers from a book given by a friend.

Finally, despite being in the midst of a move to Maine from NYC, Ronni sends A Mother's Last Best Lesson, a three month series of posts about her mother’s final days.

I would like to finish this marathon on a personal, but lighter, note that has meaning in my family but may resonate for some other readers as well.

Now, Mom, so you'll know that it's me
I'll recall your ubiquitous plea:
Whenever they fought,
Your children were taught,
"Little birds in their nests will agree."

This phrase, (actually "birds in their little nests agree") purportedly borrowed from Little Women, (though harder to find there than a solution to the Da Vinci Code) was uttered, with perfect timing by my mother, for years in the midst of nearly every sibling brawl. The words, in their simple inanity, stunned my sisters and myself into total silence and brought even the most virulent disagreement to a sudden halt.

Even at a very young age, we were dumbfounded by such triteness coming from the mouth of this, otherwise, intelligent and well-spoken woman. We were convinced that this must surely be an early symptom of some rare, wasting "jungle" disease caused by the bite of an insect smaller than a grain of kosher salt and whose name could only be pronounced using a series of tongue clicks and guttural burps. Needless to say, our other concerns of the moment paled by comparison and we would rush, in unison, to her side to comfort and reassure her. Such is the wisdom of a mother.

Thank you, Mom, and, on that, I think we "birds" all agree.

Thanks to all who helped publicize this effort including George at Brewed Fresh Daily.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

No one expects the NSA

It's your liberty that's being taken
With the database NSA's makin'.
Drill down six degrees
And one easily sees
That al Qaida all called Kevin Bacon.

The Oracle says: Osama bin Laden has a Kevin Bacon number of 3.
Osama bin Laden was in Without Fear or Favor: The Best in Broadcast Journalism (2004) (TV) with Charles Gibson (II)
Charles Gibson (II) was in ABC 2000: The Millennium (1999) (TV) with Jay Leno
Jay Leno was in "Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The" (1992) {(2005-10-12)} with Kevin Bacon

Interview with author, Patrick Radden Keefe

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls
By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY, 5/11/06

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

We don't need no steenkin' veto!

These are true Constitutional zingers
And their use means a nagging doubt lingers;
That, while signing a bill
Sent from Capitol Hill,
Mr. Bush has been crossing his fingers!

Recent use of presidential signing statments

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office
By Charlie Savage, Boston Globe, 4/30/06

Reporter Highlights Bush's Executive Decisions
Terry Gross interview with Charlie Savage
of the Boston Globe
Fresh Air, NPR, 5/9/06

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A request from the Savant

My 87 year old mother has just recently fallen and broken her neck and is now at home recovering. She has always been one of the Savant's most loyal fans ("only a mother could love") and is surely the source of his twisted sense of word play. I wish to do something very special for this woman to whom I owe so much. Please help me pay tribute to her and to all mothers this Sunday with a Limerick of All Mothers Marathon.

What I propose is a sort of Carnival of Moms to be hosted at this blog. Many of you will probably be posting wishes of the day on your own blogs and I ask that you send me the URLs so that I may post a link and a comment. For those of you that are not yet blogging, (why not?) please send me your Mothers' Day thoughts and I will post them as well. Naturally, I am especially interested in limericks, poems or songs to, or about, mothers; but all submissions, serious or comic, will be accepted. The submissions may be sent directly to me at by Saturday, May 13.

Please forward this request (by clicking the envelope icon below) to anyone who you think would be interested or, better yet, post it on your blog. Thanks in advance for the support. And please don't tell mom.

Monday, May 08, 2006

No one expects the CIA!

The appointment of General Hayden
Might seem like it's heavily laden.
When you take the position
To expect Inquisition,
What's the diff between rack and Iron Maiden?

And now for something completely different...

Hayden Nominated to Head CIA
By Dafna Linzer and Fred Barbash
The Washington Post, 5/8/06

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nuestro problemo

Mr. Bush, we have heard you would banish
Our national anthem in Spanish.
Is your real motivation
That you find immigration
Is a problem that simply won't vanish?

Or maybe we should just deport anyone who cannot pass this test?
You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

U.S. Prepares for 'Day Without Immigrants'
The Washington Post, 5/1/06