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Thread: Cyburbia limerick contest

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Cyburbia Limerick contest

    By popular demand! Starting today and continuing through to 31 August, post a planning or urbanism-related limerick. I'll choose what I think are the ten best, and from that list we'll vote for the best limerick out there.

    The grand prize ... drumroll please ...





    The infamous "Damn Commie Planners!" mug, showing Lenin and Stalin performing some "visioning exercises."



    I may post a limerick if one comes to mind, but they'll be excluded from the final vote.

    Exercise good judgement with regards to the subject of the limerick; i.e. let's not get too un-PC, okay?

    Vulgar limericks are permitted, but please use SPOILER tags to enclose them. Please note that many English language profanities related to copulation and genitalia are censored; substitute the first letter and the appropriate number of asterisks.

    There once was a man from Nantucket
    Whose d*** was so big he could suck it
    He said with a grin
    As he wiped off his chin
    If my ear was a c*** I would f*** it


    Limericks must follow generally accepted rules and traditions for structure and content, as described below.

    Limerick rules

    (absconded from http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick....erickrules.htm)

    Otherwise known as poetry for the common man, limericks, named after the Irish town of the same name, were first published in 1820 in The History of Sixteen Wonderful Old Women Exhibiting their Principle Eccentricities and Amusements. by James Harris. They were popularised by Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) in his 1846 Book of Nonsense, a two-volume work featuring 73 illustrated limericks. Despite featuring examples of misogyny and racism, these books were intended for children, with mildly nonsensical verses such as these:

    There was an old man of Nepal
    From his horse had a terrible fall
    But, though split in two,
    By some very strong glue
    They mended that man of Nepal.

    There was an old man of the coast
    Who placidly sat on a post
    But when it was cold
    He relinquished his hold
    And called for some hot, buttered toast.


    Characteristic of Lear's limericks is the identical ending to the first and last lines (example 1) and the use of a place-name at the end of each. Given the intended audience, most of the limericks in his book closely resemble those reproduced above, seldom using a different word for the last line and seldom introducing the humorous twist until the third line.

    Limerick structure

    Lear's book cemented the structure if not the the content of popular limericks. The content-independent school of limerickery holds that any five-line poem with the requisite structure is a limerick, as would be true for a sonnet or villanelle fitting their respective formulae.

    Limericks are officially described as a form of 'anapestic trimeter'; the 'anapest' is a 'foot' of poetic verse consisting of three syllables, the third longer (or accentuated to a greater degree) than the first two. Lines one, two and five of a limerick should ideally consist of three anapests each, concluding with an identical or similar phoneme to create the rhyme. Lines three and four are shorter, constructed of two anapests each and again rhyming with each other. Thus, the overall rhyme structure of a, a, b, b, a, with the beat pattern

    a:da-da-daah da-da-daah da-da-daah
    b:da-da-daah da-da-daah

    Often, lines three and four have an extra syllable at their start. Variations on this theme include the substitution of the final foot of a line to the iamb, a two-syllable foot with the accent on the second. Further substitution in this way can result in the maximum syllable count of

    1. 9 syllables pause 3
    da-da-daah da-da-daah da-da-daah

    2. 9 syllables pause 3
    da-da-daah da-da-daah da-da-daah

    3. 6/7 syllables no pause
    (da) da-da-daah da-da-daah

    4. 6/7 syllables no pause
    (da) da-da-daah da-da-daah

    5. 9 syllables pause 3
    da-da-daah da-da-daah da-da-daah

    being reduced to a minimum of

    1.7 syllables pause 5
    da-dah da-da-dah da-daah

    2. 7 syllables pause 5
    da-dah da-da-dah da-daah

    3. 4 syllables pause 2
    da-da da-daah

    4. 4 syllables pause 2
    da-da da-daah

    5. 7 syllables pause 5
    da-dah da-da-dah da-daa

    As the figures in italics indicate, curtailing the 'active' beats of any line results in a corresponding increase in the number of beats' pause between lines.

    It is possible to construct a limerick with unmatching a or b lines; it is essential that the overall beat structure remains and that the flow of words allows the lines to be spoken as if they were identical.

    Limerick content

    Whilst the appreciation of a finely-structured limerick has a place in today's world, tradition dictates that the comic value of a limerick is greatly enhanced if the content involves that great stalwart of humorous verse - vulgarity. Since Lear's time, the habit of using the same word (usually a place) to end the first and final lines has been supplanted. Limericks today often comprise the following basic formula:

    Introduce person - end line on place or name
    A maiden, whose name was Felicity

    Describe the characteristic(s) of the person
    Tried living without electricity:

    Detail their activities on this line
    By propane she cooks

    And complete them on this
    And by oil-lamp reads books

    Whilst saving the last line for the comic consequence and conclusion
    And forbids watching telly explicitly.

    This is quite acceptable, but still slightly dull. The anonymous author of the following limerick succinctly describes the problem of style over content:

    The limerick packs laughs anatomical
    Into space that is quite economical;
    The good ones I've seen
    Are seldom so clean,
    Whilst the clean ones are seldom so comical.


    The writer Don Marquis made a statement in a similar vein, summing up the traditional content of limericks:

    'There are three kinds of limerick:
    Those suitable for recount in the presence of ladies...

    A limerick written in jest
    Should be vulgar, to sit with the best;
    Here, rudeness is banned,
    You must understand,
    Leaving rhythm the visible test.

    In accordance with DNA's dreams
    We sit here for hours at our screens;
    We write about inns
    And of cafés and things
    And in forums sit venting our spleens

    I once met a man from the South
    Whose manner was somewhat uncouth;
    He'd constantly swear,
    Driving decent folk spare
    'Til some soap was applied to his mouth.

    A being whose name was The Lord
    Sought Harmony, Peace and Accord;
    He sent down His Son
    To placate Everyone
    But it Seems that His Word was Ignored.


    '...those utterable in the absence of ladies but the presence of clergy...

    There once was a girl from Nantucket
    Who spent all her life in a bucket;
    So scarce was her space
    That she had a squashed face,
    Though into her right ear she could tuck it.

    A vicar, the Reverend Bowles
    Took care to protect all our souls;
    With a stern but fair grin
    He would steer us from sin
    And make godly living our goal


    '...and limericks.'

    A slavering pervert named Benny
    Sought pleasure in Abergavenny;
    His bestial urges
    Led him to grass verges:
    His girlfriends were woollen and many.

    'Tis normal for boys adolescent
    To be troubled by urges incessant;
    In bed, every night
    When they turn out the light
    They do things that they find rather pleasant

    An elderly priest, Father Vaughan
    Knew not what to do 'bout his horn;
    Though he could not show it
    He longed so to blow it
    Along to the tune of soft porn

    The PowersThatBe of this site
    have vast editorial might
    If we wish to swear
    We must take it elsewhere
    As we can't even say **** or *****.


    Of course, it is possible to be witty and clever without recourse to vulgarity and indecency. Subtle use of euphemism can make a technically inoffensive limerick greater than one with overt smut...

    There was a young plumber called Lee
    Who plumbed a girl down by the sea;
    She said: 'Stop your plumbing -
    'There's somebody coming!
    Said the plumber, still plumbing, 'It's me!'

    A gentleman hailing from York
    To his kitchen utensils would talk;
    He'd lie on the floor
    With his cutlery drawer
    Where he'd ask his knives: 'Fancy a fork?'


    Whilst clever word-play relating to the structure itself can be employed when expletives and a salacious subject must be avoided.

    Also, the long-established structure and rhyme pattern of limericks can be turned against them; the reader or listener knows what to expect after the first line, providing, of course, that they've heard a limerick before, and can thus be led to believe that an expletive is imminent. When the expletive or expected word is replaced, the results are often pleasing. The added advantage of printability goes without saying.

    The limericks shown on this site
    Cannot be as rude as they might
    Instead of conceding,
    You might try misleading,
    By making them think you'll shout 'Excrement!'

    I was feeling quite down on my luck
    When I slipped over into some muck;
    I went head-over-chest,
    Got covered in dung
    and shouted, quite loudly, 'Oh, bother!"
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Here's a weak effort to get us going. I'll work on a few more, maybe involving Plannergirl...

    The stores in our town were once mom and pop
    Developers cried “This we must stop!”
    They moved without pity
    And paid off the city
    Now Wal-Mart’s the lone place to shop
    Last edited by Cardinal; 17 Aug 2002 at 10:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. So here's my first limerick (I'm hoping that they'll get better as I get more practice).

    A local developer named Stan
    Couldn't figure out how to plan.
    He submitted blank paper
    To build a skyscraper.
    And he still made a hundred grand.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Looking for office flirtation,
    But work harassment's an aberration?
    There's nothing to fear
    Because your answer is here:
    Read to her adult business regulations.

  5. #5

    limerick

    There was a young man from Woonsocket
    who played with his thing in his pocket.
    When asked why
    he said with a sigh
    "Until you've tried it don't knock it."

  6. #6

    limerick 2.0

    There was a girl from Verdun
    who weighed fifty pounds short of a ton.
    She said with a twinkle
    "Try every wrinkle
    and I'll let you know when you're done."

  7. #7

    limerick 2.1

    A planner from Tallahassee
    wanted to make it with Lassie.
    When he was done,
    he said rather glum
    I wish southern dogs weren't so sassy.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Michigan
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    OK, here are mine....

    1)
    There once was a planner in France
    the fool spent his time in a trance.
    The day he was caught,
    they said you shall not!
    So instead he just played in his pants.

    2)
    With site plans and zoning around,
    questions and problems abound.
    They say this is planning,
    what should we be banning?
    Perhaps SOB's, trash, and the pound.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Akron
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    limerick

    A man from Alabam'
    wanted to sire a lamb.
    He knew what to do
    and his aim was true
    but the ewe he knew was a ram.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Plannergirl went to Tallahasee
    And proceeded to get tipsy
    Next Thing You know
    She's in Ocoee
    Wearing Olive Oil and PVC

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    She came with a question 'bout zoning
    And looked through the maps with zeal
    With one look at Prudence
    She let out a squeal
    She came without question while moaning

  12. #12
    Cyburbian prudence's avatar
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    Dear God People...I am all for a saucy limerick, but enough with the bestiality. It's early here in the Midwest.
    "Dear Prudence...won't you open up your eyes? "

  13. #13
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    the truth be told

    There once was a man from Green Bay
    Who watched his team on sunday
    The pack won by a score
    and the headlines did roar:
    The bears from chicago are gay.


    this coming from a homegrown Illinois boy.
    We're not all bad!
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    There's an online community called cyburbia
    With plannertypes from Buffalo to Serbia

    Out of limp dirt their fingers grab hold
    The board heats up and pvc kittens implode

    As you can see we are quite prone to hyperbole!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    limerick

    An Ohio planner named Tom
    writes to Cyburbia dot com
    of this and of thats
    of beer and of cats
    and whatever you do don't tell Mom!

  16. #16
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Jen
    There's an online community called cyburbia
    With plannertypes from Buffalo to Serbia

    Out of limp dirt their fingers grab hold
    The board heats up and pvc kittens implode

    As you can see we are quite prone to hyperbole!
    Call off the rest of the contest...we have a winner!

    Great one Jen!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    limerick

    Originally posted by NHPlanner


    Call off the rest of the contest...we have a winner!

    Great one Jen!
    Not bad, but the meter isn't quite there.

  18. #18
    Member
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    There once was a dingy old city
    Was host to its fair share of NIMBYs
    They said “Don’t build it here
    You’ll scare off the deer!”
    So nothing got built, what a pity.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Texas
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    Today's Lesson

    It was the ugliest building downtown
    A hideous thing
    An architecture let down

    Sold a few weeks ago
    The proposed use is a no-go
    Money wasted that the owner did borrow

    Zoning wouldn't permit
    Board of Adjustment said the use was unfit
    Now I'm left explaining the mess to a relator dimwit

    The moral of the story is this:
    When buying property, the zoning code you should not dismiss
    Double check, as relators are often remiss

    And after all is done, through streets don't run amuck
    Call the relator, and tell herself she can go ****
    Last edited by Habanero; 19 Aug 2002 at 4:13 PM.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  20. #20
    Member
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    In the classical cities of yore
    You couldn’t walk out of the door
    Without soiling your shoes
    From horses**t and sewers
    It ain’t like the old days no more

  21. #21
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Originally posted by rustbelt
    There once was a dingy old city
    Was host to its fair share of NIMBYs
    They said “Don’t build it here
    You’ll scare off the deer!”
    So nothing got built, what a pity.
    beautifully done.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  22. #22
    maudit anglais
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    I can't seem to get the hang of writing limericks...can we bring back the haiku contest, please?

    There once was a street in T.O.
    Where the cars did move very slow
    The motorists complained,
    They wanted more lanes!
    But still that traffic won't flow

  23. #23
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'm semi-famous now

    HIJACK --

    Originally posted by Jen -

    There's an online community called cyburbia
    With plannertypes from Buffalo to Serbia

    Out of limp dirt their fingers grab hold
    The board heats up and pvc kittens implode

    As you can see we are quite prone to hyperbole!



    __________________
    Genetics – remember men are hardwired by a million years of evolution to be distributors of little packets of genetic information. Nature demands this genetic information be available to as many as possible. Incidentally, this is why men make better gunners, bombers and missile launchers – genetics – we like hitting multiple targets. Straiffing is the term.
    El Guapo


    Does this count as my entire 15 minutes? Thanks Jen

    /HIJACK

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Ode to Paul

    There's this Cyburbanite we call Tranplanner
    That has a fiance we're told
    He break every mold
    With haikus that are bold
    And a screen name that smacks of transgender

  25. #25
    maudit anglais
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    Oh yeah?

    Thus did start the great Cyburbia Limerick War...

    Apologies to all in advance, and this can/will be removed if it offends.

    There once was a planner named bturk
    Who's said to possess one major quirk
    He closes the door,
    Drops his pants to the floor
    And asks Prudence to give him a jerk

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