Style Invitational Week 1332: Call them Spellimericks

Write a limerick that spells out a 5-letter word or name with the
first letter of each line

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
Email //

Bio //

Follow //

May 16

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning Great Stories as told
by other writers)

*F*raud is rampant in voting, you know!
*A*ll those turbines cause cancer to grow!
*L*argest tax cut we’ve had!
*S*pies were tracking me! Bad!
*E*very migrant’s a criminal foe!

**Yes, we’ll still have our annual Limerixicon in August. But this week
the Empress was moved to add another limerick contest, approximately
1.78 seconds after reading the suggestion by Obsessive Loser Jesse
Frankovich, complete with examples.

*This week: Write a humorous limerick that’s an acrostic: a pertinent
five-letter word or name spelled out by the first letter of each line, *
as in Jesse’s example above. Don’t bother to use boldface or a special
format to highlight the word you’re spelling out; even the Empress can
figure that out, and the entry form won’t show it anyway.

Please see** for
our fairly strict rules on limerick rhyme and meter (in a nutshell:
“perfect” rhyme, and a strong “hickory-dickory-dock” rhythm in Lines 1,
2 and 5; a “dickory-dock” in Lines 3 and 4; extra unaccented syllables
on either side are fine.

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a smaller, less
unwieldy, but still alarming version of a prize we’ve given twice
before: It’s a *ceramic mug in a rattlesnake motif,* with a little
ceramic rattlesnake head hissing at you from inside. Donated as before
by Not a Loser Mary Ellen Stroupe.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our “Whole Fools”

Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser
magnets, “Too-Weak Notice”

or “Certificate of (de)Merit.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, May 27; *results
published June 16 in print, June 13 online. See general contest rules
and guidelines at . The
headline “Rewordsmiths” is by Jesse Frankovich; Jesse also wrote the
honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees
group on Facebook at / ./ “Like”
the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at /;
/ follow @StyleInvite
on Twitter.

**The Style *Conversational: * **The Empress’s online column returns in
a couple of weeks.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


**In*Week 1328 *we asked you to retell or
summarize a book or play, or a scene from it, in the voice of someone
else. The Empress was not shocked that many of the best entries honored
the two most influ-ential writers in English: William Shakespeare and
Dr. Seuss.

4th place:

*Hamlet’s soliloquy, as told by Dr. Seuss
*Today there’s a thing that I’m dying to know,
A question that haunts me wherever I go:
A person’s a person, no matter how small,
But is it worth being a person at all?
With all the bad things in the world that I’m seeing,
It may be that being is worse than NOT being.
But nobody knows. There’s the rub: we must dread
That maybe it will not be fun to be dead,
And hard as we find it to be a live person,
Once we are gone all our problems may worsen.
(Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

You only have to drink a few ounces of coffee before this mug will wake
you up good. This week's second prize. (Pat Myers/The Washington Post)
3rd place:

*“A Tale of Two Cities,” by Donald Trump*
It was the best of times, it was the best of times, it was the greatest
time you’ve ever seen, believe me, it was a beautiful time, it was
really great, most people don’t know this but it was the best of times,
it was huge, not like those times that weren’t so great, it was
incredible, a lot of people are saying it was the best of times, except
for the Fake News, but it was the best of times, NO COLLUSION! (Laurie
Brink, Cleveland, Mo.)

2nd place

/and the Spock prayer candle :
/ *“A Tale of Two Cities,” by Ogden Nash:*
It was the best of times, yet also not so hot,
When lots of Bourbons got guillotined by the sans-culottes,
Which technically means “without breeches,”
But at that point meant “a bunch of folks whose revolutionary zeal sort
of overreaches,”
Led by Madame Defarge,
Who ordered blood spilled like she was spreading a croissant with marge,
Meaning plenty of martyrdom, so someone had to do the martyn’,
Namely Sydney Carton.
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

**“Green Eggs and Ham,” by William Shakespeare*
*O friend! I prithee! Let us take a ride,
For truly, sir, thy life is incomplete
’Til viridescent ovum thou hast tried
Together with a slice of glaucous meat!
O! Wouldst thou in a locomotive train?
Perhaps aboard an airplane in the skies?
Or wouldst thou in a boat upon the main?
Thou shouldst! For ’tis a dish that thou wouldst prize!

When travel I on land or sea or air,
By any mode of transport I may go,
However thou mayst urge this bill of fare,
Wouldst sample I this dish? I tell thee no!
I liketh not the egg of greenish hue,
Nor care I for thy cut of proffered ham,
So, verily, if to myself be true,
I shall not eat thy dish, Sir Sam-I-Am.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Rewriter's block: Honorable mentions

*Polonius’s advice to Laertes in “Hamlet,” by Donald Trump*
Never a lender, but a borrower be!
Let no man see thy purse’s content,
Claim it too exhaustive for any to comprehend.
Give no man thy ear, but all thy voice;
Allow no time for judgment, speak boldly beyond the point of vulgarity.
Make thy name into a brand and brand into fortune
By constantly proclaiming thyself and thy works great.
This above all: regardless of fact, declare thy words true!
(Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

*Hamlet’s soliloquy, by Dr. Seuss *
To be — or be not? — that’s the thing that I ask,
For when life gets so hard that to live is a task,
And your luck is so bad that there’s no way to win,
There’s an easy way out! You can do yourself in!
But wait! Are you sure? Do you feel just a shred
Of that dread in your head to be deader than dead?
Could it be that self-killing is not right for you?
(More a thought that you think than a thing that you do . . .)
(Mark Raffman)

*“Charlotte’s Web” by Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee:*
People will believe what you post on the Web.
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*“2001: A Space Odyssey,” as told by Cheech and Chong
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: Who is it?
Dave: It’s Dave, man. Open up, I couldn’t save Frank.
HAL: Who is it?
Dave: Dave. It’s Dave, man! C’mon, I don’t have my helmet with me.
HAL: Dave?
Dave: Yeah, Dave.
HAL: Dave’s not here, man.
(Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

*Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” explained by Mister Rogers*
Have you ever had a bad day? Gregor Samsa had a very bad day. He turned
into a giant cockroach. He had six long legs and a thousand tiny eyes;
Imagine what you could see with all those eyes! /One/ thing he could see
was that his whole family didn’t love him anymore because he was a
disgusting insect. Would that make you sad? I know it would make /me/
sad. (Frank Mann, Washington)

*“1984”: In Room 101, O’Brien finally breaks Winston Smith’s will, by
Dave Barry *
Smith: Oh God, rats?!
O’Brien: No, Miami cockroaches.
Smith: I can handle bugs.
O’Brien: But can you handle THIS?! (Music builds.)
Smith: Not “Copacabana”!
O’Brien: And “Mandy” up next!
Smith: Stop! I’ll LOVE Big Brother!
O’Brien: “Big Brother and the Miami Cockroaches” would be a good name
for a rock band.
(Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

*The opening
Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s ¨Paul Clifford,¨ as told by Peter Mark Roget*
It was a crepuscular and tempestuous eventide . . .
(Roy Ashley, Washington)

*A Christmas Carol,” by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez *
“But then the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come took Scrooge even further
into the future, where he was revered for refusing to let his clerk burn
coal . . .”
(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

*“Macbeth,” by Mother Goose*
Lady Macbeth cried out for death,
Her husband murdered Duncan,
Planning to pin the bloody sin
Upon his servants drunken.
Noble Macduff, so brave and tough,
Declared the false king must die.
His weapon he drew, and cut him in two,
And said, “What a good boy am I!”
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

*The Elements of Style (Strunk and White), by Emily Dickinson*
A break in thought — a change of gears
May make them grind — and clash —
Use commas — or parentheses —
Don’t — overuse — the dash — (Duncan Stevens)

*“Gone Girl,” by Geico *
Faking your own murder, killing your ex-boyfriend, and using frozen
sperm to get yourself pregnant so your husband won’t turn you in?
Surprising! What’s not surprising? How much money you can save by
switching to … (Mark Raffman)

*“The Scarlet Letter,” as told by the writer of that annoying commercial
for Head On : *
The Letter A — apply directly to the bosom!
The Letter A — apply directly to the bosom!” (Sam Mertens, Silver
Spring, Md.)

*Hamlet’s soliloquy, by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I should like to be.
Or not. Which is it? Let me see.
To die may be a welcome nap,
But what if it’s a painful trap?
What if in that nap you dream
Horrific things that make you scream?
If death does not improve on life,
There’s no point falling on my knife.
Life is lived by fools like me.
But only God knows if to be. (Robert Schechter)

*“Gone With the Wind” by Jerry Herman *
/( to the tune of “I Am What I Am”
from “La Cage aux
I don’t give a damn
I don’t need you, Scarlett O’Hara
You’ll end up alone
All on your own
Crawling to Tara.
You’re scheming. You behave too boldly and too brashly.
Dreaming of the day you wed your wimpy Ashley.
Your life is a sham
Frankly, my dear, I say,
I don’t give a damn! (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.)

*Still running — deadline Monday, May 20: our contest to add or delete
text from a sentence in the paper. See
. *

*DON’T MISS AN INVITE! * Sign up here
to receive a once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style
Invitational and Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete
with links to the columns.