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To some, limericks are the cheeseburgers of literature — an unsophisticated guilty pleasure enjoyed by the unwashed masses. Though washed, I’m a card carrying member of the masses and I love me a good limerick.
There was a time when I had at least a dozen at the ready, but time, memory loss, maturity and Christianity have mostly erased the off-color verses. This left me with a few “on-color verses or at least closer to color verses”. I remembered some and I’ve tracked down a few more for your reading pleasure. Memorize a few and you will have a time honored bit of Old School whimsy at the tip of your tongue.
Keep in mind, the ideal limerick is frequently what I call grandma naughty. That means you could tell it to your grandmother and she’d think it was the slightest bit naughty, but she’d laugh and ask you to tell it again. While there are limericks that are tamer than this, they are usually aren’t that funny.
I’ll offer authorship when I can, but limericks are often orphaned early.
I once took the Duchess to tea
She was tense as a person could be.
Her rumblings abdominal
Were simply phenomenal—
And everyone thought it was me!
There once was a man of Fort Orange
Who longed to make rhymes using orange.
He quit in despair,
Hanged himself in mid-air,
Where he swings to and fro like a door ‘inge.
The was an old man of the isles
Who suffered severely from pisles
He couldn’t sit down
Without a deep frown
So he had to row standing for misles
A beautiful girl went to an affair
With a date all covered with hair
She looked at his hat
And realized that
She’d been dancing with Smokey the Bear
There once was a sculptor named Phideous
Whose sculptures by most were thought hideous
He carved Aphrodite
Without even a nightie
Which shocked all the fussy fastidious
A macho young swimmer named Dwyer,
Really liked playing with fire.
One night in the dark
He swam with a shark,
And his voice is now two octaves higher.
There once was a man from Peru
Whose limericks stopped at line two.
A blogger of all things Old School,
Tried, lasting, proven and cool
Was not a good poet
And now you, too, know it
Because this rhyme is certainly no jewel.
Got a good limerick? Share it in the comments, but remember — Grandma will be reading.