2015 St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest

2015 metamorphosism.com St. Valentine's day Limerick contest

We here at metamorphosism.com have the distinct pleasure to announce the opening of this year’s St. Valentine’s Day Limerick contest. This could possibly be the contest’s 14th year, if you can believe that.

Time flies.

You may be wondering whether there is a prize this year. So far, no. But that could change. Yes, of course there is a prize. The winner will receive a copy of The Bug, a comic book starring Mig Living’s much-loved orthographically-challenged insectoid, tEh Bgu.

Before entering the contest, please read the following rules. As last year, to encourage you to read the rules, instructions on how to enter the contest are hidden within the rules. Contestants please note slight rule changes below, in the bonus theme section.

  1. No fighting.
  2. The three most important things: Scansion, scansion, scansion.
  3. Enter as often as you like. The more often you enter, the better your chances of winning. But read the other rules first.
  4. Violation of any of the following rules may hurt your chances, so please read them carefully.
  5. Also please note that any of the following rules are subject to change without notice, at the whim of the contest organizers and judge(s). This is a feature, not a bug. By entering you accept this fact, and all of the rules, and even proactively accept future rules the current rules may change to at any time.
  6. Entries must be limericks. (This rule never changes, promise.)
  7. Entries should be artful and delight the reader’s artistic sensibilities.
  8. Being limericks, entries may of course be humorous, bawdy, shocking, obscene, etc., but this is not required. All that is required is that the entry be a limerick (A-A-B-B-A rhyme scheme, etc, look it up). The wikipedia article on limericks, for example, is here.
  9. Points are subtracted for violation of any of these rules.
  10. Points are also subtracted arbitrarily in accordance with the application of the algorithm of unfairness.
  11. Bonus points are awarded for incorporation of one or more bonus themes, listed below.
  12. Bonus themes: failed utopias, gender issues, historical political movements, non-Western musical instruments, dipsomania, food poisoning (especially the bacteria that cause it), capitalism, Ayn Rand, sex dolls, historical articles of clothing, parasites that influence the behavior of the host, especially (but not only) in humans, the history of the tuxedo, B-movie tropes, television detective dramas, supernatural despair especially as portrayed in the fiction of Robert W. Chambers, the various proteins on the surface of the influenza virus, historic epidemics, the economics of monopolies.
  13. Bonus themes are subject to change during the contest, possibly rendering entries previously eligible for bonus points suddenly ineligible.
  14. *NEW*: HARDSHIP POINTS Extra hardship points will be awarded to limericks written without the letter “E”.
  15. But don’t worry, it’s all good.
  16. Entries should be submitted in the comments to this post.
  17. Deadline is 14 February, winners will be announced 14 February.
  18. Judging and other procedures in the conduct of this contest pretend to be crooked, but they are actually pretty fair, but there is never any guarantee this will be the case this time. Just assume the contest is crooked and unfair and you won’t be disappointed.
  19. Complaints will be deleted.
  20. There is no right to, nor avenue of, appeal.
  21. You may enter as often as you like. So check back often to read all the new entries and see if the rules have changed, or the bonus themes.
  22. By entering the contest, you grant metamorphosism.com permission to publish your entry (here in the comments where you enter it, and possibly on facebook or twitter, to publicize the contest) but you retain all rights to your entries.
  23. Feel free to email me at metamorphosist@gmail.com if you have any questions or find one particular limerick especially great or whatever.
  24. Please have fun.
  25. Last, but not least: my deep thanks to my talented friend Bran Fox for designing the logo for this year’s contest, as in so many years past.



So I bought a tuxedo.

The tuxedo, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, was invented by, or for, the Prince of Wales (Albert Edward, later known as King Edward VII), in 1865 because he wanted a comfortable, yet fashionable, dinner jacket he could wear instead of the coat and tails everyone wore in the evening back then.

Prince Albert Edward of the tuxedo is not the same person as Prince Albert (Albert, Prince Consort) after whom something else is named.

At the time, smoking jackets were popular – after dinner, men would gather in the smoking room to smoke, one supposes, and because they didn’t want to disturb women with the smell of smoke on their clothes they wore special smoking jackets. The tuxedo, also called a dinner jacket in the UK, is known as a smoking in many European languages, including German (in Spanish: esmoquin).

It is called a tuxedo in the United States because James Brown Potter’s wife was a famous beauty Prince Albert was chasing. Prince Albert convinced Mr. Potter to order a dinner jacket. The articles I have read were unclear on whether it was something he communicated to him before Mr. and Mrs. Potter arrived at the Prince’s place, so he would be properly dressed, or if it was more like, Hey Potter old boy, head on down to Henry Poole & Co. and pick yourself up one of these, there’s a good chap. And a short case of Mickey’s Big Mouth. I’ll keep an eye on the missus for ya.

At any rate, Potter introduced the tailless single-breasted dinner jacket, with a shawl collar, at the Tuxedo Club, an elite social club in Orange County, N.Y. in 1886. It caused an uproar. The establishment frowned upon the new style. The local newspaper wrote that those who wore it, “ought to have been put in strait-jackets long ago.”

But by 1888 it had become popular for formal and formalish evening events and that’s all I have to say about the history of the tuxedo.

Longer introduction than I originally planned, but I wanted to get that in about the original tux having a shawl collar and being single-breasted. Pointed lapels and more buttons are later variations, details imported from regular business suits, which sucks.

The tuxedo was originally revolutionary and casual, worn by dandies in the evening, and should absolutely have as little as possible in common with the day-time business suit.

So this week I was at a department store looking at tuxedos (alternate spelling tuxedoes, if you are Dan Quayle) because my wife and I are going to a ball for the kid’s school (they rent a palais in Vienna and it is listed in the formal list of actual balls in Vienna, and not just a prom, okay). We went to the ball once before, a few years ago, and I wore just a black suit and was woefully underdressed, everyone else had on a tux.

And as I wandered around in the formal wear section, I noticed three things: tails are awfully stuffy and over-formal, I have an irrational hatred of lapels on tuxedos, and the sales staff were ignoring me.

I was most surprised to discover that I had such strong opinions about the shawl collar/single-breasted style. I had never thought about it before but there it was, non-negotiable, some mysterious attribute that had always slumbered in me similar, but not exactly the same as, the attributes Tibetans are sometimes said to use to discover the reincarnations of lamas.

It seemed logical and unsurprising, on the other hand, that the salespeople were avoiding me, because it was close to closing time, I had had an exhausting day, my hair was crazy and who wants to deal with a crazy white-haired guy at closing time? I had to physically grab a salesman, who helped me find a suit to try on, but the outlook was grim because it is ball season and everything in my size was either sold out or really expensive.

I tried one on, it didn’t fit, the light in the changing room was too harsh and I looked awful, and when I came back out the guy had vanished back into the woodwork.

The following day I had more luck. I asked an older woman, who works in my office, for advice. She called all over town for me, which was fortunate because the next place I had planned to visit did have suits in my size, but only in purple, and I was looking for black. Instead, she sent me to a rental shop on my lunch break.

It was a nice place. It was small, full from floor to ceiling with rows of tuxedos and ball gowns, and had mostly natural light (more flattering). It was quiet, because it was actually closed for lunch, just me and the seamstresses and the manager; so no pressure. The manager and I discussed surnames, and Celtic names, and tartans, and the best way to select a shop in Edinburgh to buy a kilt (google it, he advised).

The first tux jacket I tried on fit fine. They fixed me up with a shirt, bowtie and cummerbund (Kummerbund in German, so I initially found it interesting that the suit is called a Smoking in German, but we call a Kummerbund a “cummerbund” in English, as if there were a little linguistic trading back and forth going on, but no, it turns out to be even more interesting than that, Kummerbund is also imported to German from English, which itself borrowed cummerbund from the Indian subcontinent, adapting kamarband, from the Persian compound kamar (waist) and bund (closed)) and matching shoes and I was good to go.

You can rent or buy the tux at this shop. The suit was nearly new, yet nicely broken in, so I bought it. They did the alterations, I picked it up today on my lunch break (along with some fruit and vegetables at the nearby market, which my wife called and asked me to get) and it’s hanging out in my car right now. I can’t wait to get home and put it on and let the cats rub themselves all over the trousers.

Sometimes you are the hammer

Sometimes you are the hammer, and sometimes you are the nail
Sometimes you are the nail, and sometimes you are the two-by-four
Sometimes you are the two-by-four and sometimes you are the saw
Sometimes you are the saw, and sometimes you are the sawdust
Sometimes you are the sawdust, and sometimes you are the janitor
Sometimes you are the janitor, and sometimes you are the student
Sometimes you are the student, and sometimes you are the guru
Sometimes you are the guru, and sometimes you are the Beatles
Sometimes you are the Beatles, and sometimes you are the Rolling Stones
Sometimes you are the Rolling Stones, and sometimes you are the moss
Sometimes you are the moss, and sometimes you are the bark
Sometimes you are the bark, and sometimes you are the bite
Sometimes you are the bite, and sometimes you are the hand
Sometimes you are the hand, and sometimes you are the arm
Sometimes you are the arm, and sometimes you are the shoulder
Sometimes you are the shoulder, and sometimes you are the head
Sometimes you are the head, and sometimes you are the body
Sometimes you are the body, and sometimes you are the forensic pathologist who has odd, but endearing traits, such as eating lunch while working, or listening to music by modern composers
Sometimes you are the forensic pathologist, and sometimes you are the detective who should stop smoking
Sometimes you are the detective, and sometimes you are the hunch
Sometimes you are the hunch, and sometimes you are the hunchback
Sometimes you are the hunchback, and sometimes you are the bell
Sometimes you are the bell, and sometimes you are the clapper
Sometimes you are the clapper, and sometimes you are the performer
Sometimes you are the performer, and sometimes you are the killer in the wings waiting for the right moment to cut the rope/pull the trigger/light the fuse
Sometimes you are the killer, and sometimes you are the plot
Sometimes you are the plot, and sometimes you are the exposition
Sometimes you are the exposition, and sometimes you are the bored student taking tickets
Sometimes you are the bored student taking tickets, and sometimes you are the person they are thinking about
Sometimes you are the person the bored student is thinking about, and sometimes you are the person who had the nerve to ask the person the bored student is only thinking about on a date
Sometimes you are a person who asked the student’s crush out on a date, and sometimes you are the person stalking the person who asked the student’s crush on a date
Sometimes you are the stalker, and sometimes you are the campus security officer taking the complaint about the stalker but your hands are tied
Sometimes your hands are tied, and sometimes your hands and feet are tied
Sometimes your hands and feet are tied, and sometimes you are tying someone else’s hands and feet
Sometimes you are tying someone’s hands and feet, and sometimes you can’t because you forgot how to tie the right knot
Sometimes you forget how to tie a knot and give up, and sometimes you consult the Boy Scout Manual
Sometimes you consult the Boy Scout Manual, and it makes you nostalgic about your childhood
Sometimes you are nostalgic about your childhood, and can smell wet grass, and see the dew or feel the cold night air on your face, running around in the middle of the night, even now, almost fifty years later
Sometimes you are nostalgic about your childhood and puzzled that you could forget so much of it while remembering certain bits in such detail and you feel like an archaeologist reconstructing a behemoth from a tooth and a bone from the inner ear
Sometimes you are a bone from the inner ear, and sometimes you are the foot bone
Sometimes you are the foot bone, and sometimes you are the foot
Sometimes you are the foot, and sometimes you are the ball
Sometimes you are the ball, and sometimes you are the princess
Sometimes you are the princess, and sometimes you are the witch
Sometimes you are the witch, and sometimes you are the Wiccan who would like to be a witch
Sometimes you are the Wiccan who would like to be a witch, and sometimes you are their office-mate who likes reading because then you don’t have to look at people
Sometimes you are the Wiccan’s office-mate, and sometimes you are their bookshelf
Sometimes you are the Wiccan’s office-mate’s bookshelf, and sometimes you are the book
Sometimes you are the book, and sometimes you are the librarian who found a hammer in the book-return chute
Sometimes you are the librarian who found a hammer in the book-return chute, and sometimes you are the hammer