Musical Interlude

Up while it’s still quiet, my tinnitus this morning is like an orchestra of wasps tuning their instruments.

Life hack

Went into the men’s room at work to take a pee and when I went to unzip my zipper, it was already unzipped!


0.5 beard: the capacity of the rechargeable batteries in my battery-powered beard trimmer.

This morning

The cats were hungry
I fed them
One wanted a treat
One wanted to be petted
Two just wanted back out
I made coffee
I opened the blinds
The sun was coming up and colored the sky
The house was still quiet
My healthy daughter was sleeping
My sick daughter was getting better, and sleeping
My wife was sleeping
The coffee was hot
A car drove by now and then
Everything exactly the way
stipulated in the contract we sign
before we are born

Triage (a play in one act)

Emergency room doctor: So what brings you here?
Man: This, uh, mosquito bite.
Doctor: …
Man: It was really super weirdly swollen yesterday. And red… and as I’ve had Lyme disease in the past, it seemed prudent to get it checked.
Doctor: (peers over glasses) Lyme disease you have to wait 2-3 weeks before symptoms appear. Also Lyme disease is still only transmitted by ticks. It wasn’t a tick was it?
Man: Actually it was my wife. I mean it was a mosquito, but my wife urged me to come in.
Man: See, my regular doctors are all on vacation.
Doctor: Did you put anything on it?
Man: Ice. That’s why it’s not swollen, maybe.
Doctor: (glances at watch)
Man: And I feel a little sick. And I have a scratchy throat. (coughs) And that cough just started.
Man: And my daughter, see. She’s sick and so I thought might be good to get that checked too.
Doctor: (to nurse) Any fever?
Nurse: Nope.
Doctor: BP?
Nurse: Normal.
Nurse: (to man) Any allergies?
Man: Not yet.
Nurse: (laughs)
Man: I mean, hay fever, but not currently suffering symptoms.
Nurse: (takes blood)
Doctor: Wait outside until we get the lab results back.
Man: Okay.
Man: (waits)
Man: (Reads sign: “Patients will be called in the order of seriousness of their condition and not the order in which they arrive”)
Man: Great.
Man: (observes battery bar of phone getting shorter and redder)
Man: (Finds electrical outlet next to gas masks)
Man: (Texts, “This is like a combination of Kafka and…” but then deletes it, types, “The waiting room looks like an explosion in Frankenstein’s laboratory” then deletes that. Texts something to his family, makes a typo that looks like Italian, starts riffing more Italian until his family are all replying with question marks, then stops.)
Man: (Looks at gas masks, thinks, “if these were defibillators I could recharge my phone in one second”)
Man: (Types, “everyone is here: the person who didn’t watch where they were going, the person who cut corners, the person who pet the strange dog, the person who ran with scissors…” deletes it)
Man: (Likes everything on Instagram. Posts a sunset picture.)
Man: (Wonders, did I remember to tell them I was feeling a little shakey too?)
Man: (Wonders: if he has to wait for someone to arrive with a condition less serious than a mosquito bite before his turn will come)
Man: (Watches battery icon turn green) Yes!
Man: (Watches four men on crutches race into examination room after being called out simultaneously)
Man: (Scrolls past a picture of a cat lying on a sidewalk without ‘liking’ it)
Man: (Wonders if they called out his name and he didn’t hear it because he was spaced out, or because they mispronounced it egregiously. Wonders if he should go, remembers hardware they put in his arm. Checks Twitter.)
Man: (Tries to remember title of novel he had an idea for, which was possibly better than the other title he had for it)
Man: (Is glad he wore his nice suit today)

The scientific method

Okay so my theory that eating the questionable potato salad was a bad idea has been verified.

2017 St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest


This year’s contest is closed. Thanks to all entrants, and all visitors.
I originally planned to announce the winners earlier, but then I got busy at work, and when I got home I had to make a couscous/vegetable dish that seemed as if it would go quickly, but involved a lot of peeling and chopping so here we are.

The winners:
First of all, our sincere appreciation here at to everyone who entered. Everyone had sweet dispositions this year despite a few abrupt but unavoidable random (but mostly minor) rule changes, and there was no fighting or bickering, which was a big relief. So thank you, dudes, it was a lot of fun reading your poetry.
Before I continue: should the entry period be longer next year? It seemed to flash past this time, but maybe I’m just getting older, old people are always talking about how fast time goes by. Or maybe I was just busy (I was). Are two weeks enough? Would three weeks be better?

Ok, the winners:
First of all, to each entrant I say: we should get together for a coffee or a drink or something sometime.
By the way, when we were in Ireland early last year, my wife and I – my wife is investigating our ancestors and we hired a genealogy butler and she claimed to have found the village my Irish ancestors came from, a few miles outside Limerick.
Where else could they possibly have come from.
It felt like in that one movie where the cities fold up only it was generations of my family history, folding up neatly on themselves.

Ok, anyway, the winners:
Oh, PS: do you think the creepy little clown drove people away? I thought it sort of captures the shadow side of the holiday, you know? But maybe that is better left to the limericks instead. I’ll try to have a more attractive graphic next year.
Here we are:
Honorable mention goes to Cj for an autobiographical work about having Georgia on your mind. NICE TO SEE YOU AROUND AGAIN CJ!!! Have fun in Tbilisi.
Third place goes to TH who is apparently saving those worse limericks he was working on for next year’s contest. See you next year TH (if not before).
Dee gets the silver medal: three really fine limericks and hit a lot of the bonus themes as well. I was really happy to see you contributing, Dee.
Perry Iles takes first place this year, due only secondarily to one of the secret rules of this contest (“Perry always wins”) and primarily to both the quality and quantity of his entries, and his admirable ability to turn on a dime and incorporate new bonus themes as they arise, and also his occasional fucking with scansion, which made me LOL.
See you all next year. Thanks again!

Welcome to the 2017 edition of the International Limerick Contest.
Please leave your entries in the comments to this post.

Enter as often as you like.
This year’s theme: CURRENT EVENTS, plus bonus themes to be added as the contest progresses
All participants, new and seasoned veterans, are encouraged to consult the combined FAQ/rules below BECAUSE THEY CHANGE WHILE THE CONTEST IS GOING ON.
No one knows why.

  • Does it have to be a limerick? YES. This is strictly enforced, and non-limericks will not be accepted. Google proper limerick form if you are not sure.
  • How do I enter? POST YOUR ENTRY OR ENTRIES in the comments to this post. Click on comment, or whatever is down there, and add a new comment.
  • When is the deadline? THE DEADLINE is 14 February 2017
  • Do you mean 12 midnight on the night of the 13th or midnight on the night of the 14th? And which time zone shall have seisin of jurisdiction? We have had considerably confusion in the past! NINE AM (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME) 14 February 2017.
  • Oh by the way, I have a Quince tree on Cranes Lane. I think I should get a multiplier for that fact. No, sorry, that was last year. Secret multiplier in place.
  • Is there a prize? NOT YET but that might change.
  • Is there a limit to how often I can enter? NO. Enter as often as you like. The more often you enter, the better your chances.
  • Can entries be bawdy? YES, absolutely. These are limericks, they can be bawdy, gross, you name it. It’s not required, but it is in the nature of the genre. ALSO: this is for St. Valentine’s Day so points awarded for love/romance/sex-related poetry.
  • Complaints will be deleted. There is no avenue of appeal. Decisions of the judges are final. Be nice, and have fun, and don’t take this too seriously.
  • Is there anything else I can do to be deleted? Yes. Besides complaints, anything else that is not a limerick will also be deleted, especially anything remotely similar to trolling, nastiness or disagreeing with me. That will get you deleted, and whatever else our technicians here can think up. This is meant to be a fun, light-hearted, non-political past-time.
  • Let’s see, what else? Oh yes.
  • Bonus points are awarded for inclusion of themes listed below (No limit to how many themes you may include, the more the better):
  • Last-minute addition: Scottish insults (particularly in combination with USAmerican politics..)
  • Current events i.e. tacky kakistocracy, apocaplexia, alternative facts, Trump, etc etc etc think of it as catharsis.
  • Use of the phrase “tacky kakistocracy” or something even better
  • Utopian visions
  • Musical genres (see here for ideas, thanks Carola!)
  • Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, William Gibson et al
  • Field dependence vs field independence
  • Quantum theory
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead
  • William S. Burroughs
  • Funeral planning
  • (More themes to come, watch this space.)
  • By entering you grant permission to publish your entry electronically on, in social media (including but not limited to, and anything else) as well as in book form, although the latter is REALLY unlikely, without compensation (this is a non-profit venture, and any possible, although unlikely, book would be, you know, for charity most likely).

    Now, get cracking.