A syndicated LA Times/Chicago Tribune columnist, Chris Erskine, wrote about eating a dish of calamari and shrimp, dripping in batter and sounding exquisitely delicious, as having been served “hot as a Harley and lickety-split” , a phrase that immediately captivated me. I wrote the following, and sent it to him.
"Hot as a Harley and lickety split”
The line calls for immortality. It
should somehow be saved
(Maybe even engraved!)
I want every last tiny tidbit!
People say I have energy, but
You should see me when I’m in a rut!
My only cathartic
Bet you’ve already guessed, it is—-what?
A cup of good strong black caffeine
And I’m instantly UP, well I mean
I’m an energy ball
I can run down the hall
I’ve the get up and go of a teen!
Oh, I forgot to reveal: I’m no chicken!
It’s amazing I’m lively and kickin’!
With coffee I’m twenty
(Decaf: dolce far niente*)
Without coffee I’d be panic stricken!
*Dolce far niente: pleasant idlenesss
I write limericks every day for a couple of websites designed for that purpose. They supply a word, and the subscribers (like me) write limericks using it, usually as the rhyme word, although not always. The following is NOT a limerick, but I like it and I hope you will, too. The word given us was “malaprop”:
I’ve found a brilliant writing opp-
ortunity to try and top
My fellows in this writing shop.
I hope to see their eyeballs pop,
To love it more than good doo-wop
To hear Tump scream—“it’s agitprop!”—
Uh-oh, it’s not a limerick—stop!
Have I produced a malaprop?
A pair of most feminine eels
Were dying to try out high heels
But their teeters and totters
Made their dad sigh, “Oh, daughters,
Who would think I could raise
SPLIT PANTS LIMERICK
The other day, in aerobic dance
I accidentally split my pants
They were old, they were thrift
Very cheap—like a gift—
Still—a most unwelcome new circumstance!
You’re prob’ly too young to recall
World War 2 (well now, aren’t we all?)
But they had a wise saying
That I keep “replaying”
And I’ll share it now, once and for all:
“Use it up, wear it out
Make it do—-do without”
That was the war’s wide assumption—
Nowadays it’s — conspicuous consumption!
So…I use it up, wear it out
Make it do, or do without
Regardless of peoples’ assumption!
But I have to admit, don’tcha see,
These split pants showed the world just a knee!
If it had been my keister
I might have been triste-er
So be sure to congratulate me!
I always wrote “pomes” as a kid—-
It’s just about all that I did!
I filled empty times
With limericks and rhymes
Math? Geography? Heaven forbid!
And now that I’m grown and degreed, umm…
I see no evidence that kids need’em
But what really is worse is
When I write all these verses
I find grownups who can’t even read’em!
“There was a young lady from——-“ get it?
Just read it aloud; once you’ve said it,
The next lines? Piece of cake!
You can’t make a mistake——
Well,hallelujah, you’ve read it!
A lovely old fashioned word: fetching
Its meaning allows for such stretching!
As in "to fetch and carry"
Or: you're so fetching, let's marry!"
But (if you're angry) you just might be kvetching!
Odd word, don’t you think, is meander?
Look closer—-yeah, take a good gander!
Instead of an object
It should start with a subject
Or perpetrate grammatical slander!
So “meander” should thus be “I-ander”
If we, to the literate, pander
“Me” don’t go to the show
We don’t say, “Yes, me know”
In all frank and confessional candor.
Hmmmm, that makes we wonder anew….
And perhaps it has crossed your mind too
If you think of a word
That’s grammatically absurd…..
I’d love to hear about it from you!
Hi! Do you know the words “shmoose” and/or
Well, in this case they’re both introducing
A gal who writes rhymes
And spends most of her times
When she isn’t just shmoosing—producing!
(and other themes)
The old Brits were as good with their syllables
As we Yankees are now with our billables
But as any can see
When it comes down to me
I am best when I’m feasting on fillables.
WE ARE "THEM"; "THEY" ARE US
Look around that restaurant
EVERYONE’s an immigrant!
Diners, servers, busboys, cooks
Once all garnered dirty looks!
If not themselves, their folks for sure
From people who thought themselves “pure”!
I dare you—‘cause I’m sure you can’t
Find one soul NOT an immigrant!***
*** Except, of course, the Native American
Big news! I have managed to pick up
A cure for the much-dreaded hiccup:
You’ll need a friend near you
To talk—when you hear, you
Will find no more hiccup will kick up!
It depends on the art of surprise
So let’s keep it between us, you guys—-
Ask a question or two
That comes out of the blue——-
Like, “Do you put ketchup on fries?”
Better yet: “What’s your uncle’s last name”?
(Or….your aunt’s, or….your grandma’s—this game
Sends a bolt from the blue
That so much startles you
That your hiccups go back whence they came!