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The Observer’s Politics & Public Policy Limericks Contest


The secret to Rand Paul’s holding it? Our limericists know

By Taylor Batten
Editorial Page Editor

You, too, can write limericks. But first, read this.

To write a good limerick, the first rule is to understand the specific rhyme scheme and the specific meter.

Knives on planes, a filibustering Sen. Rand Paul and the Charlotte-Raleigh airport fight got our limerick writers stirred up this week.

This week’s winner is John Long of Stanley, who beat out Loyd Dillon of Charlotte by the slimmest of margins. Long was impressed that Sen. Paul speechified for 13 hours without a bathroom break:

Rand’s stunt earned more boos than amens,

But his bladder amazed all his friends.

“How’d you do that?” they cried,

Paul coyly replied,

“Shall I tell you my trick? That Depends.”

Long also took interest in the story of acid being thrown on the leader of a prominent Russian ballet group:

The Bolshoi director now knows,

That he has some formidable foes,

The Moscow police,

Fearing mischief won’t cease,

Recommended he stay on his toes.

Dillon crafted a half-dozen clever ones. His best was spurred by news that actress Ashley Judd is considering a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky:

“Wynonna can sing,” say my buds.

“Ashley’s movies are hits. Ain’t no duds.”

Like their beautiful mama,

They both like Obama.

Wow! Naomi’s got a great pair of Judds!

Dillon is not impressed with N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, who served as Charlotte’s mayor for 14 years:

Ex-Mayor McCrory said THAT?

He’d leave his/our airport just flat?

He forgot where he’s from.

He’s no longer our chum.

In Raleigh, he’s now an “ex-Pat.”

Last week’s winner, Bill McGloughlin of Charlotte, got a kick out of McCrory’s “embrace” of his successor, Anthony Foxx, at the MetLife jobs announcement last week.

In the past, their relations seemed rocky,

Perhaps each thought the other one cocky,

But MetLife brought some love

For the Mayor and the Gov,

Though the hug did look sort of headlock-y.

The legislature, spurred by events in Asheville and now near Charlotte, is considering bills governing topless women. That had David Williams of Columbia pushing the envelope:

To your pile of political ditties,

Add a modern-day tale of two cities:

In Lake Norman and Asheville,

Women don’t seem too bashful.

But for God’s sake, please cover your … selves.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been in the news, and he reminds two-time defending limericks champ Wes Long of someone else.

All the anti-American bile

That he’s constantly spewing is vile.

Kim Jong Un is a tool,

Though I thought he looked cool

When I first saw him sing “Gangnam Style.”

Finally, we appreciate Roe Boothby of Wadesboro, who is checking out the Observer’s newest digital foray:

The Observer’s first tablet edition –

Though old, I have made it my mission

To join the tech scene

And read from a screen

Once I find that damn tablet’s ignition.

Other honorable mentions:

Wes Long also chimed in on the topless Lake Norman boaters visible from the interstate (and the bird he refers to is a real type of seabird!).

In traffic I’m stopped when I spot her,

A beautiful bird on the water.

A booby is rare,

But this was a pair!

It couldn’t have been any hotter.

Long also wondered if the former pope has future plans.

Said Pope Benedict, “Now that I’m free,

The Republicans all should agree,

With a little more age

I’ll be ripe for the stage,

As their twenty sixteen nominee.”

Bill McGloughlin had other good ones this week, including one on the TSA’s decision on knives.

I spent hours just waiting in line,

Got the TSA grope, didn’t whine.

Being patient was hard,

We’re on board now, en garde!

‘Cause that overhead bin, sucker’s, mine!

Phil Clutts of Huntersville was similarly moved by the TSA chief’s decision:

While flying from Charlotte to Bristol,

To me it became clear as crystal,

Why not on your life,

Should rules on a knife,

Be made by a guy named John Pistole.

Charlotte Haberyan of Charlotte worries about another problem the TSA’s decision could cause:

The TSA’s "risk-based security"

Will ban every threat and impurity

In soaps and shampoos

But not sticks, clubs, or cues –

Less fuss, but no leg room’s a surety.

David McCauley of Charlotte sees an upside to rising sea levels:

Global warming’s what some of us teach,

But the solution is out of our reach...

So, let’s look on the bright side,

With the rising of night tide,

Pretty soon we shall be Charlotte Beach!

Jeff Kaylor of Mt. Holly has taken to writing limericks with his daughter.

Springtime means planting of seed,

By farmers of every breed.

Here, it takes bravado,

Unlike in Colorado,

Where it’s perfectly fine to grow weed.

John Humphries of Lancaster, Pa., writes to us about the debate over the Defense of Marriage Act.

Unless you just woke from a coma,

You have heard the debate about DOMA.

And now Clinton is saying

His law ain’t worth obeying

And emits an unpleasant aroma.

Finally, Bob Aldrich of Lake Waccamaw thinks Obama’s not just being nice by dining with Republican members of Congress:

Now Obama is playing a hunch

In another political crunch.

To remain a winner

Give senators dinner

So he can, in two years, eat their lunch.

Thanks for playing. Deadline for next week’s entries is noon on Tuesday!

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