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The Observer’s Politics & Public Policy Limericks Contest

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A repeat winner, with a nod to the pope and a First Couple

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.

Charlotte’s Bill McGloughlin is on a roll. The Week 1 winner of the Observer’s Politics and Public Policy Limericks Contest ekes out another victory in Week 3, with our judges giving him a slight nod over two-time defending champ Wes Long.

McGloughlin scored with a number of entries this week. Our favorite followed up on stories (and limericks) about the female boaters on Lake Norman who flash themselves to commuters on I-77.

I was wondering how I could use

The reports of the scenic lake views,

But then realized, wait,

With the budget “debate,”

Don’t we have enough boobs in the news?

McGloughlin also saw that Hillary Clinton announced her support for gay marriage:

To some Democrats, Clinton’s a star.

She’s been building her base, and so far,

She thinks gays should be free

To get married and be

Just as happy as she and Bill are.

Those nudged out Long, of Cramerton, who penned this gem about the high gas prices in England:

“We’re taking this thing on the chin,”

The Englishman said with a grin,

“Due to external forces

We’ve stopped eating horses

And started to ride them again.”

Long had another hit about a federal study of sexual orientation and obesity, which some conservatives are calling a “why are lesbians fat” study.

If lesbians eat too much food,

The reason’s not hard to conclude.

I don’t mean to be hating,

But I get celebrating

Not having to live with a dude.

Loyd Dillon of Charlotte got creative with the pope news. The first non-European pope in 1,300 years selected the name Francis, sparking questions about whether he was taking the name of Francis of Assisi or another Francis. Dillon knows.

From the moment the pope’s name was spoken,

Europe’s long domination was broken.

It’s American! Gotcha!

I’m talking Sinatra:

Francis Albert the First (of Hoboken).

Joel Zauss of Charlotte also got in on the papal limericizing.

The conclave has now made its picks

And the pope has some problems to fix.

It’s quite an improvement,

This Catholic “youth movement,”

Francis I is just seventy-six.

John Long of Stanley read an Observer article about Charlotte exporting its sewage sludge to rural South Carolina. CharMeck defended that, saying its sludge doesn’t have strong odors.

Though we pull it from toilet and sink,

It smells just like roses, we think.

Any odor, we feel,

Must be from Rock Hill,

We are Charlotte. Our sludge doesn’t stink.

Long continues:

If it’s sludge for your pastures you choose,

Very soon you’ll be singing the blues.

So bad does it stink,

That the smell makes you think,

That you’re stuck on a Carnival cruise.

The contest wraps up next Thursday; the deadline is next Tuesday at noon. Send entries to me and to associate editor Peter St. Onge (pstonge@charlotteobserver.com).

Other strong limericks from Week 3:

Charlotte’s David McCauley on the debate around helping the Panthers renvoate their stadium using taxpayer money:

An arm and a leg for a start,

Or our Panthers we’re scared may depart.

Let our schools go to hell,

And our roads just as well,

Hey Jerry! How about having a heart?

Loyd Dillon saw that a second Carnival Cruise ship was encountering problems.

A Carnival Cruise ship got stranded?

Do they buy all their boats second-handed?

With heaving and jerking

And bathrooms not working.

The term "in the toilet " is bandied.

Joel Zauss envisions the vacation Dennis Rodman and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might take:

Kim Jong Un and Rodman have the gall

To vacation at Disney this fall.

But Kim will be denied

When he gets to the ride

‘Cause the sign says “you must be this tall.”

Zauss also wrote about the papal names.

Beyond a bake sale or church bingo

To name a Pope has its own lingo.

Benedict, George, et al

And of course there’s John Paul,

But, really, they need one called Ringo.

Phil Clutts of Harrisburg writes about the Higgs Boson discovery that’s been in the news:

For years they were under the gun,

But physicists say it’s now done,

As I read the article,

They’ve found the “God particle,”

But oddly aren’t sure it’s “The One.”

And:

How many HB’s can there be?

Perhaps there’s a he and a she?

I thought that the find,

Was one of a kind,

But this kind of find I can’t see.

Charlotte’s Lou Breaux wonders how things will work out for the newest celebrity couple.

Lindsey Vonn and the Tiger are dating.

Leaving all of us anticipating.

Tiger roared like a Lion,

“Do not touch my 5 iron,

While I visit my ladies in waiting.”

One more each from this week’s stars. First, Bill McGloughlin on a bill that gives control of schools to county commissioners:

Give the schools to the County, oh yes,

Just the people to handle that mess.

Let the County Commission,

With their known erudition,

Make them run smoothly like DSS.

Next, John Long, on some churches opposing a bill that would allow hunting with guns on Sundays:

My preacher said, “Let’s make this clear,

Sunday hunting’s a sin, do you hear?”

And he made quite a haul

With his first alter call,

Three rabbits, two squirrels, and a deer.

And we end with Wes Long, who has fun with the story of a pizza truck spill that clogged I-77. The cause of the accident is debated:

The pizza truck owner disclosed,

“My driver who wrecked is composed,

Motivated and early,

So it sounds pretty squirrely

When the cops say my self-riser doughsed.”

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