Definitely Limericks: Ea-Ed

“Earl Grey?” asked my Mum, “Cup of tea?”
As she lifted the pot towards me.
This bergamot mixture
Was a permanent fixture
In our afternoon tea-drinking, see.

From an astronaut’s prospect in space,
The mountains and lakes take their place
Next to deserts and ice
In a view beyond price:
An earthscape, our world’s noble face.

Can I not get it through your thick skull?
You’re someone I don’t want to lull
Into thinking I like you—
Does it not ever strike you
You’re truly, earth-shatteringly dull?

Not you, of course.

Mongolia, China, Japan,
Korea (both North ’n’ South), an’
Some of Russia, Taiwan:
If I could, I’d go on,
But that’s all of East Asia, my man.

And m’lady.

Polynesians’ canoes were terrific
At crossing the mighty Pacific.
This bare, remote joint
Was their easternmost point:
Easter Island, to be moai specific.

The moai are the monumental statues of Rapa Nui or Easter Island.

“The Eastern Europeans are coming!”
Scream the tabloids. “These migrants are thumbing
Their nose at our rules,
And will fill up our schools!”
Goes the claim. Or they’ll help with the plumbing.

British critics of migration from Eastern European countries seem to argue that these EU citizens will somehow bleed dry the UK’s welfare system and take all our jobs, causing the collapse of the NHS with their unhealthy foreign lifestyles while filling up primary schools with their vigorous British-born children, who will end up marrying our children and forcing us to eat cabbage at their weddings and misspell the names of our in-laws on Christmas cards, so there.

The East India Company’s Spice Trade:
A Colonial British Device?
With India started
Benignly, but parted
Thereafter from being a nice trade...

The opening words of a much longer article on the storied East India Company, 1600–1874. Its first century as an English enterprise was primarily one of trade with the Mughal Empire rather than conquest, but in the 18th century it became more and more an arm of Empire, until it was nationalised after the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and finally dissolved in 1874.

Her eyes simply sparkle with glee
When she tells of her exploits. If she
Strikes it lucky, she shrieks
With excitement for weeks.
Her ebullience sure betters me.

I heard mah wee hedgehog opine,
“Ah cuid handle a porcupine fine,
Bit nae an echidna.”
Mah prickly pal didna
Like monotremes. “Tae sharp a spine.”

This wee beastie (who clearly lives on the Isle of Arran or some such) disnae ken that echidnas were once known as porcupines, as well as anteaters, porcupine anteaters, spiny anteaters, and—jings!—hedgehogs. Australia’s endemic fauna were often named by British settlers for animals from Europe and the Americas.

When our captains of industry fall,
Debts are massive and savings are small,
When prime ministers lose
And the pound’s in the news,
The economy looms above all.

If you fancy a comedy binge,
Why not come to the Edinburgh Fringe?
It has thousands of shows,
And at least some of those
Have performers who won’t make you cringe.

I reckoned, as soon as I read it,
Your limerick required an edit.
The metre is wrong,
Half the lines are too long,
And the joke isn’t strong. There, I said it.

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