Definitely Limericks by Rory Ewins


Imagine the shock you would feel
To find you’re the wrong kind of eel:
Surrounded by jelly
In some geezer’s belly,
And not even charged for the meal.

“It’s my birthday,” says Eeyore, soft toy
Owned by Christopher Robin, a boy,
“Not that anyone cares.
And why should one, when there’s
One day less of this life to enjoy?”

Trust this donkey to proffer a dose
Of bleak wisdom; he’s always morose.
Yet despite the sad pall
That he casts over all,
Pooh (and Piglet) and Eeyore are close.

Eeyore was introduced in A. A. Milne’s immortal children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926).

The clever are faced with a choice:
To gather their thoughts or their voice.
To be intellectual
Is rarely effectual;
If you’ve been effective, rejoice.

Effectuation’s the act of effecting:
Of making things happen; directing
The mountains to move;
Getting into the groove;
Doing stuff. [Is this what you’re expecting?]

[More or less, but needs a better punchline—Ed.]

U.S. tourists are often engrossed
By the words others use for French toast.
Many Britons, instead,
Call the stuff eggy bread
Oui, monsieur, pain perdu—maybe most.

The Romans knew it as pan dulcis, and the French themselves called it pain a la Romaine before calling it pain perdu, or “lost bread”. Americans named it after the immigrants who popularised it there, while the English stuck with more prosaic descriptors... when they weren’t calling it gypsy toast or poor knights of Windsor.

Me and my self-obsessed ego:
Wherever my words go, there we go.
Via limericks, he preens,
As we light up your screens
From Las Vegas to darkest Oswego.

“Pass the pepper, dear.” Grandpa said, “Eh?”
Grandma turned to him: “What did you say?”
“Beg yours?” he replied.
“Speak up!” Grandma cried.
Married fifty-eight years to the day.

In the Eighties, we worshipped John Hughes,
“Choose Life” T-shirts, those velcro-tab shoes,
New Romantics, E.T.,
And the brand-new PC
With a whole 16K you could use.

Eighties politics sure had it all
For conservatives: Reagan walked tall,
Thatcher privatized Britain,
And Russia was gittin’
Its ass kicked—goodbye, Berlin Wall.

The Falklands, Chernobyl, the war
In Afghanistan, Challenger, or
“Greed is good”—take your pick,
It could all make you sick,
So I won’t be remembering more.

An eiron, ironically, noted
That an alazon (so self-devoted!),
Unlike him, isn’t modest—
And also, what’s oddest,
Is always the first one promoted.

Eirons and alazons are stock characters in Ancient Greek comedy, and the converse of one another: eirons are self-deprecating, modest, and aware of irony, while alazons are arrogant and overly self-confident.

The increasingly adamant king
Said, “I wish thee to dance and to sing.
Both thy feet and thy voice,
Master Jester—no choice.
It isn’t an either-or thing.”

When a button is labelled “eject”,
The behaviour you’re led to expect
Is it spits out your tape,
Not a screech and a scrape
As the thing ends up eaten and wrecked.

As you eke out a living, be sure
To retrieve grains of rice from the floor,
As well as half-chewed
Bits of thrown-away food,
As you never know when there’ll be more.

On the steppe, long before we were born,
Roamed a beast with an eminent horn:
The elasmothere—rhino,
Or unicorn? I know,
The theory elicits some scorn.

This giant extinct relative of woolly and modern rhinoceroses could, it seems, have been the basis for the legendary unicorn: a skull found in Kazakhstan in March 2016 dates to 29,000 years ago, well within the period of human habitation. The best known is Elasmotherium sibiricum, which was the size of a mammoth and probably as woolly, and may even be depicted in paleolithic cave paintings in France.

Hey, perhaps try electro-engraving
For printmaking, rather than braving
The usual, placid,
Slow bubbling of acid?
Your eyes, nose and lungs you’ll be saving.

Electro-engraving, now usually called electro-etching, involves the use of electrolysis to etch an image into metal, such as a metal plate. It’s less common in printmaking than traditional methods using acid, but is less hazardous. Metal strips are fixed to the back of the plate so that leads can be attached (a bit like attaching jumper leads to a car battery), and the plate is then submerged in an alkaline solution while a weak current is passed through, etching the image into it.

He loves keyboards and moogs a whole heap.
Any synth-less song sends him to sleep.
He adores electronica.
Just sample his moniker:
DJ Digital, Lord of the Bleep.

Me bruvver is pissed, the big lunk:
Off ’is face, Chevy Chase—now ’e’s sunk.
Yeah, ’e’s tiddly—I think
’ad too much tiddly (wink).
Mate, ’e’s totally elephants. Drunk.

The Cockney rhyming slang for drink, tiddly wink, got shortened over time and then came to mean being drunk, like the other terms here. Elephants, sometimes written with an apostrophe, is short for elephant’s trunk.

Ellipses can indicate pauses
For thought, the omission of clauses
Or words, trailing off
At the end, or... (Don’t scoff.
Indecision is one of their causes.)

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