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Humbugardy: Subjective for 1000
2005-11-14 09:16
by Score Bard

This is round 2 of Humbugardy. I'm your host, Alex Scorebard.


As judged by the host on the evening of November 15, 2005, the best original limerick about Carl Everett


Note: In this round, searching the web is allowed.


Numb3r5 Sudoku 6th Degree Quotes What and Where Anagram Lines Subjective
200 Bob Timmerman Bob Timmerman 200 For The Turnstiles deadteddy8
400 For The Turnstiles For The Turnstiles 400 Joe 400
For The Turnstiles Bob Timmerman Bob Timmerman 600 For The Turnstiles graciebarn
T J 800 For The Turnstiles Murray argosy Derek Smart
1000 1000 1000 Bob Timmerman For The Turnstiles For The Turnstiles
2005-11-14 09:56:59
1.   Bob Timmermann
It has to be original? I can't use my big book "2001 limericks about American League DHs"?
2005-11-14 09:59:05
2.   Humma Kavula
"Mr. Edes," says Carl, in a stew,
"I think it's 'bout time that you flew.
"And for his own sake
"It's best that you take
"Your curly haired boyfriend with you."
2005-11-14 10:03:23
3.   Humma Kavula
My meter in line 1 is wrong. And of course my line five is inelegant. Sigh. I should have taken more time.
2005-11-14 11:48:22
4.   Bob Timmermann
Everett was a DH you see,
Who sat when the Sox came to Wrigley.
Carl was often aghast
when he learned about his past
including a forebear named Lucy.
2005-11-14 12:21:50
5.   Joe
What is...

There once was a guy near Pawtucket
Who crowded the plate when he struck it
Once beaned by a phone,
Asked about a dino bone,
"It ain't in the Bible, so fuck it."


2005-11-14 12:24:22
6.   treble
The DH of the champion Sox,
Could not hit his way out of a box,
His religion abhores
tales about dinosaurs,
And for that he's as dumb as an ox.
2005-11-14 12:42:49
7.   Cliff Corcoran
"There never were dino's who'd snarl!"
Said the aging switch-hitter named Carl.
His Bible he'd thump
As he'd head-butt the ump.
He's created by his God to quarrel.
2005-11-14 12:44:15
8.   Cliff Corcoran
Eegads! What is . . .

"There never were dino's who'd snarl!"
Said the aging switch-hitter named Carl.
His Bible he'd thump
As he'd head-butt the ump.
He's created by his God to quarrel.


2005-11-14 13:37:32
9.   cynic
What is:

Three hundred, thirty-four, one-oh-eight:
A season we'd all see as great
But his words every day
Overshadowed his play;
I wonder if he'd call that fate.

2005-11-14 13:50:48
10.   Shaun P
What is . . .

The New York Yanks, in round one, had drafted him.
His employers, he's felt, oft-shafted him.
From a petulent young scamp,
To aged World Series champ,
Evolution? No, Carl says, God crafted him.


2005-11-14 14:15:36
11.   Derek Smart
What is...

Carl's theories are thoroughly pinked
They're brushed with the charlatan's tinct
But despite all the fuss
Over brontosaurus
His bat is what's sadly extinct


2005-11-14 14:21:09
12.   nickb
What is

Some would call Everett a loon.
Cuz he thinks no man stepped on the moon.
"Dinosaurs in La Brea?
You ain't foolin' this playa,
Check it in the Chicago Tribune."


2005-11-14 15:07:03
13.   Bob Timmermann
I feel like an elementary school student walking into a coffee house on Poetry Night.
2005-11-14 15:16:38
14.   deadteddy8
What is...


The 'Stros lost faith in me,
Then the BoSox failed to believe.
But God had a plan,
For this lowly man,
And, glory be!, He won me a ring.

2005-11-14 15:22:13
15.   elleftymalo
What is...

A DH in a recent Fall Classic
Once threatened to mete out an ass-kick
To strike-happy umps
And infidel chumps
But with time he's no longer Jurassic


2005-11-14 16:27:52
16.   Humma Kavula
OK, I've already submitted my answer. Or question. Whatever. For entertainment value only, a double dactyl on the subject.

Higgledy Piggledy
Quoting Carl Everett makes
Humbug's great poets and
Readers to snarl,

"Trust evolution or
"Fear our sharp wit. Ha: the
"Man is named Carl."

2005-11-14 16:33:21
17.   graciebarn
There once was a powerful batter
Who was widely renowned for his chatter.
"Dinosaurs? I'll believe
This thought you concieve
When you serve me their meat on a platter."
2005-11-14 16:33:40
18.   graciebarn
What is:

There once was a powerful batter
Who was widely renowned for his chatter.
"Dinosaurs? I'll believe
This thought you concieve
When you serve me their meat on a platter."


2005-11-14 21:38:57
19.   Vishal
what is:

it seems that carl everett's a figure
whose faux pas make his mockery de rigueur
if he were more of a batter
we'd ignore his dim chatter
but it's mouth, not his bat, that is bigger


2005-11-14 21:42:20
20.   Vishal
ah, crap. that should read "it's his mouth"
2005-11-15 00:00:19
21.   treble
Oops, Who is...

The DH of the champion Sox,
Could not hit his way out of a box,
His religion abhores
tales about dinosaurs,
And for that he's as dumb as an ox.


2005-11-15 17:08:14
22.   For The Turnstiles
What is

A fielder when beaned by a phone
Declared in a jubilant tone
"I'll tell you one thing
If you just count the ring
You'll know you should leave me alone"

2005-11-15 17:19:07
23.   Humma Kavula
Wow, Turnstiles. That's a thing of beauty.
2005-11-15 21:00:07
24.   CurtnPetey
There is a DH named Carl Everett
who of kindness or manners has never yet
learned the normest of norms.
We hope he reforms,
But a snowman in June is better bet.

Hey, it's midnight, don't blame me ...

2005-11-15 21:16:03
25.   Score Bard
Gotta give it to Turnstiles. There were some better punchlines, but his limerick was the only complete package.

With the exception of elleftymalo, Turnstiles' limerick was the only one that scanned correctly. All the others either have an extra beat somewhere, require you to stress a syllable that doesn't really want to be stressed.

(For example, I pronounce it "DIN-o-saur", not "din-o-SAUR". YMMV, but I'm da judge.)

elleftymalo's limerick scanned properly, but the second line is only a near-rhyme.

Humma's double dactyl scans and rhymes correctly. Props for that.

2005-11-15 21:18:04
26.   Score Bard
Oh, sorry, CurtnPetey, I didn't see your limerick until after I had already made my judgement.

It was a good one, too.

2005-11-15 21:38:40
27.   Vishal
that sounds like a pretty objective guideline, for a category called "subjective" :)
2005-11-15 22:06:37
28.   For The Turnstiles
Writing a good limerick is harder than it seems. I wasn't totally happy with mine, but it seems I made the right choice in the content/scansion trade-off.

I'll take Sudoku for 800.

2005-11-15 22:54:55
29.   Cliff Corcoran
Subjective is the name of the category, but I have to voice my disapproval. Given the choice between Turnstiles and elleftymalo, I much prefer elleftymalo. The "classic/ass-kick" rhyme alone does it for me, but I also think it's a better portrait of the assigned subject.

Beyond that, none of these scan perfectly. Turnstiles' fourth line has an extra beat. Given Turnstiles' domination of this round it would have been nice to see someone else get it. No offense to Turnstiles, or to our gracious host. I just felt the need to put in my two cents.

2005-11-15 23:48:06
30.   Score Bard
OK, for future reference, here are the official Humbugardy rules for limericks:
Limericks are five line poems, with an aabba rhyme scheme.

The meter must conform to the following scheme:

S = stressed syllable
u = unstressed syllable
[] = optional syllables

[u u] S u u S u u S [u u]
[u u] S u u S u u S [u u]
[u u] S u u S [u u]
[u u] S u u S [u u]
[u u] S u u S u u S [u u]

Additionally, in order to satisfy the rhyme scheme, lines 1,2,and 5 and lines 3 and 4 must have identical meters at the end of the line.


As you can see, Turnstiles' poem qualifies as a limerick that scans. The rules do not require you to have the same number of optional weak syllables at the beginning of every line.

The ironic thing about limericks is that although it typically deals with light-hearted and whimsical topics, its form is completely rigid and unforgiving.

If you have to read a line twice to get the scan right, that's like flubbing the setup to a joke before you tell the punchline. It ruins the effect.

Now, class, I could have rewarded the better punchlines, but the percentage of metric mistakes in this exercise was simply unacceptable. If I let it slip, you all would have just made the same mistakes again next time. Now you have learned a lesson. The next time you're asked to write a limerick, you'll make sure to get the meter right, and I'll have 25 wonderfully crafted limericks to choose from.

2005-11-15 23:59:08
31.   Score Bard
And as for elleftymalo's poem, I would suggest the word "kickassic". Never give up on a rhyme, even (or especially) if you have to make up a word to make the rhyme happen.
2005-11-16 08:13:26
32.   Derek Smart
Three things: first, so I understand the scanning portion of today's lesson, does this work better?

When Sir Carl heard the questioning start
His responses were often quite tart
But particular ire
This response did inspire:
"Grab your curly-haired spouse and depart!"

Second: with the optional syllables, do there have to be two, or is it okay if there's only one, as long it's consistent throughout the piece? Example:

Carl, with the mountainous name
Your mind's like a sputtering flame
On subjects Jurassic
Your reasoning's Classic
Now shut up and play in the game

Third: I think the biggest thing I've learned from today's class, professor, is that I should bloddy well stick to prose! ;)

2005-11-16 08:14:36
33.   Derek Smart
Ah, actually, upon closer inspection, I see you answered question 2 already.
2005-11-16 08:24:31
34.   Score Bard
32: First: I'd probably read "Grab" as a stressed syllable, giving the last line four stresses, which doesn't work. But having to read a stressed syllable as unstressed is a less serious error than having to read an unstressed syllable as stressed.

Second: You can have 0, 1, or 2 optional syllables.

Third: Your second poem is perfect, and probably would have won.

2005-11-16 08:31:26
35.   Derek Smart
Thanks for the info, Teach!

Fourth: I've learned to pre-submit my poetry answers for approval.

2005-11-16 10:11:02
36.   Vishal
[30] i'm with cliff on this one. obviously you can do whatever you want, but i still think it's strange to demand rigid adherence to meter in a "subjective" category. if this was a poetry category, then i'd understand.

[32] why would you read it in such a way that it doesn't work, when if you read "grab" neutrally, it works fine? and the same goes for di-no-SAUR... whatever happened to poetic license?

2005-11-16 12:43:22
37.   Score Bard
Sorry to be a stickler about this, but I kinda view the technical elements as, well, elementary.

We should move past them, quickly, and then we can get subjective.

- - -

Limericks are jokes. And with jokes, delivery is key. There's a whole movie (The Aristocrats) about that very thing. In that film, the punchline is always the same--it's the delivery that makes all the difference.

All these entries were delivered in written form. I was reading them to myself, not knowing what they were going to say. So I read them at face value. If I have to back up and read them twice to make them work, the delivery is damaged, and the punchlines lose their oomph.

As the the old saying goes, if you have to explain a joke...

If you're reading it aloud to me, instead of having me read it myself, then it's a different beast.

- - -

There are times for taking poetic license. But with limericks especially, it should be done rarely, and only when needed to get the point across.

Here's an example of a limerick where the rules are broken, and it's necessary to do so:

If you do something like that, then you won't lose points for breaking the rules.

But that isn't the case here. There isn't a single one of these poems that couldn't be rewritten to conform to the rules where conforming to the rules wouldn't enhance the punchline.

- - -

Haiku are different. They aren't jokes. They're not setting up a punchline. They're just presenting an image or two. You can break the 5-7-5 rule there much more forgivingly. In fact, graciebarn's winning poem at the 600 level in this category would have been better if it were just 2-7-5. The first three syllables weren't really necessary.

- - -

I have considered having poetic "open threads" on this site many times. I think that might be fun, I've held back, because I simply don't want to read a gazillion poems that don't scan. That would get really old really quickly.

I can see a lot of talent out there. But you're all raw. You're like young infielders with good speed and a strong arm, but you don't have the fundamentals down. Your footwork (pun intended) is all messed up, so you make a lot of unforced errors. But with practice and discipline, you can learn to catch and deliver the ball right on target every time.

And then we all win.

2005-11-16 13:34:04
38.   Derek Smart
A poetic open thread could be a real kick, and I think you could save yourself (and by extension, everyone else) a lot of pain by giving it a little background. Say, it's an open thread for sonnets, but give a quick breakdown of appropriate structure for those of us who are uninitiated in such things (he says looking squarely in the mirror).

Of course, that's not something you should have done here - it's a gameshow, after all - but for an open thread it could act as a little quality assurance.

2005-11-16 14:21:54
39.   graciebarn
I'd love to see an open thread for sonnets...but that's just me. I like sonnets.
As it might have cost me perfect meter, what's YMMV?
2005-11-16 14:38:31
40.   Score Bard
Your mileage may vary.
2005-11-16 14:45:17
41.   Bob Timmermann
I fear that Subjective for 400 will require each of us to write an poem the same length as "J. Alfred Prufrock" about the fielding abilities of Oscar Robles.
2005-11-16 15:06:13
42.   Humma Kavula
I grow old. I grow old.
A grounder through my legs is rolled.
2005-11-16 15:11:05
43.   Cliff Corcoran
I must say I'm not satisfied by our hosts explanations. For example, Derek's first limerick in 32 scans perfectly. Whatever bizzare impulse one might have to accent "grab" in line 5 should be eliminated by the fact that both lines 1 and 2 start with two unaccented syllables. If that limerick is considered one that doesn't scan, I declare shenanigans.

Furthermore, though my intitial dissent was not issued in support of my own entry, given the explanation in 30, I can't figure out how my entry 8 breaks the rules. Is it that you're reading "quarrel" as two syllables? I suppose I should have written "quarr'l" or the like to force you to read it as one ("quarl"?)?

It seems to me that the rules are being applied somewhat arbitrarily.

2005-11-16 15:11:11
44.   For The Turnstiles
"The Lovesong of W. Lamar Beane" has already been done:
2005-11-16 15:28:26
45.   Humma Kavula
Quoth the ScoreBard, "I'm pleased by your crafts,
But check twice -- is your work free of gaffes?
You will please take the time
To check meter and rhyme
And you'll never just go for the laughs."
2005-11-16 15:40:02
46.   elleftymalo
And for the record, I present to you "13 Ways of Looking at a Bullpen."

2005-11-16 15:55:14
47.   Score Bard
Cliff, your poem makes me stress the word "his" and unstress the word "God". If there's ever a word that demands to be stressed, it's "God."
2005-11-16 16:18:17
48.   Bob Timmermann
I still don't see how you can argue with the end result in a category titled "Subjective".

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