John Boehner’s Open Limerick To Obama

August 1st, 2014

John Boehner’s Open Limerick To Obama
By Madeleine Begun Kane

How dare you slow implementation
Of a law that is bad for our nation!
You’re impeding our rush
For a law that we’d flush.
Now show leadership! Fix immigration!

Double Dactyl For Eric Cantor

July 31st, 2014

Eric Cantor gave his House farewell address today. And that gives me all the excuse I need to post this non-limerick of mine, which I entered in the Style Invitational’s recent double dactyl contest:

Beaterdy Featerdy,
GOP Leader E.
Cantor’s unseated and
Out of a job.

Pundits are shocked by his
Unceremonious
Ouster by Brat of the
Tea Party mob.

If you’re not familiar with the double dactyl, I summarize their rules here.

And, by the way, I lost. You can find the winners’ list here.

Impeachment “Scam” (Limerick)

July 30th, 2014

Impeachment “Scam” (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

John Boehner appears to be riled.
Dem impeachment talk’s driving him wild:
How dare Dems boost their brand
When impeachment ain’t planned
For that Oval defiler, reviled!

***

Yesterday, John Boehner called the impeachment notion a “scam” invented by Democrats to excite their base and raise money.

No doubt that will remain Boehner’s claim … right up to the moment the House starts the process to impeach.

Virtual Blog Tour: Welcome To My Mad World (Cross-Posted from my other Blog)

July 25th, 2014

A wonderful poet, Daniel Ari, honored me with his invitation to participate in the Virtual Blog Tour. And if you’re not familiar with Daniel’s poetry, you owe it to yourself to pay his blog and his blog tour post a visit. Actually … many visits.

Wait. Where are you going? I didn’t mean for you to visit him right this very minute. You have to at least pretend to read my post first.

Okay, now that I’ve recaptured your attention, I should probably explain the concept behind the Virtual Blog Tour. As best as I can figure out, it’s a method of introducing our readers to other bloggers we admire. Every participant answers the same quartet of questions about his/her writing process. And, in theory at least, we all gain some new readers.

So, on to Question 1: What am I working on?

In theory, I’m pulling together three different humor books: a limerick collection, a humor column collection, and a third book that’s so hard to describe, it’s unlikely to ever happen.

Aside from my books-in-progress, I write tons of limericks every week. Okay, maybe not tons, but A LOT! I also write light verse in other forms, even sneaking humor into haiku. (Of course when I write funny haiku, I get yelled at for not calling them senryu.)

Additionally, I spend a good chunk of time running a weekly limerick contest: Mad Kane’s Limerick-Offs. You can always find the current contest here and the most recent winners here. (Everyone’s welcome to participate both here on my blog and on my Facebook page.)

Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, for one thing, it’s written by an oboist turned lawyer turned humor writer. And for another, I stretch the boundaries of limericks by writing them about every topic imaginable: marriage, politics, taxes, death, petty aggravations, serious problems, etc., in a tone which varies from bawdy to satirical to serious, to silly — frequently writing multi-verse limericks. And if I want to be extra hard on myself, I sometimes even attempt acrostic limericks.

By the way, although I post most of my limericks on this blog, I have a second blog reserved for political limericks. Why a separate Political Madness Blog? Because many readers who enjoy this blog, hate my politics. Separate blogs help limit the bloodshed.

Question 3: Why do I write what I do?

Like most writers, I write what I write because I have to. There was a period when I had to write humor columns. Next there was a period when I had to write a satirical George W. Bush diary and political song parodies. And right now I seem to be in my have-to-write-limericks period.

(There was also a 14 year period when I had to write legal briefs. But trust me, you don’t want to hear about that.)

Question 4: How does my writing process work?

I’m always writing limericks — often at inconvenient times, like while showering … or sleeping. Unfortunately I have an awful memory, and can’t trust myself to remember anything. So jotting down ideas immediately is key. Deciphering those notes? Another matter altogether.

While much of my limerick inspiration seems to arrive out of the blue, I’m always actively on the hunt for limerick ideas. I make a point of doing lots of daily news reading, headline scanning, and visiting “what’s trending now” on Twitter, Facebook, and sundry search engines.

I read several political sites a day in my quest for politicians to mock and political issues to have fun with. I also check out several sites specializing in oddball news items, as well as Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, and other possible sources of quirky news items that might inspire me. (Dave Barry’s blog is an unusually good source of such items.)

Limerick inspiration often comes from stories about silly lawsuits, oddball inventions, strange holidays, and weird trends.

Family members, especially my husband Mark, can be a constant source of humor inspiration. (Fortunately Mark enjoys being the subject of limericks and humor columns.)

If I’m really lucky, a limerick just comes to me whole cloth. When that happens, it’s just a matter of writing it down and doing a quick edit. But other limericks present more of a challenge, especially when it comes to news-oriented and political limericks, where I have to pack a lot of info into the limerick and still follow the rules and make readers laugh. (Speaking of rules, you can find my article on how to write limericks here.)

I often start with a single line — either the first line or the last. And in framing that line I usually try to end it with a word that has lots of rhymes. After all, the more rhyme word choices I have, the better the odds of my managing to polish off an amusing limerick.

What happens when I can’t make a limerick work? I add it to an ever-growing digital document jam-packed with hundreds of limericks (and partial limericks) I can’t bear to give up on. And often, months later, I manage to rescue some of them. On the other hand, many have been languishing in that file for years, taunting me to fix or delete the damn things.

I should probably mention some tools I find handy: Rhymezone, while far from perfect, can be very useful. The Syllable Dictionary is helpful as well. And then there’s the wonderful Memidex Dictionary which, among other things, has an excellent audio component. I can’t imagine how I ever survived without it.

*****

So that’s it for my answers to the Virtual Blog Tour questions. At this point, I’m supposed to recommend three other poet bloggers who promise to answer the same four questions. But alas, everyone I invited (1) had already participated in this tour; (2) didn’t feel they had the time to commit to the tour; or (3) didn’t feel they could persuade three other poet bloggers to participate.

However, if you’re still hungering to be introduced to other limerick writers, please do check out my weekly Limerick of the Week Posts. While, most of the weekly winners don’t blog, they’re a funny group of limerick writers you’re sure to enjoy.

(Cross-Posted from my other blog: Mad Kane’s Humor Blog)

Double Dactyl For Chris Christie

July 17th, 2014

Have you noticed the new wave of stories about Chris Christie’s upcoming Iowa visit? This renewed coverage of Christie’s presidential aspirations gives me an excuse to post this non-limerick of mine, which I entered in the Style Invitational’s recent double dactyl contest:

Bridgery Fridgery,
Governor Christie is
Stuck in a scandal and
Can’t bridge the gap.

Oval-aimed dieting,
Indefatigably,
Hoping to run as a
Skinnier chap.

If you’re not familiar with the double dactyl, I summarize their rules here.

And, by the way, I lost. You can find the winners’ list here.

Warren, We Hardly Knew You (Limerick)

July 9th, 2014

Warren, We Hardly Knew You (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It seems Harding had sex on the brain.
His “Jerry” was active, it’s plain.
For his letters, risqué,
Show the singular way
That he scored in his short White House reign.

Palin’s Peachy Keen On Impeachment (Limerick)

July 8th, 2014

Palin’s Peachy Keen On Impeachment (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The I-word from Palin’s no shock;
For attention, she’ll spew any crock.
Then the press will come through
As they constantly do,
Never balking at hawking her squawk.

Limerick Ode To Truth-Telling

July 7th, 2014

Limerick Ode To Truth-Telling
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Here’s a viewpoint espoused in the news:
There’s no truth — only differing views.
But when viewpoints are based
On lies, truth’s erased.
News outlets, you’ve failed us. J’accuse.

Happy Tell The Truth Day (July 7.)

A Not-So-Modest Proposal (Limerick)

June 17th, 2014

A Not-So-Modest Proposal (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Want to thin out the NRA crowd?
Here’s a concept that’s got me quite wowed:
Pair a gun range and bar,
Cuz those folks won’t get far
When gun-toting drunks are allowed.

(Alas, Combination gun ranges/bars do in fact exist.)

No, Eric Can’t (Limerick

June 10th, 2014

Amazing! Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was unexpectedly trounced in his primary by conservative Tea Party challenger David Brat.

No, Eric Can’t (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

What a GOP upset! Oh my!
Eric Cantor was beat by a guy,
Who’s a Tea-Party Brat,
Underfunded, at that.
There are some things that money can’t buy.

Monica Wehby, Republican Nominee in Oregon’s U.S. Senate Race, Answers those Harassment Complaints (Limerick)

June 10th, 2014

Monica Wehby, Republican Nominee in Oregon’s U.S. Senate Race, Answers those Harassment Complaints (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Vote for me! My convictions are tops.
For complaints about me, give me props,
Cuz they prove that I’m tough
And won’t take any guff.
It’s a plus that I’m known by the cops.

Here’s the story:

The Republican nominee in Oregon’s U.S. Senate race said Monday that disagreements with former partners that resulted in calls to the police show that she stands up for her beliefs and “will fight for Oregonians with very strong conviction.”

Texas Republicans, Repair Thyselves! (Limerick)

June 9th, 2014

Texas Republicans, Repair Thyselves! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The “reparative therapy” craze
Is fancied by Texans for gays.
Although Dems know it’s foolish,
Republicans, mulish,
Praise treatment for homo-malaise.

Limerick Ode To World Environment Day

June 5th, 2014

Limerick Ode To World Environment Day (June 5)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

World Environment Day has arrived,
Though “Deniers” insist it’s contrived:
This science contention
That sans intervention,
Global warming will leave us short-lived.

Limerick Ode To John Boehner

May 31st, 2014

My 2-verse limerick “celebrates” John Boehner, who certainly knows how to be cowardly, evasive, and stupid all at once. Here’s Boehner responding to a question about climate change:

Asked by reporters yesterday if he accepts the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming, John Boehner demurred on the curious but increasingly familiar grounds that he is not a scientist. “Listen, I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” the House Speaker said. Boehner immediately turned the question to the killing of jobs that would result from any proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which he asserts with unwavering certainty. (On this question, Boehner is not held back by the fact that he is also not an economist.)

Limerick Ode To John Boehner
By Madeleine Begun Kane

John Boehner, it seems, knows the score;
He’ll be kicked by his “team” out the door
Should he ever concede
What folks know (if they read)
That our climate is changing full-bore.

So Boehner will simply rebuff
Any queries re climate change stuff.
“Can’t debate it he claims;
His “not qualified” aims
To dodge facts, cuz his pals prefer guff.

Tea Party Wisdom (Limerick)

May 19th, 2014

Tuesday’s a big primary day:

Six states have elections in what’s being dubbed a mini-Super Tuesday: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The Senate races with the potential for the biggest surprises are Georgia and Kentucky, where Republicans will be choosing between tea party candidates and ones with stronger backing from the establishment.

So brace yourself for yet another slew of inane observations about how mainstream Republicans are allegedly winning their war against the Tea Party.

Tea Party Wisdom (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Sanguine insight from pundits ain’t bright
Re the mainstream Republicans’ fight:
They’re not winning the wars
Against Tea Party boors;
They’re just moving far out to the right.

Spoofing Maureen Dowd

May 19th, 2014

Though my tweet-sized Maureen Dowd-style fake quote didn’t win last week’s New York Magazine contest, at least it got me an Honorable Mention.

Here’s my HM-winning entry:

Hill’s at war; vicious oval of ambition vs doting grandma dotage. Will Monica Redux push her past pantsuit to sweatsuit?

“Bush’s Brain” Does It Again (2-Verse Limerick)

May 14th, 2014

Karl Rove a/k/a “Turd Blossom” a/k/a “Bush’s Brain” is at it again. And this time his target is Hillary Clinton. First he strongly implies that she had “traumatic brain injury,” while greatly exaggerating the length of her hospital stay:

“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said, according to the report. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

Next he denies using the specific phrase “brain damage,” as if that makes everything copacetic.

Of course this sort of dirty tricks attack is SOP for Karl Rove.

“Bush’s Brain” Does It Again (2-Verse Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Rove’s method is slur and then flee.
His hit jobs leave drive-by debris.
He’ll strongly imply
Something’s true, then deny
That he used a set phrase he deems key.

Rove’s now on an anti-Hill spree,
Lodging brain-health aspersions with glee.
He’ll imply Hill’ry’s brain
Has been damaged, then feign
Complete innocence: Smear her? Not ME!

Dear Donees (Limerick)

May 5th, 2014

Many of you already know that big-time Republican donor John Jordan just dissed Republican pols big time. Here’s what he said:

I go out of my way to avoid meeting candidates and politicians.” Why? “All too often, these people are so disappointing that it’s depressing. Most of these people you meet, they’re unemployable.… It’s just easier not to know.

But I’ll bet you’re unaware of John Jordan’s secret limerick writing talent:

Dear Republicans, here’s tons of cash
From my famously sizeable stash.
I believe you’re all fools,
But can count on you tools
To keep screwing the riff-raff and trash.

(Note from Mad Kane for the Humor-Impaired: I’m John Jordan’s extremely unofficial ghostwriter. )

Infantile Pundits Give Birth To More Wind (Limerick)

April 21st, 2014

I just love Jeff Greenfield’s take on the “Baby Clinton Madness.” I’m referring, of course, to all the nonsensical opinionating about its effect (or non-effect) on Hillary Clinton’s presumed presidential candidacy.

Infantile Pundits Give Birth To More Wind (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

OMG! Chelsea Clinton’s with child!
Watch political gas-bags go wild,
As they mindlessly mine
Its effects and opine.
Yes, those pundits are rightly reviled.

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia

April 21st, 2014

I can’t help wondering whether Supreme Court Justice Scalia says weird things like this just for attention:

Speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, the longest-serving justice currently on the bench was asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

Scalia responded that the government has the right to implement the tax, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Suggesting that students revolt
Over taxes ain’t very adult.
It seems doltish Scalia
Has mouth diarrhea.
I surmise that his brain’s short a bolt.