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Craig Holyoak, Deseret Morning News

Cell phones, iPods, big-screen TVs and other technology. Politics. Global warming. Family life. Pop culture. Business.

Those seem to be the things that stand out about the 21st century, as we are less than a decade into it — at least as far as making fun of it is concerned.

Those were major themes in our second annual St. Patrick's Day Limerick Contest, which asked for limericks on "Life in the 21st Century." Our readers seemed to take great joy in poking fun at the twists and turns the century has offered so far.

We received lots and lots of entries from all over the state, and even some from out of state. Picking winners was tough. But our judges were impressed by both the ideas and the clever spin our finalists put on things.

Limericks are an old form of poetry. Some historians trace them back to nursery rhymes of the Middle Ages; others say they became popular with soldiers returning to the Irish town of Limerick from France in the 1700s. Shakespeare used them in his works. They received a boost of popularity from Edward Lear in his 1846 "Book of Nonsense."

So, it was fun to see how the old, lilting rhyme can still work with modern times and subjects.

Our first-place winner, Glen Sherwood, receives a $30 gift certificate to Archibald's Restaurant at Gardner Village. Second-place winner, Gay Mitchell, receives a coffee-table book on Ireland. Third-place winner, Shaneen Cloward, gets a CD of Irish music. To fourth-place winner Clair Elmont goes a box of "green stuff," including spinach pasta and green Jell-O. And our fifth-place winner, Don Milne, gets a decorate-it-yourself Irish-green T-shirt.

Our thanks to all who participated. We hope you enjoy these limericks, too.


My computer just went on the blink

And my printer it ran out of ink,

With my pencil in hand

I'll write Limericks Grand

But to do that, I still have to think.

Glen Sherwood, Riverton


Joe picked fruit on a ladder quite tall.

He said, "Ring 911 if I fall."

His granddaughter, Jill,

Said, "Grandpa, I will,

If you'll tell me the number to call."

Gay Mitchell, Salt Lake City


There once was a girl name Jo

She wanted to find a new beau.

Her true love she met

While surfing the net

On their blog you can watch their kids grow.

Shaneen Cloward, Salt Lake City


Said Chelsea when meeting Obama,

"Can you rid the world of Osama?"

"Well, Chelsea," said he,

"In November we'll see,

But first I must outlast yo' mama!"

— Earl Elmont, Midvale


My phone used to be on the wall,

And its cord barely stretch to the hall.

Now a cell phone I carry,

Which should make me quite merry,

But it's lost and I can't call at all.

— Don Milne, Bountiful


A modern, high-tech home my house is;

Computers for children and spouses.

In debt I am deep,

'Cause high-tech is not cheap,

For I put all my money where my mouse is.

— Janna Rogers

My grandma just got a computer

To use it she must have a tutor

She's tried very hard

Her confidence scarred

With each the third-graders out dooed her.

— Linda Horne

You know that the world's gone bizarre

When the petrol costs more than the car,

When Simon Cowell is judicious

And chocolate's nutritious

And the president says "nu-cu-lar."

— Jane Randall

Desperate Housewives hang out on Wisteria

While bank frauds assail from Nigeria

And you have the power,

At least 10 times an hour,

To shout into your cell phone, "I hear ya!"

— Julie Humes

There once was a girl who could text,

but who frequently got into wrecks,

when they all asked her why

this was her reply,

"My friend had to know what was next!"

— Natalie Hedelius

My card is in hand at the store.

I ignore the fact that I'm poor.

When I want something bad,

My card makes me feel glad.

It's the bill at month's end I abhor.

— Sheryl Schulthies

There was a powerful earthquake near Wells

And the ground moved around in hard swells.

There was shaking and breaking

And wide damage making.

But the townsfolk say bravely, "All's Wells."

— Wm. James Mortimer

I'm tired of business sprawl.

I'll shop online this fall.

I will not enter

A shopping center.

See one, you've seen a mall.

— Sally Yocom

Though we Utahns do love our Jazz,

When they lose we give them the razz.

But when they do win,

We say with a grin,

"Those Jazz are the razz-a-ma-tazz."

— Mrs. John Taylor

Life ain't what it was in the past.

I've lived in this century and the last.

It was simpler then

And I still have a yen,

For the old days, when life was a blast.

— Wayne E. Bott

There once was a man named Mitt

Who thought being president would fit

So he started a campaign

Against Huckabee and McCain

Then he patriotically quit.

— Ron Dale

Excuse me, who's calling my cell?

I'm busy right now L-O-L

Now, I'm getting a text ...

I wonder what's next?

Technology she makes me yell!

— Kaitlyn Phelps

Globalization is great!

I've friends in Beijing and Kuwait.

They all read my blog

On my Facebook they log

I no longer feel pressure to date!

— Nicole Brimley

Our English we once wrote with pride,

But in the computer it died.

We now cannot spell it.

You can't even tell it

Was once that on which we relied.

— Bryant M. Pulley

His phone is as small as can be.

He bowls without lanes with his Wii.

A technical race

For more in less space

But, don't touch his BIG SCREEN TV!

— Diana Walters

In two-thousand-one it all started,

A century not for the scared or faint hearted.

Up and down it has bounced,

Hopes and fears both are trounced.

Only humor has kept our path charted.

— Martin Calderwood

There still is a war in Iraq

Our warriors there never do slack,

With dust, heat and sand

They serve in that land,

Our prayer is they soon will be back.

— Clara Olpin Snell

Polar caps are both melting, you know.

It's our greenhouse gasses; and so,

Stop driving like fools

And invent different fuels.

Or, maybe our cars just need "Beano!"

— Gary Fannin

Technology's spread o'er the land.

Everyone had a cell phone in hand.

We're all just so busy

I'm starting to get dizzy.

Ain't the 21st century grand!

— Julie Taylor

As we key-click through two-thousand eight

We may rank our E-output as great.

We may drag till we drop

And exhaust Photoshop,

But where power goes out, we're just freight.

— Carol B. Quist

We launch rockets to places afar

Heal wounds with nary a scar

But what's got me perplexed

Is why no one can fix

The huge pothole that swallows my car.

— Jay Adams

I ask you all when you're blogging

To consider the bandwidth you're hogging.

If you find that today

You've nothing to say,

Please spare the Web bytes and go jogging.

— Laura Middleton

With cell phones we're ever so mobile

Up to our ears with them local and global —

Used to be calls from a "cell"

Meant we'd landed in jail

After Saturday night's latest foibles.

— Molly Wetzel

We're in the age of futurity,

When to get through airport security,

No liquids, no knives

If you want to arrive

With any degree of surety.

— Curt Bench

The age of the "Idol" is dawning,

Of jocks and celebs we are fawning,

For success we all vote

As our winners we dote,

While on critical matters we're yawning!

— Nancy Allen

Gas prices continue to rocket,

Draining every purse and pants pocket.

Is there any belief

That I'll see much relief

Except to take my car and to hock it?

— John Marlo Bowen

Though I'm not a young, up-to-date girl

In the gadget-filled, mind-boggling whirl

Where gerontology

Resists technology,

Still I'm amazed to watch more unfurl!

— Carolyn Joyner Freebairn

I remember when phones had a cord,

When a reliable car was a Ford.

Now with gadgets and high tech

I'm swamped up to my neck

And I forget where my memory is stored.

— David Coles

Textin's a mystery, it occurred,

'Cause talking is faster, I've heard.

But not for those teens

Whose thumbs are the means

Of conversing with nary a word.

— Patti Richins

There once was a girl in grade three,

Who wanted to purchase a Wii.

She went to the store,

But there were no more.

She sighed, "Alas, Xbox for me."

— Laurel Wahlsman

With the blackberry's masculine chic,

And a Bluetooth adorning each cheek,

With the best MP3

And the updated Wii,

Every guy's an electronic sheik.

— Carol B. Quist

A candidate's name of Obama

Should not be confused with Osama.

And he'd like you to note

That for him you should vote

And not give it to young Chelsea's mama.

— Wm. James Mortimer

Bryan Worked in the mall ten to three,

When his Grandma came in for herb tea.

As she charged the amount

To her credit account,

He said, "Now, may I see your ID?"

— Gay Mitchell

Bob Barker put up such a fight

He labored with all his might.

He got folks tutored

About getting pets neutered

And made sure "The Price Was Right!"

— Earl Elmont

I've noticed people start'n to stare.

They must think I'm talk'n to thin air.

Don't look at me funny,

Wasn't talk'n to you, sonny.

Can't ya see the Bluetooth under me hair?

— Julie Taylor

"Sometimes I'm a wigwam," said Spence,

"Or a teepee. It doesn't make sense."

The psychiatrist smiled,

"It's not problem, my child,

I see that you're simply two tense."

— Sally Yocom

Fuel prices are truly outrageous

They are rising much faster than wages

Those who wistfully holler

We once paid but a dollar

Are sadly revealing your ages.

— Julie Humes

My son has this cool thing called "Wii."

You can bowl with four people or three,

Got a virtual strike

This game I could like

Be nice if he'd buy one for me.

— Glen Sherwood

A stressed-out man seeking some insights

Lives with his share of problems and plights;

But he's awesomely blessed

With answers, he confessed,

By surfing the Internet Web sites.

— Carolyn Joyner Freebairn

In the old days, we had one TV,

One bathroom, one car (honestly!)

Furthermore, we partook

Of ONE telephone book,

Which served our needs admirably.

— Jane Randall

I do all my business online,

The car is the place that I dine.

My last conversation

Was during vacation.

Oh, isn't technology fine?

— Diane Coles

Twelve scouts who camped out had no sense,

And were drenched when the rains turned immense.

They pooh-poohed the Karma

Of a globe that's now warma,

They were dense when they should be intents.

— Larry Klenk

• And a special thanks to Ruby Klenk's third-grade reading group at Copperview Elementary School, who all wrote and submitted limericks. Here's a sample:

There once was a boy named Max

Who liked to play with jacks.

He played in the morning,

And played in the evening.

He only stopped playing for snacks.

—Jacky Nghiem-Do

There once was a notorious gunslinger

Who had a fast trigger finger.

He shot Jerico Cross,

And that was no loss,

If you see the gunslinger, don't linger.

—Xander Williams

There once was a bully in sixth grade

Whose rudeness made children afraid.

He pushed kids down

Making them frown,

That mean terrible bully in sixth grade.

—MacKenzie Brewer

E-MAIL: carma@desnews.com