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.
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."
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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."
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!"
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!"
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!"
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Though I'm not a young, up-to-date girl
In the gadget-filled, mind-boggling whirl
Still I'm amazed to watch more unfurl!
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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?"
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!"
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?
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.