"Limerick loot goes to whale..."


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In honor of Oregon’s 149th birthday (February 14), Register-Guard newspaper columnist Bob Welch asked his readers to submit limericks honoring the state’s places and geographic features. In response, we submitted three Exploding Whale rhymes. Surprisingly enough, from nearly 300 entries, one of our limericks was actually picked as the winner!

Limerick loot goes to whale of Oregon tale

Monday, February 21, 2008

The Register-Guard

They arrived like a tsunami of (mostly) rhymes — 286 Oregon-related limericks, pounding ashore on my cyber beaches.

Hey, I asked for them. Last week, in conjunction with the state’s 149th birthday, I primed the contest pump with a few of my own, some smelling like dead fish.

I confess, a few of yours stunk, too, dear readers, but then that’s the fun of limericks: They leave us either howling or hurling.

After two hours of sifting the sands, award-winning poet Pat Armstrong and I came up with three winners, a handful of “best of the rests” and slight headaches.

Our top choice — and winner of a $75 gift certificate from J Michaels Books: Steve Hackstadt of Eugene for:

Florence is home to a tale surreal
In which a dead whale stunk a great deal
Boom! went the dynamite
One chunk took quite a flight
And crushed Walter’s new Oldsmobile

Second ($50) to Lydia Lord of Eugene for:

The Oregon Coast is outstandin’
But the beach is the best down in Bandon
Where sea stacks and rocks
Crowd the coastline like blocks
Or a chess set some giant abandoned

Finally, third ($25) to Laurie Hall of Eugene for:

At Skinner Butte there’s a steep basalt wall
Whose height is dauntingly tall
Brave jocks scale those rockses
As canny as foxes
Adroitly avoiding a fall

I’ve tried to place every entry on my “Close to Home” blog (www.registerguard.com/blogs). Meanwhile, here are the best of the rest:

I live in a town called Eugene
It’s a veritable garden of green
Where we grow winter cabbage
And spout oodles of babbage
On the local political scene
— Ross Daniels, Eugene

Living in Florence is sweet
We’ve fresh crab and salmon to eat
Though the wind can be strong
And may blow all day long
We’re accustomed to sand in our meat
— Pat Romanov, Florence

Hail Oregon our state worth adoring
There’s Portland and Medford and Boring
From Ashland to Hebo
It’s better than TiVo
To run in Eugene when it’s pouring
— Mary Watts-Conrad, Springfield

It’s said “we don’t tan, we just rust”
And creating that myth is a must
“Please visit, don’t stay”
Is the phrase of the day
To preserve Tom McCall’s stately trust
— Pat Miller, Eugene

To dive was my husband’s great wish
With the Newport Aquarium fish
Now he feeds, cleans and shines
For those sharks, rays and brine
Yet at home, washes nary a dish
— Jerry Lynne Treinen, Eugene

Cheddar used to be so easy
But now I’m feeling a tad queasy
The Bandon controversy
Or Tillamook? Have mercy!
The lawsuits were definitely cheesy
— Gene Wong, Eugene

A bulge on the belly of South Sister
Is evident despite no known Mister
Apparently Mother Earth
Is thinking about birth
When this baby burps you won’t miss her
— Bryan and Pam Andresen, Eugene

The eager young architect Loring
Thought his new job involved his restoring
The neighborhood aura
Of scenic Aurora
But discovered the job was just Boring
— Martha Sherwood, Eugene

© 2008 Register-Guard