In Competition No. 3145, to mark the 10,000th issue of The Spectator, you were invited to submit clerihews (two couplets, AABB, metrically clunky, laconic and humorous in tone) on the magazine’s contributors.
My predecessor Jaspistos was a popular subject. Clerihews should contain biographical truth and D.A. Prince assures me that the incident described in her entry, a pre--internet judge’s worst nightmare, really did happen. If indeed it did, Jaspistos was not alone; entries to a New Statesman comp once flew out of the judge’s bicycle basket down High Holborn, and were lost for ever. Commendations go to G.N. Crockford, Nick Syrett, Sid Field, Robin Gilbert, Jeremy Carlisle and Peter Greystone, but now seems a fitting time to thank you all, compers present and past, for your witty, erudite and technically accomplished submissions over the years. The winners earn £8 per clerihew printed.
“Kingsley Amishad many fans who may misshim terribly, but at least they can heartento know we still have Martin.
“Auberon Waughis hard to adore,but it takes no effort to revel inEvelyn.Robert Schechter
“Mary, as in ‘Dear Mary’,Is not hairy,And could probably advise the nationOn posh methods of depilation.
“Our own Wordsworth, Dot,Is obviously notIndifferent to a word’s origin,So she knows a porringer’s not for putting porridge in.Hugh King
“Jeffrey Bernard,Finding sobriety very hard,Got leglessMore literally than most Coach & Horses reg’lars.Adrian Fry
“Mr Johnson, whom we all call Boris,Studied Tacitus, Virgil and Horace,But now, in these dark days of Covid,He reads Ovid.David Silverman
“Alice Thomas EllisKnew exactly where hell is —Where Satan touches his forelockTo Archbishop Derek Worlock.Bill Greenwell
“Auberon WaughThought his given name rather a bore.‘Perhaps my parents suffered from Shakespeare mania,But I feel a right Titania.’Brian Allgar
“Bernard LevinFirst got his engine revvin’In this very paperAs Taper.W.J. Webster
“Jaspistosonce suffered a terrible lossby leaving all the entries sent in by uson a London bus.D.A. Prince
“Rod LiddleCan play woke folk like a fiddle,And he’s not a person who shrinksFrom saying what the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks.
“Noel PettyHad the grace of a gazelle on the Serengeti.Again and again he dominated competitionsWith brilliant submissions.Frank McDonald
“Jaspistos (alias James Michie)Set competitions that were tricky,But winning one utterly dispelled the blues(And in those happy days the top prize was booze.)George Simmers
“Dear MaryAs a dinner companion would be quite scary.One would worry about being thought an oikUsing the wrong knife and foik.Max Ross
“TakiKnows a high-life lark. HePacked his cocaineAnd headed for the plane.Graham Greene
“Judged Shirley Temple on the silver screenMore than age-appropriately cute.Her studio filed suit.Chris O’Carroll
“Rod LiddlePossesses a griddleTo cook the mincemeatHe makes of the liberal elite.
“‘Evelyn Waugh’Rhymes with ‘Bernard Shaw’.So why ‘Shavian’,But not ‘Wavian’?Basil Ransome-Davies
“The hardest crosswords were thoseSet by Dumpynose.I don’t know if it’s a her or a him,Only that it’s an anagram of ‘pseudonym’.Brian Murdoch
No. 3148: selfie
Some famous painters are thought to have slipped small self-portraits into their other work. What if a well-known novelist had done the same with an added minor character? You are invited to submit the resulting extract (up to 150 words and please specify author). Email entries to email@example.com by midday on 6 May. NB. We are un-able to accept postal entries for the time being.