Lucy Vickery

Double vision | 28 June 2018

Text settings

In Competition No. 3054 you were invited to compose double dactyls about double acts. I didn’t include the rules about double dactyls as it takes up space and I’ve done it before — and in any case they are easily Googled. Most of you seemed thoroughly at home with the form, and in a large, lively and accomplished entry double dactylic duos from time present (Trump and Melania, Declan and Anthony) and time past (Boney and Josephine) rubbed shoulders with the literary (Regan and Goneril), the musical (Gilbert and Sullivan, Simon and Garfunkel) and the comical (Stanley and Oliver). George Simmers and Mae Scanlan are highly commended. The winners, printed below, earn £15 each.

Hackety, rackety,

Donald and Vladimir

Sneer at collusion. ‘It’s

Fake News!’ they say.

That’s what they tell us, but


Donald’s now ruling the


Brian Allgar

Bardily, hardily,

Gertrude and Claudius

Killed Hamlet’s father so

‘Vengeance!’ he cried!

Yet in the end the boy


Dithered and dallied till

Everyone died.

Robert Schechter

Sneakily, cheekily,

Crabtree & Evelyn,

named to sound British, a

Yankee pretence,

under the guise of its


bid for distinction, made

dollars from scents.

Susan McLean


Thisbe and Pyramus,

Badly confused by a

Leonine brute,

Die at the hands of two


Amateur thespians,

Bottom and Flute.

Chris O’Carroll

Flobadob, flobadob,

William and Benjamin

Lived for their pot, and on

That they agreed.

Most of their street slang was


Though you could sense they were

Both fond of Weed.

Bill Greenwell 


Rodgers and Hammerstein

Money-spun musicals —

Think Carousel;

Iffy, improbable


Lap-’em-up love stories,

Corny as hell.

Mike Morrison


William and Dorothy

Saw what they saw and they

Knew what they knew.

Those two go walking — gold

Flowers do dance moves, then


Legions ensue

Francis Harry 


Stanley and Livingstone

Met as a pair in the

African gloom.

Proof of their meeting was,


Something that Stanley could

Only presume.

Alan Millard 


Trump and Melania

Seem rather odd as their

Nation’s First Pair:

He’s the quintessence of


She looks her happiest

When she’s not there.

Max Gutmann

Rollicky, frolicky,

Popeye and Olive Oyl,

Spinach for breakfast the

Day they were wed.

Battled all rivals till


Not lethal jealousy,

Beat them instead.

Orel Protopopescu


Gilbert and Sullivan

Musical masters of

Upside-down fun.

Quarrelled on matters pure


Making the lawyers’ lot

A happy one.

Joseph Conlon

No. 3057: net effect

You are invited to submit a short story entitled ‘The day the internet died’. Email entries of up to 150 words (providing word count) to by midday on 11 July.