In Competition No. 3104 you were invited to encapsulate the life story of a well-known person, living or dead, in three limericks.
The limerick form was neatly summed up by the late Paul Griffin, long-time competitor and a regular winner on these pages:
A limerick’s short and it’s slick;
Like a racehorse it has to be quick:
The front may seem calm
And cause no alarm
But the end is the bit that can kick.
The saints and sinners whose lives you squished into 15 lines ranged from Donald Trump, Jim Davidson and Mad King Ludwig to Jesus and Helen Keller. Honourable mentions go to C. Paul Evans, Martin Elster, David Silverman and W.J. Webster; the winners, below, are rewarded with £25 apiece.
The much-vilified Marquis de Sade
Was a sport, an eccentric, a card.
From his earliest days
His were profligate ways
And his future intentions ill-starred.
When the scandals occurred by the score
Till his name was a word to abhor,
He was jailed without trial
As incurably vile
On the word of his mother-in-law.
Though the fall of the monarchy freed him,
The Bonaparte upstart decreed him
To be shut in the bin
For authorial sin,
But thank goodness he’s here when you need him.
There once was a lady called May,
Who thought, on the Brexit poll day:
‘Should Cameron lose
I’ll step into his shoes
And get to be PM! Hooray!’
When she got the top job, our Theresa
Thought she would become a crowd-pleaser,
But her much-proffered deal
Lacked all MP appeal,
And it soon got consigned to the freezer.
Out of Downing Street they had to tug her,
But her husband came over to hug her.
He said: ‘Forget Brexit!
What saves it or wrecks it
Is now down to some other poor bugger.’
In Middlesbrough’s schools, he was bored,
Though his tongue-lash was never ignored;
Before injury felled him,
No player excelled him,
For, nine out of ten games, he scored.