Thursday, December 1, 2016

There once was a man from Nantucket

If you clicked here hoping to read an updated version of this crude limerick, think again.  I used the promise of sex to trick you into learning something.  Oh, don't look so surprised.  Everyone falls for that old trick.

Limericks never get the literary credit they deserve.  Maybe it's because they are usually crude in nature.  Maybe it's because they hang out on bathroom walls.  One isn't apt to scrape something off a bathroom wall and hold it up as an example of a fine literary masterpiece.  Limericks are read, chuckled at, and forgotten once one's business is done.  Only the man from Nantucket has gained any fame from the bathroom wall.

But limericks can be quite entertaining and not always crude.  They don't have to make sense, can be written in reverse, and be written with no words at all.

Huh?  No words?

Yup, even mathematicians get in on the game and write flowing limericks like this:

12 + 144 + 20 + 3√4                               
————————— + (5 × 11) = 92 + 0

Now I could be cruel and leave you guessing what these numbers could be suggesting, but if you really want to know, here you go or simply read the translation below. (If you like fun with numbers, though, visit the link for other examples of limericks written in numbers.)

A dozen a gross and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five times eleven
Is nine squared and not a bit more

Ok, I'm having too much fun, but that's what limericks are supposed to bring - fun. 

"What brought on all this fun?" you may be asking.

The question is not what, but who.  Over on Twitter I follow Amelia (@Amelia98), a dj on 98 Rock out of Baltimore.  She puts on a good show weekdays, 10am until 3pm and, for all you biker fans, she's a Harley girl.  Anyway, she tweeted a word of the day and promised to casually work it into a sentence.
My Tuesday morning in-the-box response
and another clue to the real meaning

I admit it.  I had to look the word up. 

I went through the motions at work with the word of the day gnawing away on my brain in the background.  When I woke up around lunch time, I decided to take Amelia up on her implied challenge, but I was wide awake and took the implied challenge outside the box.  It took me half an hour, but the man from Nantucket became the wealthy man from New York.  He and his friends define the word of the day in a limerick riddle.

There once was a wealthy man from New York
Who swindled his way with barrels of pork
With the consent of the people
His rich friends toppled the steeple
And democracy is forever corked

<sigh>  Ok, I admit it.  I probably won't get the Nobel in literature for this one.  But that mathematician I quoted above sure as heck should!

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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