Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In which I come out of the closet.

Somehow, I never noticed the directory of conference attendees before. If I had, it still would never have occurred to me that anyone would actually read it. When I pre-registered for the conference I'm now home from, I found it funny they would ask for my title. Now, please understand a few things. The first is that the title "Executive Director" seems to fit people whose pomposity differs from my own. Besides that, the organizers of this particular conference know me. They've known me for years. They recognize me by name, by sight, by title and by growl. So when I filled in the Job Title line, I thought I was having a private joke between myself and whoever did the data entry. Between Monday and Tuesday I was asked at least a dozen times about my job description as listed in the conference directory. Some asked wryly how I like my new position, some asked with sincere curiosity, "What does a limericist do?"

It's true, my friends. I am a limericist. Here is the story of how I came to embrace my nature. I suppose each of the several loyal National Public Radio listeners has a favorite NPR show and mine is Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! For those who don't know, this is the NPR current events quiz show. It's much funner than it sounds. One of the weekly games is the Listener Limerick Challenge in which three limericks, based on the current events, are read to a caller with the last word omitted. If you can guess twice out of thrice what the last word was, you win a recorded message on your answering machine.

One week when I was listening I noticed that during the show's credits the host referred to "our Limericist." I marveled that our language is opulent enough to contain a noun for someone who writes limericks and that our economy is majestic and democratic enough to provide income to one. I felt something stir I hadn't known was there.

Now, friends, I enjoy Wait! Wait! enough that I look forward to listening all week and rarely miss a show, but the one weekly contest I never miss until the grave finds me, is Minka's Thursday Brain Teaser. One day, I was doing my morning blogging when I saw that Minka had posted a new brain teaser and there were no comments yet. But when I clicked the "comments" link, Indeterminacy had beaten me to the first comment. I decided that, I would take the time to, and I paraphrase Senator John Kerry here, become who I was.

LIMERICIST,
n. A poet with hooves for feet.
There are many sizes of fame,
Many chances to claim your own name.
Each dignitary's
badge they are wearing
In meter and rhyme sounds the same.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

today is 2007.02.07., only three numbers, how cool is that?

nice entry, Doug, can be read from the next room too.

Ariel

Joel said...

Thanks for the bold type...those of us with failing eyesight applaud the effort, intentional or not.

As for our word..

Could Limericist also be how the fine folks of Limerick County, Ireland refer to themselves?

Omnipotent Poobah said...

limericist - There was an old man from Nantucket who said to himself, well fu**

Oops, I got a little carried away there.

puppybrose said...

somehow i knew this about you, but i didn't know. one of the (many) reasons i enjoy Monika's Brain Teasers is to see what clever limeristic hint you'll come up with, on any given week.

you're a limericist, you say? now you've put it in writing, my friend, so no only is it "true", it's "public".

oh, and for the record, i LOVELOVELOVE the fact that you wrote an Actual Post for this fine Wednesday. nice way to celebrate your latest bloggy gear shift. (btw, we are HUGE fans of Wait! Wait! as well, but don't tell anyone -- no need to lump us in with all those nerds and limericists)

quilldancer said...

blogger, dog-lover, curmudgeon, limericist -- careful, Dawg, you're turning ino a real person. ;)

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Careful son. Blogging from the office is one thing. Rhyming from the office is quite another.

There was a guy in Clarita
Who ate garlic on a pita
It coulda made him sour
or it coulda made him dour
But instead it made him sweeta.

al said...

Nice work, Doug. Great post. And great title, requiring one small correction: Senior Limericist.

And, speaking of titles -- I hear the Orlando Police Department nearly peed their collective pants laughing when they read "astronaut/NASA" in the space beside "Job/Employer:" on the booking form.

pia said...

Glad you have a new job and title:)

That old title was just too pompous for you

the amoeba said...

Executive Director, huh? [genuflects]

And Joel? You're exactly right. It's not a limerick unless it comes from that county. As any writer of superior verse from elsewhere on the Emerald Isle will tell you, cat quick.

They tell tales of Old Puppy Pascover;
He rhymed and he howled the world over.
     He barked with Walela
     (But never a Sheila?)
But he claimed for himself the name Rover.

    - Goldbrick of Galway

Doug said...

What a cool date, Ariel! You're right, madame. Days like these won't come again.

Joel, I'm still learning New Blogger. I'm afraid to ask someone from Limerick that question.

Not everyone from Limerick
Can know if their title will stick.
Wherever streets rhyme
Past houses of grime,
The limericist grows from the brick.


Poobah, I think today blue language and humor are 100% appropriate.

Puppybrose, I'm tired of hiding. I'm here and whether society accepts me or not, I'm not going away.

Quilly a dog is not necessarily a dog-lover nor a curmudgeon a human.

Ave, TLP! Thank you.

Al, actually, I bet they hear that every day.

Thank you, Pia. I feel free.

Well done, O C. You have it in your bones and blood, don't you?

G said...

Some nice limericks preceed (particularly fond of TLP's rhyming Clarita with pita), but here goes:

There was a curmudgeon with a blog
Who presented himself as a dog
But a lexicographer was he
And a limericist to be
Who brought us all out of the fog!

Okay I cheated slightly because where I come from blog and dog do not rhyme, but I'm guessing they might by you. Thanks for the info, I haven't heard that NPR program.

Mo'a said...

Wonderful story :) Now I can put you on the same pedestal I put Edward Lear and Garrison Keillor.
I found this on the web by Garrison and thought you might enjoy it. Sounds a lot like you :)
Can you guess that I looooove and admire limericks and Limericists?

Minka said...

I like this new change going about Waking Ambrose. I am glad we are finally getting to know the "being" behind the avatar, the limericks and the growl.

I just love that you wrote limericist in your job title. It makes as much sense as Executive Director when the "being" pointed to is you :)

Minka said...

Es war einmal ein aeltlicher Mann
Der nimmer öffentlich sprechen kann
Doch auch er muss sich beugen
des Gesetzes Zeugen
In reimenden Couplets er sich fann'.

Jamie Dawn said...

The Dougster oft claims to be grumpy
But he's kind to all, pristine or frumpy
He's chock full of wit
He's funny as sh--
From his brain constant knowledge is pumping.

He's honest, but would never ruffle
A feather or cause a big scuffle
He's gentle with words
Finds comfort with nerds
He deserves a humungous truffle!


Have a great day, Master Limericist.
My title is Anecdotic Humorist & Mrs. Motherist.

Doug said...

Thanks, G. Nothing like smoke to lead folks out of the fog.

Mo'a, thanks but there are no pedastols that can hold Garrison Keillor and me at the same time, and not many we can climb up on. That's a neat site although I missed the Prairie Home connection.

Minka, I'm more than delighted to see a limerick in German here, and I can even mostly read it. Who is this rhyming old man learning to speak openly? I feel I should hint. He gained fame blogging on cave walls about his hunting exploits. *Throws juicy fish*

You too, Jamie Dawn.
No encouragement comes without trust.
And nothing shines golder than rust.
An old friend with praise
And truffles on trays
Gave communion and then damn near cussed.

quilldancer said...

Too much talent here today!

The Old Mule said...

It is good to know that I am not the only person under 80 who enjoys WWDTM. And I promise, that is no weapons of mass destruction related activity. Clever Kerry quote.

Mule

puppybrose said...

There was a young cynic I knew,
Whose outlook on Life was askew,
Once, when asked, "Why so glum?"
He said, smiling, "'Tis fun!"
"I'm curmudgeonly, that's what I do."

Jamie Dawn said...

Ha, ha, ha!

Hell's fire awaits thee for sure
Your heart, now we know, is not pure
The D-word you wrote
And for that must be smote
No truffles for eternity, sir.

tsduff said...

There was a dry dawgie called Doug
The face of a beagle his mug
Wry wit and dry humor
His gloomer and doomer
Offset by each virtual hug

cooper said...

I get it, I'm not a poet. ;)

That was splendid dead dawg, now we have to work on your pomposity.

Doug said...

Quilly, nothing that ought to intimidate you.

Mule, I was afraid you'd say "under 40." Tick tock tick tock.

Puppy, I love it.

Haha yourself, Jamie Dawn.
Faith is not mere revelation.
When a poor man seeks his salvation,
The preacher at the dais
Shares freely God's grace
While his wife hands out condemnation.


Great, Terry! I have found a safe place to be myself among those who share my orientation. But when did you see me hug?

Cooper, my pomposity is grand and unique. But I'm barely a poet with word. You have so many media to versify.

shayna said...

Wow... I have been gone for about a month and things here are changing. I like change! :)

a4g said...

Despite Doug's emotional pleas,
Our silence ruin'd Special Wens-dees,
So in vengeance he haunts us,
With... a business conference?!?!?,
For next week, the threat: RECIPES!

puppybrose said...

a4g: that was excellent.

Bolting out of the closet, Doug runs,
Cramping up both his legs, and his buns,
With a tear in his eye,
He is last heard to cry,
"One more crack, and I'm getting my guns!"

Indeterminacy said...

I wrote a poem once but it isn't a limerick:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
If this poem were shorter
It'd be a haiku

actonbell said...

Woohoo, great story, Doug:) Did anyone make up a limerick about YOU? I mean besides TLP. Ever wish you were from Nantucket?

Good morning!

Doug said...

Change is good, Shayna. Nive to see you back.

a4g, and the week after will be commentary. Just you wait and see. Well done, anyway.

Puppy, don't make me come up there.

Indie, that's funny.

Actonbell, who says I'm not? Morning!

logo™ said...

I'm late, I'm late, where are my gloves?
Doug, I love that you did that with your job title. These are the sorts of things I do and the reactions are alway telling, if not entertaining. Wait, Wait is fun stuff, I wish it were on at a better time for me, I don't get to listen as often as I'd like. I love the new Wednesday feature, you cuddly curmudgeon, you!

Doug said...

Ah, Logo, let me introduce you to the miracle of podcasting. I usually listen to Wait! Wait! on Monday morning when I get to the office.

Elisabeth said...

Fun! I think that would make me a wannabe limericist

Doug said...

Welcome, Elisabeth. I see you're well on your way.