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More Texas Limericks

A few weeks ago I did a column about that great literary form—the limerick. The piece was inspired by a David Stewart article in the September 2002 issue of Smithsonian. I undertook a search to find limericks related to Texas. I located a few and presented to you along with my scholarly analysis. I requested your help in finding additional limericks about Texas and I have been whelmed by your response. I now have page after page of Texas limericks of which only 8 are fit to publish. It should be noted that many limericks are published anonymously so are immediately in the public domain without attribution. Since most limericks have a tendency toward the risqué, some authors are reluctant to admit authorship.

I will follow the same format as before, i.e., I will present the limerick and a brief scholarly commentary.

The first limerick comes from Dallas and refers to a very exclusive upscale area that is called by some “the land of the overprivledged.” The houses currently available in Highland Park range in price from $300,000 to $30,000,000.

Here’s a young fellow from Dallas
Who lived in a Highland Park palace.
He ate, so I’m told
Off a platter of gold
And drank, so he thought, from a chalice.

The poem was likely not written by someone from Highland Park because no one from Highland Park would take such a self-deprecating view of him/herself. Also, few living in that area would take time off from watching their money to write such a silly poem.

The next poem was probably written before indoor plumbing was widely available—so that would put it in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s.

There were two Lufkin brothers named Byrd.
Each was considered a nerd.
Their outhouse was rotten
And collapsed from the bottom.
That’s where they now lay interred.

The poem expresses the reluctance of the local populace to remove the brothers from the place of their demise. Since it was apparently a somewhat rural location, it served as the final resting place for the Byrd brothers.

It is possible that the next poem was written as advertising copy for a well-known depilatory only to have it rejected by the executives of the product’s manufacturers. Advertising writers who have been disgraced by such rejection often turn their talents to writing trashy limericks. It becomes an addiction which needs professional treatment.

There was a young woman from Bellaire
Whose body was covered with hair.
It was curly and black
And was all down her back
So she got back rubs with Nair.

The following poem has probably been altered so as not to offend the sensitivities of –well sensitive persons.

A hefty young woman from Dalhart
Had lunch in the deli at Wal-Mart.
It gave her much gas
And a pain in her rear
Which she cured with a Texas sized emission. (Toot)

Although the person responsible for altering this poem must have felt he/she was providing a much-needed service, it really took what was very likely a literary gem and rendered it worthless. I don’t even know why I included it in its present condition.

Although Decatur is not just a Texas city (other states have Decaturs as well; see Alabama and Georgia), the attached footnote places the poem clearly in the Texas domain.

A gorgeous young lass from Decatur
Longed for a career in theater.*
On stage she was bad
So the audience got mad
And hit her with a rotten tomater.

* For the sake of rhythm this word must be pronounced in the manner of the Arts and Sciences Dean at Sam Houston State University.

Although Texas has produced many well-known and highly regarded performers, not everyone who aspires to the stage makes it. This poem was probably written to commemorate those who didn’t.

Two young men from Lampasas
Lusted for blond headed lasses.
One liked them tall
The other one small
But both liked them with well-rounded glasses.

This poem is again possibly advertising copy for one of the major optometry companies. There was a period of time when glasses frame-makers considered the small round lenses to be very stylish. It was a reaction against the large horn-rimmed glasses that were popular in the early 1960’s. I never actually saw an ad featuring this poem.

Our capital city is Austin
It’s nice, but it just isn’t Boston.
Here you can get cod.
There you can get scrod.
So you will probably go there more often.

Scrod is a past pluperfect verb form that is almost never used in Texas and probably rarely used even in Boston although it is more likely to be used there than in Texas. On that basis it would seem likely that the poem was written in Massachusetts rather than Texas. That line of reasoning is somewhat suspect because the poem starts, “Our capital city…” and includes the line, “ Here you can get cod,” which would lead one to think we had a Texas author. I don’t know where it was written—maybe in Iowa.

Houston’s a big dirty city.
Its air is polluted and gritty.
Some think it’s not fair
To breath dirty air.
Republicans think that’s a pity.

The author of this poem alludes to the perception that the Republican Party extends special favors to big business, such as not requiring business to meet reasonable clean –air standards. It also recognizes that the air in Houston on most days is the dirtiest in the United States.

Well, there you have it. Installment two of Texas limericks. I will be happy to receive any Texas limericks you find or write. When there are enough fit to print and I’m the mood for limericks, I will share them with you.