"Inspecting a Wound" by Gaspare TraversiPhobia Limerick Riddles, by Jan Darling The Society December 14, 2019 Culture, Humor, Poetry, Riddles 45 Comments Each poem below describes a phobia. Guess what the person is scared of in each. For extra credit try to name the phobia’s official name. Post your answers in the comments section below. Phobia 1 There was a young lady from Snives Who was frightened to open her eyes She feared she would see What never should be— The hair curling out of her thighs. Phobia 2 “I think that I’ve lost it,” she said As she stooped and looked under the bed. “I’ll die with no phone I long for that tone And silence just fills me with dread.” Phobia 3 Dear Santa—don’t come to my house I can cope with a shiny-faced spouse But that stuff on your face Suggests at its base That it’s probably hiding a louse. Phobia 4 Old Sammy would mutter and splutter When viewing a sandwich with butter (Made of nuts that are found When they’re grown on the ground) He’d throw it straight into the gutter. Phobia 5 There once was a man with twelve buns, When into another he runs; He counts them all up But can’t start to sup, For their number is one that he shuns. Phobia 6 Some girls like to have lots of flings And flirt with monarchs and kings But I harbour a fear If I’m anywhere near Those things with colourful wings. Jan Darling is a New Zealander who has worked in Auckland, Wellington, London, Barcelona, New York and Sydney at copywriting and marketing strategy. She has spent her leisure time over sixty years writing poetry and short stories. Now retired, she lives in pastoral New South Wales with her husband Arturo. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 45 Responses Mark F. Stone December 14, 2019 Phobia 5 is Triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Exactly! Do you know if any other numbers have their own special meanings, Mark? One would think that 7 deserves special recognition of its presence in so many spiritual references. Reply Leo Zoutewelle December 14, 2019 Jan, Having never been any good at writing limericks I admire the quality of your fun rhymes. Cheers Leo Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Thank you, Leo. Reply Mark F. Stone December 14, 2019 Phobia 6 is Lepidopterophobia, the fear of butterflies. Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 I wonder what little mechanism in our minds is triggered to express a phobia – and why a person can be absolutely rational in all other departments of life – but have a fear of something as delicate and unthreatening as a butterfly! Does irrationality have a rational reason for existence? Thanks for your answer. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 14, 2019 They are great stuff. We need more feisty limericks. May I suggest two minor fixes for metrical purposes? In “Phobia 6” I’d like to see lines 2 and 5 tightened up like this: And flirt with bright monarchs and kings… Those insects with colourful wings… Reply C.B. Anderson December 14, 2019 Indeed, Joseph, writers of limericks should learn to tighten up and fill out their anapests and amphibrachs, because this short form is driven by the galloping feet of which it is composed. Did I ever tell you about the woman I knew from Nantucket? Never mind. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 15, 2019 This isn’t a limerick, Kip, but it’s a old epitaph from New England and you might like it: This is the grave of Elizabeth Lee — She lived to the age of one hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity — A pretty good record for this vicinity. Jan Darling December 15, 2019 The one about ‘she threw him a bucket, but knew he would duck it’? Naughty CB. My anapests and amphibrachs have been filled out and happily, the bucket did not overflow. Monty December 15, 2019 I agree, CB. With the limerick being such a short form of poetry, and one that is so reliant on a thumping beat . . it stands out like an albino when a beat is missed, as above. With a limerick being so short, There is NO excuse of any sort For a beat to be missed (Or the meter be pissed) . . ‘Cause the beats are a lim’rick’s cohort. (‘pissed’ in Britain means drunk, wobbly) Jan Darling December 15, 2019 I wonder what little mechanism in our minds is triggered to express a phobia – and why a person can be absolutely rational in all other departments of life – but have a fear of something as delicate and unthreatening as a butterfly! Does irrationality have a rational reason for existence? Thanks for your answer. Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Consider them fixed! Thank you Joseph. I must be prone to phobias myself – once I started writing them, I want to go on and on. What would you call a phobia that expresses the fear of being unable to stop writing about phobias? Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 15, 2019 Phobographicophobia. Jan Darling December 16, 2019 Love it!! M. P. Lauretta December 14, 2019 #2 Sedatephobia – the fear of silence? Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Right! Did you arrive at it through the Greek root? Or did you know it? Reply M. P. Lauretta December 14, 2019 #3 Pogonophobia – fear of beards? Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Please tell me you did not already know that word! A reasonable guess could have produced ‘fear of pogo sticks’. (What could be sillier than pogonophilia?) Reply M. P. Lauretta December 14, 2019 #3 Pogonophobia – the fear of beards? Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 14, 2019 #1 Thrixophobia (or Trichophobia) – fear of hair or if the hair is purely figurative in this limerick: Menarchophobia – fear of the onset of female puberty. Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Your suggestions are valid, Joseph. But I planted the specific clue to the word I had in mind in the second line. Reply James A. Tweedie December 15, 2019 And I bet that none of you had to look those words up in an on-line lexicon, right? lol Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 15, 2019 Actually, I made menarchophobia up myself, since there seems to be no ancient Greek word for female puberty. The standard words for puberty (“hebe” and “helikia”) seem to be limited to the male sex. Reply James A. Tweedie December 15, 2019 That’s a good word. I could even understand it! Perhaps the OED and APA would be interested!? Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Are you just phishin’ – or is that your suspicion? Reply Peter Hartley December 15, 2019 Phobia 4 ARACHIBUTYROPHOBIA – peanut butter, although I’d prefer to tell my doctor I had a peanut butter allergy. I wonder what kind of dingbat would use a word like this in a doctor’s surgery and expect to be understood? Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 I get your message – but these are not allergies – they are phobias. Do you, like me, subscribe to the purist point of view? If you can’t pronounce it, you have no right to have it! That should clear out the doctor’s waiting room. How about this as an alternative meaning: Fear of being forced to spread peanut butter onto spiders? Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 15, 2019 Yes — as my dad used to say, a limerick should be “tighter than a duck’s ass, and that’s waterproof.” Reply M. P. Lauretta December 15, 2019 Speaking of asses and limericks… [read with a British accent] — “Training Video” There was a lawmaker of Georgia who had a plump rump like a porker. Yet nobody would know were it not for that show where he bared it and charged – what a plonker! © M. P. Lauretta Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 15, 2019 There was a young girl from Madras Who had a magnificent ass — Not rounded and pink, As you probably think, But was grey, had long ears, and ate grass. M. P. Lauretta December 15, 2019 That’s a great favourite of mine. There’s a video of Garrison Keillor reading it on Youtube, though it’s a fairly long video including many other poems. Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2019 Love it! I shall look it up on Youtube. Thank you MPL. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 15, 2019 A maiden from old Aberistwyth Took grain to the mill to make grist with. The miller’s son Jack Laid her flat on her back And united the organs they pissed with. (Limericks are dirty by nature.) Reply M. P. Lauretta December 15, 2019 Indeed, the fact that (normally) limericks are dirty is what makes the girl of Madras one work so well. I’ve found an old book of limericks here: https://archive.org/details/bookoflimericks00lear Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 16, 2019 That’s the Edward Lear “Book of Limericks” — one of the very earliest publications of that genre of verse. Unfortunately, most of Lear’s limericks are disappointingly dull and lifeless. They lack the real zing and zest of the raunchy off-color ones. Joe Tessitore December 16, 2019 There’s an obscure one by Baring-Gould that’s anything but lifeless: There was a young fellow named Cass Whose ballocks were made out of brass. When they tinkled together They played “Stormy Weather” And lightning shot out of his ass. Reply Joe Tessitore December 16, 2019 One more: There was a young lady of Norway Who hung by her toes in a doorway. She said to her beau: “Just look at me, Joe I think I’ve discovered one more way.” Reply James A. Tweedie December 16, 2019 One good thing about limericks is that they offer the opportunity to use words that would not ordinarily be used in poetry–and use them in humorous, unexpected ways. They are also easy to compose, at least I find them to be. Here’s one I threw together after reading Dr. Salemi’s latest post on this thread. No doubt he knows people like this: A professor of Latin named Mattis, Demonstrated the meaning of “flatus.” Though the room smelled like poo, There was nothing to do, Since he carried a full-tenured status. On the downside, limericks, while good for a smile, are rarely edifying. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 17, 2019 Well, we don’t always need edification. In fact, an edifying limerick would be a complete bore. Here are two classic limericks, not edifying at all: While Titian was mixing rose madder, His model reclined on a ladder. Her position to Titian Suggested coition So climbed up the ladder and had her. The use of the triple rhyme of “Titian,” “position,” and “coition” is brilliant. Or consider this one: There was a young lady from Exeter So pretty that men craned their necks at her. One was even so brave As to take out and wave The distinguishing mark of his sex at her. The utterly unexpected dactylic rhymes with “Exeter” are a stroke of genius. Reply James A. Tweedie December 17, 2019 The lack of edification is why I don’t waste my time writing raunchy limericks. Regarding the ones cited, I suspect we have a divergent understanding as to whether the words “brilliant” and “stroke of genius” are applicable. As I see it, it doesn’t take a genius to think up a rhyme for “bucket” or “mulch it.” Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 17, 2019 Chacun a son gout. Reply Rod Shellshear December 18, 2019 Jan, Being an engineer I am no wordsmith, however, I refer your readers to a book published in 1967 that I highly recommend. It is entitled “The Lure of the Limerick” by William S Baring- Gould. I enjoyed reading your limericks in that they evoke a living picture of each situation described. Reply M. P. Lauretta December 19, 2019 Thanks for the heads-up. I’ve read some very positive reviews so I’ve ordered a copy. I expect there will be some overlap with the Penguin Book of Limericks, which I already have, but there are bound to be many that are not. Reply M. P. Lauretta December 19, 2019 …there. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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