Posts Tagged ‘limerick contest’

And the winner is …

October 28, 2009

colourful prize ribbonIt’s October 28, the day we announce the winner in our MillarLITE limerick contest. This was not an easy decision! Entries came in from across town – and across the world! That’s what happens with blogs; the internet is a global community, so readers (and limerick writers) can be anywhere.

Since I knew some of the entrants – and I loved all of the entries – I called in backup judges to help me choose among my favourites. Using blind judging (not blind judges! – they could all see, they just weren’t shown entrants’ names) along with a complex rating system (which I would explain, if I were not mathematically challenged), our judges definitively decided we had a tie. Yikes. Additional judges were enlisted, their votes were tallied, and we STILL had a tie. Doug Smiling winnerThen I thought to check names, and realized that Doug Harris had tied with himself! So Doug Harris of Stockton-on-Tees, England, UK  is indisputably the winner of our MillarLITE Limerick Contest. Congratulations, Doug!

Because Doug graciously agreed that any of his limericks that made the finalist shortlist could be posted here, readers get to enjoy both limericks. You can decide for yourself which one is your first choice!  Here’s one:

Tombstone_textThe limerick’s known for its wit
And being straightforward – that’s it!
It cuts to the chase
(Well, there isn’t much space)
One might, on my headstone, just fit.
             – Doug Harris

Well said, Doug! … Now you’ve got me thinking about my own epitaph … “A writer who hailed from Nanaimo,  Spent all of her time trying to rhyme-o … Nah … I hope I’ve got a few years left to figure that one out).

Here’s another one by Doug:

IrelandA fellow who hailed from Dún Laoghaire
Put forward a wonderful thaoghaire:
Towing Ireland by boat
To the Azure de Côte
Might make weather in summer less draoghaire.
             – Doug Harris

Some of our judges weren’t sure how to pronounce the Anglicized name of this Irish town on Dublin’s “Riviera,” but if you think  “theory” and “dreary” for lines two and five, you’ll get it right.  Very clever, Doug! 

And lucky us!  Our other two finalists also agreed to have their entries posted:

tree“Now Paddy,” said Seamus McGrew
“Just look at this advert, would you?”
dese blokes in ‘ere tell us
dey’re wantin’ tree fellers –
The pity is, we’re only two.”
       Charles (Chompy) Brody

Great fun!   Chompy says he’s “somewhere in the Middle East” right now, although he hails from the UK. He’s clearly got the limerick-writing knack, wherever on earth he is. 🙂

Another finalist from right here in Nanaimo also had fun playing with spellings in our English language:

SpellingThe foreigner shouted, “Enough!
I’m finding the going too rough
When it comes to spelling
I find it quite quelling
I can’t understand half this stough.”
       – Deirdre Godwin

Well done, Doug, Chompy and Deirdre! … and thanks to everyone who had fun writing and sharing their witty entries. Doug’s prize – a copy of One Sweet Ride – will soon be winging its way across the Atlantic, and our other finalists will receive an electronic copy of one of my short stories, as thanks for allowing their limericks to be posted. (If you didn’t win, but you’d like to purchase a copy of One Sweet Ride online or via e-mail, just visit the One Sweet Ride website. Shipping starts next week.)

 I can’t help it, I just love limericks. Thanks again to all who entered – and a special thanks to Doug, Chompy and Deirdre for making ME smile!

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.
Limericks are the property of their writers.


Join me in the Winner’s Circle

October 21, 2009

J K Galbraith medallionI usually keep the focus on “funny” in MillarLITE, but I can’t resist sharing some exciting news. I was delighted to learn, this past week, that I’ve been awarded the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award for a serious short story I wrote called “The Insomniac.”

Yes, I do write serious material (although I often manage to sneak some humour into my serious writing too). John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the brilliant minds of our time. An internationally acclaimed economist and ambassador, he authored four dozen books and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1997. He also received the American Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice!

To have my name in any way linked with Galbraith’s is, for me, a huge honour; to be the first woman to earn the award since its inception is the icing on my cake! Woman at computerIf your computer screen is flickering, it’s because I am jumping up and down in excitement – do not call your internet service provider!

If you want to read “The Insomniac,” you’ll find it posted on the John Kenneth Galbraith site. If you’d rather flip the dial back to funny, I’m fine with that too, because today is the last day for you to submit funny limericks to the MillarLITE limerick contest. You have until midnight Pacific Time today (October 21, 2009) to e-mail your entry (or two, or three) to

Just a reminder: while limericks are sometimes bawdy, keep your submissions light, and clean! When it comes to S-E-X, this is as risqué as we get:

Robin Red BreastA robin complained in her nest:
“I wish he would give it a rest!
I married a leg-man
But now, since the eggs, man,
He’s crazy about my red breast!”

OSR_book coverIf your limerick wins, you’ll receive an autographed copy of One Sweet Ride, an anthology being released in November, 2009, which contains three of my short stories, along with the poetry and prose of other Vancouver Island writers. And your winning limerick will be posted here, on October 28th! Full contest details here.

winning cupI can’t wait to read your limericks. Perhaps you’ll be the one to join me in the winner’s circle!

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry – before midnight, Pacific Time, tonight (Oct. 21, 2009)!

Ideas: The Good, The Bad and The Boneheaded

October 14, 2009

Bright Idea lightbulbLast week’s post about bad ideas got me thinking about ideas in general – the Bright, the Not-So-Bright, and the Boldly Boneheaded. While Blisterpack (for me) leads the Bonehead pack, it’s had lots of “dim whim” contenders over the years. Remember the K-tel Clever Cutter? It was a pair of scissors  – well, actually not a pair … just one blade, and a mini cutting board where the opposing blade ought to be! One of many brilliant inventions I’ve packaged up for garage sales after cleaning the kitchen and stemming the arterial bleeding.

Thighmaster 001One I haven’t been able to bring myself to part with yet is my ThighMaster™. I haven’t actually gotten around to using my ThighMaster™, but I can’t quite stop believing in its potential. I mean, have you seen Suzanne Somers’ thighs lately? They still look good! Plus my ThighMaster™ has no sharp edges, so it has yet to hurt me. It seems like a great idea!

How do they come up with these ideas? I could get rich if I could come up with some myself! I think it was Linus Pauling who said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” Easy for him to say. He was a genius in the fields of quantum chemistry, molecular biology and orthomolecular medicine. When I think of “orthomolecular medicine,” I picture teensy little molecules wearing itty bitty little orthopedic sneakers. Clearly Linus and I are not in the same idea league.

Still, I’ve had the odd good idea over the years. A few have even shown up in my limericks.

Bright Idea in BedHere’s a practical one you can put to use tonight!

The secret of farting in bed
Is to pull the sheets snug ’round your head.
Now, discreetly, you moan
And deplete the ozone —
But lie still, or the damage will spread.

I hope that will help prime your idea pump, because time’s running out on the MillarLITE Limerick Contest. Your entry (or two, or three) must be e-mailed by next Wednesday, October 21st to be considered! Details here. I can’t wait to read your best ideas!

What boneheaded ideas have you spent your hard-earned dollars on?

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.

Bad Hair and Worse Ideas

October 7, 2009

Bad Hair DayMy curling iron went kaput. I plugged it in, and the red little button that says “Relax, honey, I’m here to help – refused to light up. Betrayed by my best buddy. I’d been abandoned to confront, alone, that most feared of all potential female catastrophes: The Bad Hair Day.

I’ve had too many to count. In fact, I’ve been having a bad hair decade. As a child, I used to think it was funny that my mother and some of her sisters had thinning hair. (Tee hee, I can see auntie’s scalp!) Little did I know that when Fate shuffled the DNA deck, it had dealt me the same card! With the Ace of Straight thrown in for good measure. So to say I rely on electrical allies like my curling iron is an understatement.

Curling ironEvery woman knows that a day that begins as a Bad Hair Day will shortly go from bad to worse. I headed out to buy a replacement curling iron. Drivers who appeared ignorant of the fact that I was facing a hair emergency (or were just plain ignorant) cut me off at every turn. Customers with trifling ailments had already snatched up all the parking spots near the pharmacy, forcing me to slouch my way in from the back lot, hoping no one I knew would spot me wearing that ridiculous hat. And then I saw it: every curling iron on the display was packaged in BLISTER PACK!

Blister pack leads the pack when it comes to my pet peeves. Not only are blister packs environmentally awful, they are virtually impossible to break into. Perhaps the athletically-inclined can actually wrestle these clamshells into submission, but – as previously mentioned – I am a klutz. I have many and varied scars to show for my klutziness – a good number of them obtained by approaching blister packs with sharp objects in an effort to make them give up their goodies. Putting a blister pack in my hands is a very bad idea. The blister pack itself is a bad idea – and the genius who came up with it should be plastic-wrapped permanently!

Still, a bad hair emergency trumps a bad idea – so I bought the blasted thing (after swinging by the band-aid aisle for the soon-to-be-needed reinforcements).

So much for bad hair, and bad ideas.  Have you had any GOOD ideas for limericks?

Sometimes good ideas can be hard to come by for writers.  Perhaps even Shakespeare had problems:

ShakespeareSaid Shakespeare,  “I’m tired.  It’s too hard.
I write. Then I edit, and discard.
I’ve worn out these tights
Writing daytime, and nights!”
She looked, and replied: “There’s no holes, Bard.”

Be sure to submit your best limerick  – or two, or three – to the MillarLITE limerick contest by October 21!  Details here.

What are YOUR pet peeves? Have you had run-ins with blister packs? Bad hair days that led to disasters?  Misery loves company!

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.

Me and my Swiss Cheese Mind

September 30, 2009

I told a lie. Right here in cyberspace, where words float around forever, and nothing can be completely erased. I said my hamburger limerick won second prize in the 1994 Leacock Limerick competition. Imagine my surprise when I looked back into my album, and discovered that it was this limerick that actually won that prize:

CannibalI brought home a nice friend for dinner;
It’s the new guy from work, the beginner.
“Put down that knife,”
Said the cannibal’s wife.
“At this rate, you’ll never get thinner!”

 Oh, well, I knew it was somehow food-related. Still, it bugs me. My memory is definitely on the decline. If I were a computer, I’d be able to add extra RAM and a backup hard drive.  But where is the Geek Squad I can hire to fire up my Personal Recall Quotient?

It’s strictly a do-it-yourself project – and how many of those do I already have on my list! (I’d tell you, but I can’t recall where I put my list.)

My short term memory also sucks. Which is why I’ve switched to sticky notes. The experts suggest making notes to remind ourselves of things as we age. I’m sold on it. I am the largest single purchaser of post-it notes in Staples’ history. I have pens and pads of yellow stickies on virtually every surface in my house, so I can capture my fleeting ideas before they evaporate.

“How is that working for you?” you ask.   How is what working for me?   Oh. Right. My sticky note solution.  Well … here is an actual sampling of the post-it notes currently stuck to my bedside table, gathering dust.

 Note #1:
PVD yellow stickyAn unfortunate choice to begin with, as I can’t immediately recall what midnight brainwave prompted me to print those particular letters in the dark a few nights ago. (I try never to wake Kayak Guy from his kayak dreams by turning on the light.) Let’s see. P. V. D. When in doubt, check Wikipedia. According to Wiki, PVD stands for “physical vapor deposition.” Hmm. As you can see, I think about weighty matters like semi conductors and plasma sputter bombardment while the rest of you are sleeping. Someone has to do it. Let’s move on.

Note #2:
Hmm. Note number two actually appears to be notes number two AND three. Note number three apparently got printed on note number two – and upside down! – which is what happens when it’s dark, and in your sleepy stupor, you previously forgot to remove note number two from the pad.
So note number 2-3 reads:Beth yellow sticky

Which raises the obvious question: Who is Beth? At last, a question I can answer! Beth is a character in the novel I am currently writing. And yes, she is a stalker. However what she is doing stalking ants on my kitchen counter eludes me. Oh, I remember now. My cousin Joanne says you can kill ants by mixing icing sugar with baking soda, which they eat and carry home to their Queen to eat. AntI googled it, and learned that something about the mix causes gas in their little ant stomachs which they cannot eliminate, which causes them to explode. I had been meaning to explode some ants, but I kept forgetting. That part was actually note #4!

What all this has to do with (upside down) Oprah and pork chop bones eludes me, but it may still come back. In the meantime, K.G. wants to know when I’m going to tackle cleaning up all the “yellow stickie” clutter that’s been accumulating. I just tell him it’s on my “list.” 🙂

I hope submitting a limerick to the MillarLITE limerick contest is on your “to do” list!  You have till Oct. 21 to get it in. Details here.

How’s your memory holding up?  Any tips you’d care to share? And does anybody know what I meant by pvd?

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.

Strange creatures I have known

September 23, 2009

Sea monsterIt’s all over the news: strange creatures have been sighted on Vancouver Island! And right in my neck of the woods! A team of creature hunters is looking for evidence of a serpent-like animal in Cameron Lake.  Which is scarcely a stone’s throw from Nanaimo. If I had a good arm, and an aeronomically-designed stone, I could practically bop the beast on the head!

Numerous sightings since 2004 have convinced John Kirk, the co-founder of the B.C. Scientific Cryptozoology Club to come and take a closer look. (Kirk is no slouch when it comes to stalking weird critters. He’s tracked a jungle dinosaur in Africa and looked for the legendary Ogopogo in Okanagan Lake!)

If he wants to see some strange creatures here on the Island, I suggest he check out the kayakers. I’m not sure what an Ogopogo is, but I think one walked into my garage last Wednesday. Turned out it was my Kayak Guy returning from a five day paddle. Kayakers already look like an alternate life form in their black neoprene Farmer John wetsuits and kayak boots. This particular organism had sprouted five days’ growth of grey beard and smelled like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. (He remembered to pack all his kayak gear, but forgot his shaving kit and toothbrush!)

a rose from pierreYes, cryptozoologers, there are some strange creatures here on the Island. And to think one is married to me – the girl who was once pinned to Pierre Trudeau! Ah yes. The PM once pinned a rose on me – the very rose from his own lapel! Well, OK, he handed it to me across a head table, and I pinned it on as I walked back to my seat. (And wore it for days. Until it was just a stem his fingers had touched.) In my mind, were were “pinned.”

Pierre’s not the only Canadian Prime Minister who’s crossed my path. I bumped into John Diefenbaker – literally – on a stairwell in the Parliament Buildings during my school’s Grade Eight trip. I told you I was a klutz. (Or he was. I recall he stumbled, grabbed for the handrail, and didn’t apologize – so I think it was me.) Things went better with Kim Campbell. She was only in office for about ten minutes, but she found time to sign a gold-sealed congratulatory letter to me when my children’s peace poem won an international prize. Nice!

But politicians can be “strange creatures” too. Take Brian Mulroney. (Some would say, “take him – please.”) He doesn’t keep in touch – but why would he? I’ve skewered him in a number of limericks, including this one, published in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record on the eve of Canada’s disastrous (for the PC’s) October 1993 election:

Pizza sliceVote for Eenie – or Meenie – or Moe;
Order Parliament Pizza to Go.
“Mozzarella Mulroney”
Had too much Baloney –
But if Grits give us Zits, we’ll eat Crow.

Which brings us back to our limerick contest! You have till October 21 to try your hand at writing your own limerick about a current-day “Eenie” or “Meenie” – or any other strange creatures that happen to catch your attention. See  Let’s Hear it for Limericks! for full contest details. You could win a copy of One Sweet Ride – an anthology featuring poetry and prose by some of Vancouver Island’s strange – but wonderful – writers! 🙂

© Judith Millar 2009.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.

U 2 can Talk Twinglish

September 16, 2009

Twitter bird funnyAs you know if you’ve read earlier posts, I’ve been skulking around the internet universe (aka the Twitterverse), trying to learn the lingo, stalking Prince Charles and otherwise making my presence felt. And it IS being felt. I think I’ve intimidated HRH! He has not twittered since I snitched on him for enjoying a lazy TV day in his pj’s.

I may not have learned what’s up with Charles lately, but there are some fascinating things being tweeted around. Did you know that someone is surreptitiously shooting a movie inside a California IKEA? Yup, they are secretly shooting scenes spoofing reality TV shows in the room settings of the Burbank store. You can watch episodes of “IKEA Heights” on YouTube. The things I’ve learned!

Mostly I’m learning how to text, tweet and talk Twinglish. Which requires learning how to squish your message into 140 characters or less. That’s often done using acronyms and initials. If you, like me, are acronymically-challenged, listen up and learn:

teacher ASL blackboardIf you are asked for your ASL, think twice about your response. You are being asked for your Age, Sex and Location. If asked, I plan to respond: NYB (none of your business), NY#*#B (none of your blinking business), or – my personal favourite – 101,NoTKS2TRD,DEGT (101 yrs old, no thanks too tired, don’t even go there).

On the other hand, a caring texter or tweeter may just ask: WEU? (What’s Eating You?)  If your relationship’s got you down, you might respond: BF (Boyfriend), GF (Girlfriend) or SO (Significant Other). Or maybe just SOS (same old stuff). I’m catching on to Twinglish, but I can’t say I care for it. I’ve always hated acronyms. I love words – WHOLE words. That’s why I write – and why I’ve launched the MillarLITE Limerick Contest. I just LOVE the English language! But sometimes it’s even CRAZIER than Twinglish. You have to admit . . .


This language of ours is absurd!
“Beard” sounds quite different than “heard.”
“Laughter” and “daughter”
Don’t rhyme like they oughter:
It’s part of a plaught – mark my whirred!

… and the past tense is even worse …

TapI speak. In the past tense, I spoke.
Taps leak.  In the past, did they loke?
My teacher once taught it;
She praught till I got it:
I creak — so, in future, I’ll croak!

Dubioius frog


Hope these inspire you to try your hand at your own limericks. See  Let’s Hear it for Limericks! for full contest details. Keep them coming, and keep me laughing!

© Judith Millar 2009.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.

Let’s hear it for Limericks!

September 9, 2009

HamburgerI just finished reading Never Shoot A Stampede Queen, Mark Leiren-Young’s collection of true-life tall tales about a rookie reporter’s adventures in Canada’s still-very-wild West.  In keeping with MillarLITE’s commitment to bring more humour into your life, I recommend you check it out. The comic memoir earned BC’s Leiren-Young the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour – and deservedly so. Still, would it sound like sour grapes to point out that Leiren-Young is – how shall I put this? – of the masculine persuasion?

It is a persuasion shared by many – in fact most – of his medal-winning counterparts. Since the inception of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 1947, only four female humorists have earned the honour. (The most recent was Marsha Boulton who won for Letters from the Country – another great, and recommended, read – in 1996.)  Hmm. Do the math! We female humorists are mostly toiling away in obscurity. It is time to stand up and be counted. So, in a shameless bit of self-promotion, I shall step up first.

You see, I too have won a Leacock award. In fact, several. Back in the good old days when the Leacock folks also ran a Leacock Limerick competition, I pocketed a $500 second prize (1994), and earned several honorable mentions in other years. Bill Richardson (the Medal for Humour winner that year) actually handwrote me a note calling me a “master limerick writer.” (I appreciated it, and have kept it, in spite of his masculine persuasion.)

The time has come. MillarLITE is hereby devoting some blog space to bringing limericks back into the winners’ circle!  I’ve decided to share my winning Leacock limerick – and then, invite you to share your best limerick, and perhaps win a prize. Here’s mine:

Smiling Hamburger 1The hamburger saw it was true.
The event was a beef barbecue.
He mustard a smile
And went out in style
Yelling, “Fate’ll ketchup with you too.”

OK, I’m not Margaret Atwood. Nor are you. (I know this, since I have it on good authority that Margaret Atwood does not read my blog. Which sucks.) Still, that limerick won me $18.51 per word, which is the best money I’ve ever made writing! Not that that’s what you’ll win if YOUR limerick wins the MillarLITE Limerick Contest. Who do you think I am – the Leacock Foundation?

OSR_book coverThe winner of this limerick contest will win an advance copy of One Sweet Ride, an anthology being released in November, 2009 which contains three of my humorous short stories (along with lots of other great poetry and prose by Vancouver Island writers). You will enjoy!

There’s no fee to enter, and you can send a maximum of three limericks. (You must have written them yourself, in English.) You have six weeks to polish and send in your best five, 10 or 15 lines! E-mail them to – but do it by the deadline: October 21. The winner will be announced on October 28th – and, by entering, agrees to having his or her limerick posted on this blog. And while limericks are sometimes bawdy, this is a family blog, so keep them light, and clean!

What do I mean?  Well, when it comes to sex . . .

 BeeThe bumblebee said to the bird,
“I’m wondering what you have heard.”
“If you’re speaking of sex,”
She replied, “I’m perplexed –
But if half of it’s true, it’s absurd.”

© Judith Millar 2009.

E-mail limerick entries to, subject line: Limerick Contest Entry.