Happy birthday to me (a guest poem)

I had an amazing birthday this year, and two very special homemade presents. One was a birthday card hand-painted by my Dad (I had thought Dad was the writer and Mom was the artist!), and the other was this limerick by my sister, Julie.

Meps travels both hinder and yon
Now that beautiful hair’s almost GONE!*
Still, she’s awesome and nifty,
Though half way to fifty
Her new moniker? Captain Ron!

Julie also provided the perfect ending to my birthday. She was doing a radio show on KLCC, in Eugene, Oregon, and I managed to pull it in over the Internet. Then I called the request line and asked for a song from 1964. She asked, “Which song?” “Any song will do!” I sang out, and only then did she recognize her little sister’s voice, all the way from North Carolina.

She played Sam Cooke’s “That’s Where It’s At” for me. Beaufort, North Carolina: That’s where it’s at!

*Explanatory photos to come…

The Young Julie Schmulie

This is weird, but it’s happened twice! Out of the blue, someone sends me a limerick about a Julie when I need one for my sister of the same name. This one comes from reader IronMan Mike Curtis, and although it’s not a perfect fit (my sister is NOT middle-aged), it is perfectly timed for my sister’s birthday.

Thanks, Mike! But next time, maybe we could call her “a lovely young woman,” instead? Then, as you can see from the photo, it would fit my Julie, too.
Julie 2008
Julie, Schmulie

A middle aged woman named Julie
Feared her next birthday unduly
As the clock struck midnight,
She blanched with sheer fright
As if she’d been possessed by a ghoulie

(Limerick (c) 2009 M. Curtis)

Claire's birthday present

Official Barack Obama Portrait
If you think that equality’s great,
And you wish for a world free from hate,
And you have curly hair,
And your first name is Claire,
Here’s your present! It’s just one day late.

Claire’s birthday was the day before the inauguration of Barack Obama. The photo above is Obama’s official presidential portrait, which we’ll be seeing in federal buildings while he is in office. It’s the first presidential portrait taken with a digital camera.

Zero to sixty in sixty years

“I missed it!” I cried out, aghast.
The birthday of Craig has just passed.
Though he’s now six-zero,
The man is my hero,
‘Cause parties with him are a blast.

This one’s for Captain Craig, Scourge of Lake Union and Environs. The notorious Craig was celebrated in an earlier Mepsnbarry Adventure, That’s Me in the Monkey Mask.

Cakeless Kate

There once was a lady named Kate,
Whose birthday was on this fine date,
She wanted a cake,
But her friends could not bake,
So her candles just sat on a plate.

Here’s a funny coincidence — a reader I’d never met asked me out of the blue for a birthday limerick for her friend, Kate. I dashed this off, then sent a copy to my brother-in-law, whose daughter is named Kate. He wrote back, saying Kate’s birthday was only three days away! What are the chances of that?

Of course, then I got overwhelmed and forgot to post the limerick on June 6th. Silly me…happy belated birthday, to all Kates!

What rhymes with Meps?

I’ve never tried to write a poem about myself. The only word that I can think of that rhymes is “adeps,” a synonym for lard.

But I discovered yesterday that when properly lubricated (see my recipe for the Goombay Smash), my friends can produce birthday limericks right off the cuff. Since Tina just had a birthday (4/27) and Will is about to have one (5/16), I’m gonna write some limericks about them, too. Luckily, I have just the reference…my own article, entitled “How to Write a Birthday Limerick.”

From Tina:
There once was a sailor named Meps
Who’d had poor luck with men, excepts
a sailor named Barry
Who asked her to marry
And so they went up the church steps.

From Will:
There once was a sailor named Meps
Who refused to take her twelve steps
With surprising alarm
She drank with both arms
By morning she cried, “Oh my biceps!!!”

For Tina:
Is it time for a concert, Ms. Tina?
Will your rub board’s sound fill this arena?
For the Zydeco Locals,
Which feature your vocals,
Make me dance like a crazed ballerina.

(If you follow the link to the Zydeco Locals’ website, Tina’s the one on the left, with the rub board.)

Will’s limerick will be coming soon…I have two weeks to work on it, and plenty of material.