Day 200: Bawdy Gaudy

As she walked down Raglan Road toward the Emerald Victorian, Laetitia decided that this would be another day off from conducting a tour. The night before she had gone to a local pub that was sponsoring a limerick contest. The rule was that participants had to present limericks they had written themselves. The prize was a bottle of Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey. Laetitia wasn’t interested in participating herself—it would be too much like a “busman’s holiday”—but she went and enjoyed the limericks of the contest entrants. The contest didn’t begin until 10:00 p.m., so the bar crowd had ample opportunity to consume quite a few drinks.

As most limericks are, the ones presented at the contest were explicitly bawdy, with graphic descriptions of anatomy and action. Laetitia knew many limericks of that kind, but the ones she wrote herself were subtler. She liked “bait and switch” limericks that lure the reader into thinking in a ribald way until the non-bawdy nature of the rhyme is revealed at the end. However limericks of that kind are not to everyone’s taste. That became clear when Maeve, who won the contest, dismissed as tepid all limericks that aren’t bawdy. “Perhaps it’s what one would expect from a woman named after an Irish warrior queen,” Laetitia thought. The contest gave Laetitia the limerick of the day.

Maeve’s limericks were blatantly ribald
And she scorned all the squeamish that quibbled
Said she with a grin
“Though it may be a sin,
I’ve gobbled where others but nibbled.”