Day 303: Prim Whim

That morning at the Emerald Victorian, Laetitia contemplated her next move.  Cornwall had been delightful, but it was time to move north and east and do the rest of England and Wales and Scotland.  She picked up Bailey’s and Hurst’s “Rude” books and looked for some place-names in Devon that might lend themselves to limericks and she found two, but before they went to them, they would go to Plymouth.

Laetitia and her group had a morning walk around Fowey and left town about 10:00 am. Priscilla Prim and Lulu LaFarge were on the trip today. They decided to continue to join the group each day as long as it was in Cornwall.  Laetitia observed that Priscilla was not quite as “prim” as she used to be and was beginning to pick up some of Lulu’s coarse language.  She also noticed that their conversations were often somewhat less than ladylike.  Yesterday, she had overheard Lulu instructing Priscilla on how to squat on the rim of the toilet stool in order to avoid what had happened to her in Flushing.

The group drove over Padstow, a Medieval harbor town, known for its “Doom Bar,” which isn’t a licensed premises where people drink themselves to death but rather a sand bar where many ships have run aground.  They visited the church at St. Enodoc, where John Betjeman, once the Poet Laureate of England, is buried.  The church has had a struggle to keep itself from being buried too.  It is near a surfing beach and has a constant battle to keep from being covered over with wind-blown sand.

Laetitia decided that her group needed to have one last Cornish pasty before leaving Cornwall, so they stopped for lunch at a restaurant that advertised Cornish fare.  After lunch there was the usual exodus to the loos.  As the group began to assemble to board the bus, the quiet buzz of conversation was interrupted by a loud burst of profanity emanating from the lady’s loo.  A short time later, Priscilla Prim emerged with a wet shoe.

That afternoon, they went to the ruined castle at Tintagel.  The present ruin is Norman, but there are a number of traditions indicating that there was a previous castle on the spot that was associated with King Arthur, either as his birthplace, or, as the location of Camelot.  They made a stop at a large country manor, Lanhydrock House before heading for their hotel in Plymouth for dinner where Laetitia presented the limerick of the day.

Shrieked a delicate lady, Miss Prim,
Who had gone into the loo on a whim,
Words to make a tar blush
When before she could flush
She had slipped from her perch on the brim.

Day 295: Royal Flush

Laetitia decided to meet her group at Flushing, a seaside village, eleven miles from Truro.  Flushing is a lovely community that has a lot to offer tourists, but, Laetitia had chosen it because it’s one of the places listed in Bailey’s and Hurst’s Rude UK.  It was named after a town in Holland by some Dutch engineers who were there building its quays.  The town is famed for its Regatta held every year in July and for repelling the Spanish Armada when it tried to land there.

While they were having lunch in a seaside restaurant, Laetitia sat at the bar talking to the bartender.  Their conversation was interrupted by a shriek from the ladies’ room.  A few moments later, a barrister’s daughter from her group named Priscilla Prim emerged dripping wet from the door.  As the restaurant staff converged on the room with mops, Laetitia tried to console Ms Prim who was very distraught.  Laetitia asked her dress and shoe size, rushed off to buy her new things to wear, found a place where she could shower and change, and dropped her wet clothes off at a local laundry.  When Ms Prim returned to the group, Laetitia learned what had happened.  The loo was an old fashioned one with a very large water closet and it had become clogged.  When she flushed, she found the experience uplifting though not in a good way.  That night at dinner, Laetitia presented her limerick to the group.

In a clogged loo, a barrister’s daughter
Went to pass some superfluous water
But to her dismay
She floated away
When she flushed and the rising tide caught her.

Day 96: Debased Vase

With a population of around 73,000, Galway is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Located on the River Corrib near where it empties into Galway Bay, it is one of Ireland’s major western ports. It is a cultural center with a lively music and theater scene, including performances in the Irish language. The Galway Arts Festival takes place every summer and attracts writers, musicians, comedians, and other artists from around the world. Laetitia took her group to the festival. While they were watching the parade, a woman in her group, named Faye, whispered to Laetitia that she had to find a loo and dashed off in the direction of a pub. When she returned, Faye whispered what became the limerick of the day.

While racing to heed nature’s call, Faye
Ran into a pub down in Galway
But lost her right shoe
On the way to the loo
So used a large vase in the hallway.

Day 90: Alien Amor

Lisdoonvarna, in County Clare, is a spa town of fewer than 1,000 people most of the year. In September, 40,000 singles from all over the world go there for the annual Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. Some obviously go there seeking a mate for life, others perhaps a mate for just an evening or two, and still others, married or single, just for a good time. The festival features traditional Irish music and dance, horseracing, and speed dating. There is also a contest to choose Mr. Lisdoonvarna, the most eligible bachelor, and the Queen of the Burren, the most eligible bachelorette.

Laetitia and her group were standing in a crowd in Lisdoonvarna listening to a ceili band when a disheveled middle-aged American woman came running through the crowd yelling something about an alien. The news spread, and a crowd rapidly surrounded her, but Laetitia was able to get close to hear what she was saying. Her story was that she had left the main area of the festival in search of a loo and had found herself in a secluded place where she encountered an alien. He touched her in such a way that that she was unable to resist his advances. The woman, who said she was Lorna from Spring Valley, Wisconsin, described the experience as cosmic, though horrifying, and said she needed a drink. Several men rushed forward for the honor, and she left with one of them.

Her account was presented in a very convincing manner. She didn’t seem like the kind of down-to-earth person who would just make something up and many in the crowd believed her story. There were comments like, “Wow, this festival is more popular than I thought; imagine drawing folks from other planets.” However, others were skeptical. Laetitia also heard questions such as, “Does she mean an alien from outer space or just some other country?” Next to Laetitia was a man with a broad grin on his face. When Laetitia asked him why, he said, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from Elmwood, Wisconsin. Spring Valley isn’t far away. Each July, Elmwood has a UFO festival. She does this act there every summer. It usually gets her a free drink or two and sometimes a man for the evening.” Laetitia thanked him; he and Lorna had given her the limerick of the day.

Though most knew it likely a yarn, a
Wild rumor engulfed Lisdoonvarna
Of the alien abduction
And cosmic seduction
Of a matronly lady named Lorna.