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Nantucket bound 

I received so many responses to the limerick contest that I don’t have space for a column this week, which sucks because there’s plenty to write about.

I wanted you to know that, if I had done a column this week, I might have written about any one, if not all, of the following items. In place of me actually writing anything, please imagine a joke, snarky comment, or deeply moving and penetrating observation. I know, skip that last one.

I might have written about Sheriff Pat Hedges deciding not to run again for sheriff.

I might have written about the briefcase the bomb squad blew up the other day in San Luis Obispo near the old General Hospital and how, before 9-11, we would have done the decent thing and turned it in to lost and found. Now, fueled by paranoia and funded by federal anti-terrorism funds, we call in the bomb squad and blow it open.

I might have written about Paul Brown being the featured attraction at the Madonna fundraiser for the Women’s Shelter.

I might have written about emotional support animals, and what sort of animal I’d seek support from, and in what ways. I might have written about how the local daily had to run a correction to a story about its former publisher. Or I might have written about the former publisher. Or about the latest round of pay and job cuts facing the folks at that paper and how I genuinely, unabashedly, wish them well because, regardless of what the wags say, they’re mixed up in a mess not of their own making.

But I can’t write about any of those things because I started this contest and so many sought the fame and fabulous prizes that come with victory, that I didn’t feel I could blow it off.

Enough already. Here are the winners. They were supposed to be limericks, on a topic of local interest, and rhyme the word purple. I regret that last bit.

Here’s an honorable mention, from Amy.
We’d all be happy as swine
Nothing could be more fine
than sips and slurples
of whites and purples
If water flowed like wine

Mary and Helen get the runner- runner-up for their entry on McCarthy’s bar, which was way too long to print in its entirety. Here’s one part:

The Landlords would choose to not “let.”
So the bar had to move, with regret.
But the locals kept coming.
The juke box kept humming.
“McCarthy’s as good as it gets!”

Just for the record, Mary and Helen rhymed purple with “sweet maple syrple.” Honestly, what was I expecting?

Here’s a runner-up. From “te d’arc.” I give massive chits for the use of “curple,” which means rump. It was offered in a stanza in reference to Sheriff Pat Hedges’ point-of-entry with the federal drug enforcement agents. Do I need to paint a picture? I know I can’t get the image out of my head.

Here’s a different verse on pot-martyr Charles Lynch. (I didn’t know limericks could have more than five lines.)

The brave Knight, name of Lynch, had a mission
to bring healthful, humane relief from unbearable conditions.
Why should such organic meds only piss off the Feds…
when long ago, California had made the transition??!!!

And here’s the winner, from Kirk in Arroyo Grande. Let me know if you want me to, and I’ll print your full name next week. As you know, I lean toward brown paper wrappings and anonymous encounters. I think I liked this one because it is about me, and the subject line in the e-mail was “limperick” but I do need to insist that people stop assuming I’m a man. Was it that whole “Nantucket” reference? Here goes: All the glory, and title to the major metropolitan-area daily newspaper, goes to Kirk for the following.
There once thought a fellow named shredder

t’would be good to give myself a “header”

he contorted, turned purple

but could not get the syrple

and now he’s just older, not better

Nice work, Kirk. Classy, like me. You can pick up your prize at the bankruptcy court in Los Angeles. Your choice of any daily newspaper. If the one you want isn’t available yet, just wait a couple of weeks.

Have I mentioned that I regret the “purple” requirement?

Shredder is thinking of next month’s column. Maybe: The last newspaper headline? Anyone? Send suggestions or whatever to

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