on this page may be offensive to some readers
Kurt. Fates Worse Than Death: An Autobiographical Collage.
Berkley, 1992. 176-77.
An eccentric British millionaire died and left what was to be an
enormous prize for the wittiest original limerick. He acknowledged
in his will that the wittiest limericks tended to be the bawdiest
as well, so that ribaldry (even of the coarsest sort) was not to
disqualify any entry for the prize. So a blue-ribbon (but not bluenose)
jury was formed and limericks arrived by the ton. People (being
British) could talk of nothing else. The jurors at last announced
that the contest had been won by a housewife in East Anglia. Their
decision was not only unanimous but hilarious. The winning entry
was surely the wittiest limerick in the world, but unfortunately
so obscene that it could never be made public in any form.
The country of course went mad with curiosity, as would anybody
upon hearing the premise of this perfect tale. The judges were adamant
in both their delight with the winning limerick and their belief
that the civilized world could never weather its indecency. So everybody
went after the author, a suddenly rich and famous housewife, the
seeming soul of propriety. She agreed with the judges that her prize
entry was so offensive, although brilliantly witty, that there was
no alternative to their and her carrying the five lines to their
graves. Winston Churchill himself, however, since the war effort
had come to a halt because of her, prevailed on her to go on the
BBC and recite her limerick, using the empty sound "dah"
for the syllable of any word unfit for the ears of a family audience.
So she did it.
This was the bowdlerized limerick which went out over the air:
Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah,
Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah!
Dah dah dah dah dah,
Dah dah dah dah dah!
Dah dah dah dah dah fucking cunt.