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Rusty Saber

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by Joe McAdoo

Bring up the lights on the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra playing "Ode to Joy." Cue the Radio City Rockettes doing massive high kicks; cue trumpet fanfare, stage left, and then drum roll, stage right. Single spotlight, stage center, on old guy with a beard. The old guy speaks:

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, here they are: The winners of the Almost Annual Rusty Limerick Contest!" (A few more high kicks from the Rockettes I sort of like that; I'm not so old that I don't enjoy a high kick or two.)

Before announcing the winners, I want to pay homage to Gary Blankenship, of Springfield, whose entry in the contest was written prior to the hotel/motel sales tax election in February.

The SBJ editor printed it earlier when it was most timely. Since it was written for this contest, it deserves to be reprinted here:

This year we all should go vote

Or together we'll end up the goat;

If the hotel tax fails

It takes the wind from our sales

And 'round the town we'll proceed with the moat. Gary Blankenship

From Branson, Joyce Thompson, who refers to herself as the "Owner and General Flunky of Taney County Title & Escrow" (I like people who don't take their titles too seriously) comes this Honorable Mention limerick:

To write a limerick is very hard

For some of them we must beg pard(on)

On and on we go

When to stop we don't know;

It's certainly not slick like lard.

Judy Thompson (We'll hear more from her later.)

From Stella Harrison, Springfield,

the co-winner of the first limerick contest, comes this one, which was inspired by the recent Rusty Saber column about No Trespassing signs that might work.

"I'll bet you would never have to worry about anyone breaking into your house with this limerick on your door," she writes. (I really, really like this entry, but we need to pass the winners around.)

Honey, open the door,

It's unlocked you will see

The kids are at grandma's with the dog and me

We still love you my dear

We ran out of fear

'Cause your anaconda has swallowed my key. Stella Harrison

SBJ must have a high pass-around-readership at Branson's Taney County Title & Escrow, because our fourth-place winner, Diane Villars, also works there, where she "manages the manager."

A limerick is a lovely thing,

Its words a laugh or smile bring

Or sometimes it is gasps

When proprieties lapse

And your words come out meandering. Diane Villars

The Third-Place winner is Angela Todd, of Springfield, who titles her masterpiece "Prom":

There once was a teenager named Belle

Who tripped on her satin dress and fell.

Her high heel got caught,

She ended up distraught

And screamed she'd had the night from hell. Angela Todd

The tension mounts. Second Place goes to the aforementioned Joyce Thompson of Branson:

I have a large high-up wheeled bike;

To learn to ride was what I would like.

But husband Jon went first.

Now that Jon needs a nurse

That high-wheeled bike must take a hike. Joyce Thompson

And the winner is (drums, trumpets and Rockettes, please) Trudie Courtney, of Springfield, who will receive an autographed copy of (trumpets, please) "McAdoo About Nothing."

As the mom of teen boys I do strive

Just to simply keep them alive.

So why, when it's apparent

Their common sense is aberrant

Do we give them a license to drive?

Trudie Courtney

Thanks to all who entered. You are all winners with me!

Boston Pops Symphony closes with "America the Beautiful"...

(Joe McAdoo is former chairman of the Drury College Communications Department and a Springfield public relations consultant.)

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