Here are the winning entries, and several runners-up, for the first and last annual POCKET-GOPHER- LICE LIMERICK COMPETITION, for the best (NEWLY composed!) limerick that elucidates the following research report, which was brought to our attention by investigator Diana A. Rogers:
"Comparative Body Size Relationships in Pocket Gophers and Their Chewing Lice," Serge Morand, Mark S. Hafner, Roderic D.M. Page, and David l. Reed, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 70, no. 2, June 1, 2000, pp. 239-49. The authors, who are variously at the Universite de Perpignan, Louisiana State University, and the University of Glasgow, explain that:
Our study of gopher hair-shaft diameter and louse head-groove dimensions suggest that there is a "lock-and-key" relationship between these two anatomical features.
Contest requirements were that the rhymes actually do, and that the limerick at least pretends to adhere to classic limerick form.
INVESTIGATOR LEILA Z. HADJ-CHIKH:
A louse that could leave like a rocket
Stayed put on a Thomomy's pocket.
The louse only gripped
On gophers equipped
With hairs that could fit in its socket.
INVESTIGATOR GREG CARTER:
Pocket Gopher said, "Isn't that nice?
They've been researching my chewing lice,
And the width of my hair
Doth directly compare
With the size of their head-groove device!"
INVESTIGATOR JUDITH PHILIP:
A louse wanted a chew
at a pocket gopher or two.
He chose for his host
one whose fur was the most
fitting. Well, wouldn't you?
INVESTIGATOR GARY DRYFOOS:
As the hair on our gopher grows thicker
So, too, do the lice there that lick 'er.
's a "lock-and-a-key" thing.
The lice just get fatter, and snicker.
Some notable runners-up:
INVESTIGATOR RICHARD BLEILER:
Said the pocket gopher to me:
We are the lock and lice are the key.
We dig and they chew,
And that's all we both do,
As anyone* can plainly see.
[*Morand, Hafner, Page, and Reed]
INVESTIGATOR PETER MOORE:
Hanging on to the hair of a gopher
Was a louse who's a bit of a loafer.
Staying close to the hide
It can have a free ride
From the host that it treats as its chauffeur.
INVESTIGATOR GARY HALLOCK:
To average layman or bloke
This study seems just a bad joke,
But lice lovers knew
When funding came through
That researchers would gopher broke.
INVESTIGATOR GARRISON HILLIARD:
Many a sad gopher is put to the test
Being plagued by a grooved head pest
Big gopher hair
Makes conditions quite fair
For a place of safe louse-y rest.
INVESTIGATOR WARD SILVER:
Pocket gophers are usually nice,
Being ten times more mellow than mice.
They don't mind, if teased
That their hair shafts are seized
By highly evolved types of lice.
INVESTIGATOR DAVID MARPLES
"In view of the current dichotomy of opinion on biology teaching in the USA, I propose the following:"
The fit of the gopher's head-lice,
With it's hairs is remarkably nice.
Co-evolved they must be,
Or designed by Big G?
Teach both, if you want my advice!
INVESTIGATOR IAN PHILIP [FATHER OF WINNING POET JUDITH]:
The Creator, at work on a gopher,
Saw a louse (left around by some loafer.)
"If we give it a socket,
The gopher could dock it,"
He thought -- and relaxed on his sofa.
© Copyright 2002 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)
This is a HotAIR feature. For a complete list of features,
see What's New.