Thankfully, Somebody Tweets About Current Events In Limerick Form


Mediaite: The person who introduced me to your Twitter (via a limerick comment you left on an NY Times story) remains floored you don’t have more of a following. I’m surprised myself because it’s not like you operate entirely in a vacuum (exemplified by the NYT comments). Why do you think you’ve remained so under the radar? Lack of general interest in limericks? Lack of self-promotion? Lack of the lucky breaks inevitably needed to become something remotely akin to, say, Shit My Dad Says?

Dillon: I think it’s a combination of all three. I suspect some people aren’t interested in limericks because there are so many lousy ones. I thought I’d try to help revive the form by using a new medium and injecting them with the fresh blood of news. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m better at self-immolation than self-promotion. I include a link to my Twitter page when I post the limericks elsewhere, but I’ve always been a stronger advocate for others than I am for myself. (And believe me, I’m not bragging when I say that.) If you don’t already have a platform like Shaq or Ashton, the pump needs priming. Otherwise, I can’t explain why I toil in obscurity, though I take comfort in imagining that the toughest guy on the planet isn’t fighting professionally or that the funniest person in the world doesn’t have a talk show.

It’s said that luck favors the prepared, but I can’t conceive that the creator of “Shit My Dad Says” was ready for what was about to hit him once Rob Corddry and other celebrities started hawking him right after he started. I see him in his den, counting his money from CBS and wondering if it’s really happening.

Mediaite: I take it from your Roethlisberger tweets you’re not a Raiders fan. I’ll take a guess from your location – Pats? (If so, surely you think the team made a smart pick in the #27 draft spot last night, as anyone coming from such a fine institution must be a can’t-miss?) – ed. note: This is shameless shilling for the author’s alma mater.

Dillon: Dead right. I’m originally from Boston, so my hatred for the Raiders goes back to the 1976 playoff game and a bogus roughing-the-passer call on Sugar Bear Hamilton. Before that season, you could be forgiven for thinking New England played in a town called Lowly because that adjective always preceded the word Patriots. (Remember, this is a team whose coach was nearly electrocuted by a mike at his introductory press conference.) But in ’76 they were really good, spanking Oakland (I think it was their only loss) and even the Steelers. Then came that cheap hit by Jack Tatum, who later profited from it by a lousy book while Darryl Stingley withered away. I was a reporter in the Bay Area both when the Raiders left for L.A. and when they were coming back, and I had to deal with lowlife fans who idolized Tooz. Needless to say, the Tuck Rule game was sweet revenge against a team that richly earned it.

I know some fans who think that with his recent picks, Bill Belichick is morphing into Al Davis before their very eyes. They wanted a linebacker and are already poking fun of the scouting reports saying [Devin] McCourty’s too small and has wineglass stems for ankles. I’m more hopeful. Their corners got picked apart last year when QBs threw underhanded, so I’m happy to have some speed and a backup at special teams.

Mediaite: Finally, do any of your limericks in particular stick out in your mind, or was there any news event that you knew would lead to a good one? What’s your idea of a news story ideal for limerick interpretation?

Dillon: Anything that might create a good tabloid-style headline, which I did as editor of a health news Web site, has the ingredients for a good limerick. A public person doing something unusual — or, better yet, monumentally stupid or hypocritical — is limerick gold before I think of a single rhyme. I knew immediately that Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” shout during Obama’s address would make a good limerick because it was so bizarre and because “Obama” is a good limerick word. Though I was never a business reporter, I’ve found myself doing quite a few tweets on the recession and monetary policy. But my sweet spot is the intersection of news and pop culture — be it entertainment or sports (or both). A couple of my favorites concern Chastity Bono’s sex change operation, the bizarre circumstances surrounding David Carradine’s death, and the brouhaha over Pete Townshend playing at the Super Bowl, each of which allow for a secondary reference to their lives and professional careers:

That the child of a musical pair/Is a girl is a source of despair/She spent time & money/So she can B Sonny/& her gown she is willing 2 Cher

The Carradine sudden-death story/Has details that R rather gory/4 if u play hangcock/In hotels in Bangkok/U know that u aint bound for glory

The NFL wants2 invite/The Who 2 play Super Bowl night/But Townshend ‘s protesters/Say only molestors/Agree that The Kids Are Alright

This one’s about the Beer Summit at the White House:

The cop & the prof will B able/2 heal @ the presidents table/Theyll settle the flap/But trouble’s on tap/If they’re only serving Black Label

It’s especially helpful when business involves a minor sex scandal, like when it was revealed that OMB director Peter Orszag, of all people, is a playboy:

The deficit, Orszag is saying/Needs stimulus 4 its allaying/He acts with aggression/2end the recession/By keeping his private outlaying

This has been edited for length and clarity.

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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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