Despite my best efforts, my readership has been growing, so it's time to thin the herd again. Presenting more corny jokes retold in the style of great poems.
in the style of a Shakespearean sonnet
The knocks upon my chamber door were brisk,
But as I'm rich and frail I must show care.
To open doors to strangers is a risk,
'Tis why I first inquired, "Who is there?"
Upon this query my intruder pounced,
And answered as if trying to confide.
"A little old lady" were the words pronounced,
But in voice so deep its message it belied.
My worries having not yet been addressed,
With caution, yes, but with politeness, too,
I posed another question to my guest,
"Cans't thou tell me, 'Little old lady ... who?' "
The answer, from this mirthful saboteur,
"I did not know that you could yodel, sir!"
in the style of Shelley's "Ozymandias"
I met a traveler from a rural clime
Who said: "Three legs I spied upon a pig;
no final leg remained.
Nearby, in tattered overalls the farmer stood,
And saw my puzzled look, and thence explained:
Two fortnights now it's been,
Since that day of dense and leaden skies
When this very sow espies
My pregnant helpmeet Becca,
She and unborn child in quicksand, at peril for their lives!
Quick to the house the noble beast repaired
To summon me. Thus Becca yet survives,
As well the babe, to dandle on her knee.
But what about, asked I, the legs that number only three?
The bumpkin looked at me as though I were a dunce.
" 'A pig like that,' he said, 'you don't eat all at once.' "
in the style of Coleridge's "Kubla Khan"
In Xanadu did Herbie Kahn
While in a bar meet Ping-Xiao Lee
They got to talking, whereupon
While both were standing in the john,
Ping-Xiao's shoes took Herbie's pee.
This did Mr. Lee perturb
Because the act was by design.
So he lambasted old man Herb,
(Using more than one harsh verb)
To label him a filthy swine.
Herbie answered, in the loo:
"'Twas in return for evil done
To us by people just like you
At the start of World War II:
December 7, '41!"
"I'm Chinese, mister, if you please!"
Responded Ping-Xiao Lee, aflame,
"And that attack was Japanese!"
Answered Kahn: "To me, Chinese
And Japanese are all the same."
And Mr. Lee considered that,
Then, with a grin a little manic
Hit the other with a bat,
Laid him absolutely flat,
"Take that, you Jew, for the Titanic."
Said Kahn: "An iceberg sank that boat!
My ancestors were not to blame!"
But Mr. Lee then seemed to gloat
As these words issued from his throat:
"Icebergs, Weinbergs — all the same."
Gene Weingarten can be reached at weingarten@ washpost.com. Chat with him online at noon March 1 at www.washingtonpost.com.
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