Timeline of Roger Ebert's Great Limerick Contest

November 20 - It all started when I got a message in the Shark Tank:

O2B, You might be interested in this


Roger Ebert is sponsoring some sort of limerick contest

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Thanks for the heads up.

Thanks for the alert. I have checked it out and submitted one already and may put one or two more in.

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Yes, O2B!

Please go for it. The ones they have, while not uniformly awful, are mostly pretty bad!

rC: shovel Stars
They make shovels that big, do they?

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Go for it, O!

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From the front page of this website:

November 24, 2009 - A reader in the Tank told me about a limerick contest held by Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. I have made four entries as of 5:00 AM this morning, and plan on coming up with at least one or two more. You may recognize a couple:

1. This one was from the Joke's On You list:

Sue’s a billiard nut. It’s understood.
All her gear is kept just like it should.
Every bridge, cue and ball’s
Neatly stored on the wall
In a case of the finest of wood.

But the neighborhood carpenter Zach
Said, “I went there a week or two back.
When I looked ‘round the place,
I got slapped in the face
When I told her she had a nice rack.”

2. An original written about their ex-governor Rod Blagojevich

Once a governor we know as Blago
Had a seat from a guy from Chicago.
It was put up for sale,
But then Blago got nailed
Since that’s not how the rules of the law go.

3. This one was from my Limericks 101 page here.

Once a boy who's from South Carolina
Was seen dating a girl from Regina.
When she asked from her heart,
"What's your favorite part
Of my body?" He said, "Your beautiful smile."

4. This was the second part of my limerick entry this week for the Joke's on You.

Once Ben Franklin had said, “Make it legal.
Since the turkey is really quite regal,
That’s our national bird.”
Though it sounds so absurd,
If he won, we’d be feasting on eagle.

5. This one I entered this morning concerning the Chicago Cubs - no, I'm not from the Windy City, I just wanted to make it sound like it.

 (It got posted twice - after I got home from work and found it hadn't posted when others later did, I reposted it. Now BOTH are on the site. Sounds like the Tank sometimes...

 First post

 Second Post

For years, many a wife and their hubbies,
From the tallest to those who are chubby,
Have been getting quite giggly
Each summer at Wrigley
While cheering their home team, the Cubbies.

Every year we have hopes to advance
To the Series, the October dance.
We have not won the crown
Since our “Three-Finger” Brown
Played with “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

There were times that it seemed like a plot
Like in ’32, when we were hot.
T’was in that year’s pursuit
That we saw Charlie Root
As he pitched the Bambino’s called shot.

’45 was a year we should note,
As historians everywhere wrote.
In a statement so terse
That the Cubbies were cursed
By ejecting that poor billy goat.

There’s some hope yet, and there’s a good reason.
Six times since, we have made the post-season.
I am sad to report
That they all came up short.
There’s some spirits we should be appeasin’.

So as North Siders all do revere
Our dear Cubs, here’s our hope so sincere:
Like the Sox, White and Red
May our curses be dead,
So that two thousand ten is our year.

From the website

November 26 - While scanning the blog I found a response to the above Cubs limerick:

By BeccaPiano (On the North Side) on November 26, 2009 3:48 AM

Ken Sheldon, I feel for your tears.
Lived at Addison/Broadway eight years.
I could hear the crowds cheering
(And boozing and beering)
And the quaking as October nears.

One day, thought I'd entered the 'Zone'
-As in 'Twilight': was watching at home
Then I SAW the crowd screaming
BEFORE sound came streaming
Through windows -- hey, MY mind was blown!

Forgot that, though just three blocks down
Light can travel much faster than sound
I'd thought for a second
My TV was prescient
To show plays before they came 'round!

Too bad, though, the Cubs still reside
In some Zone from which they cannot hide.
Tipping hat to their seasons,
I strip rhyme from reason
And end, crying: MAYBE NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!11111

Posted on the website and the Shark Tank

November 25 - Ebert Update - they are taking nominations for the top limericks on the Chicago Sun-Times Limerick contest. From their blog, here's how you can make one (or two, or however many your computer can handle):

By Roger Ebert on November 25, 2009 3:18 PM 
Only in this form:
1. Go to answerman@gmail.com
2. In subject line: Only type:
"Nomination: Name"
Nothing else. No message!
Polls close at midnight Friday CST. 
Campaign limericks accepted!

I have included the "O2BIrish" in my name so you can find where they are among the 760 plus entries by doing a simple search. I have also put a direct link to my entries if you go to my website, www.o2birish.com

As they used to say in the Bartles & James commercials, "Thank you for your support!"


December 11, 2009 - From the Sun-Times Ebert blog:

You have nominated the finalists in the Great Limerick Contest..

In alphabetical order, they are:


Gary in Phoenix, Ariz.

 Roberta S

And congratulations to the next five finishers:



anthony barstow

chad campbell


I'm asking the three finalists to send me a photo, a brief description of themselves, and three of their favorite entries from the contest. These I will post to begin the final voting round.

In the subject line, type "Finalist" and nothing else, and send to: answerman@gmail.com






Can't type much more! Gotta work on my bio for the Chicago Sun-Times!!!

From this website

December 12, 2009 - I'm still giddy over being a finalist!

I submitted a limerick as a comment showing my gratitude, which I also included as an "Ebert Update" on the Tank:

On this Friday, I feel a bit numb.
I’ve an honor some might call a plum.
With my poetic rhymes
In Chicago’s Sun-Times
I have earned Roger Ebert’s famed thumb!

December 12, 2009: VOTING HAS OPENED!!!

Click here to create the email to vote:

You will need to put who you're voting for in the text of the message.

If this does not work for you, directions from Roger Ebert:

Send your votes to answerman@gmail.com

One word in the message line, exactly like this: MYVOTE

(or myvote, have it your way).

The nominees have provided their photos, a brief bio, and a sample of their work:

Here is the link to the page with the bios and entries:



December 24, 2009 - It appears that voting is over, since the link no longer works. Now the poll operators are feverishly tabulating the votes to declare a winner. 

December 26 - HOLLY CARP!!! VICTORY!!!

I got up this morning, and when checking the Ebert site, I found out that I came out on top!!!

Here's the link to the page on Roger Ebert's blog with the final results.

Since everyone in the house was still in bed at the time, my celebration was more like Willie Mays Hayes finding out he made the team in "Major League"

Reaction from readers


April 7, 2010 - It finally came while I was away in North Dakota.

Here's the picture I've promised three and a half months ago - the prizes for winning Roger Ebert's "Great Limerick Contest."