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The coronavirus is still on a rampage, spinning off new variants that cause even more sickness and death. These are gloomy times indeed. But why fret and wear a long face? La vida es bella y corta!  Life is beautiful and short. Cheer up with some limericks — short, humorous verses that are often silly, nonsensical and even lewd.

Line Lost Limericks: A Guest Book (1915) by Fred E. Woodward described limericks as “a form of verse which suits a very happy mood. Unfitted to the solitary, a good limerick must be laughed at and laughed over. The quip is in the final line and should be a briliiant bit of repartee or a wittern turn of the original subject into an absurdity.” I trust that the following sea-related limericks will help those who read them to exorcise the blues.

Said a salty old skipper from Wales,
“Number one, it’s all right to chew nails.
It impresses the crew.
It impresses me, too.
But stop spitting holes in the sails!”

— John Ciardi (1916–1986)


There was a young fellow named Chet
Who swam out to sea on a bet.
Did he win? I don’t know:
That was two months ago
And we haven’t caught sight of him yet.

— John Ciardi (1916–1986)


There was a Young Lady of Portugal,
Whose ideas were excessively nautical;
She climbed up a tree to examine the sea,
But declared she would never leave Portugal.

— Edward Lear (1812–1888)


There was an Old Man of the Coast
Who placidly sat on a post;
But when it was cold he relinquished his hold,
And called for some hot buttered toast.

— Edward Lear (1812–1888)


There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, ‘I’m afloat, I’m afloat!’
When they said, ‘No! you ain’t!’
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

— Edward Lear (1812–1888)


There was a sweet girl of Decatur
Who went to sea on a freighter.
She was screwed by the master
– An utter disaster –
But the crew all made up for it later.

— Isaac Asimov (1920–1992)


“On the beach,” said John sadly, “there’s such
A thing as revealing too much.”
So he closed both his eyes
At the ranks of bare thighs,
And felt his way through them by touch.

—  Isaac Asimov (1920–1992)


There once was a lady from Guam,
Who said, “Now the sea is so calm
I will swim, for a lark;”
But she met with a shark.
Let us now sing the ninetieth psalm.

— from The Smile on the Face of the Tiger: A Collection of Limericks, 1910

~ Barista Uno

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