Okay, I’m spent. After some mild encouragement to get going on an Aristocrats Limerick, I went ahead. And now I have something. If you want a copy, email me (email@example.com). Be forewarned: it’s a dirty joke, and I can only euphemize so much. After a while I gave up and got crass. (Which is why I’m not posting it.) Also, I might need to mull it over and touch it up. (I fear it needs more grossness for pacing, but right now it would seem gratuitous. So I’ll let it sit a little.)
Anyway, it’s about as short as I could make it. But “Aristocrats” is a difficult word to rhyme with. And, in order for the rhymes to make sense, I needed to introduce a certain kind of rodent and perform contortions on it (before, of course, inserting a few of them somewhere), and I needed to establish that the children in the act weren’t well-behaved and had encountered a clenched hand along the way (the sandpaper gloves came up on their own).
Other difficulties arose in trying to get the set-up as concise as possible, and from introducing the words “family act” (the rhyme, again, led to “explanatory” verses).
Now I feel a bit as I imagine the Ancient Mariner did. It's a tale I was compelled get off my chest, I guess. "And till my ghastly tale is told, / This heart within me burns." While it's a feeling of accomplishment, I'm not sure "pride" describes it.
Incidentally, I looked at Coleridge's Rime again because I had a grander plan of having a wedding guest be accosted by an old fart who'd tell this joke instead of his journey. A dead albatross would figure in it somewhere. As I was perusing it, several tasty phrases came up, but the Rime is in a four-square rhythm and the transposition to a limerick would be a bit forced.
But, in case you're interested, the Mariner includes:
they raised their limbs like lifeless tools
the dead men gave a groan
and the balls like pulses beat
the steady weathercock
and a thousand thousand slimy things
and thou art long, and lank, and brown, / as the ribbed sea-sand
he hath a cushion plump: / It is the moss that wholly hides / the rotted old oak-stump
[and I could have sworn there was "a toothless mastiff bitch" but I can't seem to find her now - she may be in a different Coleridge poem]
I'd like to point out I'm not the sicko here. It's Coleridge.
But that's not the route I took. So, if you’re interested, drop me a line.
I need to take another shower.