The Limerick — Creative Humor Writing

Pet Peeve Limericks  — The October Humor Writing Challenge

The contest this month is to write a limerick about your favorite pet peeve.  While I’m not a huge fan of limericks, I do enjoy writing them as a creative tool.  If I make a mistake, I’m likely to write to someone using a limerick to explain it.  A couple of times, my disc golf partner and I have exchanged limericks to summarize our morning golf match.  My improv troupe uses the limerick form as a warmup exercise in our improv workshops.

I wrote five Pet Peeve Limericks below to show you the limerick form.  If you’re not familiar with the limerick format (rhyme and rhythm patterns), check out these websites: 

Reading A-Z

Giggle Poetry

VolWeb UTK

Examples of Pet Peeve Limericks: 

The menu is fancy and tall.
but the print is ever so small
To something I point
It’s a classy joint.
Till my entree begins to crawl.

For business hours press seven,
You’ll soon press ten and eleven.
While waiting don’t cry,
On the phone should you die,
You’ll be treated much better in heaven.

They’re always honking their horn
Last week is when they were born.
They’re simply crude,
and nothing but rude,
The highway’s version of porn.

They drive with a phone to the ear
It’s safe as drinking a beer.
Headset they have not
So it would be hot
If a cop with a ticket were near.

Frisbee golf we play in the park,
as soon as it’s no longer dark.
Folks stroll with their dogs
and endanger my clogs
The dog’s poop is worse than their bark.

The Contest

1.  We’re not looking for the perfect limerick from the standpoint of structure.  The samples I’ve provided for you aren’t perfect in format.  But they’re close.  It’s all about stimulating your creativity and having fun.

2.  List some of your pet peeves.  Think about them and come up with a few key words for each one.  Look for rhyming patterns.  I highly recommend using a rhyming dictionary.  It’s not only a great tool for this contest, but for humor writing in general.

3.  Write some limericks.  Then set them aside for a day or two before trying to edit them.  Over time your limericks will improve as you zoom in on the best words.

4.  I’ve written the sample limericks using five of my pet peeves.  You could write one using an identical pet peeve, just taking a different angle.  And you likely have a dozen or more pet peeves that I didn’t write about.  The creative possibilities are endless.

5.  You won’t have to work too hard on the humor.  Good humor springs naturally from the truth.  This month’s contest plays with the reality of everyday life, a perfect source of humor.

6.  Select your best Pet Peeve Limericks and submit them to HumorPowerTips@aol.com by October 15, 2006.

7.  The winners will be published by the end of the month.  Good luck and happy writing.