Updated: Added a photo of Emmy.

I’ve just heard an elderly nun with a severely unfortunate overbite and one or two charming speech impediments discuss a 3400-year-old Egyptian relief using the word “ostrich-ologists.”

I constantly find my life enriched in unexpected ways.

(Incidentally, the nun is Sister Wendy Beckett. In Sister Wendy’s American Collection she visits six U.S. American art museums and spends each hour-long episode basically just appreciating the art out loud. She has a wonderfully impressionistic style, paying particular attention to interpreting the facial expressions of figures in the art. So far I’ve also found her a remarkably humane interpreter—when she deals with items for use, for example, like pitchers,Emmy the ostrich cups, armor, or decorative rug-weights, she often takes time to consider how the use of those items affects their users, how specific artistic elements of the items can guide the users’ thoughts or alter their moods. She’s informed, intelligent, and seriously enthusiastic about art, and the program is a real delight.)

(Also incidentally, the mention of ostriches reminds me of the ostrich at the L.A. Zoo, whom Eric and I have named Emmy [real name, apparently: David]. Emmy’s fabulously glamorous, and truly loves the camera. She [real sex, presumably: male] will pose and preen for you and generally ham it up if you spend a little while at her enclosure.)

This aborted opening line was found discarded at the limerick factory. Our specialists at the Light Verse Rescue Society (motto: “Double Your Dactyls Before They’re All History”) suspect that it was the Line-One Man’s (please forgive the technical terminology) vacation destination—HawaiÊ»i—that led some overtaxed limerick factorer to abandon an otherwise perfectly serviceable first line. The rescue team also found a list of attributes that were presumably to have been included in what would have been a remarkable limerick indeed.

  • The entire vacation (minus a six-and-a-half-hour layover in Honolulu International Airport) was spent on the Big Island, primarily in Kailua and Waikoloa Beach.
  • Daytrips included a jaunt through Kohala and Hāmākua down to Hilo, a hiking excursion in KÄ«lauea Iki in Volcanoes National Park, and kayaking and snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay.
  • The culmination of the trip was Line-One Man’s sister’s wedding, which Line-One Man himself performed. (To give this limerick some real literary weight, try to work in the fact that he included T.S. Eliot’s “A Dedication to My Wife” as the reading in the ceremony.)
  • The ceremony was held on Hapuna Beach, with flower petals scattered down the aisle to protect the wedding party’s feet from hot sand.
  • The bride and groom both had tears in their eyes; Line-One Man himself almost cried when he heard his sister’s voice break while she recited the ring part of the ceremony.
  • The whole week was amazing, and Line-One Man and his partner both returned home with no sunburn at all—but quite a collection of bug bites.

We are offering prizes (and by “prizes” we mean “esteem with no monetary value but great emotional worth”) to readers who complete the limerick according to factory specifications.

MEMO #070602E



Reports have recently come to the attention of the COSMO Director that an individual can gravely strain his throat if he is driving on the freeway with no passengers and listening to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Particularly after the key change.

COSMO researchers are currently investigating methods of avoiding serious injury. Until a successful strategy is determined, please forward all consumer questions and complaints to the Customer Service Department, which has recently been merged with the Song and Dance Division (see Notice #440).

Thank you for your cooperation.