The Ecphorizer


Issue #12 (August 1982)


It's made me very happy to see that you're giving space to the more important things in life like the limerick. Even if we had to put up with some sort of Norse nonsense to get it, the article was good.

However, you might like to note that another Mensan, the indefatigable Isaac Asimov, wrote a series of short murder mysteries concerning a group of amateur sleuths called The Black Widowers. One of the members was in the process of reworking the Illiad in limericks. Mister Asimov was nice enough to chuckle at my offering:

"The beauty of Helen of Troy
Is nothing, compared to my boy."
    So said brave Achilles,
    "Girls give me the willies,
But Patroclus fills me with joy."

The Gettysburg Address should be a piece of cake after that. May I offer some starting ideas?

In years, it's now fourscore and seven
Since our forefathers, now up in heaven,
    Endured Valley Forge
    Overthrowing King George
And sent back the limeys to Devon.

Now the redcoats have turned into gray,
And we're here to consider today
    If Bob Lee and Tom Jackson
    Should get satisfaction
Our Union is still here to stay.

For America, don't use your hankie;
Save that for the dead, Reb and Yankee.
    The state's okey-doke,
    Of, by, for the folk
Without all that class hanky-panky.

Just think! If Lincoln had used this, Douglas might have become president.  

Patrick Franklin
Carmel valley, CA


The mind is the first thing to go. Once upon a time I could remember the verses about all seven of the old ladies. Perhaps some kind reader can refresh my memory.

Oh dear, what can the matter be
Seven old ladies locked in the lavat'ry
They were there from Sunday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there.

The first old lady was Abigail Dumphrey
Who wriggled and squirmed and tried to get comfy
But then she found out she could not get her bum free
And nobody knew she was there.

The next old lady was Beverly Bender
And she got trapped when an errant suspender
Got all tangled up in her feminine gender
And nobody knew she was there.


The next was the Bishop of Chichester's daughter
Who came in to pass some superfluous water
She flushed and she flushed but the rising tide caught her
And nobody knew she was there...

Bennett Woll
San Francisco


At the AGA in Houston, I tried so hard to keep the names and faces together. Obviously my level of excitement (my own and empathized from the others there) disconnected my association process. So - To Whomever It Was That I Said "Gee, I would really appreciate a copy of the publication": Thank You!...

There were so many good hooks in Number 5 issue that I would need 16 hours to create a first draft and 1) that would end up being as long as your whole publication, 2) I don't have the first 16 hours and we both know that I would still need another 16 hours to clean it up to a second draft. So - on with the first hook... John Cumming's dictionaries and the like. I own Dorland's Medical Dictionary, an American College Dictionary, a Roget's Thesaurus, a Spanish-English/English-Spanish dictionary and a couple more, and have read them just for fun. The best one, of course, is the one I forgot to list: English and English's Dictionary of Pychological and Psychoanalytical Terms. They put in their own opinions, which really enlivens the reading. When and if you have an opportunity, look up their definition of "adiadochokinesis." Perhaps the neatest clue to their attitude is the epigraph, from Alice in Wonderland:

"The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master -that's all.'"

The other hook from John Cunning was to mention that I have just finished reading a book written in 1879 - The Egoist by George Meredith. I was surprised to find in an 1879 novel the presentation of female characters who have intelligence, imagination, femininity and are in the major roles; and also the viewpoint of the Egoist, who sees them as less than human, devoid of practical information or imagination, but delightfully feminine. The Egoist is styled as the perfect production of his society and his times. He sees women only in a not-wholly-human stereotype. He has to do a hard sell at the end of the novel to get himself a wife. The reason for the hard sell is, apparently, his need for one good success socially recognized, as in a wedding ceremony. Two previous fiancees had dumped him...

I could go on, but must resist the other hooks in your publication ...

Rosemary Hickey
Houston, TX 

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