It’s time to bring the Pickler Limerick Challenge in for a landing.
We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket have enjoyed reading your pickleball rhymes during the past month. Your ability to amuse has been greatly appreciated.
Clearly, many of you have way too much time on your hands.
And I’m not just talking to you, Chad Griffith, from Poway, California, who keeps sending repeated submissions with the header “MORE LIMERICKS !!!!!” – when four exclamation points would have been quite enough.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m in awe of the limericks you’ve all sent.
And some of you, I’ve discovered, are wordsmith professionals, like Jayne Brown, a retired creative writing teacher near Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.
Well done, Jayne.
People advise writers to write about what they know. But I had to call Jim Hackenberg of Kalamazoo, Michigan, just to verify that this was an absolutely true story about his mother-in-law.
Minnie Hackenberg, the 97-year-old mother-in-law in question, is the mother of Pickleball Hall of Famer, Yvonne Hackenberg.
And what would a pickleball rhyme be without a reference to an injury? Jeff Gaunt, of Phoenix, Arizona, covered that quite well:
Mike Matthews, a recreational pickleball player from Mesa, Arizona, called pickleball his “main outlet for exercise and fun.”
“Pickleball may no longer be just for geezers, but it’s still really great for geezers!”
He claims to have never written a limerick before this contest, and yet, he penned this beauty:
Kathy Hudson, a pickleball referee in Southwest Florida, wrote a limerick that encapsulates her court duties:
One of the strangest entries I received was from Paulette Ryder, of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. Then again, she was sleep deprived at the time.
Paulette wrote that after a fitful attempt at falling asleep one night, she decided to search for pickleball tips online. Naturally.
“This brought me to your pickleball limerick challenge, which probably caused me to stay up even later, but was much more enjoyable than snoring,” Paulette wrote me. “Here, then, is the nonsense I came up with.”
On the contrary, it wasn’t nonsense. But it was … um, er … different.
Among the four poems she sent was one that involved the deceased former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher. It’s safe to assume that this may be the first time in the history of Western Literature that The Iron Lady and pickleball have appeared in the same poetic space.
Glen Geda wrote that he and his wife have had fun playing pickleball around the country. And his poems are derived from his experiences on the court.
If that’s the case, I hope you’ve recovered from this one, Glen:
OK, it’s time to announce the winners. And while it’s trite to say that all of you are winners, I will nonetheless say it. Anybody who writes a poem for the heck of it is taking the time to enjoy life.
If you don’t believe me, consider these words from the novelist Kurt Vonnegut:
“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
So, I hope you all got at least a smidgeon of that reward.
As promised, two of you will also get copies of my pickleball book, I Dink Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with my Pickleball Addiction.
The first-place winner, who will receive one copy of the book, is Randy Hurwitz, a self-described “pickleholic” from Goodyear, Arizona, who dragged his wife and mother on the court.
“I could make up a ton of poems,” Randy wrote me, “but the court beckons.”
He did manage to carve out enough time to write this doozy:
On behalf of Tyson McGuffin, who couldn’t be here today, I’d like to congratulate you on this fitting achievement for a guy named Randy.
On to the second-place winner, who will get two copies of my book.
This award goes to Michele Brich, from Pierre, South Dakota.
Michele’s limerick was everything Randy’s poem was not. It was sincere, touching and wonderful in a completely different way. It was personal.
We’re rooting for you, Michele. You’re going to get there.
MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS' BRACKET
Read past editions of Murmurs from the Losers' Bracket, including:
- The Ozempic Ad
- Ball On Court? Maybe Not
- The PPA, the APP and Monty Python
- Time to Get Help at Bangers Anonymous
- "It's an Injury Sport"
- A Pickleball Translation Guide
- What's Your Pickleball Nickname?
- Tennis the Menace
- Is There Such a Thing as "Pickleball Torture"?
- How to Be an Effective Pickleball Snob
- All You Need Is Glove
- The Lesson McDonald’s French Fries Have for Pickleball
- Tunes on the Court
- The Poetry of Empty Courts
- “Head Targeting” Rule Change Not a Brainy Idea
- Getting Beyond "Good Game"
- Why Are Pickleball Trophies Such a Big Deal?
- Stop Messing with the ATP
- When Discussions of Rules Turn Unruly
- A Former Pickleball Addict Speaks Out
- Separating the Drinkers from the Dinkers
- Turning Every Magazine into a Pickleball Magazine
- Zen and the Art of Pickleball Maintenance
- Spirited Pickleball Poetry
- Making Pickleball Less "Devastating" to Amateurs
- Finding Romance on the Pickleball Court: Top 10 Pickup Lines
- Sign of the Times: Pickleball License Plates
- Red Light, Green Light: Playing Traffic Cop on the Court
- The Pickler Limerick Challenge
The Pickler Limerick Challenge Heats Up
Frank Cerabino is a long-time columnist for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, a pickleball addict like the rest of us, and a newly published author. Check out Frank's newly released book, I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction (available on Amazon and a great read (or gift!) for any pickleball player), for pickleball tips and laughs!