The clerihew was invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley when he was just 16 years old sometime in the first couple of decades of the 20th century.
This poetic form consists of 4 whimsical lines about famous people. It is biographical and made up of irregular lines and meter. The rhyme structure is AABB. The first line must end with the subject’s name – most of the time the subject’s name IS the first line.
This poetic form was used by G.K. Chesterton and W.H. Auden (among others), so I’m in good company.
President Biden Went into hidin’ Down in his basement. They’ve made no replacement.
Kamala Harris Went off to Paris. She spoke in French accents To sound like she made sense.
Anthony Fauci Was feeling grouchy. He created such boredon That most folk ignored him.
Ms Jacinda Ardern Promulgated COVIC restrictions quite stern. No one took much notice ‘cos Few knew who she was.
Prime Minister Boris Wasn’t called Horace. He called Number 10 his home But didn’t have a comb.
President Biden When polls had him slidin’ Said Hunter was the brightest man he knew – Which is unfortunately true.
Rupert had asked me over the phone to meet him outside the corner bakery so that’s where I went – and waited, and waited.
Eventually he turned up. Why on the street outside the bakery I have no idea.
He said he would risk all by saying what he was going to say and blurted out that he loved me and he couldn’t think of anything else other than me and he was besotted and beside himself with infatuation and so on and so forth. Would I be his friend and could we go out?
I told him to jump in the lake. He left, and since I was there I went into the bakery and bought some buns.
There is a secret meeting tonight and I have to be there. I know what it’s about, although I’m not supposed to know but a policeman told me. I often work for the police as a freelance detective. There’s been a series of murders locally. The seven victims seem to be done in by the same guy as the murders are almost identical: stabbed in the chest by a paper knife used to open envelops.
The meeting is secret so as not to draw attention to the fact that they closing in on a suspect. They don’t want the suspect to know. It’s hilarious. I know they’re not closing in on a suspect because it wasn’t a paper knife used in the murders; it was a screwdriver. And they are looking for a short guy and I’m 6 foot 2.
Anyway I’m on my way to the meeting and will hopefully muddle the trail even further. Here I am now! What’s this? What’s this, Officer? I’m under arrest for what?
Every morning I go to the café to get a latte and hopefully to catch a glimpse of her. Her name I believe is Claudia. She seems lovely. She is one of three baristas that work behind the counter but the café is so popular that you can’t guarantee that you’ll be served by Claudia. In fact I’ve only struck her twice. But she is there behind the counter being pleasant to everyone and looking enchanting. I’m sure she notices me. Sometimes she nods a greeting in my direction.
Next time I get her in the café line I’m going to be really daring and ask if she wants to go to the movies or something. She can only say no. I’ve never had much luck at dating but I’m not giving up yet. She can’t say yes if she’s not asked.
I try to be positive about things but so often rejection seems to be the name of the game. You can tell that most women I ask for a date are not too keen to go out with a guy in a wheelchair.
There was a time when my family was extremely happy. There was my mother and father, and my sister, and my twin brother. We’re identical twins.
Disaster arrived when my parents decided to have a boy who was a ward of the state to stay with us over the summer. His name was Rene Leschallier de Lisle and he had a carrot up his bum. He was the same age as me and my brother and we were meant to look after him and be nice to him and let him join in with everything we did. So we were prepared to do that and all he did was not join in anything and complain about it. I can see why his own parents rejected him and he’d been passed on from one foster home to another.
It was proving to be the worst summer break ever in my whole life. Then one day we asked him – me and my brother – if he wanted to come trout fishing in the river and he said yes. Thank goodness he wanted to do something although we weren’t looking forward to having his company much while we went fishing.
When we got there he did an amazing thing: he tickled a trout. I always thought that trout tickling was a fiction but he showed us that it was true. Then he showed us how to do it. It was a bit like trying to hold a bar of soap in the bath. It is illegal of course but we went home with more trout than we were allowed to and we hadn’t even used the fishing line.
After that we couldn’t shut Rene Leschallier de Lisle up. He was interested in everything and the rest of the summer was a lot of fun.
Then as the summer ended our parents asked him if he wanted to stay with us permanently and he said yes. And my brother and I were very pleased.
By the time I reached the station the train had gone. I had been going out with Dolores for almost three years. In fact I was about to pop the question. I was planning how best to do it when she announced it was all over.
“It’s over,” she said. “I’m eloping with Patrick.”
I couldn’t believe it. I went outside and stood there looking at nothing. Eloping with Patrick? Eloping with Patrick?
I saw Dolores leave the house and head for the train station. Someone said she and Patrick were heading into the distant blue. I was at a complete loss. After half an hour or so I thought I’d race to the station and plead with her to give me another chance. But the train had gone.
Bettine had no idea what hit her. One minute she was walking down the street window shopping and the next minute she was lying squashed under an eight tonne slab of concrete that had fallen from a construction site.
Hello. My name is Annette. My neighbour, who is a student at university like me, always makes me feel awkward with his crazy inventions, and this time was no exception. You see, I never knew what the jolly things were. I’d have to cluck away and sigh in admiration, and now I was looking at some contraption that had moving parts and he was over the moon with it.
I knew if I ask what it was he’d get offended, but this time the “invention” was so out of the box that I said “And how does it work?”
Well he went on a bit about aerodynamics and algebraic quartiles and everything else that I didn’t have a clue about, and in the end I was none the wiser. So I resumed my clucking and sighing and he seemed pleased enough.
And then he asked if I would like to go to the movies tonight. Of course I said “Yes!” It was the reason I had popped over to his house in the first place.
The late summer breeze flapped my sundress a little as I walked down the lane. I had no idea I was being watched. It had been a hot, hot summer. Autumn was beginning to set in but it was still stifling and light clothing was the order of the day.
It was the fourth day of work and I was the sole teacher in this little country school. I walked to work, taking a shortcut through a farmer’s field, down a track and over a stile and voila! I was there!
Of course I had permission to cross the farmer’s field. When I visited to seek permission the farmer wasn’t there, and nor was the farmer’s wife. Only their son was home – Nigel is his name – and he said taking a shortcut would be fine. Anyway, he was the one running the farm these days, and he was the one who would possibly sometimes bump into me on my way to work.
This was only the fourth day of school and I had already bumped into him three times! Each time it was at the stile and he was able to offer me a helping hand as I climbed over. Such a gentleman!
Today I’m leaving home a little earlier to give us time to tarry.
Well! At last! At last! The problem is solved! An alien spacecraft has landed on earth and the superior-technologied aliens are friendly! It’s proof at last that we are not alone in the universe.
Prior to the spacecraft landing the earth was in upheaval. It seemed that every country was at each other’s throats. The aliens were super-friendly but they still had weaponry that could wipe earth out in a split second. The aliens’ superior power would force the divided world to be united.
China quickly formed an exclusive alliance with them.