A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

18 April 2010

Of Haggis and Owl...and Other Things Foul

I've recently been called out by a fellow blogger to participate in writing a poem. For those who don't exactly keep up here (at the Montgomery Advertiser blog section), mgb12345, who is very fond of writing poems, suggested I write one. Now, truth be told...I am not at all poem-y.

And I don't really like the ones which don't rhyme.

To me, if there's no rhyme...there's no reason. A poem without rhyme seems like a very short story with random line breaks. And I seriously don't get it.

But I wrote a silly poem the other day and I wrote to mgb12345 and told her about it. She wanted me to share...and I haven't, until now.

But, first I must confess that this is not my first foray into the poem realm. Long, long time ago, one of my online friends recruited the efforts of her group of online friends to attempt to win a radio contest in Scottsdale, Arizona. The gist of this contest was this: write a "funny" poem about haggis and win. Oh, wait, there's more...this was for the Arizona Renaissance Festival and the prize would be 10 free tickets (a small fortune, let me tell you - even in those days) and the "honour" of being crowned King (or Queen) of the Festival and all sorts of miscellaneous things being bestowed upon them.

So, I...a sucker for nearly any contest and downright pathetic whenever anything remotely challenging or competitive is put into the mix...set about writing a poem. Then I sent it to my friend. She culled all the ones sent to her (yeah, try to get the money back from her now, Renaissance Faire people) and submitted the one she considered her best bet.

As luck would have it, it was mine. And as further luck would have it...we (and when I say "we" I mean "I") won. Without further ado...I present my winning poem...from about 10-15 years ago:

The Minstrel's Ode to Haggis

Now gather ye maidens for a tale from our land...
Of the Scottish fare we eat that has gotten out of hand.
It's bits of the sheep innards that no one would eat...
Then boiled it its own stomach and WE call it a "treat".

So drink up and be merry for soon we will dine...
On a boiled tummy bag...ugh wench, fast, more wine.
If you think living now seems sometimes too dismal...
Just think of the Renaissance with no Pepto-Bismol.

Even Shakespeare wrote of haggis in a play called MacBeth...
With three witches a-cooking, a fate worse than death.
Listen close, heed my words, 'tis true in Scotland we tell...
That the something "rotten in Denmark" was the haggis smell.

So, as previously stated, she won all sorts of things...one of which was a real live (er...dead) haggis which she, in undoubtedly a grog-like induced state, decided a keen idea would be to ship this thing to me in the middle of summer, in a box surrounded by dry ice.

Dry ice, it seems, isn't necessarily "dry" when the bag it is encased in ruptures. And it isn't so much "icy" then, either. So, when I got this soggy box in the blistering heat of an Alabama summer...the first thing I did was say, "Ooooh a box." The second thing I said was, "Okay, the FBI will surely be coming to my door as whatever is inside this head-sized box...smells like...a severed head."

Okay, I've never actually smelled a severed head sent UPS, but chances are it's not too far off the mark from what I received. I, being the inquisitive sort...and not knowing what was inside the box...but really, really curious at this point, opened it.

All I can say is that the smell a sealed box of rotting, spoiled, decaying haggis emits pales in comparison with an opened box of rotting, spoiled, decaying haggis. Words like "vile" and (puntastically apropos) "gut-wrenching" come to mind. Also every single mob movie I've ever seen came to mind...and the "ear scene" from David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" as well...but mainly because I had recently watched it just prior to opening the box.

Yes, smell and memory are closely related because of the brain's limbic system. "Limbic" looks and sounds remarkably similar to the word "iambic", which, ironically is poem-related. In a strange way it's all very poetic really, right?

And that brings us to present day.

The other day I stumbled somehow upon a site which makes and sells "Hello Kitty" wine.
My online friend loves all things "Hello Kitty" so I forwarded the URL on to her. After she asked me which wine I would recommend, I perused their write-ups and came across this "tasty tidbit" for their Pinot Nero: "Best served with red meat, rabbit, lamb, roast beef, 'Zampone and Cotechino', wild owl and hard cheese."

Now, I don't know about you...but it's been virtually years since I've had any "wild owl" and frankly, if I can't get my hands on some prime grade "Spotted Owl"...I'm just going to say a resounding "No" to the whole owl species.

In the wee hours of the morning (all things are much funnier in the wee hours of the morning...hence my timely posting of this blog) my friend then asked her friends (on her forum) if people routinely eat "wild owl" in Britain. I figured it was probably just a typo and they indeed meant "wild fowl"...but, you have to admit..."wild owl" just reeks of the things a parody poem is made of.

So, I made one.

For further clarification of this poem's impetus - I must relay that someone from England replied at the forum saying they knew "gypsies who would cook up roadkill hedgehogs". Again...the things "memorable" poems are made of.

Please keep in mind my poem is in many different meters (at least I'm consistent in my inconsistency)...and I vehemently try to offend everyone equally across the board. :) Also, in my dealings and dabbling into the "world of poems" I've found out that I'm apparently very fond of the word "Ode"...and have used it in the title in all those I've penned. (Yes, all two of them.)

An Ode to All Things Eaten

Wild owls and guinea fowls and hedgehogs found as roadkill
These are the things that Brits do eat...as tasty as a duckbill.
When Americans eat...we like fresh meat...
We hunt it then it's skinless.
But in the UK they're drunk all day...On cheap rosé and Guinness.

Here in the South they like their deer, turkeys and some gator...
They boil them up in a big ole pot with carrots and po-tater.
I'm from New Jersey...we don't kill there, we just go to the market...
We point at things behind the case -- then pay from out the pocket.

Now I won't grab a gun to kill some meal...or a shovel for on-road scraping...
I don't have a pig, or a chicken or a cow...and no sheep here for raping.
So while I sit down with a store-bought snack and log on my computer...
...at some given point I will be drunk...but not with a guy named "Cooter".

You all have mgb12345 to thank for this...please feel free to direct all complaints directly to her. ;)


  1. LOL-love both poems!!!

    And I can only imagine the look on the postman's face when he delivered your Haggis in a box!!!

  2. Nanners...I don't know how he managed to take it off the truck and not notify the authorities. Seriously, it was rotting flesh smell...the whole haggis had gone bad and it wasn't sealed nicely - I think it was wrapped in some brown butcher paper tied with some string and then she put it in one of those flimsy veggie/fruit bags you get when you're buying some apples. Tied it off with a twist tie and figured "that outta hold her". Man - I bet the exploding pig car in Mythbusters smelled very similiar to my haggis box. Not a nice scent I can tell you. They'll be no swanky candles sporting that smell for romantic evenings together.

  3. Will you write my epitaph please???

  4. Alright, what is it with you and these OWLS?

    Nice poetry by the way. Hats off to you my dear. *muah*

    My word verification word was ketradic. What's that mean?! I'm too lazy to look it up. Are these real words? LOL

  5. I have no clue. It's probably something you eat with haggis or owl. ;)

    Hey...I'm going to stick with owls - I bet they are tasty...and if J.K. Rowling could make as much money off them as she did - well, ya never know.

  6. Loved the haggis one. Bonus points for the rhyme of "dismal" with "Pepto-Bismol".

    I can't write any poetry that isn't about a man from Nantucket or the young lad from Kent.

  7. Love that last line: ...at some given point I will be drunk...but not with a guy named "Cooter".

    And I really don't get Hello Kitty wine. Who's the market for that? Kid alcoholics? Pedophile priests who drink?

  8. Dang it, I did research & I had tons of comments on Haggis n Other Unusual Foods (Highlander Haggis is made from Red Deer or Elk; Lowlander Haggis is made from Sheep). Then I had to log into my Livejournal acct to post and I screwed up and lost my comment. Oh well. Ummm here's two books to inspire more Odes to Food. L.L. Bean Game and Fish Cookbook by Angus Cameron, Judith Jones And Kill It & Grill it: Ted and Shemane Nugent's Guide to Preparing Wild Game and Fish have all sorts of interesting recipes, including several for Squirrels. I may not be all scholarly & understand poetry much myself; but I loved YOUR poems. Well Done! (Pun intended)

  9. Chris - I don't know about your poems...but I can bet both of our poem talent will never surpass "A person's a person no matter how skanky". ;)

    Mike - I guess maybe it's for those grown-ups who like to dress up in school uniforms and the ones who like to watch them dress up. I'm cringing at this one.

    Thank you moanna. :)