– Now, Mr. Merick, you claim you’re a poet, but how do we know?
– There once was a poet called Lear, who in poetry had no peer, till I burst on the scene, and since then he has been incessantly quaking with fear.
– You’re seriously comparing yourself to Edward Lear, the uncontested master of the limerick?
– My name alone should suggest the skill with which I’ve been blessed. So I don’t mind stating without hesitating, I’m clearly as good as the best.
– Lionel Ignatius Merick. I see. you think your name alone is enough to put you up there with Lear?
– It is my intention to call a limerick contest this Fall. Though the entrants may plead, they will have to concede, L.I. Merick has beaten them all.
– Right. Not one given to false modesty, I see.
– Big-headed, you think? It’s much worse! My ailment is truly a curse. All my thoughts are a pain, and they drive me insane, for they come out only in verse.
– Oh, dear, that’s terrible! You can only think in limericks?
– How I wish I could call a halt to this illness that’s not my fault! For it upsets my wife and can lead to much strife when I ask her to pass me the salt.
-But is there no cure?
– The doctor looked inside my head, then he gave me some pills and said, ‘If you take some of those and keep touching your toes, you will think in sonnets instead.’