THE AUSTRALIAN LIMERICK BOOK
The Australian Limerick Book
by Jim Fitzpatrick
Australian Consolidated Press, 1987
Out of print.
An Australian botanist named Lutz
accepted no ifs, ands, or buts.
When asked if that he oak
just might be a she oak,
said, 'No. I've just checked the nuts.'
He came to King's Cross, did Mike,
and found things not to his like.
His pleasures, ya sees,
cost him a disease,
when run over by the town bike.
The only two limericks I have written,
and unintelligible to non-Australians:
THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK
The only Australian Limerick book published prior to this one, by Cyril Pearl, prided itself on having no rude limericks. In my view, and that of many friends, by definition it was not a limerick book.
Not being a limerick writer, I conceived the idea of a national contest to bring in some really good Australian limericks. Being the pre-internet era, and to reach the masses, I approached the late Arnold Earnshaw at The Australian newspaper, who thought it a good idea.
I wrote a 1500 word history on the Limerick, Arnold came up with a beautiful glass bowl as reward for the winner, and a contest was announced in The Weekend Australian.
A couple weeks later an Australia Post van dropped off three massive canvas bags at my house, stuffed with several thousand entries. My heart sunk, as I was the sole judge, jury and executioner.
Astoundingly, they proved to be very fast to sort out. When I read the entries they tended to be either brilliant or terrible. Surprisingly few fell into the interim category. I assembled a collection sufficient to fill a 64 page paperback, which was published by Kerry Packer’s Consolidated Press and released in late 1987.
It sold enough copies to more or less pay for my time (less, actually), and faded into history.