Sep­tic tanka: Verses on the news

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - BY PAT MY­ERS

In Week 1231 we had our third con­test for TankaWanka, a form of verse we coined so that peo­ple wouldn’t ac­cuse us of do­ing the real

tanka form im­prop­erly. Our only rules were (a) that the syl­la­ble count had to be 5-7-5-7-7 (like haiku with two ex­tra lines); (b) that any two lines had to rhyme; and (c) that the verse had to be about some­thing in the news. And you know what that brings us . . .

4th place Su­per­hero films Keep mak­ing box of­fice news. Why? Not hard to see: We wish our trou­bles could be Wrapped up in a great “S” cape. (Perry Bei­der, Sil­ver Spring)

3rd place “Ama­zon’s buy­ing Whole Foods??” Other gro­cers wince As their stocks tum­ble. “We need an Ama­zon on

Our side — call Diana Prince!” (Perry Bei­der again!)

2nd place and the basketball-hoop-on­head game: “Hello, Cabi­net! Tell me how much you love me!” Each of them com­plied. Thought: Hav­ing fewer suck-ups Might pro­duce fewer . . . or­ga­ni­za­tional fail­ures. (Dun­can Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

And the win­ner of the Inkin’ Me­mo­rial: Cabi­net meet­ing, Filled with yes-men all bleat­ing Fealty to their Don. You suck up to El Jefe Or land in Deep Cov­fefe. (Nan Reiner, Boca Ra­ton, Fla.)

Clunka: Hon­or­able men­tions The Rus­sia mat­ter: Flynn, Manafort, Page, Kush­ner, Ses­sions — all the rage. What’s the prob­lem? Trump’s Just a fash­ion-for­ward guy; Ev­ery day, a new red tie. (Nan Reiner)

Sir Comey “Will you kiss the ring?” Ques­tioned the newly crowned king To the earnest knight. When he did not do as sought, He was ban­ished from the court. (Barry Good­mann, Hack­en­sack, N.J., a First Of­fender)

Fir­ing Comey Was not about the Rus­sians, Or so we are told. Did his probe be­come a threat? White House sources just say nyet. (Maria Zim­mer­man, Ber­ryville, Va.)

Trum­pet tweets pro­fess, “It’s a witch hunt, noth­ing less!” So be it. It’s time For our na­tion to abort The sad(!) reign of Vul­gar­mort. (Nan Reiner)

The Cabi­net meet­ing: The longer one goes In the Cabi­net of Trump, The browner the nose. They’ve all got the idea: Act like it’s North Korea. (Mark Raffman, Re­ston)

The Na­tion­als’ bullpen: Our starters have kept Fans and their Ro­laids apart. But one big is­sue Has brought late-game angst and grief: Some pitch­ers can’t spell “re­lief.” (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

‘Mil­lions doubt global warm­ing’: “Sci­ence” says, “It’s hot!” So ’14’s “the hottest!” first, Then ’15 topped that, Then, for heat, ’16’s the worst! See? They can’t keep their facts straight! (Elden Carnahan, Lau­rel)

The lat­est men’s fash­ion fad, rompers: What gets women hot? Men in rompers, dude — that’s what. Watch how quick your chick Gives this sign she wants to boff: Beg­ging you to “take that off!” (Chris Doyle, Den­ton, Tex.)

The Bri­tish election: It’s May­day for May, Who’s in com­plete dis­ar­ray. Can she carry on With her ma­jor­ity gone? Who knows? Theresa may not. (Stephen Gold, Lon­don)

Dis­rup­tive up­start Uber faces a cri­sis Drain­ing its own swamp. Make their lead­ers’ ex­its swift Kindly giv­ing each a Lyft.

(Jeff Con­tom­pa­sis, Ashburn)

Leg­is­la­tion to le­gal­ize si­lencers: In Congress, a bill: Th­ese gun ac­ces­sories will Shortly be le­gal. They hush it, but here’s the tell: A silent-but-deadly smell. (Mark Raffman)

Con­joined twin por­poises caught in fish­ing net: In the Dutch na­tion, Rare con­joined-twin cetacean Born. Mu­seum seeks Space to house this baby boom — In its Multi-Porpoise Room. (Nan Reiner)

‘Wildfires taint air with mi­cro­scopic poi­son par­ti­cles’

Whew! That fire came close, But your house did not burn down! Un­for­tu­nately There is also bad news, mate; So take a deep breath — oh, wait! (Bev­er­ley Sharp, Mont­gomery, Ala.)

Good Ol’ Boy Ses­sions, Asked about in­dis­cre­tions, Stonewalls ev­ery time. As AG, Jeff Beau­re­gard For the law shows low re­gard. (Nan Reiner)

Had he been there in 1776, Odds are Jeff Ses­sions

Wouldn’t want to find out who Col­luded with the Hes­sians. (Dun­can Stevens)

North Korea: Grr! They keep shoot­ing those mis­siles. Their leader we hate, He’s stupid but thinks he’s great. We’d never elect — oh, wait. (Neal Stark­man, Seat­tle)

Re­port: Rus­sia delves Into our vot­ing sys­tems, Hop­ing to screw up Our elec­tions. We ob­ject! We can screw them up our­selves! (Dun­can Stevens)

Me­la­nia’s dad’s Red-tied, portly re­sem­blance Takes the ’Net by storm. At last, Freud can ex­plain why She ever mar­ried that guy. (Kevin Dopart, Wash­ing­ton)

‘77% of Amer­i­cans think it will be nor­mal to have a robot in home in 20 years’ Life is so easy Now that I have you, Robot, To do my house­work. Ever-obe­di­ent pal! What? You say your name is HAL? (Bev­er­ley Sharp)

EPA Sec­re­tary Scott Pruitt: Trump has ap­pointed Climate change skep­tic Pruitt — Not as fo­cused on What to do for the planet. As on what to do to it. (Dun­can Stevens)

The lat­est Tay­lor Swift-Katy Perry feud: Ev­ery morn I cringe Peek­ing at the day’s news binge. Just for once, I wish There were noth­ing more weighty Than Tay­lor ver­sus Katy. (Nan Reiner)

Dad of Ivanka In­spires my TankaWanka: With his “cov­fefe,” The source of our yuge schism Coined a ne­ol­o­gism. (Bill Dorner, In­di­anapo­lis)


The prod­uct of the Em­press’s own egg mod­els this week's second prize.

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