Thursday, 22 December 2011


Hello, readers.

As Christmas draws near and the goose starts to become nervous as well as fat, I fear I must leave my post for a week or two in order to participate fully in the festivities. I remove my limerick hat in order to done a paper hat from a cracker. I cease to read XKCD and must substitute rib-tickling Christmas cracker jokes.

It is not impossible that I may update irregularly during this period, though I fear that where I am going, reception for my bilberry wireless netting device is likely to be scant. But rest assured as you make merry, or huddle Grinch-like in a high-backed chair, that normal service will be resumed in the early days of 2012.

Until then, merry Christmas, one and all, and do be sure to eat a piece of pudding for me.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Comic 993 - Brand Identity

The grocery shelves are a riot
That makes your eyes crave peace and quiet
So if there was some snackaging
In plain, simple packaging
You’d be fairly likely to buy it.

Original comic here.

Actually, KwikSave in the UK used to do almost exactly this with its 'No frills' line. It may still do, but there isn't one near me these days.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Comic 992 - Mnemonics

Sums order leave you in the dark?
Want a pescatorial lark?
Then you're certain to praise
The following phrase:
Please Email My Dad A Shark

Original comic here.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Comic 991 - Phantom Menace

There once was a film fan named Dennis
Who queued to see The Phantom Menace.
But, forgetting his specs,
He mistook the ’plex
For some disused warehouses. Poor Dennis!

Original comic here.

Poor Dennis indeed. Some might say the only thing worse would have been actually seeing the film.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Classic Comic 470 - The End is Not for a While

When protesters blather and babble
I join their unruly rabble
With signs that just say
Things are pretty OK
And would anyone like to play Scrabble?

Original comic here.

Lots of protesting going on at the moment, so it's nice to revisit this one.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Comic 990 - Plastic Bags

They give you a bag for each item
Then double-bag, so bugs can't bite 'em
Then you buy a big bag
Which they bung in a bag
And on and on, ad infinitum.

Original comic here.

Needless to say, I have half-inched the rhymes from that other poem about the fleas.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Comic 989 - Cryogenics

To avoid us all being on our pension
When the future brings some great invention
It’s into the freeze...
... We wake up. Hard cheese–
The inventors were all in suspension!

Original comic here.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Comic 988 - Tradition

The American radio trade
Has not heard of Wizzard or Slade.
Their fave festive ditties
All come from the fi'ties
So Shaky just never gets played.

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Comic 987 - Potential

The kid at the chemistry bench
Who you spur on to reach his potensh’
Might make you think twice
When he takes your advice
And comes back a badass Übermensch.

Original comic here.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Comic 986 - Drinking Fountains

Outside of the WC
Is no place for a cooler to be.
If you once take a drink
Without stopping to think
You'll be stuck for all eternity.

Original comic here.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Comic 985 - Percentage Points

When a senator loses support
The press tell us less than they ought.
Just what, pray, is meant
By "down twenty per cent"?
Down a fifth? Or from twenty to nought?

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Comic 984 - Space Launch System

You can’t just sit round being artsy
If you want to roll the space-race yahtzee.
You need über-smart guys
And surprise surprise,
That usually means an ex-Nazi.

Original comic here.

I should perhaps stress that I personally am not in favour of recruiting Nazis for technological projects, although I do very much enjoy a game of Yahtzee.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Comic 983 - Privacy

Two college kids, Frisky and Foxy,
Were blocked by their room-mate’s raid. Poxy!
Not content with just stopping
Its fans from bed-hopping,
Warcraft now creates virgins by proxy.

Original comic here.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Comic 982 - Set Theory

When sets start to cause you frustration
Don't yield to tears and ululation
Don't shout or get cross
Just remind them who's boss
It's called proof by intimidation.

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Comic 981 - Porn Folder

There once was a man from Livorno
Whose system for stashing his porno
Was way more depraved
Than the content there saved –
Screwing file structures gave him the horn-o.

Original comic here.

BONUS CONTENT: There's an opportunity for a slightly arcane anglicised version of this one, so here it is:

There was a sysadmin from Leghorn
Whose system for stashing his peghorn
Was way more depraved
Than the content there saved–
Screwing file structures gave him the heghorn.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Comic 980 - Money

A meticulous chart that compares
The values of all the world’s wares?
If you want to see more
It’s right there in the store
Priced at just fifteen little green squares.

Original comic here.

Non-comic 979 - ???

Dear Reader, it's just as you fear
The comic has yet to appear
And since it is late
We'll both have to wait
You won't find no limericks here.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Classic comic 22 - Barrel - Part 3

There once was a boy in a drum
Who drifted in search of his mum.
He was caught, while unready,
In a fast-flowing eddy:
His future looks gloomy and glum.

Original comic here.

The third episode in this gripping tale. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here.

Comic 979 - Wisdom of the Ancients

When I Google the faults with my coding
There's one thing that brings on foreboding:
One post. Same applies.
Eight years passed. No replies.
So... what's next? My computer imploding?

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Comic 978 - Citogenesis

From computers to scooters to skiffle
Wikipedia's packed full of piffle.
This citation cycle
Is taking the Michael
When it could have been beautiful. *sniffle*

Original comic here.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Comic 977- Map Projections

The projection we know as Gall-Peters
Gets everything right in square metres;
It'd be on my wall
If its fans were not all
Peruvian-hatted bean-eaters.

Original comic here.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Classic comic 11 - Barrel - Part 2

There once was a boy in a cask
Who said, "Is it too much to ask
That I might float some place
With a motherly face?"
But it proved to be too great a task.

Original comic here.

The second instalment in the Barrel Saga. The first limerick is here.

Comic 976 - Sail

There once was a man in a boat
When the wind made his sail start to bloat.
It blew off like a bubble
But he said “What's the trouble?
The main thing is, I am afloat.”

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Comic 975 - Occulting Telescope

An astronomer started to shout:
"There is now not a trace of a doubt"
(He gave a slight sob)
"That I'm in the wrong job –
These stars are all freakin' me out!"

Original comic here.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Comic 974 - The General Problem

There once was a techie from Holt
Whose friend asked him, "Pass me the salt?"
He sat there, inert
Till well after dessert
That far-sighted fellow from Holt.

Original comic here.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Comic 973 - MTV Generation

When teenagers act a bit naughty,
Do not use that term, Mr Haughty.
"MTV Generation"
Was an 80s creation–
By now, they're all well over forty.

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Comic 972 - November

November is one of the fines’
Months of the year, but there’s one minus.
Disregarding all fairness
It brings tongue awareness
And leaves people all licking like Linus.

Original comic here.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Classic comic 455 - Hats

You might think no headwear is edgier
Than the black-hatted hacker man's headgear.
But buy two from the hatter
Or three, for that matter,
And even Black Hat Man will dread yer.

Original comic here.

Comic 971 - Alternative Literature

You can stimulate thoughts on demand
By just holding a book in your hand.
They don't even need writing!
Now, does this sound inviting:
Two thousand blank books for a grand?

Original comic here.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Comic 970 - The Important Field

You can book the wrong day for your flight
You can buy shoes six sizes too tight
You can mistype your name
And it's you who's to blame
But your email address must be right!

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Comic 969 - Delta-P

The Pevensies' littlest daughter
Went hiding where she didn't oughtta
Then turned on the tap
And went for a nap
And Narnia flooded with water.

Original comic here.

[Edited the next day for scansion and spelling.]

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Classic comic 277 - Long Light

There was an old man from the Wight
Who rigged an absurdly long light.
When drivers complained
He popped out and explained,
That assiduous man from the Wight.

Original comic here.

That's the Isle of Wight, where for many journeys it's quicker to sail.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Comic 968 - Everything

I'm not gonna act like a fool
I don't see your body and drool
I won't walk fifty miles
For one of your smiles
But I just... We could... You're really cool.

Original comic here.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Comic 967 - Prairie

The prairie! Th' American plain
With waves like the wild Spanish Main!
But on close observation
There's a transformation:
They're particles amber of grain.

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Comic 966 - Jet Fuel

There once was a man from Dun Laoghaire
Whose paranoid friends made him weary
So he took their daft plots
And tied them in knots
To make one vast conspiracy theory.

Original comic here.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Classic comic 458 - Regrets

Whether cousin or best friend's half-sister
You need to take more chances, mister.
Or would you like to bet
That more people regret
That they shouldn't than they should have kissed her?

Original comic here.

Comic 965 - Elements

There once was a man named Dmitri
Who said "No airbender can beat me!
I use with some elegance
All hundred-odd elements—
This table sets them out quite neatly."

Original comic here.

Here's some more Tinie Tempah-style half-rhyme. It's the future of the poet's favourite pastime. So don't race me or I'll leave you on the start line. You'll be silenced like a Paris boulevard mime.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Comic 964 - Dorm Poster

Dark Side of the Moon is the norm
To adorn the raw walls in your dorm.
Relate the straight version
To this great inversion
And neatly subvert that worn form.

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Steve Jobs

I missed the point by some way when the "eternal flame" comic came out, but I now realise that it was quite a touching tribute to the late Steve Jobs. So for what it's worth, here is my own Steve Jobs tribute to go with it.

Computers that work without knobs
Sound systems that look like key fobs
And phones that can find you
The pub just behind you—
We'll keep you in mind, Mr Jobs.

Is a limerick a suitable form for a tribute like this? You may well ask, as I just have; but I like to think the limerick is more versatile than some give it credit for.

You might even say that a limerick has certain things in common with Apple's best products. It's small and self-contained; it looks simple but requires careful attention to form if it is to work properly; but it's still fun. A Macbook is a nice little limerick of a computer, compared to the rambling prose of a desktop PC. Or so I would like to think.

Comic 963 - X11

I don't want to ring my own bell
But my life's going really quite well.
I'll just check the server...
Kill me, by Minerva!
xorg.conf! Damn it to hell.

Original comic here.

That "comics I didn't really understand label" is getting a lot of use lately. Still, at least we get another appearance from Limerixkcd mascot, the goddess Minerva.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Comic 962 - The Corliss Resolution

Life forms never show much proclivity
To fly from their earthbound captivity.
Space race and survival
Lose pace to their rival:
Some risky, fun, frisky activity.

Original comic here.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Comic 961 - Eternal Flame

Do you feel my heart beat? It's no game,
Understand? Do you feel the same?
Am I only dreaming
Or is this faint gleaming,
This burning, an eternal flame?

Original comic here.

I had little clue as to what the comic was getting at, so I limericked the Bangles instead.

UPDATE: I now see that the comic was a tribute to the late Steve Jobs. For what it's worth, you can read my own modest tribute to him here.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Comic 960 - Subliminal

FedEx's subliminal arrow
Appears if you let your eyes narrow
But take meds to excess
(Or if on them, take less)
And the sights will chill right to the marrow.

Original comic here.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Comic 959 - Caroling

There once was a good old King Wenceslas
Whose charity spared no expenseslas
But you can't please 'em all
So when carolers call
They should know that they might cause offenceslas.

Original comic here.

Back up to date!

Comic 958 - Hotels

My tactic for online reviewses
Deliberately lies and confuses
I trash the best places
To make sure I get spaces—
I win, everyone but me loses!

Original comic here.

Sorry for the delay in getting round to this. I was called away for a narrow-boating trip at short notice, and had limited internet connectivity on the waterways. I will catch up soon.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Comic 957 - Development

There once was a whirlwind named Rina
Which blew stronger, harder and meaner.
And then it mutated
And got fascinated
With philosophy (unlike Katrina).

Original comic here.

I have tagged this with "Comics I didn't really understand", but to be honest that hardly begins to cover it. I am certainly not trying to make light of Hurricane Katrina; but no matter the devastation it caused, there is no denying that it rhymes with "Rina".

Monday, 26 September 2011

Comic 956 - Sharing

A tree might desire to be giving
But we've all got to make us a living
So DRM's used:
Ebooks keep you amused
And keep writers from begging and spiving.

Original comic here.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Comic 955 - Neutrinos

Light barrier broken? Aw, shucks!
But trying to urge caution sucks.
Instead, look for dudes
In excitable moods
And rinse them for two hundred bucks.

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Comic 954 - Chin-Up Bar

There was a man from Cheltenham Spa
Who took a three-foot chin-up bar
Up an up escalator
And ten minutes later
Enjoyed the resulting fracas.

Original comic here.

You need a good English pronunciation of Cheltenham Spa here. All together now: "Chelt'n'am Spa."

Monday, 19 September 2011

Comic 953 - 1 to 10

There once was a man from Peru
Who struggled to count beyond two
But he came out the best
In the binary test
In which he scored 10 out of 10.

Original comic here.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Comic 952 - Stud Finder

When no clue or tip or reminder
Can help you locate your stud finder
When studs go unfound
And frustrations abound
Then you need a—

Original comic here.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Comic 951 - Working

There once was a man from Kilkenny
Who laboured to save every penny.
When compared with the dough
He'd have made working, though,
They didn't look like very many.

Original comic here.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Classic comic 262 - In Ur Reality

There was a meme fan named MacPherson
Whose mania started to worsen
From digital cats
To entering flats
And captioning felines in person.

Original comic here.