Freakonomics ran a contest for the best definition for Bernie Madoff in limerick form.
They had special guest judge Chris J. Strolin, founder and editor-in-chief of The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form announce The Winning Definition of “Madoff,” in Limerick Form.
The best of the best was #98 by sqlman:
His investments’ ascent: like a rocket.
His method: his hand in your pocket.
His scheming: detested.
His freedom: arrested.
His future: a day on the docket.
With rhyme and meter perfect throughout, this limerick encapsulates a complex story in just five lines, giving the details very well and in an interesting format. This one shimmers!
Second place goes to #104 by The Tortoise:
The Madoff scam: what’s it about?
Paying Paul (and thus fending off doubt)
By robbing poor Peter;
And what could be neater?
But it palled when the funds petered out
Presenting a strong summing up of the situation, this limerick ends with double wordplay in the fifth line so elegant that I can overlook the lack of an ending period.
And lastly, the title of Miss Congeniality (a.k.a. third place) goes to #78 by Robin:
With Bernie’s cachet as the lure,
Even smart folks invested, quite sure
That with Madoff, funds grow
And sweet dividends flow.
Now they find themselves swindled … and poor.
More perfect rhyme and meter throughout and an accurate telling of the history of this event, but with an interesting pause for dramatic effect at the end — very nice touch!