Alberic Grunnion, famous within his own lifetime for the invention of the Dungbomb, was well used to mail. Some were from irate parents asking what had possessed him to create such a mess-maker; some were from fans gushing with success stories in revenges or pranks; some were from those who wanted to attach a famous name to their inventions in the making.
But one day, Al received a book. There was no note attached, but he was greatly pleased with the gift. His wife knew it would be useless to keep him from opening it right then and devouring it right then. It didn’t look that interesting to her – Sonnets of a Sorcerer
wasn’t her cup of tea.
At long last, Al put the book down. He looked up at his wife and smiled lovingly before asking,
“Dear, what are we eating tonight?
My hunger is blinding my sight.
There’s always that restaurant
Over by Belmont
If the pickings at home are too light.”
His wife went wide-eyed and stared at him in horror. Was that a limerick? Had he come up with that on the spot? As far as she knew, her husband had never been poetic. And to write a poem about dinner? That was a tad strange.
Al blinked at his wife and her quizzical stare. He opened his mouth once more, tentatively checking his nose for something unpleasant.
“Why are you looking so strangely at me?
What’s wrong with my face that you see?
Well, whatever the trouble,
Tell me on the double,
My darling, divulge it quickly.”
“Dearest,” his wife began, trembling, “why are you speaking in limericks?”
His mouth opened as he recalled what he’d said recently. Mrs. Grunnion watched in pity as he tried to work his tongue around a normal-sounding sentence and couldn’t manage it. Finally he cried in disgust,
“This strict meter is giving me pause!
That book over there is the cause.
I need this curse broken
Some magic words spoken
Or my life will ever have flaws.”
“We’ll try, darling, we’ll try,” his wife hastened to assure him, trying to mask her hopelessness. Whoever had sent the book as a “gift” must have been truly angered by a Dungbomb. She doubted that there would be a countercurse.
“You could always try just keeping your mouth shut,” she continued with a shadow of a smile.
Al hung his head in despair. There was no hope for him - he'd be speaking limericks the rest of his life.