Sunday, December 11, 2005


Final Examination

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to write a limerick (or Petrarchan or Spenserian sonnet, if you desire) on the following topic:
A lady in Brazil who made a special study of insects that are attracted to human feces noted that after each change of diet our excreta may appeal to different species of flies.
Ralph A. Lewin, Merde. Excursions in Scientific, Cultural, and Sociohistorical Coprology (New York: Random House, 1999), p. 40.

I have a first line -- There was a young lady from Rio. I'm trying to fit the Atkins diet in somehow, or the Pritikin. Are there any words that rhyme with Drosophila?

From my friend Bill Keezer via email:

A lady from Rio in scatology,
combined it with dipteran entomology.
To her great surprise,
the species of flies
were choosey towards gastroenterology.

The erudite Sauvage Noble composed Latin elegaic couplets!

Cum novum homō cibum edit, dīversum stercus is ēdit;
    quī invītat muscās alterius generis,
post cēnam adveniunt illī parasītī aliēnī.
    Quae invēnit mulier Brāsiliae studiō.

When a person eats new food, he puts forth different dung;
    who invites flies of one kind,
to him guests of another come after dinner.
    Which a woman of Brazil found by study.

From my son, a chip off the old block:

An entomologist from Brasilia
Studying dipterous coprophilia
Notes some flies preferred
A meat-eater's turd
While others favored vegetabilia.

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