We spent our brief vacation in Santa Barbara, California, visiting our son. We slept, walked, hung out with friends and ate well. One of the walks was to the end of Stearns Wharf, a pier that extends nearly 2,000 feet into the Bay.
The wharf is a major attraction for tourists and pelicans. The tourists visit it to see the view and eat tacos, ice cream, chocolate apples and other health food. The pelicans gather in hopes that the fishermen who cast into the bay from the end of the wharf will throw them a fish.
This is the ultimate pelican limerick:
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!
Ogden Nash is thought by many to have written the limerick. Others say that the author was Edward Lear. Wikipedia credits it to the American poet and humorist Dixon Lanier Merritt. Merritt was an editor at the Nashville Tennessean in the early twentieth century. He was also president of the American Press Humor Association. Current members of the Press Humor Assocation are too busy reporting on the presidential campaign to bother with limericks.