Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Poem Is Not Finished, People

Do you remember when you were in school (or, if you're currently in school, do you remember that time recently) and you had a test in one of your classes, and the next class the teacher/professor walked in with an strange expression on his/her face and sort of sighed and announced that every last student had failed the test miserably, even with the curve?

Exactly how does one get one's
own name wrong?

I don't, because I never failed anything in school ever, except I was doing really badly in this one class in college that was taught by a total prick but then I got mono and dropped the class and then retook it with a different professor who was awesome and I totally got an A. And that's why I majored in humanities.

But I do remember being almost the only student who didn't fail the test. And the disappointed and faintly contemptuous look on the instructor's face as he/she broke the news.

"Did your mother have any children that lived?"
Only now, years later, can I empathize with those educators. Because it is with dismay and incredulity that I tell you that none of you successfully finished my guinea pig poem yesterday.

Seriously, WTF?
I came up with the first three lines of a poem inspired by Muinea Guinea, Precocious Daughter's adorable guinea pig:

Hello there, my darling little guinea pig
I love you more than a Lego mini-fig
I think you would look quite pretty in a wig

But then I got stumped, and I asked for help. And although I received numerous submissions (thank you, Christopher Waldrop, Bill the Butcher, Riley's Mom, and Smee), they all missed the mark. Meter, people. It's important.
Not even funny.
It's not even a particularly sophisticated meter - iambic hexameter with an truncation of the first foot. Child's play. But really, I was disappointed by the lack of adherence to the basic tenets of scansion.
It's not like I asked for anapestic trimeter.
Dude, do you even limerick?
Consequently, I shall have to finish the poem myself. It's no thang.
There is an adorable thing guinea pigs do when they are happy. They sort of jump and wiggle and scurry. It's called "popcorning," as this instructive and darling video shows:

Muinea does this all the time. It's good to know she's a happy pigu and not just a spaz with motor control issues.

So I shall conclude my ode to the guinea pig with the following:

Hello there, my darling little guinea pig
I love you more than a Lego mini-fig
I think you would look quite pretty in a wig
When I touch your rump, you break out in a jig.
And that, my pretties, is poetry. Booyah.
I'm accepting submissions if you think you can beat me in rodent-themed verse.
Spoiler alert: You can't. 


  1. Well damn, that's way better than the junk I write. Can I blame it on never having a guinea pig? I really want one now- popcorning!

  2. For some reason I'm reminded of a test I didn't fail, in a college biology class. I'd tested out of introductory biology, so I signed up for the class above it. The first thing the professor said to us was "This is not a class for English majors. If you're an English major leave now." I was an English major, but I stayed. I'd taken college-level science classes in high school. At an ice cream social a couple of days later I introduced myself to the professor and told him I was enjoying the class even though I was an English major. He got angry and started throwing questions at me, and I started throwing answers right back. Finally he said, "Well you know a few things" and went off in a huff.

    First test: I got a D, barely passing. I decided maybe I couldn't hack it and dropped the class. When I brought the form for the professor to sign he said--blowing my mind--"I'm sorry to see you go."

    It was a couple of weeks later that I learned that out of 120 of us I was one of three that passed the test. Yeah, I know a few things. So maybe I should have another go at writing another line of iambic hexameter with an truncation of the first foot. I hate quitting, even though I know I won't improve on what you've written.

  3. The poetry I write generally contains the word "Nantucket". Or is a rip-off of the meter of The Raven.

    Nevermore, y'all.

  4. And does the popcorning come with caramel?

    I remember this periodontics test we all failed in dental college. I got 000 (that's right, triple zero). The teacher was an idiot.

    1. Caramel? With a guinea pig? Sir, I am offended. Ranch dressing, maybe. But not caramel.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.