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Lefse Limerick Contest Winners

From upper left and then clockwise: John Ziegenhagen (1st place), Steve Seim (2nd tie), Heidi Bacon (3rd tie), Jim Leet (2nd tie), and Reid Trulson (3rd tie).

Lefse limericks are like potato chips. You can’t eat just one chip, right? And you cannot, it seems, write just one lefse limerick.

This was impressed on me as soon as limericks started rolling in for the first Lefse Limerick Contest announced in last month’s newsletter. Limericks came in bunches, and many contestants were having so much fun writing them that they quickly followed up their first batch with a second batch of wacky lefse limericks.

Judging was difficult — hence the ties — because they were all so full of the spirit of the limerick. Some people stated that this was their first attempt at writing a limerick because writing poetry was not their thing. But they could not resist, and once they did one, well, shoot, they had to do it again and again!

I think the attraction in writing limericks is that, by definition, they are supposed to be edgy, bawdy, and ribald. Not raunchy, but on the edge — and certainly not with a lefse limerick. Many contestants could not go near the edge, and some did not nail the limerick‘s meter, the long-established basic pulse and rhythm of the poem. But our winners did, and here they are:

1st Place

John Ziegenhagen — Minnetonka, MN

John Ziegenhagen

John was the clear winner and is, at least to me, a natural with limericks. He willingly went to the edge without crossing the line, and he was prolific, writing at least three that were superior. This was the one I chose as the winner:

There once was a man named Scupper
Who ate beans with his lefse for supper
He walked with such poise
To avoid a big noise
But, boy, his cheeks they did pucker.

2nd Place

Steve Seim — Wheatland, WY

Steve Seim

Steve got so excited about the limerick contest that he dashed one off … about lutefisk. Forgivable, since one is more willing to go bawdy with lutefisk than lefse. But he collected himself and wrote this winner:

There once was a guy they called Spud
Who was known around town as a dud
Ate lefse galore
And hoping to score
But Lena had eyes just for Bud.

2nd Place

Jim Leet — Roseburg, OR

Jim Leet at Nordic Fest in Decorah, IA.

Jim beat the end-of-April deadline with four submissions that were all giggles. But this one stood out and earned Jim second place:

The lefse was taken by Sue
Who tucked it inside of her shoe
Her ultimate goal
Was patching her sole
But now she had lunch with her too. 

3rd Place

Heidi Bacon, Red Wing, MN

Heidi Bacon

Heidi had to be a winner because she was the only one bold enough to feature herself in the limerick. At least I think the Heidi in the first line is the Heidi pictured above. Anyway, heeeere’s Heidi!

There once was a Norski named Heidi
Whose kitchen was much less than tidy
When lefse was rolled
The stories were told
Of Grandma whose legend was mighty.

3rd Place

Reid Trulson, Collegeville, PA

Reid Trulson

Now, c’mon, doesn’t Reid (pictured above) look too distinguished to stoop to writing a lowly limerick? Well, he could not help himself, apparently, but justified his submission by stating that his mission was “to extol the benefits of lefse.” Okay. As you see below, he starts out taking the high road, but dips into an edgy limerick sweet spot at the end.

A diet of lefse is cool
Eliciting no ridicule
It also has use
As a substitute snus
That eliminates troublesome drool.

So there are the winners of the first annual Lefse Limerick Contest. Let’s do it again next year! Winners will receive prizes starting next week. First place wins an heirloom lefse turning stick, second place the score of my lefse song “Keep On Rollin'”, and third place a pair of Go Long Lefse Socks, graduated compression socks from Burlix. Congrats!

I leave you with one more limerick from John Ziegenhagen (told you this guy was good):

There once was a dude who made lefse
He rolled it while driving his Tesla
But he went off the cliff
Lost his life in a jiff
And the lefse burned up — what a Messla!
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