the dog ate mother's toes
July 16, 2003 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Dave Barry posts a letter in his weblog encouraging users to submit poems to containing the phrase "the dog ate mother's toes" under the penname of Freemont. Hilarity Ensues.
posted by woil (40 comments total)
I would have linked directly to sample humorous poetry, but doesn't let you do that. I was able to do the search link only after browsing source...
posted by woil at 4:42 PM on July 16, 2003

You and I obviously have different definitions of "hilarity."
posted by zekinskia at 4:59 PM on July 16, 2003

the dog ate zekinskia's toes.
posted by quonsar at 5:10 PM on July 16, 2003

Where's the beef!?!
posted by jdroth at 5:19 PM on July 16, 2003

Freemont Perot is my fave, if only for including a villanelle.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:21 PM on July 16, 2003

As I've said before, weblogs can be a powerful force in this world, either for good or for evil. We can now see which side the illustrious Mr. Barry has chosen.

And I am not making this up™.
posted by wendell at 5:29 PM on July 16, 2003

I'd be really impressed if someone concocted a sestina, preferably one utilizing not only "mother's toes," but also "moon," "nubbin" "sublime," "Viennese Secession" and "empanada."
posted by scody at 5:33 PM on July 16, 2003

You're all talk and no action, scody.
posted by emyd at 5:36 PM on July 16, 2003

All right, Scody, you're on. Look for Freemont Scody later today.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:45 PM on July 16, 2003

I heard he also linked to a rather nifty helicopter game as well.

posted by Space Coyote at 5:45 PM on July 16, 2003

Dave Barry rules.

posted by shadow45 at 5:53 PM on July 16, 2003

What do you know, Woil was right. You can't link directly to a poem. Bastards.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:58 PM on July 16, 2003

Searching over 4.6 million records... Please be Patient.

everybody's a friggin poet, huh?
posted by quonsar at 6:02 PM on July 16, 2003

This one is my favorite - very Lewis Carroll.
posted by ajblust at 7:08 PM on July 16, 2003

I can certainly see how some folks would find this funny. Heck, I chuckled. But, is this really any different than Howard Stern's drooling minions sabotaging web polls by voting for "Hank, The Angry Drunken Dwarf"?

Does the world really need any more "bababooie"?
posted by DWRoelands at 7:10 PM on July 16, 2003

This is as hilarious as putting a link up on Fark or other weblog telling everybody to post a duplicate link here or a link to In other words, it really isn't.
posted by substrate at 7:19 PM on July 16, 2003

substrate - except that people are being creative with their poems instead of just making a link.
posted by woil at 7:36 PM on July 16, 2003

Fremont ate my balls.
posted by caddis at 7:50 PM on July 16, 2003

"Viennese Secession" by Freemont Scody by Joey Michaels

Nicely done.
posted by jokeefe at 7:53 PM on July 16, 2003

"All your toes are belong to me."
posted by caddis at 8:01 PM on July 16, 2003

Searching over 4.6 million records... Please be Patient.

everybody's a friggin poet, huh?

Well, no. But there are a lot of prolific people trying to write poetry. And really, isn't that the same thing?

Well, no...
posted by namespan at 9:23 PM on July 16, 2003

actually if you count the kittens this is the second overly fark-ish thing appear on mefi today, man, has fark taken over the internet? ...oh well, give me cliche domokun or give me death!
posted by NGnerd at 9:45 PM on July 16, 2003

This was on fark? I don't read fark, and wasn't aware that was a req for posting on mefi. :)
posted by woil at 10:10 PM on July 16, 2003

I don't know why, but this reminds me of the first line of a novel:

As he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months
posted by wackybrit at 11:16 PM on July 16, 2003

heh, i'm finding it hard not to post a picture of Ahkbar over on that 'sompn sompn trap' thread. it's tempting
posted by shadow45 at 4:54 AM on July 17, 2003

Looks like is no longer on the web. I wonder if it's with the strain of new entries, or the strain of sending the writers of those new entries "Congratulations. You have been selected..." style letters. For those of you who like this sort of thing, could I also reccomend the Wergle Flomp competition. Win $817.00 or there abouts for placing the worst poem imaginable on
posted by seanyboy at 5:13 AM on July 17, 2003

My (unsent) contribution:

Sorrow is the hungry dog
lurking at the door,
barren is the doggy's dish
sitting on the floor.

Fetid is the breath of sorrow
and gleaming are his teeth,
weeping is the woman
with sorrow at her feet.

Pain is our companion
in this vale of woes,
and emptiness the reason
the dog ate mother's toes.

(or, in mefi-speak, "my dog's breath smells like mother's toes")
posted by taz at 5:39 AM on July 17, 2003

That almost but not quite works as an Emily Dickinson poem. Because you can almost but not quite sing it to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Or Amazing Grace. Or The Yellow Rose of Texas. Or the Gilligan's Island song.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:07 AM on July 17, 2003

caddis, you put me on the floor with that classic.
posted by tomplus2 at 9:31 AM on July 17, 2003

Woo! I am a famous poet! And I didn't even have to write any poetry! (Although now, in the clear light of day, I rather think I would like to write a sestina again and think that this might be a splendid way to avoid working for the rest of the morning... now I have to remember the sestina form. Stay tuned.)
posted by scody at 10:56 AM on July 17, 2003

This is wonderful. Now THAT is poetry I can read! I love how creative people are. Especially when they aren't like most poets and taking themselves too seriously.

Honestly, most of this stuff isn't worse than the some of the other more serious poetry on!
posted by aacheson at 11:26 AM on July 17, 2003

Freemont Perot, as crash davis suggested above around the 5th comment, is very funny. I especially liked "Conjugations," which is just plain silly.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:34 AM on July 17, 2003

Oh sure, now tells me about the 20-line limit in posting online. My "true and unique artistic vision" (not to mention the 39-line format of a sestina) cannot be constrained by such cruel limits! emyd and Joey Michaels, this toe's for you.

"Madhouse Sestina, with Empanada"
by Freemont Schnitzler Scody

The dog ate mother’s toes
under the harvest moon,
her tarsal bones reduced to a single, tooth-gnawed nubbin
that, in the palm of a forensic investigator, might seem sublime,
a lost motif, perhaps, of the Viennese Secession;
as it was, though, to me it just looked like a bony empanada.

Why is it so hard to get an empanada
made with cilantro? These local bastards, sons of mother’s toes,
may as well be cooking lung dumplings during the Viennese Secession
as foist their shabby foodstuffs upon the unsuspecting public of today! I will moon
them one of these days if they don’t start serving more sublime
varieties, just you wait and see. After all, nubbin’

says “contempt” like a butt flashed at a taco stand at high speed. Nubbin
was also the name of my neighbor’s cat in kindergarten. Do cats eat empanadas?
I think that would be sublime.
Did she know what was happening, I wonder, as mother’s toes
disappeared down the dog’s gullet? Well, she’s dead now—mother, I mean, not the dog—so no use moon-
ing over it now. Mother was a big fan of the Viennese Secession,

which produced many fine artists such as Klimt, and the Viennese Secession
building itself is quite lovely, from a distance looking like a lunar nubbin
of gold against a lapis lazuli sky. And when the full moon
rises, it’s no less than a silver empanada
that made mother’s toes
curl with pleasure when she first saw it. “Sublime,”

she recalled wistfully. “I’ll tell you what’s sublime,”
father snorted in response. “A fat girl’s ass.” He did not care much for the Viennese Secession,
as you can tell, and I doubt he ever paid mother’s toes
much attention, either. Poor Bobo, just looking for a nubbin
of doggy attention, I can see that now, or was perhaps just hungry for an empanada.
It’s easy to get confused when you’re dazzled by the moon-

light. Once when I was drunk, I shattered the moon
when I went skinny-dipping at night and jumped in a pool, sublime
and cool in the mad-hot St. Louis night. Then we ate an empanada
or two, and the cute boy I just met told me how the Viennese Secession
was really just Art Nouveau with a little more death thrown in. I never understood that nubbin
of information until the moment I discovered that the dog ate mother’s toes.

That hopeful sweet night during her honeymoon, could anyone have foreseen that the dog would eat mother’s toes?
Sublime moments often give way to such nubbins
of tragedy. To be consumed, foot-first, like a five-digit empanada! That’s a question for Freud, not the Viennese Secession.

Whee! And now it's time for lunch! Apologies for the self-indulgence. Now I'm going to go eat an empanada.
posted by scody at 12:41 PM on July 17, 2003

Freemont Perot is brilliant; I'd actually agree to buying his work.
posted by Masi at 1:18 PM on July 17, 2003

Scody, I bow to your superior use of "nubbin." Well, and every other word. Most excellent.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:18 PM on July 17, 2003

Just a little update that has apparently signed on to Mr. Barry's Freemont Project. But the terrible news is that all of Freemont Perot's opus but the villanelle now appears to be gone! Noooooo! Not sure whether enacted mass deletions, or what.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:04 AM on August 4, 2003

Actually, taking a closer look at things, they've really decimated most of the submissions. Cody's is gone, for example, and most of the other Freemonts that remain only have one poem. There's probably only around 20 or 30 Freemont submissions up now, whereas before there were hundreds. It really is a shame; I really did like Freemont Perot.

The poem on Conjugations that is now gone went something like:

The dog ate mother's toes.
The dog was eating mother's toes.
The dog has eaten mother's toes.

The dog is eating mother's toes.
The dog will eat mother's toes.
The dog will have eaten mother's toes.
The dog will be eating mother's toes.

The dog is too tense to continue.

* * *

Tense! So clever! And yet, now gone!
posted by onlyconnect at 8:21 AM on August 4, 2003

Per his request, I'm happy to share that the poetry of Freemont Perot (aka longtime blogger Shmuel Ross) has been saved at a permanent home.
posted by Dreama at 4:35 AM on August 11, 2003

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