Finally, someone has explained the old limerick, “There once was a man from Nantucket.” I don’t particularly like limericks.
Limericks are like geometry, algebra, and trigonometry, all of which give me mental fits due to a learning disorder. I cannot remember strings of numbers or letters and most rhymes. Sorry. They just don’t stick and never have.
Back to Nantucket.
Since as far back as I can remember jokes, the popular Nantucket limerick has been around, in one form or another, on television, radio, and movies. The only problem was that all the adults would laugh, but all that was ever said was, “There once was a man from Nantucket…” and then some gibberish rhyme followed by cackles and howls from the audience.
What’s so funny?
As I later found out, Nantucket rhymes quite well with other action words not often repeated in mixed company but which everyone fully understood. Except me. Until now.
One of the earliest versions of Nantucket goes this way:
There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who kept all his cash in a bucket,
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket
See? What’s so damned funny about that? Not much. I’m glad there’s a generation of humor I managed to avoid.
The Nantucket sequel has to do with Pawtucket:
But he followed the pair to Pawtucket,
The man and the girl with the bucket;
And he said to the man,
He was welcome to Nan,
But as for the bucket, Pawtucket.
Seriously, folks of yesteryear had an entirely different view of what is considered humorous today.