Yesterday's Technology . . . Today!

Letterpress Limericks

A machinist who came from Timor
Changed magazines often before.
But the lock wasn't tight
To the left, but was right.
And he dumped mats all over the floor.

--::--

A Linotype man from L.A.
Was having a difficult day.
With fingers abused
ETAOIN was used
And SHRDLU brought into play.

--::--

A newspaper man from LaCrosse
Saw his paper ran at a loss.
He hollered "Oh No!
My Hoe is too slow!"
And traded it in for a Goss.

--::--

An Intertype gal from LeMans
Sets type with both of her hands.
And sometimes her toes
And the tip of her nose.
Whatever production demands.

--::--

A nasty old pressman I knew
Got to hell without much ado.
Satan said "You have sinned,"
As he devilishly grinned
"What a press I've here waiting for you!"

--::--

A German man quite laconic
Would print things only teutonic.
Like instructions for strudles
Sauerbraten with noodles
And notes for the Bonn Philharmonic.

--::--

A short-legged man from Seville
Built his shop on the side of a hill.
After printing away
For a year and a day
He discovered one leg shorter still.

--::--

A printer who lives in Sudan
Runs his press just as fast as he can.
To make matters worse
He once ran in reverse
And finished before he began.

--::--

A pressman who's now in perdition
Came to work in a drunken condition.
He fell in the press
Which made quite a mess.
It was surely his final edition.

--::--

A fellow who worked in Pocasset
Printed a job for the Knesset.
It didn't delight
For it read left to right
Which was backwards, but he didn't guess it.

--::--

"My press" said a printer in Ghent
"Was pedaled so fast that it bent.
This meddlesome treadle
Unsettled my mettle,
So for one from John Hern I have sent."

--::--

At the Linotype he was quite new.
Did not know quite what to do.
A careless tight line
Brought a scream, then a whine
As typemetal spattered his shoe.

--::--

There once was a man from Luzerne
Who did printing carelessly learn.
With a slip of the wrist
By his press he was kissed
And he no longer can "Work and turn."

--::--

A printer who worked in Lahore
Had legs all tired and sore.
"If I had but a Kimble
I could be quite nimble
For I would treadle no more."

--::--

A printer in Hades from Islet
Soon by the devil was met.
Who with eyes all agleam
Said "Take this machine,
You've an acre of agate to set."

--::--

An engraver, an unhappy wretch
Had a problem he just couldn't catch.
He said "I don't know
Why this bath works so slow,
But this looks like a seven year etch."

--::--

"Be a six year apprentice" they said.
"With a permanent job just ahead."
But his joy soon diminished
As soon as he finished.
"Going cold type, hot metal is dead!"

--::--

A printer who worked in Bangkok
Had a turtle he kept in his shop.
Not the kind you might know
That walks pretty slow
But with wheels and cast iron top.

--::--

An Intertype man from Alsace
When involved in a typesetting race,
Yelled "I'll win in a breeze!"
As smoke rose from the keys
And he set a blistering pace.
He set type in total confusion.
His skills were just an illusion.
And one time he bent
Where the elevator went
And suffered a massive contusion.

--::--

A Linotype man, problematic
Drove the machinist quite frantic.
He'd send a tight line
But most of the time
He was saved by the vise automatic.

--::--

Miss Mary the old fashioned printer,
Why printing was all she was inter.
With arms all akimbo
This robotic bimbo
Would quake from her front to her hinter!

One day while treadling her press,
A gear caught her old-fashioned dress.
As it got torn away
She was heard to say
"I got caught, but I wasn't impressed!"

--::--

There once was a pressman from Bligh,
Who worked while wearing a tie.
As the cylinder turned
He suddenly learned
The effect of type meeting the eye.

--::--

A printer who worked in Des Moines
Forgot to tighten a quoin.
As the press went around
The type fell to the ground
Which he found extremely annoying.

--::--

A Printer who came from Orleans
Disdained Italic it seems.
"I really hate
That it won't stand up straight.
I'm annoyed by the way that it leans."

--::--

A printer of art in Oshgosh
Said his four-color job was a wash.
The ink went to hell
But they couldn't tell
Picasso from Hieronymus Bosch

--::--

To save rent a printer from Brewer
Set up his shop in a sewer.
He paid little rent
But the jobs that he scent
Made his customers phewer and fewer

--::--

Of course he is getting slow.
It's all that asbestos, you know.
And deadly pot fumes
In hot little rooms
It's a wonder there aint no Mo!

--::--

A printer of old worked with lead.
"It's bad for you!" it was said.
He would cry with a jeer
"I'll live many a year!"
But at age 99 he was dead.

--::--

There was a young lady from Rye
Who boiled some press parts in lye.
But she had a mishap
Some spilled in her lap
And ate away part of her thigh.

--::--

A printer from old Mandalay
Told of a most painful day.
He started to pedal
One foot under the treadle.
Now some toes will bend either way.

--::--

There once was a printer named Fred
Who had dirty rags up to his head.
With a pile that high
And the EPA guy
He now uses Kleenex instead.




Copyright © Dave Hughes 2000-2014. All rights reserved.