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Five Finn-flareup finalists: Vote for the verse victor

For a while there it looked as if the first Verse or Worse challenge was either too hard or too easy for MinnPost’s witerati: On Day One we got only two entries.

But eventually the possibility of winning an inestimably valuable MinnPost T-shirt for writing a limerick about an incident at the airport apparently was too good to resist — even if the incident in question involved Finnish acoustic musicians, not Larry Craig.

Two submitters dragged the troubled toe-tapper into it anyway, but they didn’t make the Top Five, as chosen by the unimpeachable Verse or Worse panel of judge. (That panel, dear reader; that panel is me.)

I’m pleased to note that the only overlap among the five top entries is that two of them rhyme “Helsinki” with “stinky.” Inexplicably, not a single entry referred to the Hostess Twinkie.

And now you get to choose the winner from among the top five by voting in our survey.

Contest ends at 5 pm on Thursday, Nov. 22.

Here are your choices.

Truth-in-something declaration: Two of the finalists — Steve Brandt and Bridget Fensholt — are people personally known to me. (Hey, I personally know a lot of people.) If that troubles you, you are free not to vote for their limericks. In fact, you’re free not to vote at all, but where’s the fun in that?

There once were three Finnish musicians,
Who were greeted with U.S. suspicions.
Customs goons threatened jail
While the frightened Finns quail
At the specter of folk song renditions.
—Suzanne Merideth

Three acoustical, musical Lapps
Fell into our MSP traps.
The judge’s conclusion?
Most likely, confusion:
INS thought their visas said “lapse.”
—Jill Field

The artists came fresh from Helsinki,
Not intending to do something kinky,
Immigration went wild
Like an unruly child
And turned a good time really stinky!
—Sam Fleitman

They’d heard of Minnesota Nice.
Then they met the agents from I.C.E.
Who went through their strings
And unmentionable things
And found nary a trace of vice.
—Steve Brandt

They said to our guy in Helsinki
The way we’ve been treated is stinky
We need some a-tone-ment
For our tour’s postponement
We can’t play ’cause our thumbs are too inky!
—Bridget Fensholt

(Bridget’s limerick was submitted as a second verse to my sample limerick, which outlined the situation. I found that odd, but hardly disqualifying.)

On Nov. 26, the results of the voting (who hauls in that breathtaking MinnPost T-shirt?) — and a new challenge.

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