Mother of All Synonyms*

by James L. Hale

A wannabe novelist brooded one day
On a notable gap in the work of Roget.
He was searching for something a little more callous
Than what Roget limits to ''penis'' or ''phallus.''

So he called on his friend, a notable bard,
For help in his quest to describe something hard.
The bard said, ''That's easy — use cock, prick, or dong,
Unless the guy's Jewish, of course, then use schlong.''

The novelist found these four nouns a bit shocking,
''Then make it a verb," said the bard. ''Make it 'cocking.'''
''I don't know,'' said the novelist, "how about pork?''
Said the bard, ''I'd prefer to hear dick, dink, or dork.''

''Shaft works," said the bard, "if you make the guy Negro.
Or 'ham loaf,' 'salami,' or 'big black torpedo.'''
''But he's white," said the novelist, ''a bit of a loner.''
''So give him a 'pud,''' said the bard, "or a 'boner.'''

They struggled for hours, these men of the word,
And listed each synonym they'd ever heard —
Banana, meat, tool, stick, hog, peter, and pony,
Bumper hitch, noodle, putz, rocket, and boney —

Putter, bazooka, joint, third leg, and slappy,
The small head, Wet Willy, and of course, Mr. Happy.
Member, erection, cucumber, zucchini,
One-eyed worm, cyclops, tube, hose, Mussolini.

Mainmast, boom, yardarm, the Mushroom of Bounty.
Little Mister Helmet, The Head of Groin County
Wonder wand, poker, nail, sword, finger-lickin',
Stabbed rabbit, wood, woody, beef, and choked chicken.

''That's a start, anyway,'' the bard finally said.
The novelist had no more words in his head.
''I'm beginning to think that I don't like this prick,''
Said the bard — ''What if you make him a chick?''

*Winner, asinine poetry literary contest, spring 2002

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