Isaac Asimov’s Books of Dirty Limericks

There was a hairy old man from the future... A selection of the master science fiction writer's bawdy limericks

Isaac Asimov


Isaac Asimov (c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) is remembered for his prolific science fiction writing, impressive ‘lamb chops’  – of which he said: “They became a permanent feature of my face, and it is now difficult to believe early photographs that show me without sideburns” – and less known for his limericks. Some of them appeared in the book Lecherous Limericks in 1975.

There was a sweet girl of Decatur
Who went to sea on a freighter.
She was screwed by the master
-An utter disaster-
But the crew all made up for it later.

Asimov said of that limerick:

“This one marked the beginning. I composed it on the Queen Elizabeth II when returning from a visit to Great Britain in June 1974. When I recited it, everyone laughed. Since that time I have been writing down limericks. I wasn’t going to let myself forget them and lose laughs.”


Isaac Asmov


It might be that his limericks are not all that surprising for a writer who said that a “good joke can do more to provoke thought than hours of philosophical discussion”, who wrote The Sensuous Dirty Old Man (1971) who said of his writing style:

“I have an informal style, which means I tend to use short words and simple sentence structure, to say nothing of occasional colloquialisms. This grates on people who like things that are poetic, weighty, complex, and, above all, obscure. On the other hand, the informal style pleases people who enjoy the sensation of reading an essay without being aware that they are reading and of feeling that ideas are flowing from the writer’s brain into their own without mental friction.”


Isaac Asimov Limericks


Lecherous Limerick was soon followed by More Lecherous Limericks in 1976, Still More Lecherous Limericks in 1977, A Grossery of Limericks written and compiled with poet John Ciardi in 1981, and Limericks, Too Gross again with Ciardi in 1985.

On the back cover of A Grossery of Limericks, Asimov explained his talent for writing saucy verse:

“The question I am most frequently asked is ‘Asimov, how do you manage to make up your deliciously crafted limericks?’

“It’s difficult to find an answer that doesn’t sound immodest since ‘Sheer genius!’ happens to be the truth. It is terrible to have to choose between virtues of honesty and modesty. Generally I choose honesty which is one way (among many) in which I am different from John Ciardi. Not that I mean to impugn John’s character, of course. I am sure he would choose honesty too, if he knew what it was.

“The last time someone asked him how he managed to compose limericks, John said, ‘What are limericks?’”


Isaac Asimov Limericks

Some more examples:

There was a young woman named Rhoda
As sweet as a chocolate soda.
It was such a delight
To screw her at night
Then once more at dawn as a coda.

Cleopatra’s a cute little minx
With a sex life that’s loaded with kinks
Marcus A. she would steer amid
The palms and Great pyramid
And they’d screw on the head of the sphinx.

There was an old lady of Brewster
Who would mutter, whenever I gewster,
“You’re losing the knack,
Or you’re missing the crack,
‘Cause it don’t feel as good as it yewster.”

Upon high Olympus, great Zeus
Muttered angrily, “Oh, what the deuce!
It takes spiced ambrosia
To get the nymphs cosier
And Hera supplies grapefruit juice.”

A pious young minister’s pappy
Had a sex life, diverse, hot, and snappy.
It shocked his dear son
When he had all that fun,
But it made girl parishioners happy.

And finally:

Said a certain young man with a grin,
“I think it is time to begin.”
Said the girl with a sneer,
“With what? Why, your pee-er
Is scarcely as big as a pin.”

Said a woman with open delight,
“My pubic hair’s perfectly white.
I admit there’s a glare
But the fellows don’t care
They locate it more quickly at night.

Lead Image: Asimov and students, 1981.

Via Lazy MF

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