It's been a good contest, and you should all be proud of yourselves. I enjoyed all your haiku, and I look forward to next year's contest, which I hope will be an equally good display of creativity, tomfoolery, one-upmanship, and most of all, the Olympic spirit.
BUT. There comes a time when one must truly reward a job well done, and recognize the true standouts. So, without further ado, I announce the winners. Prizes will be drawn from this jar, or a similar jar acquired closer to the next time I see you, of whole cashews.
We begin with:
The Honour Roll
These entries were judged to be of a high quality, or were particularly enjoyable. Each haiku on the honour roll entitles its writer to one half cashew.
The writers of these haiku are, in no particular order:
From here, we move on to some of the minor categories. For these categories, runners-up receive one whole cashew:
and the winners receive three.
It wouldn't be I, Dickolas Wang without a few penis jokes. It's in the name, after all. There were surprisingly few entries in this category, but the two that were entered were pretty darn good. Galen made a solid entry, which makes him the runner-up.
The clear winner, however, was Victor. His tasteful double-entendre set a new standard in elegance of dick jokes used in haiku. Congratulations to both Galen and Victor.
If At First You Don't Succeed...
The If At First You Don't Succeed award for persistence goes to Joyce, whose fourth (of six) entry was quite enjoyable, and incisive:
why was the haiku
contest held? of course it was
to increase comments!
(Oh no, she's onto me!)
Haiku Don't Have To Rhyme, You Know
Some of you made your haikus rhyme. I couldn't figure out why: you only have 17 syllables to make your point, so why would you add on yet another constraint? Still, I appreciate your efforts, so Thomas and Shelby receive the smaller half of a cashew that was split lengthwise.
(you get the smaller bit)
Here again, the clear winner was Victor, whose haiku manages to be both phallic and rhyming. Again, congratulations to Victor.
Before we get to the big important categories, I think now is a good time to list the Hall of Shame, entries that were for some reason or another disqualified from the contest.
Too Bad These Weren't Entries (for you)
Steve's entry was a haiku, but it failed to be about me. In personal correspondence Steve admitted to me that he had not read the rules of the contest, and he did not know it had to be about me. For this, Steve wins the RTFP award. An entry from a stranger named D.R. Gilbert also failed to be about me, but since I don't know if he RTFP, I'll have to go with Steve for this one.
Graham's entry failed to be a haiku: the number of syllables per line is wrong twice, and not only that, there's 8 syllables in the last line. For this, Graham wins the Farthest From A Haiku award.
It's a real shame that Jim's first entry had 6 syllables in the last line, because "fallow minefields tarry" is perhaps the greatest line of poetry anyone I know has ever composed. Since he did correct this entry and re-enter the haiku, though, I can only name him the runner-up for the Overall "Too Bad" award.
The winner of this "Too Bad" award is Jowen, for his entry:
My sandwich is gone
Where could it be? Dick has it!?!?
I am going to kill him
It had good flow, it was topical, and it was 100% Jowen. Unfortunately it wasn't a haiku.
While I did enjoy these haiku, the fact remains that they were not valid entries. To the writers of the Hall of Shame entries: for wasting my time reading these, you owe me one cashew each. (Except D.R. Gilbert, my mom told me never to take food from strangers.) And Jowen, since your entry was so tantalizingly close to being a great entry, it hurts just that little bit more and so you owe me a larger cashew.
The international "pay up" sign
An example of a larger cashew
We now finally come to the main categories. Runners-up in these categories receive three cashews, and the winners receive five.
Ah, the insulting haiku. It's amazing how much hate the best of these packed into the three lines of their haiku.
Runners-up: David S. and Jowen Yeo (tied)
Our Dickolas Wang
He's like the Chinese Yao Ming!
So big he's jolly
David S. managed to throw in one of his best jokes as well as a reference to my jolliness, demonstrating a true adeptness with the form.
You are in my sight
My sword cuts of your head - ouch!
I win again - ohhhh!
Jowen's entry was pure Jowen. Classic.
The clear winner, though, was Adam, with his haiku that referenced our shared adventures as well as saving the punch for last so effectively that I was actually almost hurt. Kudos!
The flip-side of the insulting haiku is of course the flattering haiku. These haiku provided an uplifting counterpoint to the above insulting entries, and were every bit as good.
Biggest Dick out there.
You will see it everywhere.
Gives you quite a scare.
Victor's versatility garners him another award, and another three cashews.
There was a clear winner in this category, too, and that winner was Li'l Devilangel. Congratulations, Amber: who knew you had the soul of a poet?
With his Richform hat
He looks so hot and sexy
I bought him that hat
While this is somehow flattering, I think the emphasis here is on Jowen, making this a neutral entry. And a good one.
There was again a clear winner in this category. Jim takes the Best Neutral award with this entry, mentioning both the calves and the Minesweeper.
The clear winners in the three main categories were also head-and-shoulders the best entries into the contest. These three entries form the three best overall haiku: this was a tough one to decide, but the ordinals are as follows:
3rd place: Adam
A fact you should know:
From Central Weed to South Weed
Nobody likes you.
For this very strong entry, Adam receives six cashews.
2nd place: Jim
Cal Berkeley beckons
colossal calves trek southward
fallow minefields wait
Jim receives eight cashews.
1st place: Li'l Devilangel
O garrulous Wang
A piquant wit among rubes
Hallowed be thy cock
The grand prize winner receives ten cashews.
I think I can say, without qualification, that this was the best haiku contest I have ever had. Thanks to all the participants, and see you in '06!
Current Music: The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
EDIT (Sept. 6, 2005): I realized too late that Li'l Devilangel's entry is also a phallic haiku. I thus name it another runner-up, tied with Galen's, in the Best Phallic category, since its phallic-ness is not the main thrust as it is with Victor's.