Still More Lecherous Limericks
ISAAC ASIMOV, overwhelmed at the tremendously quiet reception of Lecherous Limericks and the even more clamorously silent reception of More Lecherous Limericks, got to work at once. Before the police could be mobilized, he had produced still a third bouquet of dainty verse, fragrant and wholesome.
It was not long after the publication of More Lecherous Limericks, in fact, that he charged into the offices of those estimable gentlemen, Samuel Walker and Richard Company (who together make up the firm of Walker and Company) waving a manuscript and shouting, “Glorious news! I have here the completed Still More Lecherous Limericks.”
The cacophony of muted tranquility that greeted this momentous announcement seemed to stimulate him.
“Here,” he said, “is the tragic tale of eager young Elaine, the story of the pleasant manners of the gentleman from Crete, the account of the intelligent foresight of Suzanne, and the description of the nautical charms of Adele.”
And as the quiet about him arose to a welkin-splitting serenity, he added, “And, of course, ninety-six other trenchant short stories of love and passion, each told in five deathless lines, and all made up out of my very own head and never seen by mortal eyes before.—When can you get this out?”
“In the usual time,” said Andrea Curley, the noble managing editor, with an enthusiastic wringing of her hands, “unless, of course, we have the incredible bad luck to lose the manuscript.—We have lot quite a few lately.”
Asimov laughed genially, for publishers were always losing his manuscripts. Sometimes the cleaning women had accidentally dropped them in the wastebasket. (He always poked through the wastebaskets at such times.)
“Fear not,” he said, “I have a carbon and I will make up dozens of Xeroxes.”
Sam Walker said, “We might as well look facts in the face. The place might burn down and we couldn’t well publish the book then.” He looked thoughtfully at a box of matches he held in his hand.
“My cousin,” said Asimov, “is a fireman. I will have him move in here and keep his eyes open day and night.”
Sam put away the matches. He said, “Let’s remember that the business world is full of uncertainties these days. If we go out of business, we won’t be able to publish your book.”
“Nonsense,” said Asimov, “trembling over uncertainties is a very uncomfortable procedure. Forget it and publish the book.”
So here is Still More Lecherous Limericks. Walker and Company followed Asimov’s advice and no longer tremble over uncertainties.—Only over a rather clammy certainty.
There’s little (if anything) to say about this book that wasn’t said about Lecherous Limericks or More Lecherous Limericks. One is glad that this is the end of the solo efforts, at least, and the illustrations are an improvement on More Lecherous Limericks. Still, it’s a book I could easily have done without.