Former London Mayor Wins Poetry Contest with Goat Sex Limerick - Atlas Obscura
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Former London Mayor Wins Poetry Contest with Goat Sex Limerick

It’s about free speech.

Boris Johnson, right. (Photo: johnhemming/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Boris Johnson, until last year the mayor of London, one of the largest cities in the world, has a lot of opinions. And he’s known for a good quote. 

“I’ve slept with far fewer than 1,000 [women],” he said once, for example. 

My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive,” he has also said, of the prospects of him becoming Prime Minister. 

Or take this, about cake: ”My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it.”

A former college debater with unruly hair and some unruly opinions—including a fervent belief in free speech—it was still perhaps hard to imagine that he might one day write a poem about the Turkish president having sex with a goat. 

It came as more of a surprise that said poem won a poetry contest, specifically the Spectator’s Offensive Poetry contest. Here is the poem in full: 

There was a young fellow from Ankara
Who was a terrific wankerer
Till he sowed his wild oats
With the help of a goat
But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

How did we get to this point? The Spectator launched the competition after a German comedian made a bestiality joke about the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which upset Erdoğan, who then urged German authorities to prosecute the comedian. (That situation is ongoing.) 

Johnson offered the limerick in solidarity with the comedian. But is it prizeworthy? We’ll let the public decide.