Questions and Answers with Madeleine Begun Kane, Limerick Laureate 2013

Madeleine KaneWe know National Chocolate Week is a silly, marketing-driven week of obligation with a non-pedigree provenance. However, that doesn’t mean we’re letting it escape unnoticed. So, with due respect and honor to this third week of March, 2013, please allow us to introduce CAC’s Limerick Laureate, the bard and babe of Bayside (Queens), Madeleine Begun Kane.

A former oboist prodigy and career-change lawyer, Kane is also a national award-winning writer whose work appeared in numerous national magazines and in Mad Kane’s Political Madness and The Journal Of Bloglandia, Volume 1, Issue 2. She also sprinkles humor throughout the internet, on her humor blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and political blog. She’ll also turn up elsewhere serendipitously.

And, serendipitously is how she came to our attention. Swiss intern Hans Suberbraune said that meeting Kane and her husband, Mark, was the one redeeming feature to an otherwise horrible date — that he claims was part of an inglorious St. Pat’s Day weekend, although he isn’t always believable and we aren’t ruling out that he was actually doing some corporate espionage to inform some of the culinary experiments he runs in the lab at the back of the shop.  She let him know about her weekly limerick-off — all are invited to participate — and also turned him onto some of her chocolate limericks, including  …

Chocolate Limerick
Dear candy shop, leave out the filling.
Those rich, creamy innards ain’t thrilling.
I like choc’late that’s pure.
Milk or dark? Both allure.
Must I choose? Okay, dark gets top billing.

Acrostic Limerick Treat
Though desserts can be very enticing,
Remember — beware of the pricing:
Ended up with a bill
Awf’ly high — bitter pill.
Thanks heavens for chocolate icing!

Healthy Complaint
Dark choc’late, caffeine, and red wine
Might harm us, or may be just fine.
Ev’ry news item muddies
My mind with new studies.
Please make up your mind: What’s benign?

Limerick for National Chocolate Day
Oh, no! Did I make a mistake
While baking that chocolate cake?
An ingredient doubled?
Or tripled? I’m troubled!
I should have bought something from Drake.*

and

Yet Another Excuse To Eat Chocolate
If you want yet another excuse
To engage in some chocolate abuse,
It seems eating those sweets
Will create smart elites
And can Nobel Prize winners produce.

She was also kind enough to agree to answer a few questions:

Cupid Alley Chocolatieres: What were your favorite chocolates growing up and are there particular shops or chocolates that are particularly special treats today?
Madeleine Begun Kane: I can still almost taste those delicious Loft’s Chocolate Parlays of my childhood. They were relatively pricey, so my parents rarely bought them. But once in a while, guests would show up with a candy box packed with Parlay bars wrapped in foil. Alas, our dog loved them too: One day she managed to climb on the table and eat an entire box. But she generously left us the wrappers.

When I was a kid, Krisch’s in Massapequa Park, Long Island, New York was my favorite place for post-concert chocolate ice cream sodas. And to this day, they’re still selling wonderful ice cream and chocolates.

But my favorite chocolatiere is Lazar’s Chocolate, in Great Neck, Long Island. Their milk chocolate turtles and butter crunch are irresistible.

CAC: Can you explain what ties together all the different aspects to your personality: oboist, lawyer, and now award winning humor writer?
MBK: Many writers, especially humor writers, have a music background. After all without rhythm, it’s very hard to be funny. And of course it’s tough for a lawyer to survive without being a pretty good writer.

Nonetheless, such a trio of professions is challenging to explain. But I do summarize it in

What Will I Be When I Grow Up?
Ev’ry decade I change my career.
The first used my musical ear.
I tried lawyering second,
Till humor scribe beckoned.
What’s next? I just can’t wait to hear.

CAC: Do you find any connection between your interest in chocolate and limericks?
MBK: No, but I’m open to suggestions.

CAC: Do you have favorite chocolate recipes?
MBK: I suspect that kitchen implements are involved. So, no.

CAC: Was there a particular inspiration for your limerick contest?
MBK: My weekly limerick contest evolved almost organically: Many years ago, people began to sometimes respond to one of my limericks with their own. This gave me the idea to invite people to write their own limericks using my line. Finally, just over two years ago, I formalized my Limerick-Off challenges into a real contest with Limerick of the Week and other awards.  I now run it both on my humor blog and on my Facebook page, with a new limerick contest posted every Sunday.

CAC: Regarding inspiration, how did you come to write the poems about chocolate?
MBK: I’ve written thousands of limericks about nearly every imaginable topic. So it would be more surprising  if I didn’t occasionally write about something so tasty as a good chocolate.

CAC: What current and future projects are you particularly excited about?
MBK:  Speaking of those thousands of limericks, my plan is to publish several topical books of my limericks: Money Limericks, Marriage Limericks, Legal Limericks, Technology Limericks, Political Limericks, Travel Limericks, etc. I confess that I’ve started this project several times, but something else keeps bumping it. I’m hoping that this year I’ll finally find enough time to put at least a couple of those books together.

Have a happy and ever-delicious National Chocolate Week.

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3 Responses to Questions and Answers with Madeleine Begun Kane, Limerick Laureate 2013

  1. Thanks so much for your kind, enthusiastic words, Pearl!

    And sorry about that, Linda. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Linda H. says:

    Oh, no. These delightful chocolate limericks make me hungry. 🙂

  3. Can anyone ever say anything about Madeline Kane that doesn’t include DELICIOUS? — A brilliant poet whose work brings as much satisfaction and smiles as the smoothest creamiest chocolate – YUMMY 🙂