by F.R. Duplantier
A man stuffed his mate in a crate
And mailed her away second rate.
She came back the next day:
There was postage to pay —
For the mate had misstated her weight.
When the overnight fasting first breaks,
An assassin must have what it takes
To give him the spark
To knock off his mark,
Be it Wheaties or Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
PACKING A PUNCHLINE
An assassin possessed a sharp wit,
Which was helpful when making a hit:
He’d just tell a joke
So funny you’d choke
And each victim succumbed to a fit.
A LITTLE REVENGE
The tallest in town are all filled
With the fear that they too will be killed
By a midget who’s all
Of 48 inches tall
And intent on avenging his build.
DEATH AND TAXES
Charlie Chan and his Number One Son
Had no trouble finding the gun,
But the victim, said Chan,
Was an IRS man
And the killer could be anyone.
The crook did a song and dance:
“Judge, give me another chance!
Breaking into that vault
Really wasn’t my fault:
I’m a victim of circumstance.”
THE AESTHETICS OF A MURDER
Knowing his goose was cooked,
A killer confessed and was booked.
“The reason,” he said,
“That I shot the man dead
Was I didn’t like the way that he looked.”
A D.A. complained, “What’s the sense
Of losing each case to Defense?
If the guilty go free
For a nice legal fee,
I might as well try Innocents.”
A judge who was thoroughly miffed
When a killer kept pleading the fifth
Without thinking twice
Gave him four terms of life —
“And another for pleading the fifth!”
WITNESSES FOR THE PROSECUTION
A murderer successfully banned
Eyewitnesses taking the stand,
Giving voice to a threat
To do them in next,
But the outcome was not as he planned.
For the case for the prosecution
Was delivered with rare elocution
When professional actors
Performed as detractors
In a last-minute substitution.
And the sophistry of his barristers
Could not undermine his disparagers;
Thus, the thug learned that day
That crime doesn’t pay —
Thanks to a fine cast of characters.
ROOMFUL OF SLEUTHS
A detective’s convention was planned
To honor C. Auguste Dupin,
And every slick shamus
Who ever was famous
From Hammer to Spade was on hand.
Philip Marlowe and every gumshoe
From Nick Archer to young Nancy Drew
Attended the party
With Frank and Joe Hardy,
Charlie Chan, and his Son Number Two.
Nero Wolfe brought an orchid to pin
On Miss Marple and all who came in,
Ellery Queen brought a cake,
Perry Mason brought Drake,
Nick and Nora brought bottles of gin.
Sherlock Holmes came with Watson in tow,
But mustacchioed Belgian Poirot
Misplaced the address
On the Orient Express
And he hadn’t a clue where to go.
The biggest mistake of my life
Was plotting to murder my wife,
But a contract assassin
To see to her passin’
Seemed the only way out of my strife.
The killer was ugly and mean,
But would profit from venting his spleen.
Illegal or wrong,
He’d do it so long
As the money I paid him was green.
I showed him the lay of the house
And a photograph made of my spouse.
He collected his fee,
Then came after me
With a razor-sharp dagger — the louse!
I cried, “Put away that big knife
And spare me my miserable life.
The wounds you’re inflictin’
Are in the wrong victim:
I paid you to knock off my wife!”
“I know what you paid me to do,”
He said as he slashed out anew,
“And I fully intend
To do your wife in —
After honoring her contract on you!”
I survived that two-timer’s knife,
And so did my murderous wife.
We’re both doing well,
Though we’re sharing a cell:
We’ll be cellmates for 20 to Life!
TIME TO KILL
A man had a row with his mate
And decided to speed up her fate.
He thought that his wife
Might enjoy afterlife
And he knew that he couldn’t wait.
There were myriad ways he might bag her —
Bow and arrow, blunt object, or dagger,
Or poison or pills —
For there’s so much that kills
(The possibilities made him stagger).
There were hanging and gassing and worse —
The methods too great to rehearse —
And that’s just if he tried
To fake suicide,
For murders were much more diverse.
A compendium of deaths accidental
Holds drowning and falling essential,
Includes hit and run
And cleaning a gun,
And a long list of acts providential.
He thought he’d give toxins a try,
But the chemist had several to buy
And he couldn’t decide
Arsenic, strychnine, and lye.
He considered a venomous snake,
As well as a time-triggered cake:
A bomb (tick, tick, tick)
Would sure do the trick,
But what kind of a cake should he bake?
A pillow case stuffed in her face
Could be counted to leave not a trace,
But a bat and a brick
And a sharpened ice pick
Are weapons that all have their place.
And, if shotguns had been all the rage,
He would have bogged down on the gauge.
Thus, before he could choose
The best weapon to use,
His poor partner had died of old age.
© 1985, F.R. Duplantier