No.3.—At the Poet Laureate’s.
Have you any fresh sonnets today?
Our sonnets are always fresh on Wednesdays.
We have no fresh sonnets, but we have some pickled in vinegar.
The federal government has forced us to stop dealing in sonnets by means of its petty and over-scrupulous regulations.
I should like to see your selection of odes.
For what occasions are these odes suitable?
These odes are suitable for coronations, inaugurations, and installations.
These odes are suitable for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and weddings.
These odes are suitable for grocery-shopping, lawn-mowing, and visiting the dentist.
Can the odes be customized?
In what colors are the odes available?
These odes are available in standard colors only.
These odes are available in standard colors, but may be ordered in custom colors for an additional fee.
These odes have a blank space for the insertion of a trochaic disyllabic name, such as “Bonnie.”
I should like to commission an epic on the subject of my career in the gravel industry.
What are your rates for epics in English heroic verse?
In blank verse?
In dactylic hexameter?
In free verse?
For epics we charge by the pound,
by the kilogram,
by the liquid pint.
Today only, if you purchase an epic in English heroic verse, you may receive two free epics in blank verse.
If I order an epic in English heroic verse, how will I be able to distinguish it from a satire in the same meter?
You may distinguish our epics from our satires by observing that our satires are not funny.
You may distinguish our epics from our satires by means of this electronic literary multimeter, sold separately.
It is not possible to distinguish our epics from our satires.
How soon will my epic be available for pickup?
Your epic will be available for pickup tomorrow,
in six months.
Your epic will be left unfinished at our death eleven years from now.
Thank you, and please do not fail to telephone me when my epic is completed.
See you later,