Monkey and Baboon Limerick


Informant SG was a current undergraduate student at the Univerity of Southern California at the time of this collection. I met with SG on a Zoom call to exchange family folklore.

“My grandfather has like a gross limerick that he likes to say to shock and amuse. The context you’d say it in would be like as a non-sequitur specifically meant to disrupt the conversation.”


“Monkey and baboon sitting in the grass. The Monkey stuck a finger up the baboon’s ass. Said the baboon, Damn your soul! Get your finger out of my asshole!”


When speaking with SG, that their “grandfather is fun at parties.” The performance of this particular folk speech would likely result in immediate shock or laughter. As absurd as it might sound in context, I am inclined to think that this piece of folk speech speaks to the values of SG’s grandfather and anyone else who repeats it. In using a non-sequitur folk saying such as this, it can be assumed that the speaker sees value and maybe even finds joy in spontaneity and laughter more than in formal conversations. If the performance were to be delivered properly, it is possible that the speaker might actually be utilizing this folk speech to promote and accelerate their relationship with listeners. By establishing themselves as a light-hearted, spontaneous individual, this work to convince listeners to rely on them for a laugh or to keep conversations going/interesting.