CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Humor, like beauty, might well be in the eye of the beholder. And the entries in the Charlotte Observer’s 20th limericks reader contest might well provoke a laugh or scorn, especially on entries focusing in on recent debates on an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance rejected by City Council on March 2.

By far, transgender inclusion became the most contentious item in the weeks of debate leading up to the Council vote. At the meeting itself, nearly five hours of public comment was filled with conversation and rhetoric, many of it painting transgender women as sexual predators. Ultimately, Council rejected a fully inclusive ordinance package that would have protected LGBT and other people in public accommodations and elsewhere, and also voted against a compromise package that stripped restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities from the public accommodations amendment.

Readers in the Charlotte Observer’s limericks contest picked up on the debate to crack a few jokes in almost each of the four weeks it ran, coming in neck-and-neck, it seems, with cracks on a North Charlotte neighborhood’s disagreement with a man they say regularly stands naked in the front door of his home.

See the entries below and vote in our QPoll at end: Do you find the limericks satirical and funny or offensive and dismissive?

The Observer gave its first week win to a limerick on the transgender debate, submitted by reader John Long:

The fearmongers lobbied, and sold it!
The bathroom? Policemen patrolled it!
City Council, I fear,
Made their policy clear:
Transgenders should just try to hold it.

Perhaps this one has enough “punching up” that it can slide by with a satire tag.

Others might not be so lucky. Here are some of the other entries, some winning and some featured for honorable mention:

From Bill McGloughlin:

Single-sex, one of ed’s oldest tools,
CMS may soon add to their rules,
But with so many genders,
And benders and blenders,
Do you think that we have enough schools?

Also from Bill McGloughlin, who, according to the Observer,  “combined the transgender story with a bill that would let drivers pass across double yellow lines”:

Officer, may I voice my objection
To the State-sanctioned view of perfection?
For when I take the wheel,
I drive just how I feel,
I identify as “transdirection.”

From Steve Kardisco:

Ladies’ room or off to the men’s?
Am I capon, rooster or hen?
Do I sit in a stall,
Or lean on a wall?
Or maybe just buy some Depends?

From Phil Clutts:

Transgendereds are feeling bereft,
The Council, it wasn’t too deft,
Ignoring their voice,
It gives them no choice,
But to form a straight line on the left.

From Week 2 winner Joel Zauss:

We all should have seen this one coming
And opposite sides have been scrumming.
If your gender has changed
Or you’ve been rearranged
Use the loo that best matches your plumbing.

From Bill Wortman, Jr., a gynecologist for 32 years, according to the Observer:

If you stoop, sit, or lean when you ‘go’,
It’s really no matter, and so,
If you chose to rename
It’s how well you can aim
That determines which room’s apropos.

And, for added bonus, a few limericks from the last week of the contest on the recent anti-LGBT “religious freedom” debate:

From Wes Long, Week 4 winner:

“At the Final Four,” Mike Pence reminds,
“We’ll applaud when guys slap guys’ behinds.
They’ll be young, fit and sweaty,
In a sea of confetti.
Who says Hoosiers don’t have open minds?”

From Jeff Kaylor:

“You gay folks ain’t goin’ to heaven,
So stay out of MY 7-Eleven,”
Says the man from Indy,
Who thinks that it’s trendy
To pick who can (and cannot) be forgiven.

From Joel Zauss:

Indianans can turn them away
If their faith doesn’t tolerate gay.
They cite their religion
To hate just a smidgen.
Funny, that’s what I heard ISIS say.

QPoll: Funny or no?

[poll id=”67″]

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.