Cigar Society of Chicago
St. Patrick's Day Cigar Party &
                              Limerick Contest
Register for this event.

Cigars, premium open bar including plenty of Jameson's and Guinness, and some traditional Irish-American foods, are included. $50 each covers costs. Bring with you a limerick or other short poem you've written that has a cigar theme, an Irish-American theme, or any theme, really. Or you can compose one after a few drinks on site. (You'll have more fun if you join in.) Chicago's grand dame of limericks, Bindy Bitterman, will talk about limericks and help with last-minute composition and tuning, and she will award prizes for the best limericks in categories to be determined at the last minute. Long-time Cigar Society member Rick Rundle will be our deejay, spinning out traditional (and maybe some nontraditional) Irish and Irish-American tunes.

If you're not sure what limericks are, Bindy will be delighted to explain. To get a head start, watch her video for tips. Limericks are single stanzas of five lines, with metrical and rhyme scheme AABBA. Describing the metrical feet can get technically complicated, but David Abercrombie, a practical phonetician, says this: "Lines one, two, and five have three feet, that is to say three stressed syllables, while lines three and four have two stressed syllables. The number and placement of the unstressed syllables is rather flexible. There is at least one unstressed syllable between the stresses but there may be more as long as there are not so many as to make it impossible to keep the equal spacing of the stresses." For those of you who've been around the Cigar Society for a while, you may remember that Ted Cohen, late Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, spoke to the Cigar Society on April 1st, 2008, and gave a couple of lecherous limericks told by a priest and a bishop as part of a funny story. (For the original story, see the memoir, Limericks.)

Bindy Bitterman, a very active nonagenarian now living at the Admiral at the Lake, owned Eureka! Antiques and Collectibles in Evanston for more than three decades. She turned to writing limericks after subscribing to Wordsmith's A.Word.A.Day, where she competed and usually won in Wordsmith's contests for best limericks using the daily word. She has a new book of limericks for children, Skiddly Diddly Skat, just out this year. The posthumously celebrated Chicago-area photographer Vivian Maier was a regular client at Eureka! Antiques, and Bitterman had a role in the Academy award nominee (Best Documentary Feature), Finding Vivian Maier. Bitterman is also an expert in the mysterious field of Jewish New Year Valentines.

About the Cigar Society of Chicago

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the city clubs of Chicago is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits.  The Cigar Society of Chicago embraces this tradition and extends it with its Informal Smokers, University Series lectures, and Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium. To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the secretary at