We would never have guessed that the vast sunlit lagoon of artistic talent which previously lay undiscovered in the vastness of the Reg readership contained such a rich poetic ecosystem.
In fact, so great was the response to our JenniCam poetry competition, that it has taken our highly-educated and erudite panel of experts three days to trawl through the pondweed in search of the prize koi carp beneath.
To recap, we asked you to write a haiku or limerick lamenting the demise of JenniCam. The prize on offer was one of our My job went to India and all I got was this lousy t-shirt range.
In the end, we decided to offer seven prizes - one each of the aforementioned shirts for the best haiku and best limerick, and five runners-up trophies of a black register minilogo or Register London t-shirt.
You see, that's how much we care. What we evidently don't care about is historical accuracy, as Rob Hague noted:
Jenni broadcasts her life for the kicks,
Still pictures and jittery flicks,
But Tim Berners-Lee,
Would be surprised to see,
A website in 1986.
That's right - the original compo stated that JenniCam had been running since 1986, and not 1996 which is in fact the case. This outrage prompted one reader to ask: "Don't you have a bloody subeditor down there at Vulture Central, for God's sake?"
Of course we do. Dates may not be his strong point, but he's as sharp as a razor when it comes to speling.
Right, on with the competition. For the record, a haiku is composed of 17 syllables, arranged in 5-7-5 syllable groups. Keith Watson, take note:
An empty window
more naked than the girl who was.
Also requiring some extra time at the abacus is Jasmine Strong, who, despite beginning her email "mr. lester sir" (always a good move), needs to take the pruning knife to this effort:
The leaves turn brown again
Jenni has another income now,
Flattery will always gain you Brownie points, even if your maths is shot to pieces. Begging will get you nowhere, as Dave Appleby is about to find out:
Jenni some ogled you.
Big bosses at Pay Pal say
That website must close
Go on I gotta win.
I WORK IN A CALL CENTER!!!!
No chance. Never mind, though: we calculate that if you put aside 30 per cent of your wages every week for a year, you'll have just about scraped enough together to buy a shirt for yourself. Keep up the good work.
Now, you're always going to get those entries which ignore the rules altogether. In this case, Paul Owen has decided that a JenniCam eulogy is better framed within the structure of a nursery rhyme:
Jenni had a little cam,
It fleeced the public's dough.
Everywhere that Jenni went,
The cam was sure to go.
Actually, we're being a little unfair here, since one of the runners-up also chose to flaunt the guidelines. This is not, however, carte blanche for future competitions. You have been warned.
Honourable mentions must now go to a selection of noteworthy compositions. Puneet Kishor can take a bow for this, frankly puzzling, piece of madness:
JenniCam made the immature pant
But I have a different slant
for JenniCam's end
doesn't portend her end
For Jenni can what JenniCam can't
Readers will be wondering when we're going to address the burning issue which got the plug pulled on JenniCam in the first place - nudity. Take it away Jolyon:
A window opens,
A life's displayed in snatches;
Not the snatch you want.
Raj Mathur has had an attack of the melodramatics:
Evening shadows fall
Heart! betray me not again!
Will I see a tit?
Think you blew it in the last line there, Raj. Joe Kwak is similarly bereft at the thought of the sun setting on Jenni's jubs. His last line is, nevertheless, one full of hope and the possibility of resurrection:
Boobies are gone, boo
This winter is sad, but now
Google knows archives
Of course, it wasn't just Jenni's chest which made her such a web celebrity, as Nigel Poll is happy to point out:
An American teen called Jenni
Had boobs seen on national telly
A very nice pair
But flashing some hair
Was obviously one pube too many
And the girl didn't stop at full frontal, either. Jen Phillips and Rich Bone are not afraid to tackle the sensitive ablutions issue:
There once was a woman on line
Who had dared to show her behind
She then took a pee,
And asked for her fee,
But PayPal politely declined.
There once was a thing called a Jennicam,
That was visited daily by many man,
They wanted to see,
How much she could pee,
But PayPal decreed it a fanny cam.
Line/behind? Jennicam/many man? Nay, nay and thrice nay, we say. Averting our gaze for a moment from Jenny's ample charms, here's Ralph Corrigan firmly pointing the finger at JenniCam's executioners.
Jenny's cam has to go on the lam
And Paypal will give not a damn
For another endeavour
That's shut down forever
And sent to the slaughter like lamb
Finally, and before we announce the runners-up, a special mention goes out to Tony Howat whose scandalous piece of doggerel explicitly addressed the sticky likelihood of adolescent masturbatory activity while enjoying Jenni's bathtime and nocturnal activities. Suffice it to say we cannot publish it in a family periodical such as this, but readers can fill in the blanks if we tell them that the first and third lines end in "ranks" and "muck" respectively, and that the final words of the second and fourth lines rhyme with these, respectively.
And the runners-up are...
We begin the countdown to glory with our five worthy silver medal winners. Each of these has secured a black register minilogo or Register London t-shirt. Cary S mourns the passing of both JenniCam and his callcentre job:
Jenni salves my wounds
My job went to India
Now, not even this
Is there something missing here? Perhaps "...can make me feel better about myself when I'm queuing at the dole office." Then again, maybe the last line perfectly expresses the sense of loss and the tragic reality of a promising career brutally relocated abroad. Hmmm.
Enough poetry, on with the nonsense. Hats off to Jay Chandler and this witty pair of limericks:
For years we have watched her undress
But this joy has turned into a mess.
The off button goes click
'cuz Paypal sucks... lemons.
You may publish my email address.
An applet which through Java was brewed
Let us watch Jenni prance in the nude
For seven years long,
And unless I'm quite wrong
You expected this line to be lewd.
Nicely done. For lewd last lines, let's bring out "neonknecht":
There was young lady called Jenni
Who lived many miles from Kilkenny
One day she was told
That PayPal don't hold
With clients who display their punani
Atrocious rhyme, yet breathtaking in its sheer bravado. Is "punani", we wonder, the X-rated equivalent of "orange"? Roger Wareham avoided such pitfalls with the highly effective:
Shed a tear for the passing of jennicam
It was always much more than just any cam
But the people who hosted it
Finally toasted it
When it turned into spendingapennycam
Good stuff indeed. And our last runner-up is Norman Madden. True, he broke the rules with his entry, but we think readers will agree that it's a pretty neat piece of work nonetheless:
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Jennifer Rigley shows off her life in the frame that a webcam can send.
Life is a stream.
Watches her webcam, opens her place with a lock like a knock on her door.
What is it for?
(Chorus) All the lonely people
Why do they all click here.
All the lonely people
Why do they all click here.
Faraway crazies watching the words of a woman that no one will hear.
No one comes near.
Look at her working. Darning her socks in the light when there's nobody there.
What does she care .?
Jennifer's webcam died on the net and was buried 'long side her domain.
PayPal's to blame.
Paypal and crazies digging up dirt on her cam just to save.
It was the cam's grave.
A round of applause is in order, methinks, and if that's the case, then nothing less than a standing ovation will suffice for our...
In the end it was a tough call, but we must now ask Douglas Long up to the podium for his acceptance speech. A worthy winner for the inspired use of punctuation in these two haiku:
Jennicam is dead
good. For so many reasons
voyeurs sob. goodbye.
Jennicam is dead.
Good for so many reasons.
Voyeurs sob goodbye.
Superb. And would Scott Pedigo please now join us on the stage to collect his shirt for this admirable tell-it-like-it-is limerick - a fitting tribute to JenniCam, we hope you'll agree:
We wanted to see Jenni's muff
But PayPal's now said that's enough
So no view of the rug
'Cause they've pulled the plug
Fuck PayPal, they can get stuffed
Absolutely. The usual congratulations go out to our winners, commiserations to the losers, and a big thanks to all those who entered. We never knew you had it in you. ®