Our judges have spoken, and it's now time to reveal the winner of our recent Bad Poetry Contest. First we want to thank everyone who submitted their poetry to this competition. Some were funny, some were sad, and some showed true poetic prowess. We wish we could give out money to every entrant to help with their mounting credit card debt. But alas, there can only be one winner. The winning poet will receive up to $1000 towards her most recent credit card statement. The judges are Matt from Debt Free Adventure, Pinyo from Moolanomy, Aaron from WalletPop, Steve from Get Out Of Debt, and Nora from WiseBread.
So, without further ado, a big congratulations goes to (...drum roll please...) Salyna Gingras! Salyna submitted the following poem:
BEEP – Card denied, BEEP – Card denied
I’m sorry ma’am, but your Gold Card has lost its color.
Ya know you could always apply for another?
Or, you can consolidate, at a new low introductory interest rate.
You have "fool" written on your forehead, you will surely take the bait.
BEEP – Card denied, BEEP – Card denied
Look honey, we just got a pre-approval in the mail for some new plastic.
Gather up the kids, it’s time to go shopping – isn’t this fantastic!
Macy’s has a deal – use your MasterCard and get 10% off.
I know we don’t play the sport, but there’s a special deal in Golf.
Sir, your card has been declined.
But, if you will step this way, you can apply for our department store card that will save you 15% today just for applying.
Sweety, this is the deal of the century, I know they aren’t lying!
BEEP – Card denied, BEEP – Card denied.
Shnookams, we’ve got ourselves into some heat.
These credit cards sure have us beat.
We’ve taken a second mortgage out on the house,
The car is out of gas, and we are scrounging for food like a mouse.
Our cards have all been denied and those "special" rates are now sky-high.
I hope I win this poetry contest, or else I’ll need another credit card for the things we need to buy.
While Salyna is our winner, we'd like to showcase a few other notable entries. We can't award a cash prize to these poets, but their submissions still ranked high among our panel of judges. (And if you'd like to see all 150 entries, visit the contest home page, where I've posted them in batches).
The things I bought, when first I bought them
Seemed to bring me some elation
But over time, when home I brought them
I came to see, with consternation -
Each time my card was flourished forth
From the depths of my wallet, frayed
The final cost could not be worth
The mental bill that sits unpaid!
The weight that settles on my shoulders
This fear and loathing of the phone
I feel like sysiphus rolling boulders
Up a hill of debt, alone!
For food, for care, for simple clothes
These bills were for, these bills of mine
Yet into the valley of debt I rode -
Ten dollars at a time!
The paper trail has burst the borders
And paved my life like route 66
Winding and weaving my purchase orders
Into a number-laden river styx!
The bills they gather, now en masse
Like zombies shambling at my gate
No matter how fast they meet the trash
This paper blizzard howls my fate!
(And so I beg, with words in rhyme
To help me fight before I'm covered
In these statements of the damned of mine
One pen-jockey, to another.)
Welcome to college, the bankers they said, They gave me a card and it went to my head.
Charge it I screamed, as I ran through the mall A downward spiral, I was sure to fall.
So tuition is due and i pull out my card The interest I know, will hit me so hard.
Now I study so much and eat Ramen for snacks, My pockets are empty, there's holes in my slacks.
Im walking to class because my car just wont run Those credit cards have showed me no fun.
The wireless I pirated from the neighbors next door, has been taken away and available no more.
I cant even google how to get out of debt, But the powers not shut off, at least not yet.
I work all day for a minimum wage
Those bankers have put me in a mad rage
"I'm 19!" I scream when the collectors they ring, Read the fine print they carelessly sing.
How would it be if ancient man
Had felt a different zeal?
And created credit cards of stone
Instead of the first wheel?
Tis a very different world we’d have
Ours futures would be grooved;
If the ancients could have seen the words
‘You have been approved’!
History would be warped and changed
Just how? Well here’s a hint;
Plato could have told us all
To ‘check the finer print’!
If Cleo chose by credit scores
Her men, then poor old Caesar
Would have had to max his platinum card
In order just to please her.
And what about the fellow Nero
Who fiddled while Rome burned?
He could have hired a back-up band
From the points his card had earned.
Marco Polo was the curious man
Who traveled to Cathay.
Yet if his card had passed its limit
He’d been stuck in old Bombay.
Instead he simply used some cash
For round trip he was ready;
And the shared with dear old Italy
The gift of great spaghetti.
Columbus approached the Spanish Crown
For his wallet needed fattenin’.
But if he’d had a platinum card
Mexico could be speaking Latin.
Instead he promptly brought the Crown
Treasure like no other.
One tends to ask ‘What card he’d use’?
Maybe Visa or Discover?
The Sistine Chapel has quite a dome
It’s story never ending.
But what if Michelangelo
Had no ceiling on his spending?
The walls he could have covered
Even the columns if his whim
With beautiful colored visions
Of those chubby Cherubim.
Invention of the printing press
Was such a major step.
But would our friend old Guttenberg
Have had a different rep?
Instead of printing scores of bibles
To be read by all the masses
Could the people of the Renaissance
Had statements shoved up their…?
Consider Vincent Van Gogh please;
If for credit he’d had to beg
Instead of cutting off an ear
T’would be an arm and leg!
Or if DeVinci had a credit line
More than any other sculptor’s?
Napoleon and dear old Wellington
Could have fought in helicopters!
Pirates plied their evil trade
Taking treasure from boats they sank.
They could have gotten just as rich
By working at a bank!
There’d be no threats to walk the plank
For words would work just fine;
“We’ll raise the stinkin’ rate they pay”
“From nine to twenty-nine”!
If at the mercy of the banks
And no money to be found
Could the genius of the brothers Wright
Got their airplane off the ground?
Could Harry Houdini have escaped
From the monthly payment dread?
Francis Scott Key might have changed his words
“Oh say…can you save” instead?
And what about our treasured words?
Quotes of fame were handed down
Their meaning changed for evermore
If credit turned them round.
“When the going gets tough” has always been
Inspiration for the guys.
Now would the second line have been
“The credit rates will rise”?
Patrick Henry may have changed his plea
“Give me liberty from incessant fleecing”.
Mr. Churchill may have given us
“… nothing to fear but rates increasing”!
And could dear old Albert Einstein
Have changed his theory by a yard?
‘E’ would mean exasperation
And ‘MC2’ stand for Master Card!
Literature would be altered dearly
Different books upon the shelves;
If Romeo and Juliet had credit cards
They could have saved themselves.
A talking bird was brought to us
By Poe who wrote of fates;
But if credit woes had grabbed the man
Quote the raven…“Lower rates”?
The handsome prince in fairytales
Saves the princess from disaster.
If they had held some credit cards
Would they live happily ever after?
Dear Mother Goose would not be spared
For we would know, heaven forbid
How the Little Old Lady In The Shoe
Could afford all of those kids!
Famous places names could alter
Now there would be a rub!
Would Washington be named ‘Visaville’
Or Paris ‘City Le Diner’s Club’?
And what of historic people’s names?
How would they be marred?
Would the world famous Buffalo Bill
Become Buffalo Platinum Card?
One thing’s for sure, these credit cards…
The plastic that we’re hatin’
Were forged within the fires of hell
A gift to us from Satan!
Hitler does administration,
Collection’s done by Stalin,
Sadam handles paperwork;
No chance these rates are fallin!
“Easy payments”…“Same as cash”
Temptation is so splendid.
Before you know, you’ve sold your soul
Any chance for freedom ended!
If you don’t pay, they take your house
Or you may go to jail;
But I guarantee next day you’ll find
More offers in the mail!
This is a tale of Bill Juggles the clown
Juggling bills as he wore a big frown
If I pay Citi Bank the AMEX must wait
Send in the mortgage before it’s too late
If I am late they will charge even more
Of what I don’t have to pay with it for
Should I pay the consumers electric or not
If I don’t the electric stove won’t get hot
I can’t take hot showers or turn on a light
I better pay the electric alright
What about internet I need for my job
Reviewing my cable bill I’m being robbed
All the fees are outrageous the balance too high
I won’t pay this all off until after I die
On top of his tomb stone that isn’t quite paid for
His epitaph reads:
I couldn’t afford more
Bill Juggles the Clown
May he now rest in peace
For only 6 years
Because the caskets a lease