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Paul Nielsen

There once was in Dublin a query

For 6 months I’ve have been planning a secret trip to London in May as a surprise for my wife (of Irish heritage and accent) (I love how she says, "Aye laddie, kiss me I'm Irish." but that's for another blog.) The plan was to spend a week in London and then top if off with a visit to Dublin to see the Book of Kells (on my bucket list) and stay at Markree Castle at Sligo, Ireland (on her bucket list).


The original plan was to have her boss assign mandatory vacation a few days before the trip (her boss readily agreed), but I thought the wiser and told her last Saturday so she could have a say. By Sunday morning, the itinerary was changed to spending the whole trip exploring Ireland.


So tentatively I’ll be in Dublin Thursday May 20th at the Ireland SQL Server User Group talking about Google-style relevance searches in SQL, temporal databases, SQL development standards and whatnot – more details to come. (It wouldn’t be a vacation without meeting some new SQL friends.)


In honor of Ireland, I’ve composed a SQL limerick…


There once was in Dublin a query

With performance that was quite dreary

Till some lad read Kalen

And started explainin’

That a covering index would be cheery


I challenge everyone who reads this blog to pen their own SQL limerick and add it here, And to my new friends in Dublin, I can’t wait to get there.

Published Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:00 AM by Paul Nielsen



Robert L Davis said:

A query had users appalled

So the DBA they all called

At once he knew why

Thus the DBA did cry

"Elementary, IO has stalled"

March 11, 2010 12:58 PM

AaronBertrand said:

There once was a mean DBA

Who, to all requests, said, "No way!"

Till a developer with a gun,

Said, "This request shall be done!"

And the response was a reluctant, "okay."

March 11, 2010 1:03 PM

Kalen Delaney said:

I like Paul's the best. :-) And Aaron, I never knew you had such a violent streak in you.

March 11, 2010 1:20 PM

AaronBertrand said:

Kalen, are you calling me a developer???  :-)

March 11, 2010 1:20 PM

Robert L Davis said:

But "Kalen" and "explainin'" don't even rhyme!!! :)

March 11, 2010 1:24 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Here is my so called attempt

A current_user existed was who didn't think

All he did to the LOG files was SHRINK

Till a DBA came and slapped him across

This showed him who truly was the boss

Now his database fragmentation doesn't stink

March 11, 2010 1:28 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Arrghhhhh, I made a type, this line

A current_user existed was who didn't think

should be

A current_user existed who didn't think

So the whole thing should be


A current_user existed who didn't think

All he did to the LOG files was SHRINK

Till a DBA came and slapped him across

This showed him who truly was the boss

Now his database fragmentation doesn't stink

March 11, 2010 1:33 PM

Kalen Delaney said:

Aaron... if the shoe fits?

For limericks, I much prefer a slight stretch to the rhyme than to have a completely messed up meter. Denis just has too many syllables.. some of the other also have one or two extra syllables, but not quite a bad.

March 11, 2010 1:45 PM

AaronBertrand said:

Well, FWIW, I was attempting to portray myself as the victim in that limerick, not the developer with a weapon.  :-)

March 11, 2010 1:52 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Looks like what I created is an anti-limerick

note to self...research rules for things before you attempt to do it

March 11, 2010 2:06 PM

James Luetkehoelter said:

LOL Denis, and Kalen of course you like Paul's because yer the hero :)

Here goes:

This DBA has been called a curmudgeon

Developers he often whould bludgen

Perhaps with his hat

Or maybe a bat

For their code his database it did sludgen

March 11, 2010 2:20 PM

James Luetkehoelter said:

Hey Dennis, can you do one in Croatian?

March 11, 2010 2:26 PM

Denis Gobo said:

James here it is in Croatian. It is very similar to the English one I did before. The problem with a language like Croatian is that it is a phonetic language so you don't have as many choices like in English where many words spelled differently sound the same

The Croatian alphabet also has the following letters Ć,Č,Dž,Đ,Š,Ž, I didn't use those here. There are also many dialects in Croatia so some people might spell some of these words differently.

korisnik koj je bio prosto

je smanjio log fail 90 posto

dok ga nije lupnuo upravitelj

I pokazao tko je stvarno voditelj

sad mu je fragmentacija nula posto

March 11, 2010 2:52 PM

James Luetkehoelter said:

Love it!

March 11, 2010 3:08 PM

Brian Tkatch said:

A query that seemed kind of sickly,

Fixed it's own problem quite slickly,

By learning to ban,

A full table scan,

It returned it's data quite quickly.


A DBA out for the kicks,

Would take the developers' picks,

for slow-running queries,

he takes them in series,

And change all the joins to EXISTS.


An enthusiast going by "Joe",

Took pleasure in starting a row,

He'd quote Edgar F Codd,

As if he were G-d,

And create many a foe,

March 12, 2010 11:09 AM

joel garry said:

a jokester posts this on usenet

thinking "someone will try this I bet":

insert into dual

values('X'); what a tool

and several complaints did he get

K has a few:

March 12, 2010 6:33 PM

Kailash Awati said:

With apologies to Java programmers (esp. those named Drew :-)), here's an Oracle-oriented one.

A Java developer named Drew,

complained that he hadn't a clue

why the queries he wrote

would would often evoke

a mysterious ORA-00942.

March 18, 2010 2:08 AM
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About Paul Nielsen

Paul Nielsen believes SQL is the romance language of data. As such he’s a hands-on database developer, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, trainer, and author of SQL Server Bible series (Wiley). As a data architect, he developed the concepts of Smart Database Design and Nordic – an open source O/R dbms for SQL Server. He lives in Colorado Springs.
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