The Great Shaquille O'Neal Haiku Contest

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We know Shaquille O'Neal, to the extent that we can know him. Or we know about him, maybe—that he wanted to be a rapper, and a policeman, and a basketball player, and also an actor, and became all those things, with varying degrees of success, during a life that should serve to inspire ambitious 12-year-olds everywhere. We know, and knew instantly in most cases, that dude just shouldn't be on television with Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson, where his inability to carry on a basic conversation about basketball proved an even greater hindrance than his mouth-full-of-gobstoppers diction. There is the possibility, of course, that there isn't a sad aspect to this clown: that the Big Goofus is just that, a blithe spirit who probably doesn't get too many reading-related headaches but who at least doesn't seem like the worst dude in the world. But then, also, there is this.

There is Shaq, in uniform as in his dreams, looking melancholic on the set of the upcoming Adam Sandler tragedy Grown-Ups 2. Or "Too," maybe. It's one of those movies that Adam Sandler does as an excuse to go on vacation with his buddies and pretend to be married to a pretty actress, and which in this case will deploy such up-and-coming comedians as Taylor Lautner, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Shaq alongside a murderer's row of comic talents that includes David Spade and Nick Swardson and I'm sorry I hate this sentence so much, I'm so sorry about it I'll stop.

Anyway, the challenge, as I issued it on Twitter through @Classical, was to take this image of Shaq as an inspiration for impromptu poesy. There is a poetry to this image, after all: the big man, his stupid fucking Sandler movie wig—does he just keep them in one of his homes, these bummer-comedic wigs-from-bags and giant comical Swardson-teeth?—the pensive expression and tiny can of Hawaiian Punch.  The challenge was to unlock it. And you, bless you, just kept on unlocking it.

Here is mine:


The wig is the joke
Fruit Juicy Red is the truth.
His sad gumdrop eyes

And here are some of yours, all of them superior to the above.

Wrinkled Shaq and slacks
Diesel! Too old for this shit
Dwarfed Hawaiian Punch

- Chad Kenward

Kobe goes for gold
The King LeBron collects rings
Shaq goes for Greek food

- David Hart

Shatnerian chic
Tops 99% girth
I'm T.J. Balder

- @Mobute

Small marsupials
clutch foster dome twice as tight
during cameos

- Kyle Holtan

Kobe's ass
tastes like fresh donut
sobs O'Neal

- Anthony Lashley

Big man in a suit
He ate a dozen donuts
Preparing for this

- @ChodeToJoy

Tiny ass juice can
Officer Hightower is
Aging like hot milk

- @Shoopmonster

Officer Diesel
Doing his best Bubba Smith
Where art Guttenberg?

- Jim Cosgrove

May have retired
But I still have bigger cans
(Beat) More stylish, too.

- Shep Hayes

So I am fucking
Offended by this wig
I find something else

- Pete Beatty

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ucking
Offended by this wig
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ucking
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every once in a while, to see a piece of an athlete's life presented without spin or ulterior motive. Old School New Body Does It Work

Haiku once had class
with Shaq class quailed, screamed and fell
on ass-biting lines.

These are great. Yours included, Dave. "Kobe's ass/tastes like fresh donut/sobs O'Neal" is definitely going to stick with me.

When I first read that one, I read it as "tastes like fresh donut sobs/O'Neal." I think I'm going to continue to read it that way, although it's definitely incorrect.