Haiku Heist

Filed under: Chambers Quiz,Family Updates — Chamberlain @ 10:27 am
No. 63

Our readers will certainly remember the hotly contested (but still undecided) Haiku Competition . Irate Rumpians are clamoring for closure. To date we have been hesitant to disclose details, but as our investigation is finally beginning to bear fruit, we can be more forthcoming. The fact is that someone hacked their way into our site and made off with the Haiku Trophy. However, our security mavens are confident that we are within reach of the Trophy and the culprits. We have been told that it is now permissible to post a photo of the get-away vehicle. This was obtained by surveillance video in the Dubuque Iowa area.

Theft of Haiku Trophy Caught on Video

Needless to say, we have spared no cost in this inquiry. Our team of investigators, headed up by Fr. Brown, includes Hercule Poirot, Philo Vance, Charlie Chan, Nero Wolfe, and Sir Denis Nayland Smith (see below).

Haiku Heist Investigator Smith

Once restored, rest assured that the Haiku Trophy will promptly be awarded. Details concerning this carefully choreographed caper will be the subject of future posts.

Meanwhile, your patience is greatly appreciated.

Thanksgiving Addenda

The Thanksgiving Posting failed to acknowledge the contributions of two clan members. Aunt Alicia Withers generously supplied turkeys, and John McClelland created and supervised the bonfire activities. Our apologies and a belated ‘Thank You’ to you both!

The Chamberlain


  1. Hello all Rumpians,

    Being Chambers descendants or the spouse of a Chambers descendant, you are either well endowed with good Irish common sense, or you had the good sense to marry into this God-fearing, flag-loving family.

    You know that the trophy pictured in the Dubuque police video could not possibly be the not-for-profit Chambers Haiku trophy. This is not simply a case of mistaken identity, my dear cousins. This is outright fraud on the order of Rod Blagojevich and Bernie Madoff. I have with great sadness and much regret notified the Dubuque police office of the suspicious nature of the LC’s complaint.
    Do not be fooled by the pius and beatific mien that the LC presents to the world. The poetic and musical contests are simply distractions from some very sinister goings on; the trophy heist story is just the tip of the iceberg.
    I can prove that the trophy in the video was designed by a Norwegian farmer by the name of Ole Johanson from Decorah Iowa. It was presented to the 1898 Iowa Pork Queen at the Iowa State Fair that year.
    I happened to purchase it at a philanthropic auction in 1981 and had made it the centerpiece of Aunt Barbara’s kitchen herb garden. It was stolen from the garden earlier this year while we were having a picnic down at the creek. A neighbor happened to notice it in a vehicle bearing a Missouri license plate. I leave the rest to your imagination.

    Was I right to bring it back to Aunt Barbara’s kitchen herb garden? I’ll let you be the judge.

    Uncle Calvin

    Comment by cfgjr — December 17, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

  2. What hempen homespun have we swaggering here? Outrageous! Caught red-handed soliciting outside help in the Whiteman contest and now denying any connection to the Haiku Heist, meanwhile implicating me. Clearly a case of Sour Grapes. Our investigators have in-hand photo documentation linking the heist to Iowa – this will be forthcoming.

    The Iowa Pork Queen Trophy, by the bye, is a well known knock-off of the true Haiku Trophy – informed collectors have known about this for years – it seems our friend has been taken in and, I hope, for a large sum. But, gentle reader, don’t you be taken in by this smokescreen. Here’s the Pork Queen Trophy – see for yourself that the neck of the Johanson urn presents a porcine phisog not present in our Haiku…

    Poor Barbara! I suspect the Johanson urn was carted off by someone with refinement and sophistication ( i.e. from Missouri) in an attempt to provide moral support for Barbara…


    Comment by Chamberlain — December 17, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  3. My dearest ones,
    This is very painful letter for me to write, and I pray that God will give me the strength to endure. I have just had a long conversation with Uncle Bob in which I have begged him to turn himself into the authorities before this situation spins out of control. Unfortunately, Uncle Bob remains shamelessly unrepentant. He shows no sign of remorse or regret for the dual life he has been living. I keep asking myself: “How could this happen to me? How could this happen to our beloved Chambers family?”

    I only just discovered myself the terrible cobweb of illicit activities that Uncle Bob has been caught up in. The signs were all there, and I should have spotted them sooner. It was only when Uncle Bob left open the door of his desk that he always locked that I had a chance to read some of his correspondence –dating back some 50 years.

    I had not realized that he was a founding member of a subversive group while a student at Yale. This group — called Alpha Nu — had the express purpose of undermining long-held university traditions and values; this group preyed on innocent Yale undergraduates.

    So, it’s not hard to understand the progression from Alpha Nu to the leader of the Irish Mafia in St. Louis. Imagine my shock to discover that the Irish Mafia deals mainly in the international trade of stolen heirloom trophies. I began to piece two and two together and realized that I had to confront a man who has been leading a dual life for more than half a century.
    When I confronted him about the Johanson urn — the disappearance of which has left poor Aunt Barbara bereft — he became uncharacteristically loud and defiant.

    “I have waited for this trophy for years,” he said. “And I’m not giving this up. This is (expletive) golden. I have to figure out a way to shut up that mealy-mouthed Iowa cousin of yours. I’ve got my guys working on it.”

    That’s when I realized that I had to contact federal authorities. I wanted to tell you, my dear ones, before you read it in the newspapers across the world that the Irish Mafia Godfather has been taken into custody.

    We will all continue to pray that he repents. I know there are lots of Chambers looking down from heaven, praying for his repentance.

    With much anguish,

    Aunt Sarah D.

    Comment by chambers — December 18, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  4. this ongoing debacle underscores the piracy, high crimes and misdemeaners surrounding the appointment of haiku high office

    no such appointment can be made

    I refer to no higher authority than Emily Dickinson

    “To see the Summer Sky
    Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
    True Poems flee – ”

    the haiku must simply go on

    eternity in
    a teacup in a flight of bluebirds
    in a glance

    Comment by chambers — December 19, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

  5. Black Jack Cromie is the grievous author of the above statement

    Comment by chambers — December 19, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  6. Another in a series of stellar haikus by Black Jack. You’re right Jack, the haikus must and will go on. But the Trophy must be restored to the Chamber – and it will. Meanwhile, keep the haiku going for us!


    Comment by Chamberlain — December 20, 2008 @ 6:53 pm


    Word has reached me in Tibet of the unfortunate chain of events surrounding the Haiku contest. I do not normally intercede in events such as these, but my good friend, Dr. Qun Sha, has begged me to intercede. I want the “What you call yourselves, ‘Rumpians'” to know that I am making an exception to my long- held rule of avoiding fratricidal conflict because such chicanery, duplicity, and felonies threaten the very survival of Haiky in the Chambers family. Were that to happen, an unfortunate chain of events could be set in motion with repercussions in County Clare, Ireland, London, Australia, California, New York, California, New Mexico and elseswhere. I forsee the gradual decline of the Chambers family from poets, minstrels, and artists into a clan dominated by lawyers, financiers, hedge fund managers, derivative experts, and CDO and risk analysis specialists.

    So from my mountaintop in Tibet, I commend your “Black Jack Cromie,” the Chambers ‘ Haiku master.’ And I beseech the LC to come clean with the clan so there can be an outpouring of Haiku. This is the only chance for the Chambers clan to elevate the ideals of legions of lawyers and financiers at this moment of great spiritual crisis.

    Herewith, I submit a Haiku poem (written by one of the young Budhist monks in my monastery who recently left Wall Street to pursue another calling). May it help heal your internecine conflict. (We in Tibet do not subscribe to the stringent syllabic rules of the Japanese.)

    bell buoy barnacle becalmed
    hoist the
    rusty anchor, raise the mainsails.

    The Dalai Lama
    email address: dalailama@gmail.com

    Comment by chambers — December 21, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  8. Dalai Lama proposes “doing a deal” with the LC’s Undersecretary Ms Portobello

    To Ms Portobello:

    Since my most recent communications with LC, I have had chance to talk to author of Haiku poem I submitted — with express intention of bringing harmony to the fractious Chambers family. “Angelo,” prefers to withhold his last name until pending Wall Street Hedge Fund extradition litigation is resolved.

    Angelo suggests that for a small consideration he could facilitate the harmonious resolution of the crippling divisions in the Chambers family threatening to turn it into an assemblage of lawyers and financiers capable only of “doing deals” and incapable of ever again writing a Haiku poem, singing a bluegrass ditty or spinning a fireside yarn.

    Angelo proposes that first step is to have all 11 of grandchildren of Sarah Chambers Polk and their spouses and all 32 great- grandchildren of Sarah Chamber Polk and their spouses agree to “armistice day” to be administered by Dalai Lama. Principal feature of armistice will be annual “Chambers Haiku Harmony Day” — day on which each member presents Haiku poem.

    Not to worry, if lawyers and financiers feel intimidated by prospect of writing non-legalese. Angelo agrees to offer Haiku counselling for a modest fee. His normal billable hourly rate is $1,000 an hour, plus a 10 percent surcharge for those in medical field and 15 percent for lawyers, financiers, and hedge fund types. Angelo generously offers to cut surcharge in half — in consideration of the family’s desperate straits.

    The Chambers family’s destiny is at stake, Ms. Portobello. Will it return to its noble origins or will it sink into a state of permanent philistinism from which there is little hope of return?

    Thank you for your assistance, Ms Portobello.

    Dalai Lama

    Angelo sends last free Haiku:

    Haiku poem #2 (Angelo NLN)

    Triumphant trillium
    Wanted to linger
    Remember your smile.

    Comment by chambers — December 22, 2008 @ 9:32 am

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