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June 24, 2009


Preface: This piece originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2005, edition of The Examiner (http://examiner.net), a Jackson County, Mo., newspaper, along with “A Doe, a Doe and Some Dough.” It’s the last of three poems to be republished (with minor changes) through underwriting from the Hillary Hilson-Hilton Hall of Hallowed Homophones and Hefty, Heady Halifax Halibut.

A Doe, a Doe and Some Dough

By Ivan O’Uris


A doe-eyed Doe

Made lots of dough

From making dough,

Until another doe-eyed doe

Ate the doe-eyed Doe’s dough,

Making her shout, “D’oh!”

Because the doe-eyed Doe

Had no dough to make dough.


Background Notes: Ivan drew from his life to write “A Doe, a Doe and Some Dough,” which was found by Ivan O’Uris scholars Mark Moyer, Erik Pointer, Shawn Roney also and Alta Roney, Shawn Roney’s mother, amid a pile of bread dough. Shortly after his arrival in the United States from his native Luscia, Ivan visited the Roney household to enjoy some of the Roney matriarch’s homemade light rolls. Ivan was so anxious to try the legendary rolls that he began eating some of the dough. The Roney matriarch warned Ivan that his stomach would swell if he ate too much dough, a warning she had issued to the younger Roney years earlier after watching an episode of the 1970s TV drama “Emergency!”, during which a young man’s stomach swelled after eating many loaves of bread dough.

Ivan dismissed the warning until about three years ago, when he joined a religious cult to write an undercover investigative journalism piece for The Luscian O’Buenkalava, Luscia’s national newspaper. The cult worshipped Betty Crocker products and Martha Stewart, believed that baking was the only way to produce world peace and that one would achieve spiritual enlightenment by baking light rolls, particularly if the rolls were “enlightened” light rolls. As part of his enlightenment training, Ivan was required to bake 10 pans of light rolls.

Borrowing the recipe used by the Roney matriarch during his visit to the Roney household, Ivan set the pans out on his back porch to let the dough rise while he watched “The Simpsons.” When he went to check on the rolls during a commercial break, he caught a doe finishing off his dough. “D’oh!” he screamed (as he had heard Homer Simpson do minutes earlier). He then chased the doe, but gave up when he realized the commercial break was almost over. Days later, he spotted the doe floating above his house, swollen to the size of the renowned giant ball of twine in Cawker City, Kan. “It was like watching something from an old Warner Bros. cartoon,” he wrote in his journal.

Fittingly, it was a Warner Bros. cartoon that led to Ivan writing the poem. While watching the Porky Pig cartoon “Dough for the Do-Do” with his friend Donna Doe, he recalled his tale of the dough and the doe to Doe, who encouraged him to preserve it somehow.

Ivan immediately wrote the poem, choosing to make Doe the main character. According to Ivan, there is a longer version of the poem, in which the doe-eyed doe balloons up and floats into space, but it has been misplaced. He believes it’s buried under another pile of dough, though he’s not sure what kind of dough.


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