It wasn’t at all intentional, but thanks to the unrelenting pestering dedicated support of various TCA patrons over the years, a post I did way back on January 1, 2006, involving the alleged preservation and display of Rasputin’s preserved penis in a St Petersburg museum, marks the inaugural effort of what now seems to have evolved into a Tetherd Cow Ahead tradition.

I am of course referring to the Annual Rasputin Pickled Penis Poetry Contest, in which aspiring laureates throughout the Intertubes pick up their quills and vie for the dubious honour of penning the definitive paean to the Mad Monk and his Monstrous Mutilated Member.

So. When January 1 comes around, what do you need to know to participate? Well, first of all, the competition is open to all comers. There is no formal moderation of the contest, and there is no prize. ((Although, as Grand Poobah of the Domain of the Cow I reserve my right to award one if I feel like it. My decision in such a case would be based on criteria I deem fit and the quality of the bribes.)) There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit, but they should be in the form of poetry of some kind – limericks preferred ((It will be Open Season on anyone who fails to obey the rules of limerick composition. Your entry will be allowed no matter what, but bad limericks will be mercilessly ridiculed.)) In case it’s not obvious, the subject matter should concern Rasputin, his penis or whatever it is that my post on January 1 is about. Preferably all three of those things. You may (and in fact are encouraged to) post poetic ripostes to other contestant’s entries. If you’re thinking about tangling with any of the regular contributors, I suggest you read the comments on past Rasputin competitions to familiarize yourself with the territory.

The Competition opens at dawn on January 1 in Australia, and closes at midnight on January 1 in Ireland. Competitors from Easter Island will have to figure out for themselves the appropriate deadlines for their part of the world.

The intellectual ((I use the word loosely.)) property of all entries remains with the relevant authors but Tetherd Cow Ahead reserves the right to exploit them in any way for its own ends. Especially if that involves movie options, Dan Brown novelizations or whisky promotions.