If you ask me

It seems to me that if they can graft human ears onto a mouse, then it can’t be very difficult to come up with a special button, which
— when pressed by a skilled operator — sends a beam of joy to all corners of the earth, relieving all unhappiness and even
mild cases of disquiet. It would be more effective than beer, and cheaper than cigarettes.

They spend millions every year redesigning mice, but nothing on the beam of joy.
And they have telephones now too, that you can carry around with you.

The world’s gone mad, if you ask me.

The handmaid’s tale

Constance often rues the day
she took a job at Clark’s.
She’s on her feet from early morn
until the sky bedarks.

She cleans up after Delmar
and delouses Morton’s hair,
then she feeds ol’ grandpa
in his creaky baby chair.

Worst of all is Otis,
with his surly curt demeanour:
who’d have thunk a schoolboy
could be such a nasty schemer?

Constance labours night and day
in Clark’s infested hovel,
though she dreams that one day
it might produce a novel.

A gritty tale of squalor,
through the handmaid’s eyes:
just the sort of thing
to win the Booker Prize.


Public opinion

Let’s see if Precious Little
has anything to say
about the trial of Twemlow,
which comes to court today.

— He’s guilty as a jackdaw,
on that I won’t demur.
Let’s hope the court condemns him,
the rancid heinous cur.

Is that all, Miss Little?
Give us something we can quote.
In your dealings with young Twemlow,
is there anything of note?

— I never met the bastard,
and I hope I never will.
I only know what I have read
in the Daily Swill.



I spent the night at Cardew’s
cos the roads were blocked by trees:
Hurricane Tzatziki
brought the country to its knees.

Elmer’s Spicy Chicken
bore the brunt of Nature’s ire:
chicken wings and nuggets
now bedeck the old church spire.

The side of Twemlow’s toolshed
is bespattered with hot sauce
(typical of Twemlow
to gain from Elmer’s loss).

The road to Carbonara
is impassable, they say,
blocked by stricken cedars
that bestrew the sodden way.

I must go back to Cardew’s
once the roads are clear,
to thank them for the shelter
that they offered with good cheer.

I’ll also thank the Lord, of course,
by stopping by the church:
Praise the Lord for hurricanes,
and spicy chicken lunch.


Table talk

Twemlow leaned back in his chair, and said ‘Yes, gentlemen, the key to human happiness is to be content with very little. Make the most of the little you may have, and thank the good Lord for his infinite bounty.

As long as I have a bottle of champagne and a few sirloin steaks, the lack of Dijon mustard doesn’t bother me in the least. Even if the champagne is only a ’63, I’ll bridle, naturally, but I won’t let it detract from my happiness.

Of course, I could berate my sommelier and tweak his nose, but what’s the point? Likewise, my moutardier might usefully feel the weight of my boot on the seat of his pants — but no! Live and let live, I say.

Pass the garnish boat.


At the stump

Ariosto Milner will be here at six o’clock:
I must check my stores of nerve gas
and my anti-aircraft stock.

Regular as clockwork,
Milner comes round every year,
puffing like a steam train,
and beaming ear to ear.

‘Vote for me,’ says Milner,
‘pledge me your support!
For Mayor of Delmar County
I’m the perfect sort.’

‘The folks of Delmar County
will live la vie en rose
and there’ll be no more taxes
cos I’ll tweak the Senate’s nose.’

‘And then I’ll build a great big wall,
of steel (or maybe glass),
to keep the folk of Delmar safe
from what might come to pass.’

‘There’ll be candy for the kiddies
and beer for burly chaps,
and all the pretty beldams
can twang my nether flaps. ‘

I’ve heard it all before, you see,
Milner at the stump.
Sometimes he reminds me
of tremendous Donny Trump.