Death knell

Fell darkness fell across the fields
and filled the fens with feints concealed:

Dell Harkness fell into a well,
and all his faults were healed.

An examined life

I gave my love a sublethal dose
— that was my first mistake.
My second was using tributinol
past its sell-by date.

But I do enjoy a challenge
and I’ve learned from all my loves.
Next time I will be more prepared
(memo: rubber gloves).

I’ve always been too timid,
especially in romance,
so yes,  my love, I’m grateful
for this second, final chance.

Nasty people

They didn’t have exactly what I wanted in Linklater’s, so I travelled all the way to Pickering’s in Snaresbrook. I’d never been there before, but I’d heard good reports of Pickering’s from old Arthur Twilb, who said to me once: ‘If Linklater’s don’t have it, try Pickering’s’. Well, I never trusted Arthur very much, but what choice did I have?

So I ended up taking three trains and two buses to get to Snaresbrook, a journey of nearly two hours. And not a pleasant journey either: there were two teenagers opposite me on the train from Adlington, playing their pop music at full volume, and they had their muddy boots on the seat in front of them. Absolutely no respect for other passengers! Luckily, they got off at Dalston North. Luckily for them.

Anyway, I made it to Snaresbrook, but not in the jauntiest mood, as you can imagine. So now imagine how I felt when I finally found Pickering’s and saw this on their door: CLOSED Aug 26 -Sept 9.

Can you really imagine how I felt? Really?

Just then an old gent approached me, about seventy. He seemed friendly enough, though I’m suspicious of anyone who wears tan shoes with green socks. He said: ‘They’re on holiday the next two weeks. Have you tried Linklater’s?’.

I was very calm, very composed.

‘Yes’, I said, ‘but they only have them in burgundy.’

‘Oh, but burgundy is a beautiful colour. My wife loves burgundy’, said he.

I was still very calm.

I found his carotid artery quite easily, and opened it neatly with my pocket knife. His convulsions were a bit theatrical, so I left him to it, and walked down a side street to the river. I sat there for about an hour, watching the swans. It was very peaceful.

And that was it, really. Not much of a story, I admit, and yet I know that some nasty people will condemn me. The same kind of people who play loud music on public transport, or wear burgundy socks.


My passing

When I go, I don’t want people to mourn. I’ve had a good life, and death is a natural part of that great, mysterious adventure.

Most of all, I don’t want people erecting statues of me in London or New York or anywhere else. They never capture the true likeness, anyway.

Also, no official period of mourning, please. Let everyone remember me in their own private way, how I touched the hearts of millions and brought joy to countless people from all walks of life.

Schools should remain open: the kiddies are too young to appreciate the significance of my passing. They can read about me when they are older, in their history books.

Public transport should run as normal, and all national and regional airports should remain open. Likewise, the Stock Exchange and McDonald’s.

The funeral itself should be simple and modest: just a horse-drawn carriage to Westminster Abbey, followed by an inter-denominational service by the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and Simon Cowell.  Heads of State on the left, former colleagues at Harry’s Bits ‘n’ Bobs on the right.

And finally: I don’t want a 21-gun salute by the 4th Artillery Unit at Chelsea Barracks. That would be far too militaristic for someone whose life has been devoted to promoting peace, harmony, love, goodwill, unity, flowers, scented candles, and cuddly toys.