Daily planner

I must remind old Millipede
that I won’t be here for tea:
I’m dining with the Duchess,
my car arrives at three.

I must remind old Shagpile
to put cushions underneath:
at my age being tossed about
could cost me all my teeth.

I must remind old Catflap
to fill the tyres with air:
at my age being tossed about
could cost me all my hair.

And I must remind the Duchess
I’ll be staying till next week:
at my age being talked about
is all the fun I seek.


 

What the butler needs

My butler, Buttocks, came to me,
he coughed, he hemmed, he waited,
and when I’d finished Tatler

I said ‘You intoxicated?’
— Oh no M’Lud. You rang, M’Lud?

I didn’t ring.
— I heard the bell, M’Lud.

I didn’t ring.
— Ding ding, M’Lud, as clear as duty.

Time to retire?
— Oh no, M’Lud! I’m fit as a snail!

Ooze away then, Buttocks,
and wait until I hail.

I’ve sat on Buttocks all my life
— devoted, cringing chap.
He’s really quite supportive,
but sometimes needs a slap.


 

Pub quiz

1. What famous actor won gold at the Fox Tossing in Ulan Bator in June 1987?

2. Who said ‘Not now, Sylvia — the scallops aren’t fresh’?

3. In Palaeobathymetry, what is meant by the term ‘now and then’?

4. Who had a Number 1 hit in 1976 with ‘Always the Bridegroom, Never the Bride’?

5. If I have five stoves and two dishes, how many has Rev. Horace Carter of 13 Hanford St, London SE3?

6. Who was Head Chef at the Waldorf Hotel in Zurich during the Great Sandwich Boom of 1911?

7. Why is water so wet?

8. How many sides has an umbrella?

9. According to ‘The Ballad of Stillwater County’, how many goats did Chesapeake Nolan meet at Ottomanopotomac Bridge on his way to the courthouse in Smallweed?

10. Who was the first postman to deliver a baby?


 

Afternoon a-swoon

 

Let’s see if Captain Manson
has the sense to keep his pants on
when the ladies come for tea and macaroons:

Oh there he goes again!
Captain Manson! when oh when
will you learn to stir the teapot with a spoon?

— It’s how we did it in the war,
no fancy silverware,
and it helped to galvanize the whole platoon.

The ladies aren’t impressed
by your military prowess,
now please reinstate your khaki pantaloons.

— O very well, Mein Führer,
I bow to your command
— but you didn’t say that on our honeymoon.


 

To a barman

Oh leave your door ajar for me,
I so adore your jars!
Oh won’t you pour a jar for me
in this, your jarry bar?

You’re barred!

But we’re so alike, you and me:
we both like me and I like both,
so won’t you bide a while with me?
I can’t abide your jarring note.

You’re BARRED!

Why come across so cross tonight,
and why be so aloof?
Why not cross the bar-room floor
and pour me a vermouth?

YOU’RE BARRED!

— I won’t leave my door ajar for you,
you’re barred from this day out!
It jars with me to look upon
your jargonizing snout.

How say you ‘jargonizing’,
my barry jarry man?
I’ve seen you bargainizing
with drug dealers and their clan.

— We have a quite extensive range
of beers and fine elixirs:
please take your time to choose one,
and I won’t charge for the mixer.

You’re such a jarry barry man,
as jarry as the rest.
And now it’s time to name the game:
a writ for your arrest.


 

Heartwood

Chester Field is very old,
as old as Otto Man,
dust beshrouds old Chest O’Drawers
and Con Sole leans on old Di Van.

Patti O’Table’s looking gaunt,
as gaunt as E.Z. Chair.
Davin Port is bowed with age,
but Sy D’Board props him up with care.

There’s camaraderie in old age,
as the heartwood turns to dust.
Arm-in-armoire, on we go:
sofa, so good — but only just.


Light averse

Heavenly bodies up above,
please attend and hark:
I like your sense of duty,
but I also like the dark.

So thank you, Sun, for rising
— your timing’s really ace —
but if you don’t go back to bed
I’ll slap your stupid face.

And thank you, Moon, for rising
— your timing is top-notch —
but if you don’t put out the light,
I’ll kick you in the crotch.


Hackney prick

I’ve loved you from afar,
for your sub-cutaneous scars,
and the pustules that adorn your
epidermis.

Dermatology is my game,
clear complexions is my aim.
My love for you will always be
enermis.

I’d love to prick your acne
on a late-night bus to Hackney;
we’d stay on board until we reach the
termis.

Then we’d get off the bus
— just the two of us —
and guzzle down a skinful
at the Olde Pig and Pimple.


Frogtime

The Doc asked me if I’d had any contact with frogs recently.

— What you mean?

— You know, frogs.

— Frogs.

— Yes, frogs. Ribbit, ribbit!

—Eh?

— Green chaps. Slimy.

Then he starts jumping up and down, skinny legs flexing like an Olympian. Across the floor —ribbit, ribbit! — onto a filing cabinet — ribbit, ribbit! — back to his desk — ribbit, ribbit!

— See? Frogs.

— No, I mean how recently is ‘recently’?


 

Awakening

Blissful coma, be my homa,
keep me safe and warm.
Shield me from that beldam
whose face is like a storm.

Her voice is like a foghorn
that blasts me from a coma,
and I must confess, without duress,
that I prefer the coma.

Wrap me in your pitch-black wings,
I never more will roma.
Just keep that hag away from me,
till I end this silly poma.


Cold call

Let’s see if Nell Tardelli
has the gall to call again,
after calling Kelly’s Deli
fifty times since half past ten.

‘Must be our beetroot jelly
makes her call continu-elly’,
said the owner
of that busy deli store.

‘Or perhaps our vermicelli
— it sells velly velly welly.
Maybe that’s why Nell Tardelli
calls for more.’

‘Trace the call’, says PC Small,
‘and then we’ll nab Tardelli.
Wait until she calls again,
do nothing illeg-elly.’

And so they wait with ears agape,
patient-elly to sieze her.
The phone rang only once again:
‘I’m in the fff—ckin’ fffreezer!’


 

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.


 

Gone

Gone are the days when you could apply a stress-proof sealant to your wife and kids, and leave them for months on end with no worries. Back in the day — before “Government Regulation” — I could spend six months a year in Malibu, lying on the beach, and not worry for a second about my family. That was because of ‘Daddygon’, the stress-proof sealant that “feels like a deal as it seals”. I even got a discount for volume over at Zeb’s Hardware.

But like I say, gone are the days. They took ‘Daddygon’ off the market years ago, when some idjit in the government started going on about “paternity” and “responsibility”. Yeah, right.

So now I get back from Malibu and my family is a real mess, I tell ya. Takes me six months to restore them to their natural condition, by which time I’m bound for Malibu again. It’s a vicious circle and a crying shame.


 

Being earnest

I went to gloomy Père Lachaise
to mingle with the dead,
to ponder all the books they wrote
and that I should have read.

Oscar Wilde is buried there
(I’ve got his Wisdom of).
Molière is also there,
and Herbie (‘Klutz’) Labov.

Lying in their marble vaults
or under leafy sod,
I like to ask them (for a laugh)
‘Any sign of God?’

I do find graveyards funny,
like a cancer with no cure.
It’s hard to be in earnest
when just one thing is sure.


Fit & nimble

Let’s see if Ernest Trimble is still as fit and nimble
as he used to be in nineteen twenty-two:

Ernest, can you raise your arm?
— Not since Adolf bought the farm.

Ernest, can you turn your head?
— Not since Lennon was shot dead.

Ernest, can you bend your knee?
— Not since phones were as big as me.

Ernest, can you tie your shoes?
— Not since they cancelled Hill Street Blues.

Ernest, can you… please your wife… somehow?
— Not since 2 o’clock. What time’s it now?


Simple folk

At our local Booz-a-teria
you’ll find Friday night hysteria,
though some of it’s not fit
to put in print.

So if I mention coiffured sheep,
and powdered pigs in corsets,
I hope that you can simply
take the hint.

We’re simple godly folk round here,
‘cept Friday night’s shenanigans.
If you can’t take off your hat to that,
there’s baseball on in Flanagan’s.