From the top

After putting the Ferrari through its paces on the Avenue des Etoiles, I like to relax on the patio with a tisane of Osmanthus tea, which is specially made for me by my good friend Theo, at the Pavilion de Thé, in Montparnasse. It’s a wonderful blend of dried flowers from the sweet olive tree and leaves from the Chinese Kotsa bush, commonly known as Cat’s Eye. Theo is such a treasure — I simply couldn’t live without him!

Having said that, his blend of pennyworth and Korean knotweed is absolutely disgusting, and his papaya and dill tea would take the shine off a brass doorknob.

So you see, life at the top is not all pleasure. Now get back to work.



Bearing fruit

Now class, I want you to tell me what you think is the best profession in the world. The best profession….

Delmar, what do you think?

Emmy-Lou? Any idea?

Madison? Stop picking your nose.

Tommy – is your hand up? Yes, Tommy.

— Eh, is it writer, Miss?

Writer? Why do you say that, Tommy?

—  Well, cos, you know, without writers all the other professions would be totally meaningless, wouldn’t they?

What does your father do, Tommy?

— He’s dead, Miss.

Choose an orange from the basket, Tommy, and enjoy.

A writer’s complaint

Leroy Spurtz has the kind of name
you’d find in the Olympics,
and yet the crazy bastard
went and studied astrophysics.

I had him down for greatness
on the parallel bars,
instead of which he wastes his time
gazing at the stars.

What’s the point?, I ask myself,
of this here writing game,
when the characters I dream up
just treat me with disdain?

Twemlow rising

Almost a full house tonight
for Twemlow’s one-man show
— not bad for a Wednesday,
and Bob Dylan live next door.

He opens with a dance routine,
then sashays into mime.
His ‘Bulldog in a Bottle’
gets ’em every time.

So take your prize, Bob Dylan,
enjoy it while you can.
Twemlow’s star is on the rise,
the new tambourine man.


Love & like

I’ve noticed that if I use the word love in a poem, I get a lot more ‘Likes’ from readers.

So here goes:

Oh baby, how I love you,
as a bullfrog loves a pond.
Immerse me in your beauty,
let me drown in love’s sweet bond.

The canopy of heaven
can’t do justice to your charms.
Only I can do that,
when I hold you in my arms.

Counting starts …. Now!


Customer care

I was opening a new box of Dalton & Bassett’s Twemlows when the phone rang.

— Hello?

Don’t eat those Twemlows!

— What?

— I said Don’t eat those Twemlows. Throw them out, right now!

— Who is this?

— Dalton.

— Who?

— Dalton, of Dalton & Bassett.

— Oh. How did you…?

— You got a bad box of Twemlows. It happens sometimes, and we’re real sorry. Throw them out. We’ll send you a new pack right away, by express courier. No charge, of course. And a hand-written apology, signed by Bassett himself.

— That’s real nice of you.

— We’re leaders in Customer Care, you know, here at Dalton & Bassett.

— Why don’t you sign it too?

— What?

— Why don’t you sign the apology too? Why just Bassett?

— Listen, punk! Don’t push me too far! I phoned ya, didn’t I? Did Bassett phone ya?

— Ooh, sorry.

— You want me to apologise twice? Maybe I should get down on my knees? Prostrate myself on the cobblestones of commerce? Is that what you want?

— Jeez, I just….

— Ok, go ahead and eat the goddam Twemlows. Stuff our face — see if I care! (Marcia, cancel that courier! And send a bunch of roses to Jack the Poisoner. In fact, give him a job. Tell him to see me tomorrow at nine.)

— I’m still here.

— Oh yeah? You got more complaints? Twemlows not sweet enough for ya? I spend my whole goddam life trying to please ungrateful bastards like you, and this is the thanks I get!

— Gotta go. Courier’s here.


Full bore

I don’t think I’ll ever understand Quantum Physics, at least not fully. Which is a pity, because Niels Bohr and I have a lot in common.

He was born on a Tuesday, and so was I.

His mother had varicose veins, and so had mine.

He won a prize for an essay when he was at school, and I won ten pounds on a scratch card about six months ago. I bought it in Landy’s in the High Street. Apparently, he’s had quite a few winners in recent years. I said to him ‘They should call you Lucky Landy’. He laughed.

He (Bohr) was a passionate footballer in his youth, and so was a mate of mine at work. In fact, he (my mate, not Bohr) had a trial for Sheffield United when he was a 15, though he didn’t make the grade. Which is a pity, because he was a nifty little player. Very fast, and a great reader of the game, even at that age.

He (back to Bohr) always drank tea without sugar, and I’m exactly the same. You might as well poison me as put sugar in my tea. Whereas I don’t mind sugar in coffee at all. Isn’t that strange?

So yes, there is a connection, but it’s difficult to quantify.