Thursday, 1 August 2019

Down Your Nose


...we shall see in 2020...”

Special Reports from The Ox-Fools


No Tinned Sardines at Tiffin

Towing the UK out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where it could be left to sink into the Central Canyon, would be expensive, cruel and unsustainable - but not outside the bounds of feasibility. A German plan to do just this was under serious consideration during the Battle of Britain, though the use of yellow submarines would not have been cricket.


Curse of the Self-peeling Banana.”

Not two decades from the turn of the millennium, downing milk of water-buffalo to the strains of Radio Fork, we stumble across this saga of genetic manipulation in downtown Turnaround Town.

Orthodox science tells us bananas were never meant to self-peel. But the boffins who created this embarrassment were faceless ciphers, white-coated scone-heads dedicated to blurring the edges of technology. The question who on the planet needed bananas that could peel themselves went simply unasked. Blinkered by biology, they blundered into the work, never pondering why such flagrant autonomy should favour the semi-tropical fruit.

A typical banana of the Last Century would scarcely have dreamt of going naked into the negotiating chamber. But as they neared maturity, the first unsuspecting fruit were sold down the river into laboratories innocuously disguised as ripening sheds. Others were loaded onto eponymous banana boats. There they were subjected to degrading experiments, soaked in hormone rich baths, sprayed with libidinous chemicals, or even suspended in vapour-filled chambers to absorb the involuntary reflexives. A young, tender banana would then be laid voluptuously upon a ceramic or metal plate and left to expose itself.

Once effective methods of impregnation were successfully duplicated, small consignments of self-peeling 'nanas were released onto unsuspecting markets. The results were unequivocal. Ripe hands began exposing themselves in public and private venues throughout the target areas. In malls, shocked customers watched in helpless outrage as lithe young bananas eased themselves out of their skins to lie provocatively on counters. In homes, bowls of fruit assortment became the scene of lewd encounters as apples, quince and even greengages blushed in response to the spontaneous stripping of their elongated yellow colleagues. Schools and works canteens were not spared the shame brought on by batches of nude provocateurs.

Though many naked bananas were immediately consumed by shameless primates; others languished for a short time, browning off where they lay, glistening in the atmosphere and giving out a digestive stink. The temptation to gobble up these languid examples proved too much for even the most staid and hesitant feeders. Few indeed of the skinless bodies were allowed to turn black, even on hot and sultry days. And though payment was occasionally deferred, the guilty pleasures of most went hand-in-hand with token exchanges. Indeed, the way these treated bananas offered themselves up appeared to excite increased interest in the Musa genus; soon enough the entire first crop had disappeared, only the limp skins remaining where they had so flagrantly been discarded.

Having established first principles, the mad boffins turned their attention to the timing of a banana's strip. What should be the trigger? A variety of stimuli was applied: music and other audio signals, human proximity: odours such as sweat, perfume or after-shave; time of day, weather conditions, casting of suggestive shadows. Finally, the application of artificial intelligence was deployed, any given banana assessing the local conditions for itself to decide when, where and how to perform the act of lewd exposure.

Self-peeling bananas went on general release before an unsuspecting public with earth-shattering results. Traffic on a busy street in downtown Turnaround Town came to a halt when a truck shed its load of self-peelers. Crowds formed outside greengrocer shop windows. Matrons shrieked on wards. Schoolkids fretted over lunchboxes. Volvos skedaddled and collided with horse-drawn carts. Lone picnickers ran from park benches. Questions were asked in both Houses and the Prime Minister was summoned to The Embassy.

Large cooking bananas were not immune to the infection. Hard-boiled plantains, normally the butch and recalcitrant bedfellows of okra and sweet potatoes, proudly emerged from their thick green jackets to protrude from baskets of multi-coloured peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. The revolution was beginning to spread. Somehow, coconuts learned to eject their own milk. Peas turned self-shooters. Carrots, mandrake-like, leapt from the ground. Figs and strawberries swapped underwear. Ears of wheat, barley and rye threshed each other to the buzz of hayfever attacks. Thousands of pumpkins grinned in the fields, the twinkle of their candle-lit eyes shimmering in the cool evening breeze of Autumn.

Halloween was drawing on. With the infection fully out, the question had to be asked: what new Great Beast was about to be born?



Cheeseboat

the farce that sank a thousand ships


Once described as a musical without music, it's the show that has twice defied the critics to run and run like an open wound on the face of Boredway. It stars no one but himself, has them creasing in the aisles, snorting in the lavs and blocking the spittoons with false teeth & gum. Sawdust sprinkles from ceilings as rodents and woodworm roar on cue. Beamed live into homes & dugouts throughout the country, especially loved by the intellectually, emotionally and psychologically challenged: Cheeseboat - the triumph of crass over craft, of submarine over pondskater, the first brand of soap powder to challenge Oxymoron. Public fountains beware!

Soap Fountain Arrests

You snivelling little morons! Call yourselves hooligans? Can't you think of anything better to vandalise than a harmless urban water feature? Take them down and set them to work gumming up cracks in the pavements. Next case!


...and now, Down Your... Pan

Eee by gum, let's hoof it to the foot of our stairs, life's a rum & cloves affair, there's nowt so queer as folklore, and that bloody Nora....

As far as rabbits go, I've got little to say bar this: wouldn't chase one with a shotgun, and neither of our dogs could catch a wet stick let alone a furry animal. So when it comes to Alice tumbling into Wonderland, I'm with her in spirit only. Tumbling into bed at night is about all I can manage, and if I ever have trouble sleeping it's not sheep I'm counting, fingers drumming on the mattress, rain dripping from the chicken-house roof. What a July it's been! So, what does August augur?
No Say Cheese!


Wednesday, 3 July 2019

1919 & all that jazz





inverse eyes @2020 look
back thru tainted goggles Frenchies Brits
Yanks & sundry lesser outfits caught
Germany off

guard the wicket stuck on Old Regime
petty fours to shouts of six we bowled
turtle soup from mobster plot tureens
Nero cuisine

put Trimalchio's repast to shame
nymphos served injust desserts on tec
tonic plates of messe de pottage camp
fires burned unchecked

burps & hiccoughs slurps of brandy smoke
Louis quinze looked down in effigy
aprés moi you deli cats he urged
who is dese folks

fête accomplis paid on credit so
what the cost or if decorum lost
ten not out to help your bloody selves
in for a dig

*

Mr Churchill button-holed our host
puis-je demand au vernaculaire
de cette table oh fermez les Bosch
cried Clemenceau

Wilson not to be dishonoured pulled
out his gun & popped a serving man
just for fun now never say we Yanks
don't know our tropes

Lennon whose invitation got smudged
in the post was there by telegram
Molotov with cocktail poised said stop
me & buy one

spliced of course with Chaplin Charles but worse
was to come beyond the trampled gates
Germany impersonated by
Korporal Von Klot

wagon wheels exploding bells & hell's
balls a-swinging from his lugs remained
shaking at the knees forgive his French
encore mein twat

*

by the morning of the night before
no one knew quite who had said just what
wrapped in table cloths we bagged our loot
swaggering off

some had homes to go to others not
those with silver candlesticks & plates
made for bishoprics & sovereign states
pleased with their lot

several gathered victuals reasoning
hungry jaws would snicker as they snuck
by so cake to trade as bread was wise
knowing Versailles

knives & forks embroidered serviettes
ringed with gilt were favoured by the few
who professed a souvenir would do
journeys that long

lastly ready-handed spilled the lost
generation hordes whose wits were shot
grateful for our lives we hit the streets
pairs of left feet

***

still the bunfight raged on soldiers' pay
tilting stragglers reached their promised lands
singing by the boat load train or push
cart in the rain

officers & men with kitbags new
packing hairlock pistols bayonets
pomegranates gramophones & old
Exchange & Marts

even those who’d never stepped abroad
claimed rewards in borrowed uniforms
boasting like heroes that zeros had
stuck to their guns

speeches we endured in county town
halls profane the words of praise to face
no man's land had been a better place
peaceful at times

when the gin kicked in it made one think
soldiering did have its qualities
knew your enemies but civvies were
good for a drink

*

Scott Fitzgerald wrote his novel then
Proust coughed up the biscuit of research
Switzerland had held a nest of such
confidence men

bankrupts all their credit sunk in art
speculation dada tigers who
cheerio’d down chiaroscuro streets
curtsied like fools

time to face the bloody music act
brave & play concertos with both hands
tied behind the back abandon truth
chapter & verse

show they hadn’t sung in castle vaults
silently from rooftops playing rag
requiems for chums who'd drowned in mud
innocence hung

out to dry in Voltaire cafés where
prohibition played straight into gang
land scenarios took some resolve
totalled on tea

*

hic twas claimed that war kicked off in smoke
rooms or homebrew joints for every gun
toting patriot the God squad read
Satan on hooch

did great wonders for the smugglers' trade
surely not don’t take my word we Yanks
banned it very morning after world
peace was declared

that’s absurd you said it Brother like
blaming rape on women who dress up
war was down to men who'd had too much
Dutch here’s the catch

logic doesn’t mix with politics
in democracy the lowest twits
pitch their wits beneath the belt then watch
God do the rest

pull the other Sister thought of that
bloodshed does attract a deal of bull
title fights aren't won by halves it's drink
up or shut up

***

Uncle Brit & Auntie France why not
set our friends a great example give
back those empires show the world that peace
means business eh

what a neat idea take that down
here this pack of cigarettes is smoked
tell it at the Rose & Crown tonight
wonderful hoax

true in Blighty things ain't smelling rose
half these chaps have lost their jobs to fops
what will all the soldiers do we'll send
them out as cops

free the states it's got a ring to it
be elections soon Communism's
on the rise how about dominion
status for them

seriously Nuncle haven't they
earned the right to independence let
those who've fought for freedom off a bit
rule their own waves

*

talk like that is fit for Bolsheviks
ten to one we'll meet at Waterloo
everyone is waiting on a pax
Britannica

with our European pals in crime
all the civilising countries know
just to give their colonies away
Dude isn’t due

off their bottle that's Amerikar
to a model T let’s see them quit
money first then litigation sex
for heaven's sake

slavery which took us long enough
white man's burden in a six-inch shell
he who fails to down his stirrup cup
see him in hell

mark my words if prohibition reigns
seven years they’ll drink then seven more
judging vices comes before a fall
Congress's call

*

jaw-jaw with a Mallampati score
high enough to end this war of wars
heard that somewhere before I suppose
me too here goes

everyone's invited to a bash
weekly on the promenade at lake
Wozzname grab a gal we'll have a blast
drinks on the house

talking shops are de rigeur these days
peace diplomacy & all that jive
best behaviour on the dance floor no
stepping on toes

cutting in will be allowed of course
modern dress & when the music stops
cabaret with all the latest acts
shenanigans

best of all it's international rules
what goes down in Switzerland will stay
there who’s not to love the best of both
worlds old & new

***

Gatsby where’s your country going hold
on Old Sport Chicago fix the World
Series for me will ya atta boy
Wolfie's a dream

you were saying never mind the girl's
got a hubby tail her to the far
side of paradise we'll rendezvous
there in the car

here we go again now try to keep
up you know he seldom drinks that's odd
figured him for a bootlegging hound
plays cricket though

there’s some truth in what you said before
damned if I remember let’s go home
party's over bar the shooting one
more for the road

right you are a cigarette my house
for a smoke this Russian whitey meets
Frenchie with a Limey on the road
to Monty Carl

*

O Daisy darl life's a car crash for
two no sorry you were great in bed
plus your money's oke but that’s not rich
gotta be orf

who'd’ve thought I’d utter life’s a bitch
can’t we go to Europe start afresh
sell this pile exchange East River for
Riviera

live it up on two per cent of nix
you're forgetting something Major Gatz
destiny awaits us where we are
get out the car

you believe that stuff of course I do
liar but the French & Brits are thru
Germany will have its turn of peace
war & then us

girlfriend we could make it anywhere
what if I don’t want to tell you what
grab Manhattan first then take New York
state's on a plate

*

didn't Mrs Cody make it plain
can’t have happy endings all the time
principal has gotta take a fall
stroke of thirteen

made an art form outta hit & run
living fast & dying young the crime
ain't no loss of life it's breaking faith
rules of the game

rather stick around for best of both
such romantic notions sup your drink
poisoned chalice two to tango whoa
king for a day

sorry love the sun is setting I'll
miss the next I know it's asinine
hold my hand I'm dying like an oaf
partner in rhyme

kiss me darling blow that smoking gun
what an innings burst the palliasse
Siegfried's got a dame but lost his ring
fat lady sing


don't sign here!

Saturday, 1 June 2019

bunch of lefties


boycott vote

whoa Gibraltar tie that kanga down
little Spains are taking tinsel town
marriage of public convenience
Brexit my arse

Nigel was willing true to his name
foraging for scraps of votes he led
motley creatures by the nose to dance
Brexit my arse

try it out on YouRope no disgrace
dangling on the line enjoy a farce
stick it out till you’re blue in the face
Bexit my arse

Aunty France and Uncle Brit's divorce
still ain’t thru tho bickering enough
every time they mount the town hall steps
Brexit my arse

pull the other see if it's got bells
on then fetch the shotgun be no worse
civil partnership or fake romance
Brexit my arse



the odds

thinking to myself so what who cares
I was right said Chris & now he's gone
time to end the age old argument
me against them

Mum is gaga Dad’s a memory
raise the curtain face the music or
kettledrums rolling in the background
one against Thebes

got a family of my own to keep
tabs on history repeating itself
two more boys to fight and argue with
odds against ten

take no prisoners let the stragglers go
they'll come running homewards soon enough
dawn is breaking time to rise & shine
clock’s against me

no I'll take another hour of shut
eye no need to put the kettle on
rolling over in the creeping light
one against one



intertexing reprised

pied pastiche my media of choice
never that original I make
proximations like a lonely old
budgerigar

now pastisse has mucho aniseed
favours singing under many names
raki ouzo absinthe anisette
Baudelaire supped

twice his share while I prefer red wine
Archilochus played the drunken oaf
also Alcheus was quite an alc
originals

even they relied on one before
who invented rhyme & metre like
Sappho strumming with her plectrum no
token woman

though the muses suffer many fools
imitation floats the ship of verse
downright copying's against the rules
language comes first



worth his sack

couldn’t find a woman or a black
male of any age the Mafia
settled on this Ilkley chap who at
least gets it down

does a line in humour is correct
calls himself a poet passed his test
visits schools occasionally on
radio 4

pardon my question it's answer time
what’s his name is not important just
solid working class an axe who's
good chopping words

one more thing if any others dare
cast aspersions on this worthy bloke
send an SAE to Auntie Bee's
Twitter address

fact sheets are available an app
will be ready soon also a mask
goes on sale next Wednesday wear it out
ten years'll do



7½ O levels

having passed the English Language test
Lit I almost failed still not ashamed
Geog & Chemistry at CSE
some of my best

for the rest I should admit a rag
bag assortment hardly worth the time
teachers spent or cash-strapped Liverpool
City counselled

what I learned in truth I often use
here in life like French & Spanish Maths
simultaneous equations apart
History grade one

gotta get a boast in somewhere no
pride did not precede my fall I tripped
unassisted thank you from the great
height of these depths

anarchy being both means & mode
private schooling helped my stable mates
I set out to change the world so don't

judge me on grades
rude & pointed