Saturday, 31 January 2015

pull the other/any unsightly noise

Billy Bunter on a sack of coke

pull the other

surely it's not news that democracy
is alive & kicking in modern Greece
or that the UK PM's phone was hacked
by a posh coke fiend on a butt of sack

not that a brat of the Bollinger pack
would call for a rag when his nose was blocked
or that Greeks would vote for early release
from a long bygone public spending spree

that German bankers still want their own back
though the roads to their summer homes aren't cracked
nor that Tories have been taking the wee
ever since they re-took the right to fleece

this just in guess what if the same old crock
of dealers ain't pulled again it's smile please

Chair Fart?

Chair Fart Spray
Available at all no-good chemists

Elis, the younger of our boys, asked if I had included chair-fart in any of these blogs. Chair-farts, or indeed, their overgrown cousin the ignominious table fart, I replied, being odorless, colourless and tasteless, are neither here nor there. But if he insisted, I should take a stab at writing one or two of them up.

To the average sock puppet, then, the exigencies of metamorphosing anima have deep significance. Just as a smell of feet – whether good or bad – permeates the interview room and lends it a special authenticity; so the creaking chair or table fart that punctuates any kitchen convo between husband, wife or lover speaks of taste in furniture, choice of habitat or quality of floor polish that has sauced or soured their relationship. Though sonic booms, for the present, are a thing of past concords and echoes from the future, something will have to be done about them if they are to have any prospects at all. Therefore, ignore chair fart at your peril!

Now I'm not one to snigger mischievously above six or seventeen times a day, so for me to snort into scorn the common-or-garden fart of kitchen chair leg on parquet flooring is not an artifice devoid of meaning. However my fellow men, women & children do agree, I tend to laugh rather often when nothing appears to be funny, and to employ underlined verbs precisely.

A fart, any given fart, is in any case a form of malapropism. Rather like the infamous actor dismissed from his repertory company for uncontrolled bouts of sneezing during performances – though he and his outbursts were beloved of audiences - the bogus (ie the raspberry tainted) fart which accompanies an academic dispute over the ending of Mozart's Requiem or a knife fight breaking out during the vivisection of genetically engineered mice is both impertinent and ridiculous. But people tend to turn dumb, deaf & blind; and though their noses may twitch, there is often a perfectly innocent excuse for opening a window or turning on the Xpelair.

In certain parts of suburbia, we have noted, a subconscious reaching for the floral spray can follows the merest hint of under-the-table indiscretion. Fart cushions aside, what was the last purchase you made in your local joke shop, Mrs Bucket?
Sock Puppeteer
Never Apologise!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Ich bin Charlie

Charlie as...
Without Prejudice

some snakes

are no jesting matter quoth Paddy
to Prince our foolish Duke of Pork today
the beasts are neither as charming
in bomber jacket as suicide vest
check the crosses in their eyes
narky devils too well disguised

to be banished excommunicated
ice aged or parted from these
bloody virgin isles by Moses' rod
see you in court they snide
& here we're not talking grass or clay
but the ins & outs of the Quai d'Orsay

they'll sooner bite your snout as have
you look them in the mouth and say ha

Thursday, 1 January 2015

SmallReads 500 Winner Announced

...Going to be Never

She had been through his sock drawer. Again.
   Up to that point, life was fluttering on - like the draft of some romantic turkey. They had similar tastes, friends in common, went off each other for years then rutted like ferrets all Tuesday morning. She held his hand out shopping, he trekked after her into the foothills. For half a century, they'd saved on rent by living together, plotted the home they'd always build. Kept their own spaces for body & soul: she to Conference, he on outings with the boys. Rather than outflank each other, they preferred to own up and keep up.
   Until the sock drawer. Again.

He shouldn't blame her, not exactly. He hadn't much sympathy either. In one sense, the crime had neither victim nor perp. It wasn't like she'd found his secret stash. The little he had to hide would never have been stuffed in such an obvious place. Anyway, she should have known to leave it as found.
   So she was giving notice? Saying, accept her little peccadillo or just bog off? He would have to chose. Which was going to hurt. He would lose his nerve, panic at departure. There would be embarrassing scenes, hell had no fury and all such rot.
   What else was he to do? Given her history, his drawer was the one place she should never have laid hands on, unsheathing it and fiddling about like she did. A bloke should not be reduced to the hint of his sweaty toes, to the impress of his low down heels. She should have controlled that crazy urge, if she wanted things to go on.

But the bloody phone didn't ring, there was no power cut, not a single pigeon came crashing into the living room window. In fact, nothing disturbed her from knitting a hat for Spring, or him from reading “Of Human Bondage” for the fourteenth time. He was distracted, that was all. He often was. And she was absorbed. He told his thoughts to go away. She was looking as she often did before bed. No point in reacting. But he did. All he had to do was put down the book, arch his back and yawn. She would wink and say, “You go through. I'll just finish these rows”.
   He carried on dragging his eyes across the page. His heart rate was already up when he stole a second glance. She'd had her hair cut shorter than ever. Another sign of ageing? Soon they would both be out of their sixties forever. Her neck strained as she studied the pattern. The hat was for their trip to Paris. The tendons either side of her throat tensed. The skin was crimped and could do with smoothing. It was bring up the bloody drawer now... or never.
   Phew! All that strain for Paris. And Paris was never going to be never. Her throat bobbed as she swallowed hard.
   He put the book down, arched his back and yawned.
trans. Klaus Von Bickerstaff
Always Say Never