19 February 2005

A Salutary Tale

This isn't long, honest - think of it as about as long as the poetic version of a Rupert Bear story, or King John's Christmas by A.A.Milne. Not as good, but about as long, and TRUE (except that I may have got the Rotary and the Chamber mixed up and the last verse is sheer 'poetic' license)*

Anyway, stuck for a post today and this got very good ratings from the few people on FanStory that read to the end. Which you're not going to do anyhow, are you, because you're surfing through Blog Explosion and only here for thirty seconds, so tough titties, this is what you're going to get.

A Salutary Tale

One Christmas, not so long ago,
This little town put up a show.
The Council here was very new
With not so much to show or do.
Sum total of the festive sights
Were one large tree, one string of lights

New laws had come and they decreed
The government had guaranteed
That lights for public celebrations
Complied with highest regulations.
This was not a flippant thing,
But left the town with one sad string.

And more than this, as they were new
The Council hadn't got a clue
Quite how or where to store the thing
Once winter thawed and beckoned spring,
So other groups were then involved,
To see if they could get it solved.

The chairman of the Rotary,
A local businessman,
Came up with no solution but
He volunteered his van.

The leader of the Chamber
Of Commerce, in the end,
Provided them with storage
In the garage of a friend.

So, once the Council had the key
They gave it to the Rotary
And then the chairman, what a man,
Sent round a lad with one large van,
Who with the help of the Town Clerk,
Hoisted the lights into the dark
And, on that January day,
Set off to put the lights away.

Once summer came and summer went,
The town clerk uttered his intent
To check the lights and analyse
Their fitness for new winter skies.
So Clerk and Leader, Chairman too,
Set off to see what they could do.
It didn't need all three I guess,
But men are like that nonetheless.

The garages like chalets stood
In rows along two lanes,
A sunny little neighbourhood
Of locks and bolts and chains.

Driving down the eastward aisle,
As each man wore a jolly smile,
There was the garage, 23,
The lock submitted to the key,
But when the doors were open wide
The three saw nothing there, inside.

Six shoulders sagged to count the cost,
The Council's only asset, lost!
The Clerk let out a tiny groan,
The Chairman grabbed his mobile phone;
The driver though, as it transpired,
Had left in spring, could not be fired.

The Chamber leader thoughtfully
Considered where the lights could be
And wondered if the driver used
Had got his right and left confused.
And so the three set off again,
To look within the other lane.

The twenty third along that bit,
Symmetrically opposite,
Looked much the same but spoke of gloom
And seemed to carry hints of doom
To dignitaries, pondering
On breaking it and entering.

Three smartly suited men, in shock
Watched as the key went in the lock
And gasped in horror and relief
As cogs turned smoothly underneath
And each took on a deathly pall
To realise one key fits all!

But that was just the easy part.
Which of these heroes had the heart
To grasp the handle, turn it round
And look to see what could be found?
Which would conquer quaking fear?
Which would risk his whole career?

In public life each one was brother
But could they really trust each other?
The chairman, in a proper sweat
Looked to the others quite a bet
For separating from this caper
and blabbing to the local paper.

The Chamber leader held him down.
The Clerk, who wished that he could drown,
Was left to do the evil deed
And lunged at it with quite a speed,
But as he lifted up the door
It made a lurch toward the floor.

"Help!" Squealed the Clerk
"The damn things broke!
Come back guys,
This is not a joke!"

"Oh Bloody hell" The Leader cried
And soon was at his colleagues side.
The Chairman, free, just ran away,
They'd deal with him another day,
But having shouted rather loud
Already had they drawn a crowd.

So each put on their public face
And smiled, although they felt disgrace,
Laughed with the audience and then
Blamed the garage maintenance men
And with some help from others there,
Gave their best shot at door repair.

But validation was at hand
And they forgot to look so grand
When faced with, oh, the best of sights,
The box of Council Christmas lights
Nestled by the garage wall
As if they'd not been lost at all.

The Clerk, now feeling so much better
Hastily composed a letter
Explaining to the owner how
The lights had been reclaimed, and now
"I think I broke your garage door
Please let me pay, can I do more?"

Two weeks went by, and in that time
The Chairman, guilty of his crime
Laid low, let Clerk and Leader wait
To see how this would change their fate.
Perhaps not seen but surely felt,
Each lost two inches off his belt.

A knock upon the Town Clerk's door
announced a Council visitor.
Poor Clerk, his stomach loudly gurgled,
This was the guy that he had burgled.
Was he friend or was he foe?
The wait was up and now he'd know.

"Thanks for the letter, mate!" said man,
"I laughed as much as any can.
I really wish I could have seen,
I bet your face turned proper green!
I'm glad to know that my old key
Worked on number twenty three"

"I tell you what, I see your shock,
I'll let you pay for my new lock
And then we'll call it quits, okay?
Your letter really made my day.
Those lights had got me puzzled though.
I'm simply glad to see them go"

And so we reach our happy end.
The Clerk had made a solid friend.
Come Christmas time the garage owner
Found no chance to be a loner,
Treated like a dignitary
In place of the Chair of the Rotary.

* OK, so are a couple of other bits


Badaunt said...


(Wild applause, stomping feet, etc etc)

PSP Politics, Sports and Philosophy said...

Its my day off and I try to rest and relax... THAT was a lot of reading and it wore me out, but it was worth it!!

Cheryl said...

I'm chuffed guys - just trying to read it all is a real compliment - thanks for the brilliant feedback too :-))