The Bearded Lady took a bow
Although she longed to curtsey,
The audience clapped louder now
And whistled without mercy.
She smiled and when she left the ring
Trapeze artists took their places,
She sat beside the monkey king
And looked up at their faces.
Maria swung and triple-flipped;
Her pretty smile unfaltered.
The bearded lady sat tight-lipped
And wished she could be altered.
The beard, though entertaining, was
A nuisance when eating
She kept her head out of the warmth
For fear of overheating.
She hated people being shocked
At her feminine gender
For just like every woman
She too was loving and tender.
On this day she did decide
To win the heart of Mike
The Ring Master who could ride
A lion like a bike.
So out the Big Top, Beardy went
And found the sword-swallower's blade
She took some foam from the clown's cream pie
And with the two she made
A shaving kit to solve her woes
To de-fuzz her hairy chin
While she was at it she shaved her toes
Then took a deep breath in.
The crowd applauded Mike's display,
A flame juggling dance
But the clapping stopped and jaws dropped
As Beardy took her chance
To kiss her man who whispered then
''My lady I desire you
For seven years I've loved your beard
(But now I'll have to fire you)''
So that was it, the beard was shaven
The Lady got her catch,
They lived together in marital haven
With moustaches to match.
(written 6th September 2011, on the bus journey to work.)
‘Sorry. Actually no, I’m not sorry’
The fact that this was said as a joke, when some wine was spilled at a recent party I went to, speaks volumes about the British penchant for retractions and confessions. That we wouldn’t verbally atone for such an act is the stuff of comedy. We even apologize when we are not sorry, thus undoing our constant, and on occasion genuine, efforts to avoid offence.
Most annoyingly is the use of our seemingly favorite word when we actually mean to say ‘excuse me’, or worse, ‘thank you’; a misdemeanour so oft committed on public transport. I left my house for work fifteen minutes ago but I have already apologized once and have seen three people all say sorry to each other in the queue for the bus. Queuing, of course, takes second place in the long list of Habitual Acts of Ridiculousness in Her Majesty’s Fair Albion.
I once queued for twenty minutes for a train ticket at Euston Station, only to get to fifth place in the line and realize that this was actually a queue to ask a man for information, and that all the ticket kiosks were free. True to form, I apologized needlessly for my blunder and sheepishly made my way to the man holding back a laugh behind one of the ticket desks, which had been available throughout.
Queuing aside, why do we apologize so much? If we were a rude nation, then it would follow that we would have to apologize more, would it not? No, we would be rude and say nothing, you idiot! We are polite, too polite, for fear of actually letting the general public get a glimpse behind our ‘terribly sorry’ masks, which are fitted on, bespoke, in childhood, intended to bespeak a sincere heart. Indeed, children may cry and wail in redress, but will not be forgiven unless they utter the ‘magic word’ to their parents.
There’s no turning back though; if I had not said sorry to the lady who I overtook too suddenly on the pavement two doors down from my house (approximately ten seconds into my day in the outside world) I would have been ‘tutted’ at, and worse, felt incredibly rude when I heard the a capella trio of apologies on the number 8 bus for the same impropriety.
All in all, it’s probably better to apologize than to offend, even if overtaking someone in the street is not, by any account as offensive as, heaven forbid, standing on someone’s foot or passing wind in a lift (for which, strangely, no one ever apologizes). Thus, I am sorry for calling you an idiot earlier. Or am I?
This is planned to be a song- Kate Nash style... but I'm not really a singer.
When I bought it
I loved it
I hoped you’d love it too
Really I bought it for you
That dress in forget-me-not blue
Because we all know
With a short hem
And a really windy day
And my knickers on display
You would want to come and play
But uh oh
Oh dearie me
I’m in complete distress
You tried to impress
Yourself by wearing my dress
The look of guilt
On your face
Made me feel so sad
But the bulges were so bad
Your hairy legs are those of a lad
On your mouth
Usually transferred by kiss
Not normally applied like this
But I’ll snog your pretty face anyway
My ladies’ man-lady
You make me go crazy
Let’s go to buy some culottes
Or skirts with polka dots
And freak judgmental people out in parking lots.
I feel the footsteps behind me fall
Into a rhythm too precise
To be those of wandering crowds
I’m being followed by ghosts,
Sent to track my every move,
Cloaked in commonplace shrouds
Of hats, mackintoshes,
Headscarves and trench coats
I look into the window of the store
And see faces staring back
In the reflection, tracking me
Their gazes meet mine, drop to the floor
But I’ve seen them before.
I need to shake them off;
I dart and fluke through the court.
They snake and slither behind,
Prey-bound and poised for the catch
They need secrets to tell, to report
Never suspecting me of the worst- but that, I am,
Their worst nightmare in the flesh.
I’m a civilian, not a spy,
Out to buy
A mix of hitrecord goodness that's in our very DNA. Adding resources later (at work)
The champagne flute longed to return to the orchestra.
But she was an alcoholic.
(An attempt to make the worst day of a guy's life vaguely humourous...)
Lisa Monroe, will you marry me?
I’m walking down Greatcastle street and it’s raining. A homeless man asks if I have any spare change and I empty my wallet on his lap. I give him my loyalty card for the coffee shop too, which is only one cappuccino away from a café gratuit. Heck, I am indestructible today; someone fitted springs in my heels over night it seems. I can’t stop smiling, but I’ll admit, I’m a little sweaty. This is partly due to the fact that I’m actually breaking into a brisk jog, but mostly because I’m about to ask the love of my life to make me an honest man and marry me.
This is it. I’m on the bridge. She’ll be coming out of work for lunch any minute. I wonder if my breath is still fresh. No mints. The ring? Check. It’s in my jacket pocket, pressing against my heart in a sensation I can only describe as nausea. But a good nausea if that’s possible.
My phone rings. Is it her? My heart leaps into my mouth, choking me. Frantic, I fumble around in my pocket to reach my phone. It’s my boss. He’s wondering why I’m not at work today. I tell him I’m proposing to my girlfriend and he says I have to get back for the conference before 1pm or I can forget a pay rise. I tell him that he can forget the whole job and that I quit. I’m just too happy to deal with his shit for another day. I hang up as he splutters something about notices and human resources. Win.
It’s a bit cold, and I’m soaked. I see a woman taking pictures of me on the other side of the bridge, as I jump up and down to keep warm. Normally I’d demand that she deletes it as I hate random people using me as an illustration of their empty lives. But today, stuff it. I’m getting married. The girl snaps away and checks the results on the display. Behind her I see a smiling face coming in my direction.
I straighten myself up and check my pocket for the ring again. My mouth twitches a little and I dry-swallow, desperately trying to rehydrate my voicebox which I fear has gone into retirement.
‘Dean! Did I leave something at your place?’ Dizzied by her voice, I have to hold onto the railing to keep myself steady.
I tell her no, she didn’t leave anything, but that I have something to give her. She jokes and says well the middle of the bridge isn’t quite the right place for a quickie. Is the moment gone? I pause and blink stupidly at her, confounded. She’s totally unaware and says that she’s on her way to grab a bagel, if I want to come along.
I see my chances sailing away so like an idiot I sink to one knee and grab on to her waist. She clocks and stops breathing momentarily.
‘Lisa Monroe. You are the love of my world. You are exquisite and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Lisa Monroe, will you marry me?’
Right, so I had something a little more elegant and polished prepared, but I’m no actor. I did say her name twice though. Shit.
I produce the ring, and kneel there, trembling, soaking wet, probably with a grazed, bleeding knee, for what feels like an age.
Then I look up. She’s crying. I know girls cry at this moment in the movies all the time, but usually they’re smiling and jumping on the spot. Not Lisa. She’s covering her face in her hands and her shoulders are shaking with each sob. Through her fingers, she blurts out that she can’t marry me.
I get it. Well, don’t try to spare my feeling Lisa.
She runs away across the bridge and disappears into the crowd.
Right, so now what? Is that it? Are we broken up now or still together but just not engaged. I ring Dave. Dave always knows what to do.
Ok so Dave doesn’t know what to do because he’s high.
Nevermind. I’ll be honest, things aren’t looking so good right now. I may or may not have a girlfriend, I definitely don’t have a fiancé, I don’t have a job and I’m standing on a bridge. In the rain. Everything here suggests I just jump and get it over with. Why was I so cocky and planned this whole thing on a bridge? May as well have done it on train tracks.
Crap. I need a coffee. Not rock and roll, I know but it’s 12:30pm and I’m freezing.
Flipping tramp has my coffee card. Worst. Day. Of. My. Life. That bum is going to give it back. Now. I will fight anyone who defies me. My testosterone has been extracted by the she-wolf so this is the only way I know how to redeem myself in the world of man-points.
And that effing woman has documented the whole thing. ‘WHORE!’ I flip the bird at her and run off in search of the bum.
There he is. His hat is FULL of money. Absolutely loaded, he is. I demand that he gives me back my coffee card. He says that he’s not got it. I tell him to refund me my money from before. I mean, come on, people only give money to homeless people to make themselves feel better and I’m definitely not ecstatic right now. He coughs and tells me where to go. I don’t know what’s come over me but I land a punch square between his eyes and dig my hands into the pile of money in front of him. I’m a bear, I’m a superhero! No, I’m a villain! I’m CHUCK NORRIS.
Er. I’m arrested?
Yep. I’m banged up. I try to explain my situation to the officer but apparently Grevious Bodily Harm is a pretty serious offence. I get handcuffed and slammed against the bonnet of the car. Apparently, making S&M jokes at this point isn’t well received. Oh come on, you’ve thought about it before.
So yeah, here I am in my cell. I’ll be spending the night here, I’m told. My sexual joke has created more problems as now I’m being interrogated over my relationship with my girlfriend. The constable asks if I hit my girlfriend for pleasure. This is literally the last thing I want to be thinking about right now. Having to explain my intimate relationship with the woman who just refused to marry me to a complete stranger is not ideal.
I wake up to the sound of an infernal buzzing. The door of the cell opens, and a voice tells me that I’ve been bailed out. THANK THE LORD!
Perhaps Lisa has heard about my crimes of passion and has come back to say yes this time.
Nope. To top things off, I am greeted by my 90 year old grandmother Doris, wielding her walking stick like a machete.
Icing. On. The. Cake.
So you claimed today
You can read me like a book?
What a claim to make
I know you can't as
You cannot read Japanese
Take a second look
At my thoughts I hid
In nihongo all this time
Try to understand
Do me a favour
And buy a dictionary
Look yourself up too.
Mada watashi no aisuru hito