Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Poet's day.*

I'm telling the boys about "Mockingbird," a new game I just thought of. (It's a bit obvious, so I doubt I'm the first person to come up with this idea.) You begin with the lullaby "Hush Little Baby," and take turns to make up a couplet, giving the next player the challenge of completing the rhyme. Extra points for fiendishness and ingenuity.

So I start with the real lyrics:
Hush, little baby, don't say a word;
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring . . .
And here, I change it up:
And if that diamond ring don't sparkle . . .
Take it, Primus. (Admittedly, all that comes to my mind is "Papa's gonna buy you a horse called 'Arkle.'"**)

Primus is made of better stuff. In a flash: "Papa's gonna buy you a pile of charcoal." Bloody brilliant.***

*"Poet's Day" as a hallowed acrostic for Friday: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday. Is that just an English thing?

**Not Urkel. Arkle. Notoriously successful Irish racehorse in the 1960s.**** And six punctuation marks in a row, beating my previous record. Although does the double asterisk count as just one?

***Totally worthy of Ogden Nash (1902-1971), who was born here in Rye but is insufficiently celebrated around these parts.*****

****Coulda had "patriarchal."

*****Like me.


  1. my boys would have found a way to work bodily functions into the rhyme somehow.

  2. "And if that diamond ring attracts looters . . ."

  3. Staying in the hilton at T4 the other day, I looked out of my bedroom window and saw to the east, a 60's style tower block a mile or two away, the only landmark in an otherwise featureless West London skyline. I realised then, that I used to know someone who lived there...
    How have you been over the last 35 years? Ars longa vita brevis?

  4. That last comment was from an old schoolfriend, whom I haven't seen for . . . not 35 years, closer to 135. Martyn hasn't sent me his email address, so I'll just tell him you can get to one of my email boxes by clicking on the profile link up and to the right. But in brief, Martyn, two marriages (so far), three children, four novels (two published so far), two nationalities, one cat (dead) and one dog (only too alive).