Category Archives: humour

Stiff Upper Lip

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This is your conscience speaking;

I know you feel
like flaying the next-door fiend,
leaving her festering in a smelly heap, to the applause
of almost every tenant on these three floors,

and you fantasise
about an unacceptable, inconceivable set-up with the bed-eyed,
dread-locked sex god you’re forever ogling
in the second-hand shop.

I realise you recently considered
ripping off your jeans and summer vest in the hey-day high street,
screaming “ I hear you knocking but you can’t come in”,
then running away, giggling.

and you are tempted
to tell that frosty screw what her silly victim –
her lily-livered excuse for a libertine loser – plotted to do
to you when she was at bingo, sandwiching his confused pseudo-love
between the pages of a detailed medical dictionary, as if
each irritating phrase was a ribbon-wrapped gift, every
trumped-up twitch and flickering heart beat a treat;
and yet he knew you didn’t want to swim
in anyone’s swan song, let alone
sink through his forlorn
funeral tune.

I understand
that – until you did it – you might think it funny
to cut off your extremities and wiggle your stumps,
singing “Look, no hands,
and no feet, either”,

and you have been dying
to tip your wardrobe through the window, crying, “look – it can fly”,
wait for the smashing crash to attract the neighbours’ attention,
then yell, “and so can I”,
and try.

It’s true that their lives are dull,
and it would give those old folks a thrill
to see your blood churning the earth into rusty mud
to feed the geriatric rose bushes,
but don’t.

This
is your conscience speaking, old bean;
don’t do any of the above – let us not forget
one is British; such activities are simply not cricket.
Extend your stiff upper lip; use it
to lift a kettle, then settle down
with a nice cup of tea.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Fiction Planet

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Fiction Planet is a crazy place
unknowingly created by the human race;
with it’s ever increasing wish for fiction,
there’s never the risk of dereliction.

It’s a world that never fills to overflowing,
constantly stretching, endlessly growing,
while every writer throughout age and time;
in tales long and short, in prose and rhyme,
creates more protagonists to join the throng
of fictional characters, both weak and strong;
carelessly scribbled or seamlessly drawn,
old as the hills or recently born.

Every character in every tale
is instantly despatched, without fail,
to a rocket-ship, soon to be hurled
onto the surface of a far-flung world,
complete with their views, their histories and lives,
the secondary characters; friends, foes and wives.

Thin personalities with watery expression,
written with no talent in a hurried session,
travel with oddballs whose unlikely obsession;
unusual habits and peculiar repression,
are fascinating foibles to make them more real,
your interest to excite, your faith to seal.

Misfortune and cruelty, joy and pleasure;
every kind of fiction is here by the measure
There are ‘orrible murders by the score,
ghosts, fiends and zombies, blood, guts and gore.
Stories intermingle, tangling inextricably;
they change and distort and whirl inexplicably.

Sex scenes steam on rain-speckled streets.
Car chase leaves tyre marks on black satin sheets.
Oldies cry “Ahoy!” as their creaky hips
limp across storybook pirate ships.

Oily business men stroke local cheese,
cheesemakers in markets sell secretaries knees.
Spaceship doors open and wives appear,
husbands break rules that their aliens hold dear.

Alice is trapped in Arabian nights,
little boy blue is winning fisticuff fights.
Tommy Tucker bravely climbs up the spout
when along with Bo-peep he gets washed out.

Baa-baa-black sheep is pulling out its thumb
and finding a spider as big as a plum.
Flower fairies wander in the city of angels,
Jack and Jill have fallen into Aesop’s fables.

A dragon has eaten the princess with the pea,
and the mad hatter’s buddies aren’t coming to tea;
they’re sitting in rows in a Dickensian school,
while Peter Rabbit rolls out the golden rule.

The whole mad planet should be overflowing
since hoards are arriving and not a soul is going,
but day by day, the planet keeps growing
and there’s no indication that activity is slowing.

When the last living writer has ceased to breathe,
there’ll be no new arrivals, and nobody will leave;
no joy of birth on that planet in the sky –
and no final grief; storybook folk can never die.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Belly-ache

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Rigid in bed I glared at the ceiling,
belly-ache imparting a ghastly feeling.
Hurt so bad I didn’t sleep all night
belly-ache giving me quite a fright.
The veggie bake was a big mistake;
too much cheese gives me belly ache.

Couldn’t pretend that I didn’t know –
the belly-ache had hit me weeks ago;
from baking up the very same meal,
belly-ache made me squirm and squeal.
Swore back then that I’d forsake
the cheese that gave me belly-ache.

It happened again since I couldn’t resist
the lovely cheesy belly-achy dish.
Guessed the reason and it’s not too sad
belly-ache’s caused by a rocky gall-blad.
The rich cheese sauce gave me personal proof,
when belly-ache pain shot through the roof.

Knew right then what I had to do –
take my belly-ache to the medical zoo.
Personable doctor prodded me,
gave me extra belly-ache for free.
We nodded our heads and we both agreed
an ultra-sound scan was what I’d need.

Waited seven weeks in sober mood,
sticking to belly-ache reducing food.
All of my favourite cheeses are out –
Don’t want another belly-ache bout.
Letter came and it offered me a date
for checking the reason for my belly-ache.

Crawled to the bus-stop in the heat of the sun,
went to the hospital, belly-ache all gone.
Lay on the bed for the friendly technician –
pleased that my belly-ache was in remission.
She greased my belly and employed her skill
to find what was causing my belly-aching ill.

Technician told me her name was Nelli,
as she viewed a grainy movie of my ache-free belly.
She was sweet and funny and extremely kind-hearted –
this was the belly-aching news she imparted;
Belly is filled with a truckload of rocks,
that’s what tied me in belly-aching knots.

Don’t know how long the wait will be,
but the belly-aching bundle will be cut out of me.
I’m looking forward to the glorious day
when I can throw my belly-ache diet sheet away.
This is the reason that I feel so pleased;
I won’t get belly-ache when I eat cheese.

<> <> <>

The technician really was called Nelli…

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Cut of his Jib

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He meets a woman
who
fits
the general
image of his florid dreams.
Flexing his biceps he feels the sleeves
of his long-suffering shirt
squeeze. Somewhere between elbow
and armpit a punished seam
gives up the ghost.
Shoulders bulge, muscles
swell his chest, threatening
to burst his buttons.

He preens, his regiment of
all-the-better-to-eat-you-with teeth
standing neatly to attention.
I’m built
to protect myself, he says,
should someone come to shoot me dead,
I need no bullet-proof vest;
I’ll disarm them with a flicking blow.
I’ll take the life of anyone who tries
to cut me with a sword or knife.
You’ll be safe with me,
and I will show you all the ways I know –
all the sweet techniques that go –
to
please
a homecoming queen.

She surveys the stranger,
taking in
his toned build,
his suntanned skin,
his hair the hue of a fox’s
mane, every strand contrived to
look stylishly out of place, the ice-
blue eyes that gaze, the handsome
face, chiselled in such a way…
and
the cut
of his jib.

Get outa’ my way, she coldly cries,
killing him with her scimitar eyes.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Narcissism

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A narcissist?
That isn’t a nice thing to say
to one who is perfect in every way.
I don’t wish to sound vain,
but the truth is quite plain;
I’m top of the A list,
on everyone’s play list.
There’s no-one can match my magnetic attraction,
my beauty’s undimmed by dark and refraction,
even my mirror’s in love with me.
Why, if I could find someone as winsome as I,
I’d wed them today and whisk them away,
but no matter how hard I try,
this sweet face is all I can see –
I can love no-one but me.

.

Written for The Daily Post Word Prompt: Narcissism

©Jane Paterson Basil

Sarcasm

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“Only Truth matters. I know the truth; there is no God,”
he proclaimed.

I placed my hands together as if in prayer or worship. With rounded eyes I exclaimed:

“In human form, you appear as insignificant as a speck of dust in this massive, shape-shifting galaxy, which, in itself, is comparable to another – albeit larger – speck of dust floating amid the infinite galaxies beyond, and yet your mind apparently contains great knowledge. Surely you are the highest God, and yet you deny your deity. I bow down to your sacred wisdom and supremacy, but above all, I bow to your remarkable humility.”

I could read his mind:

“But… but…” it said.

Ha! So much for his honours degree in philosophy.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Noise Machine

Shaped like a little nissen hut, it arrives, pulled by a grey van.

About a metre high, it is the colour of a canary and it has a round lid on top. I recognise the blue initials on the side. It is owned by the Housing Association.

A man gets out of the van and attaches a cable to its side. He unrolls the cable, puts the plug end through the community room window.

He strolls inside, evidently to push the plug into a socket and switch it on.

An intrusive mechanical Noise ensues. I think someone must be using a chainsaw in my kitchen. I go to check, but no, The Noise is roaring from hollow inside the yellow mystery.

The Conveyor of  Noise absents himself, leaving The Noise Machine to do its job of producing The Noise.

I close the windows. The Noise hammers at the panes, forces its way through the double glazing, squeezes angrily through the cracks. It will not be crushed or diminished.

I shut down the thingies and batten the whatsits, but The Noise continues to crash through, battering at my senses.

I study the yellow machine.  The Noise. must be contained in the yellow belly of the mini-hut.

I wonder where The Noise came from – what is its natural habitat?

What does it look like?

How does it reproduce?

What does it feed on?

What are its dreams?

Is it an endangered species?

How was it caught – with nets, or with a lure of kindly words or sweet treats which cunningly led it to the nissen hut, through the trapdoor at the top, and into its dark prison?

Is it well cared for, are its needs being met? I can guess the answers, and I don’t like them.

The entrapment of The Noise presents many ethical questions.

Two hours pass noisily. The Conveyor of Noise returns, goes into the community room.

Above a sudden silence, I hear the welcoming lullaby of cars passing along the road nearby.

The Conveyor reappears, rolls up the cable, detaches it from the tucks it into the passenger seat of the van, lumbers around to the driver’s seat, climbs in, and drives off, towing The Noise Machine – doubtlessly satisfied that he has enriched the lives of the few dozen tenants in this block of sheltered homes, with the sounds of wild machinery, imprisoned in a canary coloured, undersized nissen hut. Freed from the ear-splitting attack by the poor, incarcerated Noise, I am moved to pity. painfully aware that only the sound escaped; the essence is still contained.

Sometimes, an animal rescue woman brings cats and dogs to the community room, where special needs and elderly residents are free to pet them, while they listen to a talk.

Maybe the Noise Machine is intended to enrich our lives in a similar way.

It doesn’t work for me.

.

The Daily Prompt’s word for today:  Conveyor

©Jane Paterson Basil