Saturday, 12 March 2011

Grumpy Old Man

By Mike Wilson

I’m getting old and grumpy

At least that’s what I’m told

And I’m feeling pretty buggered

‘Cos I’ve never been so old.

My left hip aches, my knee is sore,

My joints are creaking badly.

But someone’s put the kettle on

And I will join them, gladly.

Around the table we will sit

And talk about the past.

We don’t talk about the future

We don’t know how long we’ll last.

Some talk about their kids and stuff

And others play the pools.

Whilst others talk about their wealth

And make us feel like fools.

We all went out last week you know

Down to the RSL.

And Bill he plays the pokies

And he gets the winning bell.

So up he jumps with pockets full

Of other people’s money

And dares to tell us he is rich.

And we don’t think it’s funny.

And so today he still goes on

About his sudden wealth

Whilst we thinks about our pension

And our current state of health.

Next time we’re on an outing

I’m sitting next to Fred

‘Cos he and I can have a beer

And let Bill have his head.

And when it’s done and he is broke

As he sure to God will be

We’ll sit there and remind him

Wealth don’t come naturally.

1 comment:

alanorei said...

That's a good one, Sarah (and Mike)

I see Mike's an Australian - the RSL is the Returned Servicemen's League, like the Royal British Legion, only more political (or it was in the 1960s-1970s). Pokies are the one-armed bandits, of course, with which every RSL club is replete. Bill's experience is unusual. Folk who play them (men and women) are known to tie a handkerchief around the particular machine they're playing while they go off to the loo, being determined to hit the jackpot eventually.

Here's another poem, from one of Australia's greats of the 19th-early 20th centuries, Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Patterson. I submit it because it shows that (like Cromwell), he had some insights into the modern political process, as you'll see at the end.

Maybe some of the Sydney specimens were smuggled into this country as exotic species.

When Dacey rode the Mule

’TWAS to a small, up-country town,
When we were boys at school,
There came a circus with a clown,
Likewise a bucking mule.
The clown announced a scheme they had
Spectators for to bring —
They’d give a crown to any lad
Who’d ride him round the ring.

And, gentle reader, do not scoff
Nor think a man a fool —
To buck a porous-plaster off
Was pastime to that mule.
The boys got on he bucked like sin;
He threw them in the dirt.
What time the clown would raise a grin
By asking, “Are you hurt?”
But Johnny Dacey came one night,
The crack of all the school;
Said he, “I’ll win the crown all right;
Bring in your bucking mule.”

The elephant went off his trunk,
The monkey played the fool,
And all the band got blazing drunk
When Dacey rode the mule.
But soon there rose a galling shout
Of laughter, for the clown
From somewhere in his pants drew out
A little paper crown.
He placed the crown on Dacey’s head
While Dacey looked a fool;
“Now, there’s your crown, my lad,” he said,
“For riding of the mule!”

The band struck up with “Killaloe”,
And “Rule Britannia, Rule”,
And “Young Man from the Country”, too,
When Dacey rode the mule.

Then Dacey, in a furious rage,
For vengeance on the show
Ascended to the monkeys’ cage
And let the monkeys go;
The blue-tailed ape and the chimpanzee
He turned abroad to roam;
Good faith! It was a sight to see
The people step for home.

For big baboons with canine snout
Are spiteful, as a rule —
The people didn’t sit it out,
When Dacey rode the mule.
And from the beasts he let escape,
The bushmen all declare,
Were born some creatures partly ape
And partly native-bear.
They’re rather few and far between,
The race is nearly spent;
But some of them may still be seen
In Sydney Parliament.

And when those legislators fight,
And drink, and act the fool,
Just blame it on that torrid night
When Dacey rode the mule.

A.B. (Banjo) Patterson