The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Days“.
Sarah Carroll in charge this week and what a great day it turned out to be. What with Dan last week and Sarah this week, maybe we should convince JVG to have a few more sleep ins on a Sunday.
Nah. It just wouldn’t be the same without his curmudgeonly presence tilting at the windmills.
A rant this week, throwing rhyme out the door on a whim. BUT in case that puts you off. It’s set in the neighbourhood and this week pushes “Rabbit” McGorry centre stage.
Let me know what you think…
Ed Bates provided the guitar backing, have a listen to how it went below…
To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:
“Look, it’s only one day a year, don’t make a mountain out of it” Mr McGorry pleaded in an attempt to lure ‘Rabbit’ down from the top branch of the pine tree.
It may have only been one day a year but ‘Rabbit’ spent the other three hundred and sixty four dreading it.
His Great Uncle Clement was an absolute prick – a fact he was very proud of.
He drank a bottle of whiskey minus one finger every day for sixty eight years.
He claimed leaving the last little bit in the bottle proved he had self control and therefore was not an alcoholic.
Every morning, before opening a fresh bottle of whiskey he would finish what was left of the previous days offering, meaning, of course, he was drinking a full bottle a day.
Even though ‘Rabbit’ was only five years old he seemed to be the only one who had figured out that little deceit – and Great Uncle Clement knew it
He was not only a prick but a very clever prick.
He’d outlived three wives and enough whisky to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.
The entire McGorry clan would visit him once a year the week before Christmas.
Great Uncle Clement didn’t like Christmas and didn’t like people, so he would stay in his bed room with the curtains drawn.
Everyone was shit scared of him.
He thought they were all being nice to him because they were after his money, a rather curious concept since he had none.
The house he lived in was owned by his brother Sidney’s estate and was to be sold on Clement’s death with the proceeds donated to a charity for homeless seamen.
Clement though, liked to pretend he had a fortune squirreled away – it gave him a feeling of power over people – and Great Uncle Clement loved power.
A condition of Sidney’s bequest decreed a party should be held at the house each year the Saturday before Christmas and the extended family, which by now was more accurately the over extended family, invited.
It was generally assumed this was to prevent Clement dying a lonely old man – he’d had no contact with his own son for over thirty years.
At some point during the day ‘Rabbit’ would be summoned to his Great Uncle’s quarters for a one on one audience.
His room contained a single bed, a chair, an axe and a black and white television permanently tuned between channels because he liked to watch the snow while he was drinking.
Each year he asked exactly the same questions and gave exactly the same responses.
“What’s your name boy?”
“What’s your real name idiot?
“Alan? What sort of a name is that? Alan, it’s soft and weak, a man should have a strong name with a hard ending. No wonder you call yourself ‘Rabbit’
You’re not very smart are you lad?
Well that’s a good thing, the smart one’s get into the most trouble cause no-one’s ever as smart as they think they are – but then that’s not likely to be an issue for you, is it boyo?
Are you related to me son or are you just here to deliver my afternoon paper?”
“My dad’s your nephew”
“Well don’t play games, what’s his name?”
“His name’s Bill”
“Bill, Bill? I don’t know any Bills – you mean William. Ahh, so you’re related to that useless arsehole are you?
Goes to church doesn’t he, likes to chase a little white ball round a golf course with all the other brainless idiots. Your Mother seems alright though, doesn’t say much so you can’t really tell. Might be as bad as him, who’d know?
There’s a tip for you, the less you say the less you sound like an imbecile.
Well c’mon lad, don’t muck about, open your present”
‘Rabbit’ would open the present and there’d be nothing in there, just an empty box”
“Disappointed aren’t you lad, well let me tell you life’s full of disappointments so you might as well get used to it early. One day you’ll thank me for this little lesson”
It was the same routine every year till ‘Rabbit’ was about nine years old, when he refused to open the box.
“What’s your problem boyo” Clement barked “are you so spoilt you’re sick of opening presents?”
“What’s the point” ‘Rabbit’ sighed “I know the box will be empty”
“Listen lad, that was when you were young and it was just an old man having a bit of fun. Open it son, I went to a lot of trouble to get you this”
‘Rabbit’ opened the present – the box was empty
“There’s another lesson for you lad. Never trust anybody, not family, not business associates, the clergy – no-one.
Nobody gives you something without expecting twice as much in return.
You’re gullible son, you have to harden up”
The next Christmas, following the usual charade Clement pulled out the present and handed it to ‘Rabbit’.
He stared at the box for around thirty seconds and then looked Clement straight in the eye.
“You are a twisted, grumpy, smelly, old bastard, I hate your guts and I wish you would die”
It was the first and only time he saw his Great Uncle smile.
“Now you’re getting somewhere Sonny Jim, now piss off and tell your father to bring me in a laxative – and close the bloody door on your way out”
Great Uncle Clement died the following February
Mr McGorry estimated a bottle a day for 68 years came to almost 25,000 bottles of whiskey.
“That’s a lot of whiskey” he sighed. ‘Rabbit’ thought it was a lot of days.
His parents felt he was too young to go to the funeral, although his Mum told him Clement looked very peaceful laid out in his coffin.
The irony wasn’t lost on ‘Rabbit’ – finally a box with something in it.
© Copyright 2017 Ian Bland
Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing”