Ian In England

Ian In England

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method is “Missus”

I am over in the UK at the moment and am phoning the poems in to the show.

No rest for the wicked eh?



Before they turned ‘The Parkview’ into luxury apartments
It used to be a popular hotel
A haunt for mostly regulars – and regular they were
A cheerful lot who knew each other well

Joy, the ballroom dancer, Fred who drove a cab
Carl, the pub’s resident SP
And Alf, a high school teacher who didn’t much like kids
Taught Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry

He was friendly enough – pleasant though retiring
Polite without giving much away
Definitely ‘Old School’ when it came to conversation
He only spoke when he had something to say

He’d arrive every arvo on the stroke of four thirty
Have a brandy and soda – in a pot
Two beers – always glasses, a Corio with a dash
Leave at six thirty on the dot

“Time I got the dinner – the missus will be waiting”
Alf would sigh as he headed out the door
And nothing – hail or lightning, or the offer of a drink
Could convince him to remain a second more

One evening in a storm, Fred offered Alf a ride
But Alf up and left, he wouldn’t wait
“Just finishing my beer” yelled Fred as Alf ran down the street
“The missus doesn’t like it when I’m late”

‘Pussy whipped’ sneered Fred, not one to mince his words
As he slid into another of his rants
The others rolled their eyes but reluctantly agreed
In Alf’s home the missus wore the pants

They hadn’t met Alf’s missus but felt they knew her well enough
She wouldn’t stand for nonsense – that was clear
They’d suggest Alf brought her down, but he’d graciously decline
“She’s not one” he’d say “Who fancies pubs or beer”

“She rarely leaves the house and visitors are few”
“As for alcohol – she doesn’t drink herself”
Carl said he’d heard Alf’s missus wasn’t right up top
While Joy surmised she suffered failing health

One winter’s night, round eight, Alf burst into the pub
Wailing like a banshee at the bar
“It’s the missus” he howled loudly “We took a walk after dinner”
“She was killed – run down by a car”

Joy kindly volunteered to assist with the arrangements
She knew that Alf would find it very hard
Alf thanked her and asked if she’d mind lending him a shovel
So the missus could be buried with the others in the yard

“The others!” Fred exclaimed “How many missus have you had?”
“Five” cried Alf “And her mother before that”
“All buried in your garden?” gasped Fred in disbelief
“Where else?” sobbed Alf “Can you lay to rest a cat?”

“A cat! You silly bastard – your missus is a moggy?”
That’s what kept you home for all these years?”
“Shut up Fred” barked Joy “Show a little understanding”
“Can’t you see poor old Alf’s in tears?”

“Don’t worry Alf” soothed Carl “We’ll find another missus”
“One who likes the pub – perhaps a puppy”
Fred, now feeling guilty, thought he ought to make an effort
He came back from the pet shop with a guppy

Alf and the ‘new’ missus connected straight away
Not only was she deaf – but didn’t speak
No more bolting from the pub in time to get the dinner
She only needed feeding twice a week

It shows how little lies between sadness and contentment
That a fish could bring an end to all your troubles
Alf happy in the pub every evening until closing
The missus, content at home just blowing bubbles

© Copyright 2009 Ian Bland

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