5 FOR FRIDAY: FIRST VERSES

I think we can all agree that stupidity is a favourite hobby of mine.

One of the ways it manifests itself is in a deep love of nonsense rhymes: I have a long-standing habit of wandering around quietly singing nonsense lyrics to songs, and frankly, my performance of “I’m Jumping Jack Flash, with a flashy gash” is better than anything the Stones have done in thirty years.

One of the other ways it manifests itself is in an occasional desire to write a picture book, something I never seem to get around to finishing because, just as frankly, I never seem to finish them. Anyhoo, here’s as good a place as any to show you what goes on inside my head when I’m not looking: here are five opening bits I loved enough to commit to scrap paper.

5 for Friday: There Was a Yong Man from Nantucket, with pictures!


Mummy is a vampire,

And Dad’s an evil clown.

My sister is a werewolf.

They terrify the town.

But I am just a normal boy,

The cause of no-one’s fears.

I’ve never scared a single soul.

I’ve tried and tried for years!


The tooth fairy has got the taste

for human flesh. She hates to waste.

Each tiny bite she takes is chewed

with teeth she’s stolen from her food.

Red Riding Hood became undead

When flea bit wolf, and wolf bit red

And Grandma? All that now remains:

A dripping basket full of brains


I want to be a spacegirl

I want to fly in space.

I want to meet an alien

And pull a funny face.

I want to have a space dog

And play in the space park

It’s hard to be a dog in space

No-one can hear you bark.


Doc Evilstein, it must be said,

Was just a giant floating head.

With thinning hair and greying beard,

He’s to be pitied more than feared.

He lived upon his secret base

That’s half on Earth and half in space.

(He tried volcanoes once or twice

But they’re expensive for the price).


Do puppies dream of werewolves when they go to bed at night?

Do they dream they hide in bushes and give passers-by a fright?

And if it was my puppy would he try to bite my leg?

Do werewolves follow orders? Do they sit up? Do they beg?

And if I give my pup a bone what do you think he’d see?

A crunchy treat or something that once came from inside me?


Eh: it’s a living. Or, where I’m concerned, it’s not.

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