Sunday 26 September 2021

Lament in the Queue at a Motorway Services Petrol Station

The time has come when the Lord has sent a famine on the land.
Not a famine of food (apart from the food which rots in the land)
Nor a famine of water (apart from the bottled water in supermarkets)
but a famine of petrol.
The people wander from town to town
and drive very slowly from sea to sea
but there is no petrol to be found
not even a drop.
And we lament the greediness of those 
who fill up with no need
who put jerry cans in their boots
and tell granny to be careful not to spill
the petrol they have poured into the kettle she is holding on her lap
and they'll try not to go too fast over bumps.
For they fill up their cars with no need
panic buying even though there is no panic to be bought.
Like that bloke in front.
Bet he voted for Brexit.
And I bet he goes in to pay without a mask.
Not so us. 
For we need to get to Coventry next Tuesday
and it's best not to take any chances. 
So we thought we'd get out and get a tankful
before the panic-buyers get there.
Swines that they are.
You can't be too careful can you?
But lo the queue is 4 miles long
full of selfish beggars
who have no need for petrol at this time
nor diesel when Grant Shapps said there's plenty of it.
They should have stayed at home
and then there'd have been plenty for everyone.
Especially us.
And so we wait 
like unto Job scraping his sores, we listen to the Best of Wham
which is unaccountably the only CD in the car.
We suck on wine gums and hope 
that when our bodies are found
in six week's time
still in the queue at this services
they'll know we had a real reason to come out for petrol.
We need it.
You can't be too careful.
Can't go taking chances.
We really do need to go Coventry next week.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Lament for the death of Robert Fyfe ("Howard" in Last of the Summer Wine)

The last of the summer's gone
A little chap, all woebegone
Whose bike was always out too long
in search of summer wine.

He raced to find some quiet lane
While Pearl demanded he remain
To clean that dirty window frame
And not sip summer wine.

He never quite got it right
in search of bliss
Marina's hot, but she got
barely a kiss.

So now on this autumn day
the fleeting summer's passed away
and Howard will no longer stray
to drink his summer wine.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Liturgy for the Last Day of Summer

Hymn: Summer Night City    

Archdruid: Nights are drawing in.

All: Yeah, we did that already.

Archdruid: We consider the lost dreams of Summer.

All: We started it hoping we didn't all die of Covid. We've ended it hoping we don't all starve due to lack of CO2.

Archdruid: So, at worst, a mixed result?

All: The worst summer in history. 

Archdruid: Worse even than last summer. 

All: Last year we at least accepted we had a problem. This year we have to pretend everything's normal.

Archdruid: Tim Martin's not happy.

All: Yeah, there is that. 

Archdruid: Liverpool top of the league.

All: That is also good.

Archdruid: Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness coming up?

All: What?

Archdruid: All the joys of autumn.

All: Giant spiders, gas shortages, no gifts for Christmas.

Archdruid: These are a few of my favourite things?

Hymn: Last Day of Summer

Archdruid: Soon be Christmas.

All: Yes, we did that.

Thursday 16 September 2021

Noah's Ark - A Children's Tale

At "Little Pebbles"

Archdruid: ...and so the Lord put a rainbow in the sky. To tell Noah that he would never judge the earth in that way again. And Noah...

Little Eric: So that's it?

Archdruid: Sorry, Little Eric?

Little Eric: So that's it? God killed everyone....

Archdruid: Apart from Noah's family.

Little Eric: Apart from Noah's family.

Little Angelica: And we don't even get to hear what their wives were called. Don't you think that's a bit patriarchal?

Archdruid: Well, of course it was patriarchal. It was in patriarchal times.

Little Angelica: So what was Noah's wife's name?

Archdruid: Nelly.

Little Angelica: Is that in the Bible? 

Archdruid: It's in... later translations, let us say.

Little Eric: Forget Noah's wife! She's not important!

Little Angelica: She's very important!

Little Eric: Not to my point! So God puts a rainbow in the sky. And he's killed literally everybody apart from Noah, his sons...

Little Angelica: ... and four nameless women.

Archdruid: Well, yes. But they were bad.

Little Eric: How bad?

Archdruid: Well-bad. 

Little Eric: That bad?

Archdruid: Yep. So you can see God was well within God's rights to...

Little Eric: Wipe out the entire human race without giving them the chance to repent.

Archdruid: I'm sure he warned them.

Little Angelica: Where does it say that?

Archdruid: Well, the Bible is silent on that.

Little Eric: And then having killed an entire species

Archdruid: Apart from Noah.

Little Angelica: And his sons. Who have names, I notice. And all their wives. Who don't.

Archdruid: Apart from Nelly.

Little Angelica: Which is made up.

Archdruid: Well, let's face it, this is all made up.

Little Angelica: WHAT?

Archdruid: Nothing. Nothing. Yes. God killed everybody except 8 humans and either 2 or 7 of every other species, except the unicorns. Because God hates bad people.

Little Eric: And the eunuchs.

Archdruid: What?

Little Eric: Nothing. Just something I heard.

Little Angelica: And Methuselah drowned.

Archdruid: What?

Little Angelica: Do the maths. Methuselah - the granddad of Noah, who lived to be 969 - died the year of the flood. So he must have drowned. What sort of man must Noah be to let his gramps drown?

Archdruid: Maybe God waited for Methuselah to die of natural causes and then sent the flood?

Little Angelica: So God's great plan to annihilate all the evil people had to be delayed because Methuselah had stayed on the high-fibre diet and kept off the lager?

Archdruid: I don't know. I guess.

Little Eric: So God put a rainbow in the sky - which, being a natural phenomenon, was probably happening all along. And what did he achieve?

Archdruid: There was no more sinful behaviour.

Little: Eric: Apart from Noah promptly got totally plastered, and Ham saunters in and goes, "Oh look at Dad in the nud" and everything's back to square one?

Archdruid: Good point. Didn't really work, did it?

Little Angelica: So the eunuchs died for nothing?

Archdruid: Look - is it song time?

Sunday 12 September 2021

We are the Winter People

I only do plugs for selected people. So here's a plug for friend of the Beaker Folk Jenny Rowbory, and the YouTube launch for her book of poetry - "We Are the Winter People" - in aid of her hoped-for treatment in the USA.

Saturday 11 September 2021

A Warning on "Ride and Stride" Day

 The sad case of Cycling Cleric of Maxey.

Be careful out there.

"Henry Horne Selby Hele. Cl. He was instituted to the Benefice of Maxey by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough at the private Chapel of the Palace on Friday 31st May 1901. He was inducted by Canon James, Rector of Peakirk in St Peters Church on Saturday 15th June 1901. Rev Hele left home early in the morning of December 31st 1901, cycling through Barnack and Wansford falling in a fit of apoplexy at the foot of Ailesworth Hill. A subsequent inquest determined the cause of death as accidental. "

Friday 10 September 2021

Liturgy for The Nativity of Colin Firth

Alison Steadman: Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
Oooh! Mr Darcy!
All: And also with you.

Liturgy for 50 Years of "Imagine" (Transferred due to "Buy a Priest a Beer Day")

Elvis Costello: Was it a millionaire who said "imagine no possessions"?

Archdruid: "Lennon finished composing "Imagine" one morning in early 1971, on a Steinway piano, in a bedroom at his Tittenhurst Park estate in Ascot, Berkshire"  (Wiki)

All: Oh yeah. Good point. 

Archdruid: Never liked its whinging self-righteousness.

Piers Morgan: Wokery! Wokery! All is wokery!

Archdruid: What's that written on your hand, Piers?

PM:  Nothing. Nothing.

Archdruid: "I ❤ Meghan"?

PM: Hate. That smudged shape means "hate". It's not a heart that smudged because I've been kissing it. Anyway. What about "Imagine"?

Archdruid: Oh, we're done with that. Terrible hippy bilge.

The Ghost of Malcolm MacClaren: Never trust a hippy.

Burton Dasset: Has anyone seen Bambi?

Neil from the Young Ones: Not me. I'm strictly lentils.

Archdruid: We know. That's why you have to stay in the garden. Right. Altogether.

Imagine there's no Devon
I wonder if you can
Cornwall an island 
Like the Isle of Man.
Imagine all the people 
Looking for Teignmouth.
You may say I'm a weirdo
And that I'm all alone.
I hope one day you'll join me
Then there will be more than one.

Imagine no possessions 
I wonder if you can.
I can't because I'm loaded 
And I love it, Man.
Imagine all the people
Singing this utter tosh
You may say this is meanness 
I won't say you're wrong
But I'd like to say don't listen 
To such a drippy, whiny song.

Thursday 9 September 2021

The Minister is Tired

If you could just give the minister a moment.
These times have been hard
Reading regulations 
Installation of sanitisation
Adding things 
Cancelling things 
Changing things 
Exchanging things 
Putting things away 
Taking them back out - we know more today.
Studying virology 
Crowd psychology
Hybrid services
With cameras overheating 
The odd virtual meeting 
While half say "it's nice doing face to face"
And others refuse to be in the same place 
As anyone who's not triple-vaxed
In HazMat
suits. You
wouldn't believe the scenes 
Looking at countless Zoom screens
Then remembering on the third Wednesday it's Teams
Because Zoom fails to work 
On Jenny's  Chromebook.
Holding virtual hands
With the dying. Checking the latest rules 
On hospital visiting.
Uncle Jim's funeral by the graveside
Because Aunty Joan won't go inside.
Wedding guests that won't go masked 
No matter how nicely asked
Even with Grandma's condition 
And the bride's dad's only in remission.
(And the changes to the Wedding Regs
Have left the minister running on the dregs
Of energy 
And sanity
And stability
And mental agility.)
And no chance of rest 
from the Lateral Flow Test.
Communion in the hand? On the tongue?
In the garden? Bring your own?
And the inside, outside, all the sides
In Covidtide.
People who worship in masks
Those who focus on irrelevant cleaning tasks 
Those who are scared stiff by the news
Those so reckless, they're licking the pews.
Trying to discern 
what is this normal to which everyone wants to return 
So if the minister looks a little gray 
at the Zoom Communion today
please don't think 
it's  your screen needs adjusting - 
it's her colour balance on the blink.
It's been a long time.
And the minister is tired.