It is to cry. See what some faker called Judith Palmer, Director of the Poetry Society, says about it: "I think that what she has managed to do is capture in poetry the sense of disbelief, the numb despair, which leaves most of us just shaking our heads, open-mouthed and inarticulate". To this, I can only reply: speak for yourself, Judith. Only those half-strangled with beastliness would recognise themselves in that description. I can speak boldly for myself, and for my readership, when I say that none of us stand gaping like codfish at the sight of Mr Jacqui Smith billing us for Anal Boutique. No, indeed. Our mouths our drawn shut in a thin line of disapproval, and as for being "inarticulate"! Kind friends have contacted me over the past month with endorsements and testimonials in support of the amplified stance I took over the Raw Meat III debacle. "A beautiful purling stream of opprobrium" AHKM, Jeddah. "Your moral compass is truly magnetic!" KM, Manchesterford. "Speak for England, Clarissa" GD, Cluj. "Hello, Baybee" EM, Burridge. "I liked Hugh Janus in Anal Boutique but I spilt my popcorn" Miss SB, Bromley-by-Bow.
As some of you know, I have been workshopping my new play, Suet Blunders, over at Gadjo's, and there are roles for you all. The part of Nobby Jellifer is still in dispute, but the piece is now fully cast, with the entr'acte in the steam laundry looking particularly gripping. I shall probably take it to Edinburgh this August where it will be met with great acclaim. Naturally, this has left me scant time for my poetry, but I have still managed one about Susan Boyle's downfall and another about Dr Maroon's admission and I am working on four new pieces: David Carradine's auto-erotic demise, on seeing Prince Harry at Chez Gerard, Marlow, the Queen's visit to Carphone Warehouse (someone has to) and Cheryl Cole's pregnancy concerns.
I will leave you with this exclusive preview:
LINES ON THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO THE WINDSOR BRANCH OF CARPHONE WAREHOUSE
'Twas in the early summer of two thousand and nine
When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showed no sign
Of irritation or discomfort as the crowd of queue bargers
Obscured her view of a fine display of top of the range phone chargers.
(another 60 lines follow)
ON SEEING PRINCE HARRY AT THE NEXT TABLE WHILE LUNCHING AT CHEZ GERARD, MARLOW
'Twas on the first of June two thousand and nine
When I spotted Prince Harry, the third in line
To the throne, but only if his father and brother have by then died
Possibly of swine fever or some vile act of Regicide
(another 75 lines, yet to be composed)
I do hope you feel elevated, and probably rather envious, on reading these pensees. Last night I got completely hammered in Warwick, and so I will have a gentle evening, probably involving mange touts, Milk of Magnesia and some Madame de Stael.
Newshounds have contacted me this morning begging me to turn my thoughts to the biggest stories of the weekend, namely Lady Thatcher's broken arm, Madonna's new orphan and the Krankies' house-break horror. I shall, of course be beavering away after luncheon.
LAVATORY PAPER FOR THE MASSES
I have just returned from the BP garage on the A4, and was struck by just how ugly and ill-dressed most people are. It is to sigh. I am also much exercised by Andrex's new lavatory paper (toilet tissue to the masses) which is "impregnated with vitamin D". How extraordinary. I am of the Izal generation; of the hardy daughters raised on roller-towels and surly washroom attendants; of disinfectant blocks. How have we become so etiolated that we needs must vitaminise our bottoms? At the official launch, Sir Dave Andrex made the grandiose claim that his new paper "was arrived at (sic) after rigorous consumer research and testing. We are confident that we have provided our customer with the right solution (sic)".
I am bound to ask: solution to what, exactly? "No more vitamin-deficient bottom wiping" is a cry never heard in the Thames Valley, although some might say they have heard it in Wiltshire, or parts of the Peak District. Who knows? And the research itself is bizarre. A control group, with their pants around their ankles, each closeted in a lockable cubicle, was given a ticksheet. They had to choose from Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, beta carotene, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid, Special K or Tocopherol. They went for Vitamin D, as they felt they could get the rest from Cornflakes. They were then asked which condition they felt could benefit from regular Andrex use: megaloblastic anaemia, keratomalacia, clinical lordosis, hayfever, Wenicke-Korsahoff Syndrome or hives. None of them knew, but many asked about haemorrhoids.
The thing is, one of the primary indicators of vitamin overdose is diarrhea. We live in recessionary times. Have the lavatory paper manufacturers found a new, cynical money-removing exercise? I only pray that I am mistaken.