Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Third Plank

I first told this story to some friends I knew for a short period of time many decades ago. I really don't mean to make too light of the subject matter, but they thought it was quite funny. Then again, they were a captive audience.

Since before I could even grow stubble
My drinking has got me in trouble
But the worst that it got
Might be when I was caught
In my car after drinking a double (or six)

First the cops put me under arrest
Then the judge wasn’t very impressed
Though he granted me bail
He said “You’ll go to jail
If you fail to perform on my test”

Then he said “Booze imbibing’s a bane
And I think the whole world should abstain
So return here, young man
In a week with a plan
So you won’t stand before me again”

I said “Thank you your worship, your grace”
Hurried home to consider my case
Then went back in a week
And proceeded to speak
Of the plan that I’d put into place

I said “Judge, I knew just what to do
First, I scissored my licence in two”
But the judge, somewhat gruff
Said “That isn’t enough
And I hope for your sake you’re not through”

“No your honor”, I said with some pluck
“By itself, I agree, that would suck
But my plan is to walk
So I hope you don't balk
When I tell you I peddled my truck”

Then the judge looked at me quite unkind
Like he thought I was out of my mind
He said "Sonny I think
You'll still drive when you drink
So it’s off to the clink and you’re fined"

I begged “Judge, ‘fore I go to the can
I implore you, I’m now a new man
First my license is gone
Then my truck is in pawn
And I've still got a plank in my plan

On those nights when I'm tipping the jar
I no longer will have to go far
I'll just drink where I'm at
‘Cuz I gave up my flat
And I took a room over the bar”

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


I recently got pulled into a discussion about which progressive activities were the most effective and whether voting should be encouraged. Some 'leftists' need a kick in the pants!

You will wander and wend 'ere you find
Any man with a more open mind
'One for all' to a fault
I'm the anti John Galt
I'm progressive, inclusive and kind

I believe in "United We Stand"
And in sharing the fat of the land
So you'd think i would know
How to go with the flow
When we're not eye to eye; glove in hand

Take this fellow from work, he's a peer
Though he's charitable and sincere
I won't give to his cause
As it still gives me pause
When he labels all gay people 'queer'

And the candidate I should endorse
She's a socialist stalwart, of course
Can't rely on my vote
Cuz I read in a quote
Of her catholic views on divorce

There's my cousin whose fighting pollution
He's requested a small contribution
And I'd lend him a hand 
If he'd alter his stand
On the Middle East two state solution

My objections to some seem obscure
And at times even I can't be sure 
But out here on the left
We're exceedingly deft
At deciding whose tainted or pure 

If you think that my views are extreme
They're not nearly unique as they seem
Our ideals are intact
And we're ready to act
We just need to awake from the dream

That our differences all melt away
And we join hands together and sway
Cuz we know in our heart
We were meant to be part
Of the grand resurrection of Che

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Witnesses

I told this story, a couple of years ago, when I was teaching an Introduction to Computing course. My intent was to demonstrate the pitfalls of multi-tasking. It also, sort of, has a little fun at the expense of Jehovah's Witnesses.  How was I to know that my class included half a dozen members of the local Kingdom Hall. I was a little embarrassed, but they were good sports about it. Here it is, translated into verse form.

Kith and Kin here’s a day in the life
Of an overwrought mother and wife
Though the tale I will mete
In a regular beat
Mine’s a moral where chaos is rife

I awoke; it was seven-fifteen
Tried to dress but no undies were clean
So, I stripped to the buff
Gathered clothes in a huff
Trundled down to the washing machine

As a mother I’ve learned how to cope
And I seldom will snivel, or mope
So I took it in stride
(Okay, maybe I sighed)
When I found we were fresh out of soap

Then I heard the most god-awful noise
Like the crashing of dishes and toys
I went running upstairs
Midst the yelling and glares
Of my ten year old twin little boys

I asked “Why must you act like baboons?”
As I set out the bowls and the spoons
Then the hubby yelled “Dear,
What’s that racket I hear?”
All this week he was on afternoons

To the bedroom I flew “Hon, don’t fuss”
“It’s not something we need to discuss”
I said “Kids! Now I’m mad
You just woke up your dad”
But they’d already left for the bus

So I started to work at the sink
Plan my day, take a moment to think
When the telephone rang
To the office I sprang
On the line it was MasterCard Inc.

Well, those guys make me green at the gills
So I sat down to work on the bills
But then something occurred
It was something I heard
 From the kitchen; it gave me the chills

See, the sink overflowed on the floor
Then a ding-dong; who’s that at the door
As I shut of the tap
I was thinking “Oh crap”
What fresh hell could this day have in store

On the stoop were those people you dread
Saving souls for the rapture ahead
When I heard them both say
“How ya doin’ today”
I composed myself first, then I said

“The laundry’s been washed without soap
With my credit card debt I can’t cope
I’ve got more than a hunch
That my kids have no lunch
And I’ve flooded the house, like a dope

But if that’s not enough I’ll attest
That the last has been saved for the best
For I just realized
Cuz you seem so surprised
That I haven’t found time to get dressed!”

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Miscarriage of Justice

It's bizarre that Purvi Patel could be charged with both feticide and neglect of a dependent. It's discouraging that a jury would find her guilty of both. And, its frightening that she has been sentenced to 20 years for having a miscarriage.

Purvi’s jury should make us all squirm
Their disdain so unfeeling and firm
All so righteous and pure
Consecratedly sure
That their daughters will carry to term

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Obstinate Grit

I was sixteen; I’d dropped out of school
Just an immature know-it-all fool
Still, I showed up each day
Earning minimum pay
To a job where I worked like a mule

The foreman was from the Ukraine
So there’s something I need to explain
The man’s English was broke
So whenever he spoke
He would need to repeat it again

Then, one day I’m unloading a van
And it’s going according to plan
Till I look at the boss
And he seems really cross
He says “Carry as much as you can”

So I set down my load on the floor
Headed back where I picked up some more
But now under the strain
I’m bent over in pain
And the sweat’s really starting to pour

Of the job I’m no longer a fan
But, I want to behave like a man
Then the boss happens by
When he catches my eye
He says “Carry as much as you can”

Now, at this point I have to admit
I was tempted to tell him “I quit!”
But I didn’t explode
I just increased the load
Trudging onward with obstinate grit

When I made my way back to the van
There’s the boss and his lecture began
“For the third time today
You no hear what I say
ONLY carry as much as you can!”

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Putsch

To be clear, the Conservatives in Canada's parliament are every bit as batshit crazy as the Republicans in Washington. The difference is that Stephen Harper runs his government with the discipline of Benito Mussolini and Dick Cheney. Boehner and McConnell on the other hand act like a couple of inept thugs trying to establish  control over the Hole-In-The-Wall gang.

But, as different as these two governments appear, in both cases the result is the same.

The Putsch:

The Koch brothers must be admired
They're relentless, they never got tired
And they mounted a coup
Before anyone knew
That a Pinochet putsch had transpired

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Inspired by this snippet from Yeats' Adam's Curse

"A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,   
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught."

Proper rhythm and rhyme are the key
To a limerick facile and free 
But my muse is aloof
And the pudding of proof
Is this doggerel now that you ... have before you