Dec 29, 2010

Magpie Tales#46

The irrepressible Willow throws down the gauntlet(s) this week and challenges us to duel with . . 

Why in the Name of All That's Wonderful Doesn't English
Tidy Up It's Pronunciation!

There was a young fellow from Hove
who lost (from a pair) the left glove.
He said with a sigh
"How will I get bigh,
If the temperature downwards should move"

Dec 26, 2010

Poetry Bus 27th. December.

To enhance the Festivities, Muse Swings asks for poems to celebrate the worst, most useless present you ever  were given . .  or, if you're brave enough, ever gave!

I phoned my friend, who said
"I fear I'm going bald!"
He will be glad I called!
He should anoint his head
from which the hair has spalled
with Preparation ZED.

I sent some as a gift,
and thought that that was that.
He'll soon have a fine mat.
My present caused a rift.
"ZED" did not baldness shift -
He now talks through his hat!


curse.  Brussels
shall never have
dominion(*) in this
house, where Christmas diners
lurk in unfragrant corners,
buttocks pursed against prevailing
winds, kitchen a No Go Area.
Airwick sweet, uncork!  Out! Out! Brussell Sprout.

(*) You see the ethereeist's problems?  "Dominion"? Thee syllables or four?
    "Area"? Two syllables or three?

Dec 21, 2010

Doc's Microfiction Monday #62

Stony River offers this charming picture prompt. Let's see whether we can use it to subvert the whole spirit and ethos of Christmas . . .

"I don't think the silly prats have seen us yet! Keep out of sight behind the trees . .  then we'll mug them for the pig AND the pudding!"

(138 characters, inc. spaces)

Dec 13, 2010

Microfiction Monday #61

Here is Stony River's prompt for the week: a delightful scene. Need to see about this!

Glenn Close – You Have Much to Answer For.

"There! That's my horrid Big Sister's bunny thoroughly drowned. Now -  fire up the boiler!"

(135 characters, inc. spaces)

Dec 8, 2010

Magpie Tales#44

Willow's picture prompt this week ideally suits the UK weather . . . 


What's become of our friend Esther Crun?
She always thought sledging such fun.
But one day, silly dope
with her heart full of hope
she pushed off. Without rope
she soon drew her last breath
as she whizzed to her death
down the tricky, high-speed Cresta Run.

Dec 6, 2010

Poetry Bus - Pub Names

Kat Mortensen asks us to write a poem, preferably funny, on the subject:-
Pub Names, My "Local"

. . . can you believe it?

A Grammarian Considers.

If "Bishops" is a plural noun
"finger" must be a verb.
So - what do bishops finger
as they wander this sad world?
Perhaps they finger choirboys
or poets at their verse.
But whereso e're  their fingers stray
they always could do worse.
They could finger the five pound notes
left for Church Bell repairs.
(And the plural "Bishops" seems to say
they sometimes work in pairs.)
Gangs of roving bishops
want to finger your best watch,
and the very, very worst of them
will be eyeing up your c****h.

But on the Other Hand

If "Bishop's" a possessive noun,
minus its apostrophe (*)
then "finger'" is a singular
and the choirboys have no hope.
A friendly blogger told me
"You're going o'er the top.
Grammatic truth's all very well.
But I think it's time to stop!"
So!  Flame me with your angry words.
Make your blogcomments vocal!
This grammar buff's in need of drink . . .
Nowwww  . .  dare I risk my "local"?

(*) You gotta pronounce it "ap-os-troaf". The correct pron. screws up the rhyme scheme. Sorry

Microfiction Monday #60

Stony River offers microfiction fans the following gloomy prompt: -

He:  Come over to my place?
She: Where's your place, then?
He:  Bury. 
She: I wouldn't be seen dead in a dump like Bury! Bury's a graveyard."

(136 characters including spaces)
 Bury . . fairly depressing town in Lancashire, UK.

Dec 1, 2010

Not Another Limerick, Doc, Please!

But of course!  This one specially for Willow's wonderful Magpie Tales#43, prompted by -


There was a young man from Lahore
who lost the latchkey for his door.
So he seized his sharp axe
and with one or two whacks
and a great deal of din
he soon let himself in.

But his door in Lahore was no more.

Nov 30, 2010

Microfiction Monday. November 29th.

A picture prompt from Stony River via Granny Sue provokes an Hellenic confrontation . . .

"Calm down, your Majesty!  We’re not rustling them. We're filming the Greek Myths. I’m Zeus. She's Europa. She seeking your randiest bull!"

(Squeaking home with 139 characters!)

Nov 29, 2010

Monday's Child#23

The picture prompt this week is a happy domestic scene.


Christmas is coming and things are looking good.
I'm helping Auntie Flo to stir the pud.
She's thrown a two-pound coin into the mix.
That bit of pud will be like chewing bricks.

Wait! Two pound's just about the sum I need.
Two pounds will buy some strong Moroccan Weed.
So when my Mummy says "Darling, select a
present," I'll ask for a metal detector.

By Christmas Pud time all the guests are drunk.
Chance to pop out for my Moroccan Skunk.
Have to ignore my dear old Grandad's lecture -
"Child! MUST you serve pud with your new detector . .  ?"

One sticky two-pound coin tucked in my purse.
My Christmas family are all the worse
for wear and many glasses of their cheap white wine.
I'll smoke my stash of hash this Christmastime!

Nov 22, 2010

Monday's Child#22

More Children's Verse from this picture prompt

St.George II: The Dragon's Revenge.

"Go forth, Sir Dragon. Hunt my husband George.
The way he leaves me here will never forge
a lasting marriage. I have had enough!
So, when you find him, treat my St.George rough!
He's always out crusading, never home.
Horsing around in breastplate and tin dome
looking, he says, for Dragons snorting fire,
but I suspect that really his desire
is Damsels. Blonde. Big-chested. In distress,
especially if wearing skimpy dress.
He hoists them to the saddle of his horse
and gallops off into the woods to force
his knavish will upon them, poor wee things.
Devils on Horseback nothing have on him.
He thinks I trust him. He must think I'm dim.
So, Dragon, check your fuel tank and wings.
Take to the air! Ignite your flaming breath
and toast my Faithless Patron. Not to death -
wait, why not? No. Death is far too cruel,
besides, it is a dreadful waste of fuel.
Sweat him in his tin suit and haul him hence.
I'll hose him down and hope he'll learn some sense,
and you, my Fiery Friend, have no more hassle,
but PLEASE, do not set fire to our castle."

Nov 21, 2010

The "Technological Fix" fixed!

The "Guardian"of Saturday, 20th. November 2010, "Review" section has a review of "Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star that Gives Us Life."  Very interesting, and straight onto FTSE's Christmas Wish List. But the single most fascinating observation in the book  . .  thermonuclear reactions in the Sun build the heavy elements out of hydrogen and helium. And it is estimated that these processes have produced ENOUGH GOLD IN THE SUN TO COVER THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND TO A DEPTH OF HALF A MILE!  (There's gold in them thar sunbeams!)

Now . .  that's one helluva pile of the precious yellow metal, or as the lovely Jinksy says "Heavens to Murgatroyd!"  But it raises interesting issues for debate and further research.  Such as: -

1.  Is this huge dollop of bounty recoverable? And if so, how?
2.  Does the Rand Corporation know about it? And what d'you think they'll do about it?
3. What would trans-shipping this supertonnage home to it's rightful resting place (Fort Knox, the Bank of England) do to Gold Prices on world markets? 
4. Horror upon Horror!  What if the Fiendish Chinese get to the Treasures of Helios first! (Better bomb them back into their Ming vases, just to be on the safe side.)

The Technical Problems are summarised here: -

The first, essential stage is to cool the Sun down to a temperature comfortable for deep mining.  Then you need to chip away at the ponderous mass of the Sun until what's left isn't so heavy that its gravity flattens the miners into bits about the size and shape of Krugerrands or gold sovereigns. Reducing the Sun to the same mass as the Earth will be no small task and YOU COULD LOSE A LOT OF THE GOLD IN THE PROCESS, which will not please the bean-counters in earthly banks and Stock Exchanges.
 There's no water on the Sun, so far as is known, but NASA tells us there's plenty on the Moon after all.  So we'll need a long pipeline to transport water for drinking, cooking, showering and flushing, from Moon to Sun. Oh . . almost forgot . .  for cooling the Sun as mentioned above.  And once you've solved the water supply problem growing food won't prove difficult. After all, it's SUNLIGHT that makes things grow, and there'll be plenty of sunlight right on the doorstep, so to speak, for growing sunflowers and so forth. Stop finding problems that don't really exist, you earthbound earthling defeatists. This is the Space Age, goddammit! No sense of adventure, that's your trouble.  Leave it to you lot, we'd still be living in caves.  Just think of what could be done with all the wealth! Our dream of colonising the Universe would be several trillion trillion dollars nearer fulfilment.

The Rand Corporation will benefit from the mullions of bullion, of course, and I'm sure they are smart enough to fandingle World Government's into financing the necessay technological and start-up expenses, so their shareholders won't suffer.

But FTSE has a much simpler solution.  Simply WAIT!  In (about) 4.5 billion years, the Sun will expand until it is . . . so to speak . . . within touching distance!  Then simply take your bucket and spade . . . and help yourself.

Who needs gold anyway?

Nov 18, 2010

Magpie Tales#41

I hope this little limerick relates at least vaguely to Willow's picture prompt on Magpie Tales

Time Out.

A half-wit show jumper called Jock
had to "jump-off" one day in Bankok.
but he misunderstood
jumped as high as he could,
broke his half-witted neck,
his poor mount was a wreck
and he badly disfigured the clock.

(For the benefit of any bloggers and/or half-wits who are puzzled by this ditty, "jump-offs" in horsey events are timed. i.e. the contestants and their nags are jumping "against the clock" - fastest faultless round wins.  Jock didn't quite get the point. But I hope yous all do now!)

Nov 16, 2010

For the "Google Friends Connect" challenged

Lots of folk are complaining via Google Help etc that they can't persuade Google Friend Connect to change their logged in identity when they run 2 (or more) blogs under different log-in names and want to "Follow" blogs under one or other of their names.
Problem . .  when they click the Friend Connect logo (usually found above the array of Follower thumbnails) and ask to "sign in as a different user" they persistently encounter an error message. This has been going on for months, maybe years, and Google/Blogger seem deaf to folks' pleas for help - not unusual!

 Here's a work-around.

Note - assumes your eMail and Blogger accounts are both GOOGLE.
Follow these steps carefully.
1. Go to a blog that you are ALREADY following under your NAME 1.
2. Click "Sign in" under the array of Followers' thumbnails.
3. A window will appear saying "You've previously signed in . . . "etc.
4. IGNORE the "Sign in with Google" link
5  INSTEAD, Click the GOOGLE LOGO at mid-screen. (It's alongside the Twitter etc logos)
6. This will show you your signed in name (NAME 1) and yet another invitation to enter your NAME 1 password.
7. IGNORE THIS!  Instead, Click "Sign in as a different user" underneath it.
8. This puts up a NEW sign in window with BLANK username and password fields.
9. Enter your NAME 2, and your NAME 2 password.
10. Things are then OK for me!  I can now use Google Friend Connect to "Follow" under my NAME 2.  Hope it works for you.
Best wishes to all hair-tearers! 

Monday's Child#21

Another offering quite at variance with  the spirit of the prompt
in this charming picture -

Sing a Song of Six Pence, a pocketful of rye.
Lots of tasty pumpkin baked in my pie.
Now the oven's empty, the turkey's looking scared.
Chase him round the backyard . .
and roast that b**t**d bird!

Nov 14, 2010

Monday's Child#20

It really is time I took a shot at this prompt with a difference, based on the picture . . .

Mrs. Mouse cries "It's a sin!
The pest-controller's coming in!"
Mrs. Rat replied "Oh, Quelle disgrace.
We'll need to find a hiding-place.
Warfarin raises my fears!
Pull your hat over your ears.
If we can't see out
He can't see in . . . "
But of course he spied their pretty hats
and a thingy like a cricket bat . . .
Very Sorry, Kiddies . . .  FIN!

Nov 11, 2010

Magpie Tales#40

Ye Gods!

Hanuman, tough as a butcher's dog -
Half man, half ape, half prince, half frog!
Famous for deeds of derring-do -
whole hills he hauls back home to you.(*)
He'll bring you Oriental spices,
to cure all ills, how very nices!
Cursed by the Gods and cursed at length,
Hanuman knows not his own strength.
Bolder than Hercules, and faster
he'll save you from the worst disaster.
Outsupermanning Superman
there is no enemy that he can-
-not overcome.  His bulging muscles
see him through the toughest tussles
with tigers, elephants and snakes,
fights the good fight for all our sakes.
When pressed he can face north and south
and east and west, grow four new mouths
to blow out five benighted lamps
and so free buddies from a deep, damp
pit. Half man, half frog, half ape, half prince-
Hanuman! Tough as Tesco mince,
immortalised in bloggers' verse . . .
(with this amongst the very worst!)

(*) The Hindu god Hanuman, shown in Willow's prompt here, accomplished many heroic exploits which you can read about by following the links here

Nov 5, 2010

Magpie Tales#39

Willlow's wonderful prompt this week puts an Evil Eye on all her poets!


I once had a rooster called Ben,
but I believed Ben was a hen.
An easy mistake
any poet could make
whilst seeking the sex
and avoiding the pecks
from his beak and his claw
in the hen gender war . .
I don't think I'll try it again.

Oct 27, 2010

One Hundred Word Wordle!

Offered by Rallentanda. Go HERE for the 100 words and details of fantabulous prizes . . .

Rall set a hundred-word-wurdle,
a helluva literary hurdle.
She's offered a prize!
That's quite a surprise.
Well worth risking serious brain-curdle

(10 bloggers had something to say)

Pros and Cons Will Be Visible After Approval
Focus said: Oh . . love your ardent fire!
Magic! A choir of primavera
butterflies on crocuses! It really glows.
Through foetid nights, drudgery and storms
your verse trickles like silk across my nape,
delicate as swans dusted with snow . . .

Hokus-Pokus said: Too, too polite!
This stuff is desperate. It’s one long rant,
the most amazing pap I’ve ever gazed on -
lexically tattered – keep the day job.

Shipwreck said: Words like icy flecks, like light
flashing from diamantes – and yet
we’re prey to laughter! As I read, the logs
glow red, my glass of gin forgotten.
You are a star, a joy among blog rumbles.

The Dangerous Trilby said: Ignore
this planted, modulated praise. Your verse
lumbers! It wilts like moistened chocolate.
It reads like sparrows twittering at lunch.
It is pure b**ls – (as next week’s doubtless will be.)

The Terminator said: It has still beauty,
alluring as a kiss, yet hot enough
to warm my heart. It gives me frissons.
You’re one amazing poet. I’ll be back!

Jet-Propelled said: Wow! This rings my bell!

Grubby said: This deserves bloggers hurling
rotten fruit. Can’t you escape this half-baked
mumbling stuff? Some cherries . . . “jonquils” . . rather sweet,
but “sheep” are your downfall. “Sheep” do not – repeat -
do not grow from leaf buds! Urgent you go
to school. You’re doing damage to our Muse.

Potbelly said: This wafts like distant oceans,
recalls the blush and bloom of roses.
Your ‘pot of figs’ in line five-sixty-nine’s
a touch that goes right through me. So well done!

Fog of War said: As I walk along
life’s road, I’ll clasp the white clouds of your words
to keep me young.

                                       Mr. Sneezer said: I can’t
latch on to “tough as tapered colls”,
or that “snapped branch” (Line 6). “Freeze” should be switched
for “frieze?” How do you do it? Rolling dice
for phrases torn from someone else’s gloss?
Thick as maquillage, your diction! Further,
there's no market for it.  Stick to fiction.

Oct 16, 2010

Magpie Tales#36

Words or Wisdom Revisited.
(thanks to Willow's weekly prompt)

Shutting half your stable door,
means half your horse has bolted.
Two "gal" legs on the stable floor,
but the "lop" legs have revolted.

Last night you had a one-horse horse
(Don't just stand there and glower!)
Saddle the half that you have left.
Ride forth at half horse-power.

"My Kingdom for just half a horse!(*)
So let's be on our way!"
The front half sotto voce said -
"Okay," Or was that "Neigh."?

And Lo!  The front legs work quite well,
(though its rump drags on the ground)
Bring Superglue to bind things up
when the back-legs half is found.

Follow those semihorse-shoe tracks
along the bosky path.
Count only hoofprints in matched pairs -
that doesn't need much math.

And while you hunt the missing legs
and wonder, "Why'd they want to
leave me thus?", the front legs say
"Perhaps they've joined the panto!"(**)

(*)  Arcane misquote from W.S's "Richard III"
(**) Pantomime horses always come in two halves

Oct 8, 2010

Poetry Bus October 11th.

This week, Niamh B. asks aspiring Bloggers to base their poem on a short article or story from the media (magazine, newspaper etc)

A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coastguard spokesman commented, "This sort of thing is all too common". (The Times)

Not Rhyming but Rambling.

Yes! Far too common! Time that it was stopped.
Next thing you know the punters will want demos
with Coastgaurd Marshals watching from the shore
for drifting teeth and wind-assisted lobsters
drumming up the Channel in the mad, March days
with cargoes of little girls screaming 
for their Mummies, and pot-bellied old gentlemen
thrashing to their rescue on cheap tin trays,
their limbs like little paddle wheels, churning
through the brine. Perhaps they dream Her Majesty
will recognize their gallantry, and medals, pinned . . .

No pins!  No pins!  There's blow-up toys about!
You want the bulging lobsters and the teeth
to go all soggy in a hissy-fit?
This is a Safety Issue!  You want your daughter
astride her teeth to be blown out the water?
You want the man astride his lobster pink
to end up like a flounder in the drink?
So keep our molars safe!  Also our fins!
IKEA sell protective caps for pins.

(With apologies to Stevie Smith and John Masefield)

Oct 7, 2010

Magpie Tales#35

Willow's picture prompt this week

Season of Mists and Failing Concentration . . .

I think we all should catch the falling leaves.
before they reach the ground. Or at least, try.
Why? Because I once came down from a rowan tree
with neither let nor hindrance.  No one caught me!
Broke both ankles and cracked a rib. Could have
been worse.  Falling off the Eiger Norwand
over a mile straight down - would really hurt.
Alright for leaves - they flutter. And to say
"There's no trees on the Eiger" gets us nowhere.

Oct 3, 2010

Poetry Bus October 4th.

The prompt this week was to scrive about "anything or nothing, or write a poem about the Poetry Bus"

Just the Italian Job!(*)

You thought they heisted tons of gold? No! 'twas
Palgrave's "Golden Treasury of English
Songs and Lyrics," no less weighty, 
stowed where the sunshine does not reach -  
aboard the Poetry Bus, for the fastest 
getaway in Italy!
Too soon, too soon joy turned to wails of grief.
"We're doomed! We're doomed to tumble from the cliff
and splinter on the rocks below! Oh! Oh!"
See how they teeter on the precipice.
(The Wages of Sin is fun for the spectators.)
That'll teach the bandits not to hurtle
round Alpine hairpins weighted down with swag
penned through the aeons since the Dawn of Rhyme
just when they thought they'd got it in the bag. 
There's poetry back there from Good Queen Bess
to our impenetrable Laureate . . .
Even some 'concrete' poems, real heavy stuff,
and tens of thousands of dull pentameters,
the clunking standby of the English Muse
who "wanders lonely as a cloud" (that's only eight!)
But I digress. Come on, now! Who
can save this motley crew
aboard their rocking bus?  
I'm not knocking their intelligence, but guess
reading aloud won't make their haul weigh less
and tip the balance in the robbers' favo(u)r.
Has anyone out there got the flavo(u)r
of a really great idea however queer?
You at the back there!  What's that you say?
You think much more light verse would save the day . . .
Only nine carats worth, pal!  I don't think
the CrewCrook'sPlan now teetering on the brink
can be redeemed with funny stuff by Lear,
Belloc, McGonagall or Ogden Nash. 
They're going to crash
into the abyss unless they find
a way to load the bus's front
and right its equilibrium, unbalanced
by all those Palgrave volumes stashed behind.
So this is what to do.  All Bloggers, send
your usual weekly effort, marked

(*) Helps to have seen the 1969 Michael Caine version of the film

Oct 1, 2010

Triple forte

Have you noticed the Town Crier
has all but disappeared?
If the wages were much higher
the job might be revered
and unemployment fall
as one an all
competed for each magnivocal post.
(Your shout must be heard from coast to coast)

I woke. Careful not to make a fuss
I tiptoed to the window of the bus . .
(Oh, did I forget to say
I'd nodded off on my way
to the Job Centre
with glowing references from my mentor?)

Observe from the top-deck's lofty height
not a single Town Crier in sight!
Oh joy! 'Tis the right time to apply.
I think I stand a chance
of the job.  I really fanc-
-y the big brass handbell,
that and the awesome tricorn hat . . .
further . . . it's been my lifelong wish
to bang on in the street about the price of fish
and bits of local news like that.
Alright, I know you're thinking "Prat!"
But I long since guessed
I wouldn't need to wear
costume for costume parties,
would I? I'd be ready-dressed.
So there!

Already I suspect
you're preparing brickbats.
That is your democratic right.
But if you expect-
orate on my shiny Crier's shoes
one stentorian "OYEZ, OYEZ!"
will blow you clean away.
And remember - when I use
my hundred decibel "NOW HEAR THIS!"
every village Miss
will stop to wish me well,
saying "Oh Man, you ring MY bell"
Mums with prams and joggers with dogs in tow
will mutter "A waste of space!" and "I don't know!"
Mockers beware!  I'm rehearsing my dreaded cry

Sep 30, 2010

This Little Lamp of Mine.
Lead kindly lamp, amid th'encircling gloom: the ‘lectrics gone.
Can't find my way into my own bedroom: I’ve fallen on
times that are hard and getting harder still
No cash in hand my larder for to fill.

No mates to tap, even for fifty pence - to buy some spuds.
Lately I've found the Bank will not talk sense: I've pawned my goods.
The phone’s been stopped. My credit score has dropped
Financial brink! One more bill and I’ll sink.

I get a sense of all-embracing doom - not far ahead.
Lead kindly lamp into the stygian gloom: I'm off to bed.
That’s the last straw! A draught has spooked the flame!
Typing om s7g dark os nev>rt qui&t the same.

(Karaoke to the tune of:  "Lead Kindly Light")

Sep 27, 2010

Poetry Bus 27th Sept.

Do Not Tell Bedtime Stories after Taking Strong Drink

Hogwarts School is in Toytown,
by famous Gingerbread Cottage
where Three Little Piggies, short and fat
fed poisoned apples to a little prat
called Snow White, who, in disguise
looked like your Granny, you would surmise,
but for her huge white fangs and cloak
of red and four-and-twenty pies.
But of course, this is clearly lies,
which is why your truly has
a long wooden nose. Do you suppose 
some Charming Prince might pass this way
and peering through a shortsighted fog
land me a kiss one day
that turns me into a frog, and say . . .
"Oh Mirror, Mirror on the wall
who is that Beauty in the hall
asleep in her glass box?"
Why, yes!  'Tis Beastly Mister Fox
indulging his life long habit
of hounding poor Brer Rabbit.
And so farewell, my friends.
For time heeds not its own expenditure
and as the Seven Dwarves shoulder their pr***s
(Ooops! Sorry, Kiddies,  I mean their PICKS)
and go to their appointed ends , I 
must mount my broomstick
and fly . .  fly . . . fly . . .

Thanks to Rachel Fox for this week's prompt.

Sep 22, 2010

Pardon . . . ?

From a BBC News Website, Wednesday 22nd September, reporting on the Commonwealth Games due to start in Dehli on 3rd. October.
The Games, which are due to run from 3-14 October, have been beset by concerns over security and facilities.
Safety fears were heightened after a section of false ceiling near the weightlifting area of the main stadium fell in on Wednesday.
No injuries were reported and Indian officials said it was "not something to be worried about".
Worried?  Of course not.  Weightlifters are used to ceilings falling on their heads . . . 

Sep 20, 2010

Great Inventions#207

The "FastCool" Teaspoon(*)

This silly-looking yet ingenious and useful device is
a teaspoon with a large heat-exchanger at the end 
of its handle.    When you are in a hurry to finish 
your breakfast tea or coffee - say when the taxi is 
waiting or the Men in White Coats have called to 
take  you to a place of safety - grab your 
"FastCool" instead  of your ordinary teaspoon and 
stir your tea or coffee like there was no tomorrow.  
Heat conducted up the long handle will be 
dissipated by the large circular wire-mesh 
heat-exchanger and your drink will cool before you 
can say "Typhoo"(*)

(*) Brand of tea much drunk in the UK.

(*)You likely won't have anywhere to store it, but that's true of most of the gadgets you can order on-line from the kitchen catalogues, isn't it, like electric egg-slicers and the cute little mangle you can get for wringing out your used tea-bags before you recycle them?

Sep 18, 2010

A Fresh Look at Big Bang Theory

Professor Einstein fancied eggs for tea,
soft boiled. One day he saucepanned three,
and then, as any half-mad genius would
added some water. “Mmm . . these will taste good,”
he thought. (“Thinking” is what he sometimes did.)
He lit the gas and put the saucepan lid
firmly upon the pan (Here your rhymer
hunts around for one that fits “egg timer.”)

His clockwork one that went ‘tick-tock’ and ‘ping’
when time was up he saw was suffering
from a buckled daisy-wheel and damp. “Alas!
I’ll have to use the old one made of glass.”
He found it in his junkbox on the land-
-ing, blew the dust off , and started the sand
running. Then his jaw dropped and his eyes popped
out. When Big Thoughts strike him, Albert can’t be stopped.
The timer’s sensuous curves that lesser men
might see erotic symbols in, and then
let their thoughts stray to tight-laced corsetiere
made Albert pull strange faces, made him stare.

“Jawohl! Ze sand falls faster, falls mit haste,
falls schnell nicht langsam through ze narrow waist!
Curved space is telling sandgrains how to move!
Vo ist my pad und pencil!  I will prove
that ‘gravity’ means simply ‘going faster.’
Behold! Einstein, the Universe’s Master -
Time’s but an add-on to the concept ‘space’!
A four-legged, four-D never-ending place
for stars to rattle round in.  Oh, Eureka!
Oh Albert . .  You clever old truth seeker!”

So saying he sat at the kitchen table,
wrote out the math as fast as he was able,
sucked on his pencil, fought the calculus,
wrestled in four dimensions, paused to cuss
until he’d roughed out – while preparing tea -
the awkward bits of Relativity.

He had united warped SpaceTime with mass
by looking at curved shoulders in a glass
egg-timer . . . . HIS EGGS! Much eggboiltime had passed!
He rose. Too late! There came a massive blast.
Das wasser, er hat alles off geboiled!
His eggs were much, much worse than merely spoiled.
They were red hot. The kitchen filled with smoke!
Eggs, saucepan, saucepan-lid and cooker, broke.
Shards of eggshell like bullets through his hair,
but Albert, flushed with triumph, did not care.
The kitchen ceiling sprayed with hard-boiled egg
didn’t take Albert down one single peg.
What are three eggs but eggs? They can be spared,
for shattered eggs prove E equals m C squared!

Two Big Bang moments! One earth-changing day!
He works out Relativity, then straight away
explodes an Atomic Egg Bomb.  Oh Hurrah!

Professor Albert Einstein, you’ll go far!