Friday, 22 May 2009

Henrietta Grimbleshoe

Henrietta Grimbleshoe was destitute and broke.
Her social life was crap and her finances a joke.
She hadn't worked for twenty years - because no job would last,
And no-one would employ her with her dark and lurid past.

It all had started when she found that fuel costs for her car
Exceeded any benefits of going very far.
She then discovered that if she just sat around all day
It didn't cost her anywhere near what she used to pay.

She figured out that if she stayed at home and didn't spend,
Her finances would right themselves - her troubles all would end.
However, she had failed to see - as she was very dim -
If she did not go OUT to work, no money would come IN.

But there she sat, hour after hour, glued fast to her TV,
Just watching endless crap that simply fueled anxiety.
Before she knew what hit her, Henrietta suddenly found
That she'd become irrationally scared of every sound.

At first she jumped at each car horn, or noisy motor-bike.
But then she found she even jumped at noises that she'd liked.
She jumped at tweeting dicky-birds and little baby lambs.
She jumped at laughing babies - a-gurgling in their prams.

This soon progressed 'til she was scared of everything outdoors:
Of noises, people, smells and mess - and even of till-drawers!
Of salmonella poisoning, Bird Flu and CJD,
And when we got Mad Cow's Disease, she said "That it for me!".

In no time Henrietta found she hardly left the house,
For fear of catching Chicken Flu, or rabies from a mouse.
She built a moat around her home, to keep the world at bay -
(But largely so that she would not contract MRSA).

If anybody tried to cross her home-made 'water-trough',
She'd shoot them with her BB Gun and shout "Will you ... please kindly leave (or words to that effect)
Eventually, the Bailiff's came - not thwarted by the moat -
They brought along their own canoes and massive powerboat.

They stripped poor Henrietta's house, from skirting boards to ceilings.
And as they left, they gave her (just to show they did have feelings)
A telephone directory and an ancient mobile phone,
And with these words of wisdom, they then left and pissed off home ...

"Well now, my dear, you've made your bed and you must lie in it ..."
(But, as they'd taken all the beds, that ointment had a fly in it)
..."Responsibilities are something nobody can shirk,
You'll have to get up off your arse, get out and get some WORK!".

Well, Henrietta shrank in fear. What was there she could do?
What manner of employment could she possibly pursue?
Her CV was a nightmare and her social skills were worse.
Before long she'd be up all night just writing shit in verse (Oooooh! Sounds SCARILY familiar!)

Outside the Jobcentre she quaked - quite clearly terrified,
With sweat now pouring from her brow, she gulped and stepped inside.
The lady was most helpful and, to put her most as ease,
Sat Henrietta gently down, with pen and pad, said "Please,
We need to make a list of things in which you best excel".
But, after half and hour or more, they'd none that you could tell.
By now, even the lady found it hard to concentrate
"I know! Let's try a different way - list all the things you hate!"

Off Henrietta rattled - and the list just grew and grew,
The speed the lady wrote at left her fingers black and blue.
"Does not like dogs. Does not like kids. Does not like noisy doors.
Hates purple rinses, high-heeled shoes and polished shiny floors,
Has allergies to germs and noise. Hates neighbours' garden fence.
Neurotic, weird and self-absorbed. Has no known common sense.
Has idiotic notions as to how to carry out
The easiest and simplest job or task there is about.
Her arrogance and lunacy make it quite hard to see
Even the smallest likelihood of opportunity."

But at that point the pen fell still ... The lady upped and cried -
"By Jove!!" she said "You're PERFECT!!!". Henrietta nearly died.
The lady leaped up from her seat and took down from a shelf


  1. In reply to the comment you left on my blog, here is a coded message: The yellow courgettes have been boobytrapped, I repeat - the yellow courgettes have been boobytrapped!

  2. Thanks for the warning - I shall keep my boobies out of the way. Now, how grateful are you that I didn't leave that reply on YOUR blog!

  3. Like this one - they are a special brand on their own...
    As for the courgettes, why boobytrapped? Are there traps down in her house? Why has she warned you and not me? I'm not going up there again until I know it's safe.

  4. If you nip over to mine, you'll see I've picked a special award for you. Come pick it up, there's instructions in the comments. That's not to say that you need them, I just have to lay it all out in black and white for Folly, so old habits die hard.

  5. My daughter Henrietta is delighted to see her name in print in such an august piece of high art as your blog. I particularly like the way you keep the rhymes and rhythms going in spite of the almost non-fatal courgette scandal. There should be a medal.

  6. Oh, but Sir! I already have a medal. I got it on the frontier - (I got another on the back here, too!).

    But thank you so much for your kind words of praise. Coming from you I am seriously and truly honoured, as I haven't come across any other poet whose words and rhythms flow just a nicely as yours do. I am not b-s'ing when I say that even Hilaire Beloc and Roald Dahl don't even manage it as consistently as you do. I can't wait for you to pick up your pen again.