I’ve been reviewing the contents of my slab of old bits of writing. Most of it, of course, is nonsense (for that matter, so’s this), but life is in edit, and I had reason to think of the friend I wrote it for the other day, so here it is again. The original is dated November 2000: I’ve done a minimal amount of touching-up to get it in this form.
Sat quietly here in Darklooks Mansions, I have been completely unable to get out of my head the snippet of doggerel Ethel Meaker came out with to explain Nadia Popov’s dangerous hayfever to, I think, some native American ghosts who, just to really lay the cultural understanding on thick, could only speak in Longfellowesque trochaic tetrameter:
Paleface maiden is Miss Popov
Known to us as Mighty Sneezer.
She may sneeze and blow your top off —
Treat her gently, do not tease her.
To this day, I can’t find the link between teasing and sneezing. Oh, hang on.
Anyway, had a nostalgic sniffle around IMDB and Wikipedia and found out that Michael Stanniforth (write the theme tune, sing the theme tune….) who also played Mr. Claypole, very sadly passed away in ’87. That’s made me quite glum: I attribute much of my present sense of humour to the low camp of Rentaghost, of which he was a splendid, appropriately mugging exponent. Hmph.
(to make up for the offence Les Murray may have caused to those of a delicate sensibility)
I’ve been unselfconsciously reading terribly depressing poems all evening, but am curiously reminded how much I enjoy them, and not at all in an I-shall-wear-only-black-isn’t-life-dreadful sort of way. Continue reading