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December 22, 2009


Seeing as how you contrary bastards won’t write poems about nudes, here’s a last task before I’m rendered incommunicado by the vagaries of Moroccan net protocols.

Write a poem on what might have become of the repulsive infant on the far right of the photo. Suffice to say, the child became a man (of a sort), which just goes to show- there is no justice…

Any form this time, although perhaps an instructive verse parable or morality tale would suit…

Until the new year, compadres…¡buena suerte!

  1. December 22, 2009 4:27 PM

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you Mishari, and to all of you folks who visit here!!

    Who are we supposed to be insulting anyway?

  2. December 22, 2009 7:20 PM

    Wistfully staring up in the air
    It’s obvious the boy isn’t all there
    Is he planning some sibling rivalry?
    Or wondering if what will be will be?

    Will his life follow each prescribed letter?
    All going smoothly always to the better
    Perfectly worked out so that he can be glad
    It doesn’t follow the plot-lines of Breaking Bad

    Or will his life just be a turn for the worse?
    Ending up on a blog writing unpublished verse
    Wishing that this hell would quickly pass
    Relieving him of writing about Mowbray’s arse*

    Or will life be life on a see-saw?
    Effortless at times and at others a chore.
    Unpredictable, unplanned, emotionally scary
    But better than a life in which you are wary.

    Or is the scene he’s looking at one which would appall
    Some tosser behind the camera-man with a crystal ball

    * mention of which is now contractually obliged

  3. MeltonMowbray permalink
    December 22, 2009 8:13 PM

    Once he played rugby, football and cricket,
    and was a man for all that,
    he took his woman like he took a wicket,
    then he swung like Botham’s bat.

    On a turning pitch he now professes
    a taste for all that glisters,
    he struts in ribbons and party dresses
    just like his little sisters.

  4. pinkroom permalink
    December 22, 2009 9:36 PM

    I would hazard a guess at the handsome young chap on the right being Gordon Brown??? The other two, despite appearances, his brothers.


    As that boy
    He was taken to see
    the poor of Kirkaldy
    so odd, that he,
    who read Tressell
    and wrote of Maxton,
    should do his best
    to bury…

    Only born in ’51
    at University by sixteen.
    These early picture
    sadden me
    so. A Dorian Gray
    to be seen,
    by all, forever the bright,
    the young boy;
    strong and steady,
    who somewhere
    along the line
    thought that he
    Could tame a tiger,
    with just a little tug on its tail,
    and when the penny finally
    dropped, that he’d fail
    he mugged and scowled
    grim-cracked, lied
    and scowled
    until his face
    became a perfect mask,
    bloat in corruption,
    and the soul behind
    became so little better.

    But the face of that boy
    forever the bright,
    strong and steady
    a lesson, unfallen.

  5. MeltonMowbray permalink
    December 23, 2009 12:11 AM

    An impertinent question, Al, so ignore it if you will, but do you ever feel curious about your origins?

    I’ve never had any interest in family history until recently. WW1 military records are now online, so I bought some credit to try to solve the mystery of Mrs M’s grandfather, who was reported killed in action in 1916 and reappeared at the end of the war, apparently having been in Mesopotamia. I couldn’t get far with it (a lot of the service records were destroyed in bombing in WW2), so I had a quick look at my family. A fatal step for the obsessive, of course, and now I find myself searching databases for parish records of the 1740s. No earldoms or unclaimed fortunes, worse luck, just a dull succession of shepherds and agricultural labourers. The only wrinkle was discovering that quite by chance (we just wanted a name that wasn’t in the Bible) we had given our son a name which had been carried through my father’s family for several generations. Perhaps heathenism is in the blood.

  6. InvisibleJack permalink
    December 23, 2009 1:45 AM


    He wishes for the curly locks
    of his siblings, two.
    Instead he suffers his bowl-cut mop
    flattened with Brylcream glue.
    He’ll never amount to anything
    with hair forced down by gravity,
    while siblings with their vertical fuzz
    will rise above polarity.
    He prays for hair that stands straight up
    but knows he’ll never get it,
    so prays instead for the next best thing:
    someone who knows how to cut it.

    (This poem was found in a Christmas cracker)

  7. December 23, 2009 10:27 AM

    MM I discovered my true birth status when I was in my 30;’s ironically at a time when I was worrying about turning into my ( at the time ) father. My family is very far from being a close one ( my “parents” split up messily when I was 13 ) so although it was a shock it wasn’t on the level it would have been if I was 14 or 15 and trying to adjust to teenager-dom and 2 homes to go to.

    I decided against digging further, I know where I could find out more ( regimental records ) but as far as I was concerned who I thought my dad was was my dad – nurture over nature if you will. In fact it gave me a greater respect for him – he was a little further to the right than Ghenghis Khan which caused all kinds of friction all the time and knew all about my mum’s infidelity and the fact I wasn’t his child but he never for one moment let me know or took what must have been massive frustrations out on me.

    The divorce was because of me as well as a growing incompatability but what angered me most was the fact that they felt they had to conceal everything so as not offend polite society – it turned both into alcoholics and my “father” eventually had EST to combat massive depression. When John Major talked about going back to basics I always thought what basics does he mean? Clamping down on your feelings til they burst out in ugly patterns of behaviour?

    I’m very very occasionally curious but I’ve talked to others in a similar position who say ( as I thought they’d say ) that once you know it’s not enough to know and you have to delve further. They felt the eventual reconciliations were not worth the pain they felt or caused as things don’t often go the way you’d thought they’d go. Plus the horror of looking through a book of regimental photos and discovering someone who might look like me would be a step too far.

    But of course that’s not to say that I won’t need to know in the future. But on discovering all this, almost the first thing I did was to write to my “dad” and tell him that as far as I was concerned he was my dad for better or worse. I felt it would have been massively hypocritical to say otherwise.

  8. MeltonMowbray permalink
    December 23, 2009 12:50 PM

    A sad story, Al. I had assumed that you were adopted when you’ve mentioned family matters before. What instantly came to mind was Strindberg’s play The Father, not in the sense that it’s similar to your story, but the way in which it plants a seed of doubt concerning your own origins. I had never given my conception a second thought until I read the play: afterwards anything seemed possible. My father was a very keen womaniser, both his sisters had kids outside marriage: who knows? Of course Strindberg is a renowned misogynist, but I’m sure I’ve seen figures suggesting that something like 30% of people aren’t the children of the parents they think they have.

    My cousin thinks my mother (youngest of an Irish family of 13) was in fact the daughter of one of her elder sisters, ‘adopted’ by her grandparents to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy (we’re talking 1928 here). Oddly enough, I felt a little nettled when she came out with this theory. I still can’t figure out why I should. I mean, who cares?

    I must say your father sounds like a decent chap. Judging by the physical resemblance my father probably did father me. I wish it was otherwise, but it hardly seems to matter now.

  9. December 23, 2009 2:40 PM

    MM certainly when I discovered this and talked about it with friends and unwitting people at the bus stop it wasn’t such an uncommon situation as I had imagined. Lots of people I know have ambiguous members of the family one generation or more back.

    What was also odd ( sit down, stoke up that pipe ) was when I was trying to guess who my real father might be I remembered an “Uncle” Nick who used to hang around my mum when my father was away on army biz. Although I must have been only about 5 there was something suspicious about him. Obviously at that age I wouldn’t have connected it with anything sexual but it’s strange how you pick up on something that’s not “normal”. Anyway it wasn’t “Uncle” Nick ( who I think was having an affair with my mum ) just some bloke in the barracks when my family were stationed in Germany.

  10. MeltonMowbray permalink
    December 23, 2009 4:44 PM

    Yes, my mother’s post-divorce boyfriends seemed a strange lot, though it’s possible that the circumstances magnified their weirdness as far as I was concerned. Some very boring accountants and a chap who owned a carpet store (suddenly there were rugs all over the place) spring to mind, and the police inspector who was her escort in the period when I was out of my brains 99% of the time. Every time we met I could feel his forensic gaze on my pinprick pupils and road-map sclera. Naturally she married the worst of the lot, but at least he was too ugly to be unfaithful. Parents, eh? Maybe a test-tube birth would have been preferable.

  11. December 23, 2009 11:20 PM

    Well, now that we mention it, my six maternal aunts and uncles were, as it happens, by three different men (none of them my grandfather) in spurts (sorry) of two each… so every two consecutive children (counting backwards from the youngest) resembled each other but no one else (save my modern grandmother) in the family. Gets better: each father-of-a-pair was a different nationality! As a kid it never struck me as particularly odd that Xmas day was like a gathering at the U.N…

    Funny thing was that my grandfather was a devastatingly handsome rake and his wife (my granny) was the plain Jane of an otherwise famously beautiful cluster of sisters. She was either proving herself or there were sex games going on I can only guess at.

    And rumor had it that plain Jane granny was not her father’s daughter either…

    This DNA-testing malarkey has ruined a great tradition, I tell you.

    Merry New-Thanx-O-Weenmas to all!

  12. December 24, 2009 12:25 AM

    The glitter of the tyrant’s eye
    In miniature is writ
    The siblings, urged by instinct
    Shift away from where they sit

    The infant seems so gentle,
    Well-behaved, so shy and meek
    But from out the limpid eyes
    Does new-born malice peek

    For who would think this innocent
    Would grow to rage and sneer?
    To hail abomination as his god,
    Spread lust and fear?

    This gentle child, so soft and calm
    Would snare all those he’d reach
    In webs of decadence with honeyed
    Words and silvered speech

    A libertine, a misanthrope,
    All hatched from this soft egg
    A railing, sly, cold Machiavel’
    Who’d laugh to hear you beg

    Is he a Victor, Blake or Khan?
    A Vortigern or Barney?
    I may be wrong, forgive me,
    But his look is al Adwani…

  13. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    December 24, 2009 7:41 AM

    Young Abdul Aziz was a turbulent boy
    With heart-on-sleeve honesty; the real McCoy
    Eschewing the classics, he promptly began
    A career in the ring. But Roberto Duran
    Ended his title hopes, silenced the cheer
    Now he spends all his money on whiskey and beer

    I saw Samya once, her mister ten-percent
    Bought shares in an ale-house I used to frequent
    She majored in drama, an overachiever
    Who promptly deed-polled into Sigourney Weaver
    Now she treads the red carpet, invariably pissed
    Trailing ghosts, ghouls and aliens, gorillas and mist

    The precocious young sophisticate on the right
    Makes the landladies’ eyes open wide with delight
    They swoon at his verse, throwing off chintz and sable
    And insist that he take them on the kitchen table
    They murmur ‘John Garfield’, then promptly re-swoon
    And spread kitty litter throughout the saloon

  14. December 24, 2009 8:30 AM

    As the object of our attentions, having been given twenty-four hours to privately consider the matter, has not protested, one proceeds hopefully to the next phase, that is, the public offering of an homage.

    Seasons greetings, then, to the prince himself, and equally to all fellow adorers.

  15. December 24, 2009 11:40 AM

    Twinkle twinkle little star
    Larger than those other kids you are
    What can you see with that sideway’s glance?
    The future or a row of parents, uncles and aunts?

    Did the photographer survive trying to make you smile?
    Did the very thought make you want to run a mile?
    Is that a protective arm around your sister?
    Or are you trying to give her a vengeful blister?

    Twinkle twinkle little star
    You have no idea how lucky you are
    For a similar family snap they made sure I
    Was photographed wearing a black bowtie.

  16. freep permalink
    December 24, 2009 2:37 PM

    Dear Sir, I am applying for the Post,
    The world’s High Job that I need the most,
    Of Deputy Assistant Poetical Controller
    (Eastern), which comes with a free car & a shiny bowler.

    I can assure you I am accounted very responsible,
    And my intentions for the position are extremely honourable.
    I have experience of pinching my sister’s bum,
    And folding my arms and abusing my Mum.
    My ears stick out less than my ugly fat cousin’s
    (Who couldn’t do this job as he only speaks Russian)
    (And has not any at all, no bardic aptitude)
    (And as you well know, lives in the wrong latitude)
    (And I hate my cousin badly, he’s globally gross)
    (So you mustn’t award him this prestigious post)
    (And he stole my Geiger Rabbit, it was last June)
    (And I destroyed his jelly house with my bright spoon) …

    But I must tell you these, my qualifications;
    It is this: I am six, and I need remuneration.
    I will work hard, and not cry, and be loyal;
    I am not afraid of lungfish or soil;
    I am an adept at spitting and hopping,
    And, if you require it I am excellent at shopping,
    Especially for pens. And I like lopping
    Things off trees, for I have strong limbs,
    Yes, I have two arms, and legs with vigour and vim,
    And there is no person better at making up rhymes
    For these troublesome turbulent wilful times.

    So I’ll be your man and tongueful and lyrical;
    My referee knows I am clean and bosphirical.
    You can see e.g.s of my oeuvre in a few decades hence
    At Politely Homicidal. I sit on no fence,
    As you’ll see, and there are ladies and gents,
    Who rarely talk sense
    who will visit this shrine
    On line
    in 2009
    Who will tell you I’m fine
    At constructing a line
    Of verse.
    Or worse.

    Of course this in the Future
    When I’ll own a Computor.

  17. December 24, 2009 11:32 PM

    Happy Christmas all. Thanks for the laughs, the wisdom and confusion.

  18. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    December 25, 2009 5:11 AM

    merry christmas, campers
    may life get even more

  19. freep permalink
    December 25, 2009 7:16 AM

    May Godd have mercy on us all. Hapy Christmas one and al, even the atheists, paynim and Satanists.

  20. December 26, 2009 11:15 AM

    Way off topic but…….

    Freep’s Dogg

    Freep’s dogg is a most worthy topic
    He barks at the moon in a mode philosophic

    Where other dogs merely lick their behinds
    Freep’s dogg reflects upon all of mankind

    Where other dogs chase cats up trees
    Freep’s dogg inspires a thoughtful treatise

    Where other dogs suffer from feelings of guilt
    Freep’s dogg is from sterner stuff built

    Where other dog’s go gaga at the word “walkies”
    Freep’s dogg is immune to childish talky-talky

    Where other dogs are content to just sit on a mat
    Freep’s dogg turns his long nose up at that

    Where other dogs defecate where they shouldn’t oughta
    Freep’s dogg’s critiques give poets no quarter *

    Like Schrodinger’s cat his indentity’s unsound
    Freep’s dogg – a most metaphysical hound

    Though with this evidence tis my contention
    That freep’s dogg must be a poetic invention

    * Critiques expressed in the form of barking.
    I’ve heeded a word from the wise
    Done my best not to anthropomorphosise

  21. pinkroom permalink
    December 26, 2009 12:59 PM

    Nice thoughts Al, but remember a dogg’s not just for Christmas.

  22. hic8ubique permalink
    December 28, 2009 8:51 PM

    Phineas Roy : a cautionary lay

    All heed the tale of this winsome boy,
    his father’s hope, his mother’s joy.
    Charm and beauty may be cursed,
    as I shall relate to you now in verse…

    The chappie learnt manners and shared his toys
    he garnered sweets with plausible ploys
    his parents hearts were all aglow,
    and he never heard them answer “No”.

    He became adept at marionettes
    and featured them in blithe vignettes
    enjoying the art of pulling strings
    and applause, which notoriety brings.

    Pretty girls followed wherever he went
    He offered them fruits and savoured their scent.
    They always let him run the show;
    they none of them ever answered him “No”.

    If weather made him kind of blue
    he’d other gifts to resort to;
    he’d improvise on the saxophone
    or work his Andalusian roan.

    Some kids dream of running away to the circus.
    But PR knew that sort end up in the workhouse.
    In hearing his calling he chose not to shun it;
    he started a circus in order to run it.

    He discovered a passion for lashing a whip;
    his entourage danced to its stinging tip.
    That soft gaze turned to a diamond stare
    as subordinates hardened to watch and ware.

    Roy challenged the simple mahouts and roustabouts
    in elephant-mounted games and jousting bouts,
    but since he never knew when to stop,
    there came a day the axe would drop…

    Drusilla was dozing alone and defenceless
    when up strode his nibs, afire and relentless.
    He grasped an ankusha and smote at her haunch!
    She started and trumpeted, then gave a launch

    to our hot-spurred ringmaster who took such a wallop
    he dropped in a crumpled-up body-bag dollop.
    Poor Dru pulled a long face in shame, hopped it, bustled
    (to save her own skin) to join up with a household.

    Thus ends the sad tale of young Phineas Roy,
    his parents’ best jewel, their only boy.
    The darling was felled by a fatal blow,
    for even the thick-skinned at last get to “No”.

    His family, in mourning, adopted the credo:
    “Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo.”
    (For those unfamiliar, the translated banner
    read: “Strongly in deed, gently in manner”.)

    Though favoured with beauty and talent and pluck,
    be mindful not to push your luck.

    Do try to compose some semblance of sense
    when dealing in realms of elephants.

  23. file permalink
    December 30, 2009 4:27 PM

    excellent Hic, surprised none of this normally generous crowd has found it within themselves to praise your “cautionary lay”, perhaps being “favoured with beauty and talent and pluck” they are disinclined to push their luck. I, however, who am not, will. Spect they’re all busy fawning ‘n forelocking their “prince”, or perhaps it’s a case of “when Bagpuss goes to sleep, all his friends go to sleep too”.

    A very happy New Year to all!

  24. hic8ubique permalink
    December 30, 2009 10:15 PM

    Au contrariwise,file! You are a muchness of beauty and talent and pluck. Lovely pictograph!
    When the cat’s away, the mice will stray?
    and report me to the SPCA?
    (I really love elephants, and never go to a circus.)

    Having perused the ‘Nudes’ thread, I surmise that
    Mowbray is in Valencia squeezing oranges…
    Valenthia thqueething orantheth?

    Great joy to the new!
    “most Politely , most Politely, most Po liiiite ly.”

  25. December 31, 2009 5:56 PM

    Child psychologists get off your bikes
    Tell us who are these three little tykes?

    Future town councillors lying in wait
    Figuring what they should use as bait
    To lure their parents to buy them ice creams
    Will they smile sweetly or deafen with screams?
    Techniques they’ll use much later on voters
    To weed support out of the most hardened floaters.

    Are they the youngest ever singing trio
    Whose voices ring out with gusto, nay brio?
    Waiting to be exploited by mums and dads
    Voices kept high by surgery on gonads.
    Flogged round the country on endless tours
    Once top of the pops now top of the bores.

    Are they three members of a criminal gang?
    Doomed to be arrested and sentenced to hang.
    The rulers of playground, nurs’ries and creches
    Ensnaring other innocents in illegal meshes.
    Their sordid empire stetched far and wide
    Bootlegging Pampers, a “fee” to use the slide.

    Are they three little brainboxes on a TV quiz?
    Whose overall knowledge constantly surprises.
    No playtime for them it’s education all the way
    To the utmost degree where all work and no play
    Makes Jack a dull boy, Jaqueline a dull girl,
    Their lack of social skills make your toes curl.

    Child psychologists back on your bikes
    Defeated by these three little tykes.

    Your feeble efforts at speculation
    Have cast no light only aggravation.

  26. December 31, 2009 8:37 PM

    My siblings watch with an obliging stare
    Photographer’s off-camera teddy bear.
    My gaze is cynical; I’m well aware

    As a well-scrubbed but yet ambitious pup
    One day I’ll drink from stardom’s golden cup:
    I’m going to be Cliff Richard when I grow up.

  27. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 2, 2010 4:03 PM

    Sterling stuff here from the regular entrants, any of which put my feeble effort to shame. Compulsory social interaction has been in force at this residence over the festive period, otherwise I would have been quicker to commend Hic’s pachydermic poem. A mammoth piece.

    file, placing speech marks round the Prince’s title is most unwise. He is a kind and magnanimous man, but even such a paragon has his limits. If you happen to spot a tall, hawk-faced chap in keffiyeh and black bisht who goes by the name of Jazzfan then run like the wind. The Prince’s enforcer has several specialities, beginning with the nails on the blackboard, the toothpaste on the glans, the… be careful.

  28. hic8ubique permalink
    January 2, 2010 8:30 PM

    Gentle Jazzfan, in case you are moderating this site, I hasten to suggest in all solemnity that file, in using qt marks, was being deferentially diminutive rather than utter the full title of your…shhh…*Supreme Liege Lord*.

    MM, welcome back from your holiday social exertions, and thanks for your kind endorsement of my cheerful effort on behalf of that truly(!) adorable and wrongly scorned child.

    I thawed out a mammoth piece to prepare for Hogmanay, when such unusual delicacies are enjoyed, and it proved surprisingly tender and free from freezer-burn.

  29. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 2, 2010 11:33 PM

    I’m pretty sure mammoth has a use by of 3200BC. It might be worth checking that, if you’re still alive.

  30. hic8ubique permalink
    January 3, 2010 12:49 AM

    Alive and kicking myself for not refreezing the leftover for
    Burn’s Night. Ah well, there’ll be plenty of blood and guts. We’ll make do.

  31. hic8ubique permalink
    January 3, 2010 12:58 AM

    Burns’ Night?

  32. January 3, 2010 4:49 AM

    Thanks for the heads-up Melton. If I see said Jazzfan around these parts (no doubt sun-tanned from his trip to Aus.) I’ll happily introduce him to my man Fargo (the chipper wood-chipper), I look forward to their jammy syncopation, daddy-o.

    (Enforced “Compulsory social interaction”, as you put it, sure helps me get in touch with my inner grinch.)

    Do you have any recipes for Mammoth hic? (We roasted one for xmas too and having been through the Mammoth curry, Mammoth sweetbreads, Mammoth a la king, Mammoth sorbet etc. we still find there’s quite a bit left…)

  33. January 3, 2010 11:34 AM

    Jazzfan? I thought artpepper was the only one to worry about.

    A street vendor in Manchester used to sell mammoth hot dogs. A sausage standing in warm water over an afternoon is not my idea of food so I never investigated further.

  34. hic8ubique permalink
    January 3, 2010 2:25 PM

    file love, you were only meant to do a ‘mammoth piece’, not the whole specimen, hence your difficulty.
    I was thinking my leftover belonged in a haggis, but you seem to be in a position to make Uncle Arly’s Gosky Patties (the recipe multiplies well) although you may need to use a door instead of a window.
    alarming~ I’m getting a bad ‘Demon Barber of Fleet Street feeling’ from your mention of sausage following file’s Fargo
    introduction. This gambit is becoming worse than compulsory social interaction.

    btw file, was that skiing in Aus. or surfing in Aus?
    Speaking of sun-burn, I’ve given up and decided it’s just plain
    Burns Night.

  35. mishari permalink*
    January 3, 2010 5:57 PM

    Evening all. I hope everyone’s sufficiently recovered from the annual debauch? No? Tough…

    Let me gather what wits I’m left with and post a less repugnant photo…and perhaps suitable verse task for this last year of a dismal decade…

    Nice poem, Hic. I can’t believe file was so oafish as to imagine you were being snubbed by the regulars. Hey…I’m all for gallantry but there’s gallantry and then there’s just being a twat…

    PS: Zeph, you really know how to hurt a chap. Cliff, fercrisake? I think I’m going to be ill…

  36. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 3, 2010 6:51 PM

    My private thought was that Zeph was being far too kind. In the pop world Gary Numan seems a better match, but the most persuasive doppelganger must be Damien out of The Omen.

    Hope you saw the game today, Al. Justice was done.

  37. January 3, 2010 8:03 PM

    Twat? Oafish? Mish,
    are you sure you’re not a poet?

  38. January 3, 2010 8:04 PM

    MM Sir Alex Ferguson’s post match tactics when Man U have lost are a thing of wonder but the motives are a little easier to decode than they were 15 years ago. A bit of desperation is creeping in I think.

  39. mishari permalink*
    January 3, 2010 9:57 PM

    Yes, file…your remarks were graceless at best. Do you really imagine that any of us need lessons in generosity to fellow versifiers?

    I dunno…perhaps you’ve never actually read this blog.

    Mr. Kern, who himself has acne, said he did not feel inclined to be hopeful about the new acne consumer devices and called the science behind them “very spotty.” -The NYT, December 30, 2009

    (sigh) I can see it’s going to be another one of those years….

  40. hic8ubique permalink
    January 3, 2010 10:36 PM

    Please, pretty please, mishari xx
    file just knows I am in excessive need of extra nurturance as a novice blogger, and feels r e s p o n s i b l e, having sent me here with his personal assurance that everyone was most friendly, and certainly having exhaustively scoped out the terrain in advance before recommending you.

    I predict a redeeming year, and suggest we all retire with our calvados or poire williams to the salon of Pandora’s promise for future communal bon homie.

  41. mishari permalink*
    January 3, 2010 10:44 PM

    Sorry, Hic. It’s just that the people around here never fail to be anything but supportive of fellow versifiers and file knows (or should know) that.

    I found his remarks unnecessarily caustic. A newcomer like yourself might take them at face value and be discouraged. That’s why it pissed me off…you’ll never get anything but encouragement around here.

    Don’t mind me..I’m just very tired and a bit snappish. I know file means well…

  42. January 3, 2010 10:54 PM

    I took one look at that photo and thought “It looks like a baby Cliff Richard”, then I thought “but perhaps it’s actually Mishari”… I waited for some time until Christmas had made me feel sufficiently cruel to post my little pome, sorry Mishari!

    My childhood pictures make me look very like Marcie from Peanuts

    (Hilariously, some Wikimonitor has put a (citation needed) notice by Marcie’s age. Pur-lease…)

  43. mishari permalink*
    January 3, 2010 11:02 PM

    It’s true that I was a rather sweet-faced infant but I grew into a rather nasty-looking hawk-faced man, thank God.

    Cliff just never developed what I’d call a ‘man’s’ face. He still looks like small boy (albeit a triumph of the taxidermist’s art).

    Marcie’s age? Some of those wiki editors need to get a life…

  44. hic8ubique permalink
    January 3, 2010 11:07 PM

    Thanks for the italics! It only takes a little encouragement for me to become very wicked indeed, but not tonight, mishari.
    Deep sweet sleep to you, all grouse feathers unruffled,
    and welcome home.

  45. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 3, 2010 11:25 PM

    God knows where the ref got those 5 minutes from. Things were getting too tense so I switched the TV off at 85 minutes and read for ten minutes, switched on confident the game would be over and found they were still playing. Well worth it for the deep purple expression on Ferguson’s kisser.

  46. January 3, 2010 11:35 PM

    Mishari. As you might guess from my epistles to MM in your absence there aren’t many photos of me as a small kid but those that do exist make me glad there aren’t more.

    I resembled a small Neanderthal until I was 8 when I looked like a slightly larger Neanderthal. And so on and so forth into middle-aged Neanderthal.

    Cliff is the patron saint of Botox isn’t he? I’ve always been fascinated by the way he holds the microphone and keeps moving it from hand to hand. Something not quite convincing about it – like Tim Henman when he used to try and punch the air after winning a shot.

  47. mishari permalink*
    January 3, 2010 11:51 PM

    I expect he saw Smokey Robinson or Marvin Gaye do it and imagined it was the secret of their success. One of the funniest aspects of that old Mike Read thread (I’m Backing Boris) was discovering the extent of Read’s Cliff fixation. One didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the pity of it…

    Coming from a large family with a gadget-fancying father, I’m sorry to say that the pictoral history of my childhood is extensive. Between the ages of 18 and the present, however, very few photos of me exist. I’ve never seen a picture of myself (post-childhood) that didn’t make me think ‘who is that fucking idiot?

  48. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 4, 2010 12:08 AM

    Unless you had a keen photographer in the family, Al, I think fewer pictures were taken in those days. There aren’t many of me, fans, but those which do exist show a resemblance to the Prince’s mugshot. I suppose black hair and football heads aren’t that uncommon.

  49. January 4, 2010 4:55 AM

    Mish, a sharp-eyed reader will have noticed that the first line of my comment refers to “this normally generous crowd” and goes on to apply hic’s phrase “favoured with beauty and talent and pluck” to said crowd, but don’t let this deter you.

    I guess the rest of it might be read as a little(!)caustic, sorry, but your ensuing vitriol implies I’m not the only one strained by recent “compulsory social interaction”. Still, if you really feel the need to be nasty, it’s probably better you throw it at me than someone you might actually hurt.

  50. January 4, 2010 12:29 PM

    Compulsory social interaction’ll do it every time…

    “I do not like the human race.
    I do not like its silly face.
    I do not like the way it walks,
    I do not like the way it talks;
    And when I’m introduced to one,
    I never think “What jolly fun!””

    that, and having to come back from holiday when you didn’t want to.

  51. InvisibleJack permalink
    January 4, 2010 12:40 PM

    file, if you look carefully at the photograph above, you will see that young Mish is quite blatently squishing an obviously over-filled-with-excrement nappy into his little sister, and smiling as he does it. Look at the distress on his poor sister’s face. The fact that such a child would turn into a curmudgeon and a cranky arse is surely no surprise? That we stay here and put up with him is not merely a credit to our social generosity, but evidence that we actually have some.

    Jack Brae

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