2010 Poetry Challenge

National Poetry Month

Peter Willowdown

Old Fogies

Old fogies with bogeys for brains,
they get free tickets for buses and trains,
they get special offers on villas in Spain,
they endlessly grumble, moan and complain,
telling you all about their operations and pains
- old fogies: they're driving me insane!
If you sit behind one on a bus
it won't be long before you start to fume and cuss.
Pension day at the Post Office is a nightmare;
special O.A.P. Bingo Night in the High Street is even worse,
even hardened skinheads stay home with a quiet bottle of cider.
You're not even safe in the library
- old ladies poke you with umbrellas and baash you with their handbags
just to get at a newly returned Agatha Christie
and as for using the internet, you might as well forget it:
you haven't got a hope in hell unless you're a spotty youth
or are over sixty and your name is Bert or Nell.

Old fogies - its a bloomin' conspiracy;
they fought the war for the likes of us
and now they keep us in purgatory.
They have the wrestling on at full volume
and live like hippies in a commune,
drinking endless cups of tea
and then wondering why they need to pee so much.
They're out of touch with modern sensibilities
- they're out of touch with their own kneess! -
they hardly ever say thank you or please,
only 'speak up' or 'I'm not deaf, you know!';
they don't think rules apply to them,
they sniff at men wearing aftershave
but smell like mothballs in a pig-pen...

On the Darby and Joan annual outing
they're popping prescription pills like Smarties.
They make the Blackpool Illuminations
seem like Sodom and Gomamorrah,
knocking back neat vodkas and gin
as if there were no tomorro',
scaring the charabanc driver witless
with their old time karaoke
and demanding that he pull in at every services they pass
to use the lavatory and do the hokey-cokey...

And now, what's more, with all the advances in the medical sciences
and cheap or freely available surgical appliances,
it seems there'll be no end of 'em...
hunting for bargains in Tesco and Safeway,
driving Reliants too slow down the motorway,
draining the National Grid every twenty minutes or so at the weekend
during the omnibus showing of Emmerdale and Corrie
to brew their endless mugs of cha: bloody Grandma and Grandpa!
Roaming the house in flannels and vests
and doing their Esther Rantzen and Boy George impersonations
when I'm entertaining important business guests...

Old fogies - sometimes I find it difficult to hold back the tears,
watching them dribbling, gurning and leering
they seem to get younger and younger with every passing year
and now, this Friday, I'm finally appearing
at the Magistrates Court, charged with criminal assault
and filling all the sugar dispensers in the Albany Street Day Centre
with arsenic and salt...
with a bit of luck the Judge will throw the book at me
and bang me up for a good long time
- away from all the Old Fogies!

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