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In a man’s life it is not unusual to be moved. Not in the physical sense, until old age at least, but in a more spiritual way. One can, for example, be ‘moved to tears’ by something particularly sad or humbling (such as the pivotal recital of ‘If’ in Mike Bassett: England Manager – we all have our vices…).

If said feeling is strong enough, you may act on it, to the tune of a statement like “I was sufficiently moved by that earthquake appeal, that I now donate £5 a month”, says a sanctimonious prat. As appeals go, I personally have only ever been moved by one, and that was when the re-hash of “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?” made me angry enough to try to work out how I could feasibly kill Bob Geldof. Emotion works both ways, you see.

However an incident recently did move me to positive action, through the most unlikely medium. Poetry.

Now, I have a great appreciation of poetry, stemming largely from the wit and wisdom of a (now sadly deceased) teacher I had at prep school. I think it is hard to deny the power of some of the great works such as Vitae Lampada by Henry Newbolt, in my boyish mind one of the most inspirational things man has ever created. There is also something innately satisfactory about making things rhyme. God knows why, but there is.

Those who know me, however, will understand that I am not the sort of person that sits bawling into the sunset, while writing down stanzas of their innermost feelings. Nor am I the type to be angered into action. The fact that these two unlikely events appear to have combined is inexplicable to me, but at the time there seemed no alternative. I had to get it off my chest and the pen was mightier than the sword… And also I don’t own a sword, which limited my options.

So anyway, here is the fruit of my labour. I suppose it should be enjoyed like a solar eclipse, a freak occurrence that promises considerably more entertainment than it delivers.

Oh, and the incident in question was being shown round a house.

Foxtons Tosspots

“would you care to look round this semi-detached?
I’ll be sycophantic, ’till bid price is matched.”
I’ll offer you water
Our fridges are stocked
(not like the old days when customers flocked
to our many branches, in through the glass door
and out to my mini with hideous decor).
I get up each morning, decide what to wear
and spend three hours styling my hair,
In the style of Beckham, maybe Coolio

or whatever tosspot’s on the front of “Hello!”.
I arrive at my desk and pick up my phone
To cold call poor people, looking for a home.
I’ll pester them constantly:
“would you care for a viewing
of some crappy house?” I care not what they’re doing.
I start to get desperate, I must hit my targets
I won’t be a stat of these turbulent markets.
They’ve taken my mini,
I’ve only my phone
left with me. No custom. I feel all alone.
And so I am fired,
for the old days I hanker,
I loved work at Foxtons, because I’m a wanker.

by Harry Harland

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