The Guardian of Hell

Hell-Norway

In Norway for a holiday
I chose to take a train.
I found a railway manager
Standing in the rain.

I asked him how I’d get a train
From here to Tromso town.
He looked at me askantly,
Then put his flag and whistle down.

Pausing a while, he sighed a sigh,
“Just go to Hell ” he muttered.
I thought how rude, how quite uncouth,
Such harsh words to have uttered.

I didn’t like his acid tone
I felt so hurt, and, sadly,
Wondered what I’d done to him
That made him treat me badly.

But then he started telling me
About a town called ‘Hell’,
Sitting on the Tromso line
A place where many dwell.

How the long-suffering railway chief
Had laboured to dispel
The reputation he’d acquired –
‘the Stationmaster from Hell.’

So at last I understood
I repented feeling badly.
Now I’d love to go to Hell,
Pay respects quite gladly.

Then standing by the station sign
I’d take a snap as well,
To show how I admired him,
This Guardian of Hell.

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To Titillate The Tourists

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TO TITILLATE THE TOURISTS

To be beside the sea
That is our nation’s fashion;
It’s obviously the place
For promulgating passion.

But how do seaside shoppers
Decide just what to buy?
Are they tempted by advertisements?
I often wonder why.

Well, once upon a summer,
On a hot and sunny day,
On holiday in Devon,
On a stroll around the bay.

I came across this advert
Along the promenade;
I must admit initially
I thought I’d have it barred.

A touch of seaside whimsy
That’s OK and I’m all for it,
But such immodest come-ons,
Who’d have ever thought it!

‘KNICKERS FOR A NICKER;
POUCHES FOR A POUND’,
To titillate the tourists,
Well, such ads are all around.

But on a seafront shop
I didn’t think it right;
I even thought that something
Was wrong with my eyesight.

I don’t know why it was
I was so overcome,
With thoughts of indignation
I really was struck dumb.

It was just a bit of fun,
Why was I so upset?
But when little George cried ‘Look Dad’
I broke out in a sweat.

“That’s what you and mum wore
When I spied you yesterday.
Can Sue and me have one each,
Like you?”, I heard him say.

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NOTE:

‘Nicker’ is Cockney Slang for One Pound.  The OED says it’s origin is unknown, but suggests it could be originally horse racing slang.  The term … has …  London associations … and dates from the early 20th Century (it explains that terrible old joke: ‘Why can’t a one-legged woman change a pound note? Because she’s only got half a (k)nicker!’ and which nobody seems to know the origin of).

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