Although poet laureate, Poncington von Dick, always saw himself as a man of the people, it was only when his chauffeur driven Silver Ghost Rolls Royce broke down that he took on the challenge of mixing with the working class and taking public transport.
This fool-hardy escapade almost cost him his sanity. Recovering in Richington’s Private Hospital for the Financially Comfortable, he told ‘Blimey! Facking Poets Everywhere!!’ magazine:
“It had to be done. One felt, to really empathise with the chip butty and whippet brigade, that one had to gird one’s mettle and head into the bull-pit that was public transport. I took both the train – which is no longer steam driven, unlike in those charming Harry Potter books – and the bus, which was nothing but a haven of depravity and oikishness. I am, however, a better man for the adventure. Although mentally more fragile.”
Out of this nerve-shattering experience, he wrote the following horrific screed:
“Howling faces, screaming at me from the mist,
With cor blimey cockney knees up horror, they crush me from all sides,
Smelling of the mines from which they must have travelled,
Or the greasy cafes and dog-fighting clubs they visit,
To gamble away their farthings for a bellyful of mother’s ruin.
Oh, calamity, why dost though beat upon my sensitive breast,
Why dost fate seek to procure me a glimpse of the fresh pit of hell?
The Queen’s English – nary a whiff;
Instead, an endless tirade of ‘fack this’ and ‘bollocks that’ and ‘cant the other’,
My ears cannot be far from death.
But hark, through the sweaty faces of the great unwashed, the wall of plebs break,
For there, the Groucho Club, where Squiffy and Snotty and Two-Arses Toffy will be,
The bus spews me – sweaty, panting and almost driven lunatic by its machinations,
Into the warm embrace of my fellow travellers.
Thanks, Squiffy – I’ll have a large one.”
Dante himself could not have penned a more nightmarish ode.