The Special Category

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An optional explanation about the anagram in green, the subject is in black, the anagram is in red.

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901


CURTAIN RODS

On the first day, she sadly packed her possessions into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had all her belongings taken away by a removal company.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful teak dining-room table. She put on some soothing background music and dined alone by candlelight on a plate of shrimps, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of spring-water.

When she had finished, she went into every room and inserted a few half-eaten shrimps dipped in caviar into the hollow centre of the curtain rods.

She then cleaned up the kitchen and, with a final 'goodbye' left the house.

On the fourth day, the husband moved in with his new girlfriend, and at first it was all beautiful harmony.

Then, slowly, the house began to smell.

They tried everything: cleaning, mopping, and airing-out the whole house.

The vents were thoroughly checked for dead rodents, and all the carpets were steam cleaned.

Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to fumigate the whole house, during which time the two lovebirds had to move out for several days. They even paid to have their expensive wool carpeting replaced. But nothing they tried worked. The house still reeked.

Suddenly, people stopped coming to call.

Repairmen refused to do any work in the house.

The maid quit.

Finally, they could not bear the smell any longer and decided they had to move out. But a month later - even though they'd cut the price by a half - they still could not find a buyer for such a smelly house.

Word began to spread, and in time even the local realtors refused to visit or to return their calls.

Unable to wait a moment longer for a purchaser, they had to borrow a really enormous sum of money from their bank to buy a new house.

Then the ex-wife called the man and enquired how things were going. He told her the grim story of the stinking house. She listened quietly and replied that she was missing her old home terribly and would be quite prepared to reduce her final divorce settlement in exchange for buying back the house she loved.

Knowing she could have no possible idea of how awful this smell was, he accepted her offer and settled on a sale figure that was a tenth of what the property had initially been priced at ... but only if she signed the papers that same day.

She concurred, and within two hours her lawyer delivered the completed paperwork.

A week later the ex-husband and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched a moving company pack their possessions to take to their new abode.

And, just to spite the ex-wife, they even took the curtain rods.

I just love a happy ending, don't you?


Charles and Helen Stevens weren't able to conceive children and eventually decided to use the services of a surrogate father to kick-start their family.

On the day that the proxy father was due to arrive, Charles kissed his wife and said, 'I'm off to work now. The man should be here shortly.'

Half an hour later, by chance, a travelling baby-photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to clinch a sale on the off-chance. 'Good morning, Ma'am', he said, 'I have come to...'

'There's no need to explain,' the embarrassed Helen cut in; 'I've been expecting you.'

'Have you?' said the photographer. 'Well, that's, er... good. Did you know that babies were my specialty, then?'

'Well that's what my husband and I had hoped,' blushed Helen. 'Please come in and have a seat!

'Well,' she said, awkwardly, 'where do we... start?'

'Just leave everything to me,' he said, 'I normally try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed after. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there.'

'Goodness me! Bathtub, the living room floor? No wonder it has never worked out for Charles and me!'

'I must stress that none of us can guarantee a successful one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be highly delighted with the results.'

'Gosh, that's rather a lot!' gasped Helen.

'Well, in my line of work a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that.'

'Don't I know it,' muttered Helen wryly.

The photographer then opened his briefcase and extracted a portfolio of his baby pictures.

'This one here was done on the top of a bus,' he said.

'Good heavens!' Helen exclaimed, clutching her throat.

'And these twins turned out extremely well - when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with.'

'Difficult?' asked Helen.

'She certainly was. In the end I had to suggest taking her to the park to get the job done right. The people were crowding round four and five deep to get a decent look.'

'Four and five deep?' gasped Helen, her eyes wide with disbelief.

'Yes', the photographer replied. 'And for more than three hours! The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Then, when some squirrels suddenly began nibbling my equipment, I just had to pack it all in.'

Helen leaned forward. 'Huh? They actually chewed on your... equipment?'

'Sure did; that was a dreadful event. Right; if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod and we can get to work straight away.'

'Tripod?'

'Oh yes,' he stressed, 'I need a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be held in the hand for very long.'

And that's when Helen fainted.


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902

[An anniversary poem marking thirteen years since my mother passed away. Green Hill is the name of the cemetery where she rests]


The Wayfarer by Patrick Pearse

The beauty of the world hath made me sad,
This beauty that will pass;
Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy
To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,
Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk,
Or little rabbits in a field at evening,
Lit by a slanting sun,
Or some green hill where shadows drifted by
Some quiet hill where mountainy man hath sown
And soon would reap; near to the gate of Heaven;
Or children with bare feet upon the sands
Of some ebbed sea, or playing on the streets
Of little towns in Connacht,
Things young and happy.

And then my heart hath told me:
These will pass,
Will pass and change, will die and be no more,
Things bright and green, things young and happy;
And I have gone upon my way
Sorrowful.





Helping Hand

The sun is heat, and it is light
Then we saw a milestone of sorts;
The moment came when thirteen years had passed on
And the brilliant passion of my twenties
Felt long ago.
I recall a poem, which has three lines I want all to hear:
"Some Green Hill where shadows drifted by
Some quiet hill where mountainy man hath sown
And soon would reap; near to the gate of Heaven"
They beautifully resemble a resting place
That father has grown to love
A garden with his fabulous green fingers
And people see a quirky anagram
They just about understand.

Don't be drawn in by my story:
Everybody has highs and lows.
Tea and sympathy help distract
A girl or two and a boy in plight.
Grab that opportunity and be kind; be kind
Properly


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903


In a queue line for getting a cab,
A pimp there so often would blab.
So for his girls in the ghetto,
He had a three inch stiletto!
Not for feet but the kind that will stab!


Officials are on a big quest -
We men find a stooge thats the best.
Ditch inhibition for prattle,
or when he fought her huge battle,
Nail a blond killer put to the test!


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904


Monster Mash
(Sixties One-hit Wonder, attributed to Bobby "Boris" Pickett)

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

They did the mash
They did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the monster mash

The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolf Man
Dracula and his son

The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, "The Crypt-Kicker Five"

They played the mash
They played the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They played the mash
It caught on in a flash
They played the mash
They played the monster mash

Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?"

It's now the mash
It's now the monster mash
The monster mash
And it's a graveyard smash
It's now the mash
It's caught on in a flash
It's now the mash
It's now the monster mash

Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash
The monster mash
And do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash
You'll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash


Dumpster Dash
(theme by Rod Worden)

I'm jabbin' my remote late Monday night
And I see a very nasty sight
One brimmin' metal trash can rolls into my view
Then, in a moment...a motley crew

They made a dash
They made one mad dash
To the show 'Dumpster Dash'
The new cable smash

Goin' for the cash
Thru garbage they thrash
Minin' steamy trash
They do the Dumpster Dash

From homes repo-ed, livin' in their cars
They move to Miami to be minor TV stars
Red, white, 'n' blue, shiny shimmery lights
A horn blast starts the mayhem 'n' fights

Insanely they dash
Vyin' for some cash
In garbage they clash
They do the Dumpster Dash

We watch many a crash
Thru eggy goo they slash
Minin' in messy trash
They do the Dumpster Dash

The home viewers are havin' fun
(Ya-hoo!)
--A man has just been stunned--
(Ya-hoooo!!)
Who'da guessed this baloney could make it?
(Ya-who?)
Imbibin' beer 'n' Mountain Dew,
Gosh, man is so done!

The gray-green can was rockin',
All were thrashin' thru slop
Legs 'n' elbows flyin'
Then one horn blasted "stop"
They were told to take five
For info from the station to arrive:

"Men, get some cash!
Come to my bash!
Come to my Dumpster Dash
Come, sift thru my trash!

Never mind a measly rash,
Come on, go thru my mash!
Just make a mighty dash
Get to my Dumpster Dash!"

Stiff in a coffin the farce should sit
Yet, it's become a mammoth TV hit
Changin' the channel, I soon got the gist
And I thought in astonishment, "Can this hooey exist?"

Then I saw 'em dash
On the Dumpster Dash
Seems that crazy Dash
Has caught on in a flash

They dive for the cash
As each other they bash
They do the Dash
They do the Dumpster Dash

Never mind, it's nailing the brand
Shows like Dumpster Dash are the fare of the land
For those human undead who want things that blow
This is the best Reality TV show

So make the dash
Get in and Dash
Enter Dumpster Dash
It's a network smash

You'll grab some cash
Waste it in a flash
After the comin' Crash
All will do the Dumpster Dash


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905

[A Shakespearean Sonnet turned into another sonnet with a hidden constraint]


William Shakespeare's Sonnet No. Fifty-Five

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.


What tyranny would end hope in our world very soon?

Shall war upset our thorny harmony
Or will that frothy wave inter us all?
Shall monstrous beasts strain the monotony
Or will these wholesome angels make us fall?
Will scientific yearnings stretch their limits
Or will we all be killed by 'subprime' vendors?
Might every strong fume hide this sun and dim it
Or may the sun itself enflame Earth's splendors?
Is it true that our pet will tell us "stuff it"
Or that quite soon, those robots might revolt?
Can everyone be hurt by plagues and snuff it
Or shriek and shudder in one seismic jolt?
If one of them hits home, rely on love
And wait as pious Noah for a dove.



And here with the hidden constraint revealed

What tyranny would end hope in our world very soon?

Shall war upset our thorny harmony
Or will that frothy wave inter us all?
Shall monstrous beasts strain the monotony
Or will these wholesome angels make us fall?
Will scientific yearnings stretch their limits
Or will we all be killed by 'subprime' vendors?
Might every strong fume hide this sun and dim it
Or may the sun itself enflame Earth's splendors?
Is it true that our pet will tell us "stuff it"
Or that quite soon, those robots might revolt?
Can everyone be hurt by plagues and snuff it
Or shriek and shudder in one seismic jolt?
If one of them hits home, rely on love
And wait as pious Noah for a dove.