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Busted for Muttering

August 1, 2014

So I got to the wrong end of the vegetable aisle at Asda

When a formidable young mum blocked the way, I couldn’t get past her

With her kid, her pram and what, for the sake of the rhyme and the narrative

I shall describe as a truculent looking elderly relative.

Perhaps telling her child off for requesting some fruit

Or similarly engaged, she stayed obstructing my route

While I stood discreetly by, a model of restraint

Tolerating her boorish behaviour with the patience of a saint

Merely remarking, more to myself than to her

“Take your time, don’t worry, I can wait here forever!”

However, she not only heard what I’d said but addressed me

With that admirable Southampton manner of speaking extremely directly

“Just ask if you want me to move, I aint psychic,”

She said aggressively, nudging her sidekick

“What’s the matter? Don’t you know what to say?

Just ask me politely to get out of the way.”

Yet somehow I couldn’t and backed away silently

Droll monologue crushed, heart beating violently

Exchanging one last, not unsympathetic glance

With the child of the woman who’d stopped my advance.

Usually accustomed to being ignored

My witty soliloquies prevent my getting bored

But, though I often yearn to share my wit

On this occasion I didn’t enjoy it one bit

The woman was right, I had no reason to sneer

She had her business and I must’ve looked queer

A miserable old man, muttering under his breath

Unfit for anything but loneliness and death

If I’d been nicer about it we may

Have become friends at the end of the day

Instead of which I was left, alone and full of shame

With nobody but myself upon whom to heap blame.

After that I have tried to keep my thoughts to myself

To remember that muttering aloud shows poor mental health

But still, one cannot help thinking one’s thoughts

It seems that people constantly demand observations and retorts

Which, when you try to keep them silently in your head

Compel you to pull extravagant facial expressions instead

And that’s even more ageing so, I think quite rightly

I’ll carry on making smart remarks, but really really quietly.

[Can’t come up with anything new yet, but I don’t think I’ve blogged this before; if I have, I apologise, but it must’ve been a while. And it’s a reminder of a bad habit of mine that has been getting me into trouble lately, again!]

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From → Critic, Poet

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