By Don Gardner
(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)
After many years of retirement from the Coast Guard there comes a time when it is not the only thing in your thoughts. Other and more pressing matters arise. This is an ode to one of these pressing matters.
You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe in 'ere,
After you've been to JC Penney's an' lost 'er.
But when it comes to slaughter,
From the fightin' an' lack o' water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's gotter.
Now in Caroline's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time,
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Wife.
She would shop an' carry on
Till the longest day was done;
An' she didn't seem to know the use o' care.
She charged, paid cash, or writ a cheque there.
When 'Er Majesty was gone again
Dinner was always late,
An' that's what I called 'er,
The name I guv my mate.
It was Gone Again! Gone Again! Gone Again!
The dress she wore,
From an exclusive store,
A pair of high pointey shoes,
A sharp hatpin, an' her purse,
An' a charge card, an' a cheque book,
Was all the field-equipment it took.
An' in the Mall through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
She shouted, "'urry and serve me!"
Till 'er throat was brickey-dry.
Then she wopped the clerk 'cause 'e couldn't serve 'em all.
An' O! the noise, an' O!, the din,
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
Then one night I went with 'er,
To learn the shoppin',
To see the strife,
To be with Gone Again, the wife.
"You've got to charge in there,
Push, yell, elbow, an' shove,
An' don't be shy, if you want my love."
I took her advice
An' went in twice,
An' each time I was throwed back out.
Get out of 'ere!" was the shout
From the crowd of angry women.
But Gone Again waded in a-chargin',
Or payin' with cash.
I shan't forgit that night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
From a woman's knee to where a codpiece should 'ave been.
I was chokin' mad with pain,
As I crawled from the scene.
An' she that spied me first,
An' asked about my thirst,
Was my good ol' grinin' Gone Again.
"Bring a cuppa, an' put some Jewel Tea* in it.
Hurry, or I'll marrow you this minute!"
But she guv me a gin tonic,
An' she lifted up my 'ead,
An' she smiled at where I bled,
An' she guv me this advice:
"Never get between a mother an' 'er daughter,
When there's a sale 'two for a dollar an' a quarter.'"
An' she drug me away
To where a bench lay,
An' a policeman came an' charged me with drinkin',
An' incitin' a riot.
'E cuffed me an' took me to 'is gaol,
An 'e put me in this dark cell,
After my 'ead stopped spinnin',
Safe from the crowd of angry women.
Before I'm released on bail,
Gone Again will guv me bloody 'ell.
You Corinthian leather-shoppin' Gone Again,
Though I've wed you and bed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better shopper than I am, Gone Again!
* - ‘Juldee’ in Kipling’s poem