Monday, 28 December 2009

A Phone Call on the Night before Armageddon

Hello, God? Yeah, hi, this is Nigel. Accommodation Manager, Purgatory? Yeah well, apparently we’re expecting a bit of a rush tomorrow, is that right? Word is it’ll be everybody this time, yeah?
Oh, apart from those guys in the space station: they’ll be along a bit later. Well that’ll take some of the pressure off.
Look, before we get all panicky down here, can I just check this isn’t one of those drills? Like the Cuban missile crisis, y’know, where everybody was saying “What’s the point of having nukes if you’re afraid to use them?” and then they chickened out at the last minute?
I certainly do remember it. I’ll say. Expecting all that company and hardly anybody turns up. At it all night, I was, cooking vols-au-vent. Lived on the bloody things for a year.
I see, it’s not like that. Oh, more like the Flood, eh? Sorry, consider the Flood as being what? A dry run for this one. Ah yes, I see what you did there. Very funny.
Well, can I point out a couple of things? Firstly, there weren’t nearly so many people in the world when that happened, and even then you didn’t wipe all of them out. And secondly, that was a long time before this place was set up, wasn’t it? No Catholics then, were there? And you can’t have Purgatory without Catholics, can you? So we can hardly look on the Flood as a worthwhile training exercise. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this and it seems to me we’ll have to compromise a bit on our service commitment. You know, the bit that says, “Every case will be considered on its merits”? Well, we obviously won’t have time for that, will we? So I’d propose we deal with them in batches. All mime artists, Morris dancers and telesales personnel straight downstairs, all clergy who’ve never abused children can go straight up to you… pardon? Oh, right… both clergy… Okay, moving on, also downstairs would go politicians, traffic wardens and the French.
You have an objection? You can’t condemn a whole sector of society just like that? All right, how about three quarters of the traffic wardens?
Yeah, you’re right, much more reasonable.
Anyway, that still leaves a lot of people to be sorted out, and I was wondering if we couldn’t simplify it a bit. How about everybody goes to Heaven? Didn’t I read somewhere that you had many mansions up there? Ah, Paxman, yeah… point taken. Well, what do you think we ought to do?
Oh I see. Everybody downstairs, and if they haven’t managed to fit into the system after three days, they can come back up. Yeah well, if God Junior did it that way, why not? Catch you later.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


In the county of Trebollocks, near St Vitus-by-the-Sea
There’s a warty-faced old harridan who’s everything to me
It’s my deeply mad Aunt Bernard, grandma’s cousin twice removed
(Well, they couldn’t leave her where she was; the vicar disapproved)

In a tumbledown old shack with stinging nettles round the door
Which the dustman and the postman and the neighbours all ignore
She sits chewing dark tobacco, playing banjo through the night
And she does a bit of shrieking, just to give the kids a fright

For the children of St Vitus are like children everywhere
They don’t understand “compassion”, they don’t know it’s rude to stare
But they’re good at spotting loonies, which in Mad Aunt Bernard’s case
Is incredibly un-difficult, it’s right there in your face

People tend to keep their distance, on account of her aroma
It's enough to clear your sinuses or wake you from a coma
If she ever had a boyfriend, well, she's managed to forget him
Local gossip says she had one, and it also says she ate him

From her dusty, battered trilby to her worn-out army boots
She’s a hymn to eccentricity, she cackles and she hoots
But there’s deep and timeless wisdom in the things she’ll often say
In her toothless, addled,”up-yer-pipes” old-biddy sort of way

So be kind to Mad Aunt Bernard, and be grateful you’re all right
You don’t giggle at a tortoise, you don’t rub a toad all night
Yet I wonder, don’t you envy her, this spirit wild and free
In the county of Trebollocks, near St Vitus-By-The-Sea?

Will Hames
June 2009

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Eddy's Egg

You wouldn't look twice at young Edward
If he sank all his teeth in your leg
He was dull, he was grey, then one magical day
He was given a woozlebird's egg

His mother had cooked it for breakfast
She'd served it with fingers of toast
It looked rather strange. Still, the box said "Free Range"
Only, this one was freer than most

To all of those chefs on the telly
Mum wasn't a serious rival
She was such a bad cook, Ed had learned not to look
Just tuck in and pray for survival

But it didn't taste bad, as it happened
He thought, "Don't let appearances fool ya!"
Then something went PING! inside of his skin
In a way that was downright peculiar

A change had come over young Edward
It was more than his heart could desire
From a dim little bloke who's a bit of a joke
He was suddenly quite the high flier

Oh, he still couldn't spell, not for toffee
And his maths wouldn't win him a cup
But with arms open wide, he could swoop, he could glide
He could soar like an eagle. Straight up!

To the Valley he flew, to watch Charlton
Twice he swooped down and scored a great goal
Then instead of a hat-trick, he buzzed over Gatwick
And frightened air traffic control

He learned some quite valuable lessons
As he flew to the North and the South
Such as, up in the skies there are billions of flies
So try not to open your mouth

He glided on, down to the Oval
They gave him a souvenir stump
Then over Thames Mead, he lost height and speed
And came down to earth with a bump

He leapt and he flapped and he fluttered
But he couldn't get airborne again
There was no point in squawking, he'd have to start walking
He hadn't enough for the train

When Eddy arrived home that evening
All dusty and sweaty and tired
He examined the shell that had served him so well
Yes, its Best Before date had expired

There's a gap in poor Eddy's young life now
And it seems there's no way he can fill it
He's been left with an urge to sit on a perch
And talk to himself and eat millet

Now, woozlebird eggs are not common
They're as rare as an octopus feather
But if one comes your way, check it says "fresh today"
Or give it a miss all together.

Will Hames
June 2009

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

To All Critics Everywhere

Although you are entitled to your special point of view
I think you're a hermaphrodite...
You know what you can do!

Will Hames
May 2009

Friday, 1 May 2009

Smelly Nelly (a new rotten old Cockney song)

Perhaps it doesn’t bother you, although it really should
There’s lots of words for what you do, and none of them are good
Now black’s a groovy colour and it doesn’t show the dirt
But even so I think you ought to change that stinky shirt

Oh, Smelly Nellie, I have tried to put this deli – cately
But it’s pretty clear the message isn’t getting through
Oh, Smelly Nellie, how I wish you were on telly, ‘cos
You turn me off, and I would like to do the same to you

Well, maybe you could take a bath or even have a shower
Your personal aroma’s getting riper by the hour
There’s stuff you buy in chemists that’ll make it go away
They sell it as a roll-on or a splash-on or a spray

Oh, Smelly Nellie, I have tried to put this deli – cately
But it’s pretty clear the message isn’t getting through
Oh, Smelly Nellie, how I wish you were on telly, ‘cos
You turn me off, and I would like to do the same to you

I know that you get dizzy when you’re standing near a sink
But water’s very useful, and it isn’t just a drink
Don’t worry if you wash your hair, it isn’t gonna frizz
The flies are buzzing overhead, now why d’you think that is?

Oh, Smelly Nellie, I have tried to put this deli – cately
But it’s pretty clear the message isn’t getting through
Oh, Smelly Nellie, how I wish you were on telly, ‘cos
You turn me off, and I would like to do the same to you

Will Hames
May 2009

Friday, 24 April 2009


Jimmy had a problem, it was one he couldn’t hide
It made him want to stay indoors and never go outside
For Jimmy wasn’t handsome, no, he could have been far cuter
Without the great distinction of a truly massive hooter

It ran in Jimmy’s family, as noses often do
His father’s was a whopper and his mother had one too
His schooldays had been dreadful, other kids were rarely kind
They teased him every day and he’d pretend he didn’t mind

He never had a girlfriend, never even had a date
But Jimmy had a dream that he was sure would change his fate
To help him live a normal life, the same as other guys
He’d have some plastic surgery and cut it down to size

It took him seven years to save the money for the op
He lived on bread and water, and he simply wouldn’t stop
Denying every comfort that his body might be urgin’
For Jimmy was determined to afford the finest surgeon

The day arrived, and it was time to take the bandage off
And looking in the mirror he was sure folk wouldn’t scoff
To see him now, so handsome he could hold his head up high
And confidently, boldly, look the world straight in the eye

He strode out from the clinic with a gleeful, jaunty air
He smiled at all the pretty girls, returning every stare
But as his satisfaction reached a level quite profound
A falling grand piano mashed him straight into the ground

He thundered through the Pearly Gates, demanding to see God
Who listened to his tale and said, “You know, it’s really odd
I’d planned all sorts of goodies that were lined up to surprise you
But now you’ve lost your great big schnozz, I didn’t recognise you!”

Will Hames, April 2009

Saturday, 18 April 2009

House Husband

I'm sorry, we've run out of that tequila you adore
I anticipate a measure of complaint
Yes, if I'd gone out shopping, then there would have been some more
But I couldn't, so I didn't, so there ain't

You're looking for some underwear? It pains me to admit
I forgot to put the washing on the line
So I stuck it in the dryer and your panties now don't fit
I suppose you'll have to wear a pair of mine

You're going to a premiere! Ah yes, that's what you said
Well, wash your face and polish up your teeth
Then paint your toes and fingernails, I'm sure you'll knock 'em dead
In Versace, with old boxers underneath

I've read the kids a story and I've kissed them all goodnight,
Reassured them there's no bogeyman to fear
I've given them their cocoa and I've told them not to fight
But they're whining. Did I feed them? No! Oh dear

The bread's all dry and pitted and the lettuce limp and curled
The cheese is far too old to tempt a mouse
It's time that I admitted, with the best will in the world
I'm absolutely s*** at keeping house

Will Hames
April 2009

Friday, 17 April 2009

Little Metal Bottletops

I'm starting up a little metal bottletop collection
Collecting little metal bottletops
It's getting rather difficult to find a good selection
They never seem to have them in the shops

I've taken all the metal tops from off the bottled beer
But now the situation's getting drastic
In every little bottle shop from Timbuktu to here
The little bottletops are made of plastic

Which means I'll take a while to reach my goal, but even so
I'm really looking forward to the day
When I've enough to make a proper racket as I throw
My little metal bottletops away

Will Hames
April 2009

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


I don’t play golf with Charlie now
We don’t see eye to eye
We had a nasty falling out
Which ended in “Goodbye!”

I didn’t mind the fact that Charlie’s
Jokes were really weak
And even though his swing was sorely
Lacking in technique

That didn’t seem to matter
As we’d play a round or two
But there are some unsporting things
A guy should never do

Like sneezing as you’re teeing off
That isn’t fair at all
And accidentally on purpose
Treading on your ball

And cheating any time he can
And making lame excuses
And crowing when you miss a shot
And sulking when he loses

And handing you a putter
When he knows you need a driver
Would you put up with stunts like that?
No. Charlie wouldn’t either.

Will Hames
March 2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


On top of Old Smokey, a wise man was perched
Admiring his plants in their pots
When into his vision, there suddenly lurched
A teenager covered in spots

“Oh, hi!” called the youth, “I’ve been looking for you
You’re known as a bit of a sage.
My Mum says I might learn a good thing or two
From one of your wisdom and age.”

The wise man looked up from his fine Busy Lizzie
And said, with a voice dry as hay,
“Please try not to fidget, you’re making me dizzy
Sit down. Better still, go away!”

“Oh no,” cried the youngster, “you’re not being fair
You don’t even know why I’ve come!
I’ve ridden all day on my horse over there
I’m worn out, and I’ve a sore bum!”

“It’s not half as sore as it’s going to be,”
Said the sage, “if you stand there and moan
So either explain why you’re bothering me
Or push off and leave me alone.”

“Thing is,” cried the youngster, “I need some advice
On how to be clever and quick
‘Cause none of the girls ever looks at me twice
They all think I’m dim as a brick!

“Please tell me the secret of wisdom an’ stuff
In words even I’d understand.
I need it made simple and punchy enough
To write on the back of my hand.”

“Be silent, my son,” the old wise man replied,
“And try to go into a trance
Switch off all the chatter that’s boiling inside
And give your poor brain cell a chance

“In silence you’ll find all the wisdom you need
There’s really no reason to fear it
You’ll find inspiration, it whispers indeed
And that’s why you can’t seem to hear it.

“Keep silent, and if they suspect you’re a prat
Believe me, it’s better by far
Than spouting opinions to this one and that
And proving how stupid you are!”

Will Hames

Sunday, 25 January 2009


You’re perfect as you are today
I wouldn’t change a single thing
Or have you any other way
So here is what I’m promising:

Provided you accept my friends
And water my begonias
And work all hours the good Lord sends
To make my life harmonious

And always laugh at all my jokes
Yes, even those you’ve heard before
And never look at other blokes
And give me children, three or four

Provided you don’t deviate
From views I hold traditionally
And never age or put on weight
I’ll love you unconditionally

Will Hames
January 2009

Friday, 9 January 2009


You've been at death's door and you nearly went through?
You woke in the mortuary, naked and blue?
You'll always find somebody worse off than you...
My cousin, young Freddie Lafitte
Don't talk of your ailments in front of this lad
No matter what illnesses you've ever had
Our Freddie's been through it, but three times as bad
It's a wonder he stays so up-beat

If your liver's a mess and your pulse so unsteady
That you should be pushing up daisies already
You know you can always rely on our Freddie
To go just that little bit better
Trepanned in an accident somewhere in Spain
Transported to hospital, screaming with pain
His wide-open cranium letting in rain
On the back of a knackered Lambretta

He told us the surgeons were taking his throat away
Mother believed him and gave his old coat away
You've had a bypass? This fool had a motorway
Boy, did he give us a fright!
They know him in resuss so well, it's a farce
He's such an incredible pain in the arse
They made him a Regular Visitor's Pass
To the tunnel of dazzling light

Much as we pity his sad situation
We're tired of him causing us such consternation
I think he's addicted to defibrilation
And that's how he gets all his kicks
But when it's all over, I'm sure that he'll find
That Death is fed up with him changing his mind
He'll take him half way and then leave him behind
On the banks of the old River Styx

Will Hames
January 2009