Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When Duty Calls



When Duty Calls
A monologue by Paul Busby Esq, reflecting on Ronnie Wootton's kind offer to stand-in at Salvo Fair 2009 on the garden ornament and architectural pitch of Marcus Olliff, who would have attended in person but for the competing attraction of Glastonbury that weekend.

Trooper Wootton, famous foot-soldier of the Salvo regiment
Had stood his turn at sentry-go in Marcus Oliff’s tent.
Three days he stood as Sentinel, and Taker-of-the-Ackers,
In scorching heat, with aching feet, and sticky sweaty knackers.

Not one to shirk one’s duty, at seventy years and four,
Our Trooper never left his shift of sixteen hours or more.
Pockets jingling, arsehole tingling from sweat ran down his back,
He gave the mob his Sedgley gob– the spiel, the gab, the craic.

They bought, they spent full fortunes to Ron’s black country charm.
He even kept his teeth in, and called the ladies “Ma’am”.
He didn’t scratch his bollocks, he didn’t pick his nose -
He didn’t curse, say fuck (or worse, what with Black Country prose)

Trooper Wootton stood his guard – while all about him fell.
He didn’t even heed Ma Nature’s call (the reason for the smell)
. . . and when the bugle sounded that the “stand-down” came about,
The last to leave his post, that eve, was Wootton, falling out.

The “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome” of warriors, post-war
Is nowt compared to those who boast an age of seventy-four.
With his Tour of Duty over, the Knebworth squad disbanded,
Our game old dog went on foot-slog – as usual, single-handed.

Up and down the country, in and out of salvage premises,
The UK record summer heat was Trooper Wootton’s nemesis.
His chariot had no air-con – and, while pounding at his beat
Trooper Wootton like a good ‘un – succumbed unto the heat.

Collapsed, exhausted, sun-dried, of Ron the medics said,
“There’s healthier-looking blokes his age, but usually they’re dead”
So in a cot they Ron did trot, and put him on a drip,
Collapsed but off the front at last, our trooper got some kip.

All the usual intravenous pick-up tonics were no good.
Ron’s ECG responded not to plasma, but black pud.
Insulin? Turn it in! – it’s not the stuff to raise
A bloke like Trooper Wootton - more like mushy peys.

They pumped him up with Banks’s ale mixed up with HP sauce
And fed him faggots, mushy peys and scrawty dick, of course!
. . . and back on breakfast lunch & tea, they got him on his feet
With rabbit stew (and dumplings, too) recovery was complete.

So Trooper Wootton troops again, and back to ply his trade
You’ll never keep a good man down, when a dollar’s to be made.
He coughs, he farts, he rattles still, but plods on like an Austin -
And if you say “How’s Ron today?” he’ll tell you, simply “Bostin!”

© Busby July 2009

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