Big bag o’ pants

Each week he would give me laundry,
For he had no machine of his own, and I,
An amiable soul, willing to help and filled
With the goodness of one who wants only to
Spread joy to humanity,
Offered to do a load for him.
‘Someone else did offer’, he said,
‘But I’m too embarrassed to give them anything other
Than the good stuff.
Any chance you can do my pants?’

So each Friday he’d lumber me with a big bag of
A bulging canvas sack
Filled to the brim with multi colored briefs, scats,
Boxers of every hue, a solid
10kg of smalls which I’d have to lug home
On the bus
Wondering how someone can go through so many
In one week
And deciding it was best not to ask.

And for months, yes, I would take part
In this underpant migration, that
Bulky canvas bag bulging with pant delight
As I stood on the lip of the bus doorstep,
The whole vehicle slightly tilting with the excess weight,
Wondering if the driver would charge me for two seats,
And then, scurrying up the narrow steps to the upper deck
Often wedged halfway to emerge gasping,
A cork from a bottle, stuffing the pants beside me
Between the seats that no-one may gaze upon
This curiously crusty cornucopia
And figure me to be
Some kind of fetishist.

But one day, oh,
Disaster struck.

Lady fortune deserted me at just the wrong moment.
Halfway down the bus steps in preparation of a
Pant-assisted disembarkation,
A jab on the brakes of the bus and I almost fell,
Toppled down the steps yet saved at the last moment
Only to see that bulky bulging bag bounce,
Fall from my hands, and spill its contents
Far and wide throughout the lower deck.

Like a fountain, an explosion,
A brief firework display
Of briefs,
The lower deck passengers,
Like astronauts welcomed home by a ticker tape parade,
A knicker tape parade,
Sat and flinched as pants rained down in all their
Gussetty glory,
Some put in mind of the Blitz, others
Of a particularly uncoordinated acrobatic display.
John from the chip shop had Y-fronts on his head.
Jan had a pair land in her lap.
The lad at the back went right off his KFC
When his six piece variety box was breached
By boxer briefs
While these suddenly animated underpants
Simply slithered down the bus steps,
A musty Niagara, a thousand stinky slinkies,
While I held on with all my might,
Now surfing this
Predominantly Primark-produced wave of polyester pants,
While some kind of dark conjuring or undie witchcraft
Caused one of them to stick to the front windscreen,
As the driver, suddenly obscured
When a pair of XXL novelty Spider-Man scats
Wedged over his eyes, nose and ears
Like a multi coloured Mexican wrestling mask,
Slammed on the brakes.

Hardly anyone screamed.
That old wartime community spirit
As disposable gloves were handed around,
And a rake borrowed from a nearby hardware store
And the canvas bag refilled,
That I should escape that bus with my dignity
As tattered and shredded
As the vast majority of those intimate undergarments.

Monday morning
I handed the bag back.
Cheers, he said,
I owe you one.

An Ode to the Daily Mail


I'd do anything for my mother.
She brought me into this world
And she was there during those teenage years
When I was all
Hormones and acne
And now
I try to pay her back
Anyway I can
Often and without fail
Except when she asks me to go to the shops
And get her a Daily Mail.

I mean,
What if someone sees me?

I’m not religious
But I believe that one day, God
Was violently sick
And that the vomit spewed forth
In a never ending cascade,
A torrent of absolutely disgusting
Relentless upchuck
And when she finished she
Wiped her chin and said,
I’ve gone and created
The Daily Mail.

Oh thou art a putrid and filthy concoction
In those pestilential pages
A generation booms its last and softly dies
Amid sofa advertisements,
Nodding in agreement with letters to the editor,
Opinion dressed up as fact.
Your headlines are misleading,
Your logic is twisted,
You stand for an England
Which never existed.
You’re a comic with no humour
Your editorials are absurd
Peddling anecdote and rumour
And about as patriotic as a turd.

There’s a middle England somewhere,
A place of patios and pathos,
Middle class porcelain and so achingly white
Yet you wouldn’t know it because
Everyone’s so bloody crimson with rage
Because of what they read on the page
Of the Daily Mail.
The lace curtains twitch
When there’s someone in the cul de sac
Because nothing sells better
Than righteous indignation
And a subtle reassurance that
The reader’s prejudices are normal.
Anger has become performative
And inevitably, heteronormative.

Oh, Daily Mail,
Oh you rancid hate-mongers,
Oh,You peddlers of puke,
Oh, You snivelling badger-breathed scumbags,
Oh, You’re a parasite on the face of intellectual debate,
A fart in the public toilet of common decency,
A ranting screaming spitting shower of bastards
Who make
Mussolini look like the Chuckle Brothers.
I’d rather snog an electric eel
Than be seen
Carrying your stench-emitting
Saliva spitting
Sorry-assed excuse for casual racism
And institutionalised transphobia.

Oh dear!
They haven't got any,
Is what I say to the Muv
When I come back from the shops
Empty handed.
Well, she says,
It is popular.