But, even as he heaps shit on me, I continue undeterred. Recently, my colleague Scott Horne has produced some fine parodies of well-known poems for the Vadney’s enlightenment and guidance, published as comments on my main Vadney blog. They were so impressive that I decided not to compete, but rather to write a straight and more or less original ballad in honour of the Vadney, to kick off a new poetry blog devoted, once again, to the Vadney. In the event, Scott contributed a few stanzas (8, 9, 11) to the ballad, and suggested some improvements to two others (15, 28) as well. So here it is. A combined effort.
The Ballad of Harold William Vadney III
The Vadney puffed his little chest,
Said “I’m a fine translator!
Just call on me; forget the rest;
For noöne could be greater.
I know four tongues extremely well,
Though English isn’t one:
In English I can’t read or spell,
And grammar I have none.
I’m a Fellow of the RSA,
A pukka British club,
Where high achievers talk and play,
And eat fine British grub.
I was elected long ago,
Though I’m not on their list.
But that’s their problem: they don’t know
Just quite how much they’ve missed.
The Institute of Linguists, well,
They once made me a member:
Though I remind the IoL,
It seems they can’t remember.
I joined the army at 22;
With guns I was a hero.
The chance of using them, I knew,
Was very close to zero.
For I signed up in ’72,
Just as the war was ending,
And no more troops to ’Nam the U.
S.A. it would be sending.
My Commendation Medal is
Adorned with leaves of oak—
Well, so it was, or may have been;
The leaves they did revoke.
In valour, few of Sparta’s men
Could call themselves my betters:
Takes guts to be clerk typist when
You don't know all the letters.
I gained a host of high degrees
And so great is the fame
Of all my universities
That I can’t spell their name.
In pharmacy I forged my way
And started at the top:
I marvel at what one today
Can do with Photoshop.
There’s one thing that I cannot bear:
I can’t stand to be mocked or
Reviled for that white coat I wear
Bearing the title ‘doctor’.
A physician I would like to be;
And held a PhD
Or maybe that was three.
But sadly this achievement for
Deletion it was fated,
When my CV would be once more
For ‘accuracy’ updated.
The selfsame fate that took away
My medical degree
And later knocked out my MA
Destroyed my PhD.”
The Vadney sighed and took a rest
From his intense jobation,
But then once more he puffed his chest,
Resuming his oration.
“I’ve had a gutful of these folk
With nothing more to do
Than go through all the words I’ve spoke
To check if they are true.
But all their cunning aye backfires;
For they refuse to see
That I can turn them into liars
By ‘updating’ my CV.
Then I can sue them in a court
Of civil jurisdiction,
For not accepting as they ought
As truth my works of fiction.
When I was running to be judge
In my quaint rural town,
My neighbours said I had a grudge
And tried to run me down.
Of course I launched a libel suit
For fifty million bucks.
It only failed to bear such fruit
’Cause Judge Teresi sucks.
But still I got to waste their time
And posture, rant and rave
With arguments not worth a dime;
Attention I did crave.
When in the end the judge did find
That they had told the truth
(So I had lied), I thanked him kind
Though piercing tongue with tooth.
For I know more about the law
Than any high-powered jurist;
Though I’m a clapped-out two-bit whore,
My wisdom is the purest.
These guys don’t know the Vadney Act,
My very own decree,
Which makes all questions, law or fact,
Decidable by me.”
By now he was so puffed and bloated,
Like some exotic toad,
That in my mind a dread thought floated:
“Perhaps he will explode.”
Explode he did, a moment later,
Bullshit and tripe went flying,
And in the ground was formed a crater;
Though not a soul was crying.
You’d need a thousand garbage cans
To clean up every bit;
I wonder at so small a man’s
Containing so much shit.
I hope you enjoyed that. I’ll be copying Scott’s parodies here soon, and there may even be some more on the way.