Hard work

In Competition No. 2373 you were given Gilbert’s line ‘A policeman’s lot is not a happy one’, and asked for a poem beginning the same way but with some other worker replacing ‘policeman’ and (if you like) using ‘lot’ again for ‘one’.

Unhappy is the lot of the comper and competition-setter, of course, but I was impressed by the range of your other unfortunate toilers — gorillagram-deliverers, apostles, toddlers, wheel-clampers, goalies, newsreaders, pedants, backbenchers, porn stars and greengrocers (spelling problems). God bless us every one, as Tiny Tim said. The prizewinners, printed below, get £25 each, and the Cobra Premium beer goes to Martin Parker.

A poet’s lot is not a happy one,
As he tries to make a living from his verse.
There’s no recognition, income, fame or fun,
For his chance of publication can’t be worse.
Too few publishers will help a living poet
By enabling him to get his new work read.
Though the sods may like his work they seldom show it;
They much prefer their poets to be dead.

It’s the late ones who bring in vast sums of money.
You can earn a better living once you’re dead.
For the struggling current poet it’s not funny
That it’s corpses who are earning all the bread.
So to make ends meet what I should now be doing
Is to buy a knife and go and cut my throat.
Then my royalties will surely start accruing
When they posthumously publish what I wrote.
Martin Parker

A fisherman’s lot is not a happy one,
As the EU cuts his quota, ton by ton,
For the stocks of fish are falling
In a manner so appalling
That if action isn’t taken, there’ll be none.

A fisherman’s life is getting very fraught,
For French and Spanish craft of every sort
Come and sweep the ocean floor
Till there won’t be any more,
No, there won’t be any fishes to be caught.


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