Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-22-12
A woman with longish, stringy blond hair approached me in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. She was carrying a full-size kidney-bean shaped desk with full-size chairs attached to the rounded corners and one in the middle of the curved side.
“Ma’am,” she said, “my name’s Myrtle Rancidz and I’m a traveling moderator and you’re Gwen, right?”
“Yes?” I admitted.
“Good,” said Myrtle, plunking the desk down on the blacktop. “I’m a Debate Moderator. Sit down, please. You and I are going to practice.”
“Just answer the questions.”
(Now you may wonder why I would go along with this scenario, but I needed material for this column. So I sat down.)
Myrtle : “Gwen, I ask you to create a rhyming poem depicting how human life starts out with the wearing of diapers and how human life ends in a nursing home with the wearing of adult … er, undergarments.”
Gwen: “Excuse me?!” I blurted.
Myrtle: “Pay attention,” said Myrtle. “You are to rhyme the words, Pamper and Depends.”
Gwen: “Well now, Myrtle,” I protested, “I’d hate to offend anyone who may be in their Golden Years and afflicted with er ….”
Myrtle: “Let me point out, you are in your Golden Years.”
Gwen: “Yes, but I admit nothing and deny everything.”
Myrtle: “You have two minutes to think up a poem and two minutes for rebuttal. You will be timed.”
Gwen: “Well, okay. I’ll give it a try. May I have some water, please?”
Myrtle handed me a plastic bottle of water, a yellow-lined pad and two Sharpies. The following is what happened. I apologize.
Can I Depend On You To Pamper Me?
I’m saying, please! Me you should Pamper!
But you say, well, it Depends!
On gee, you constantly put a damper
On me again and again!
You say you want to Pamper me?
Your free support you’ll lend?
But all you do is hamper me!
And tell me, it Depends!
You smirk at me in an irksome manner,
But I know what that portends!
You’ll only profess that me you’ll Pamper,
And furnish the Depends!
You babble it’s me you want to Pamper,
But you’re giving me the bends!
From listening to your snarky grammar!
On that you can Depends!
You’ve failed to offer me a Pamper!
(That you can’t defend)!
Your prattle comes across as clamor
On the side of a box of Depends!
And though you say it’s me you’ll Pamper
I know I’ll have to fend
For myself and so I’ll scamper
To Wal-Mart for Depends!
In the Old Folks home, me they’ll Pamper
Like clucking mother hens,
And even if I drool and stammer
They’ll keep me in Depends.
I put down my Sharpie and shook my cramped writing hand. Myrtle waggled her head making her hair flop about, gathered up the yellow pad, the two Sharpies and said, “Get out of the chair, please.”
I obeyed, stood up, started to say something, then gaped as Myrtle hoisted the desk with attached chairs to her shoulders and … disappeared. I blinked.
Oh, well I thought, as long as I’m here I might as well do some shopping. ❖
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