How to Get On in Society
Phone for the fish knives, Norman
As cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.
Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.
It's ever so close in the lounge dear,
But the vestibule's comfy for tea
And Howard is riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me.
Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know that I wanted to ask you-
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?
Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones;
Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.
Do phone for a pizza Norman,
since Olga is having a strop.
Then say that I want it delivered,
you’re not going down to the shop.
We’ll have to get Desmond to call in,
the sauna’s beginning to leak.
My microwave’s out of commission;
the hoover’s beginning to squeak.
I must send a text to Jemima.
We may get an email from Max
and when you’ve stopped surfing on Google,
do put some more bumph in the fax.
Now give me some thoughts for our party,
the one at the end of the week.
It’s got to be terribly ethnic,
all ouzo and feta and Greek.
I want to have proper moussaka,
souvlaki that’s straight from the grill,
oregano and fresh coriander,
all drizzled about with some dill.
Oh Norman! For God’s sake kick Olga,
she’s getting me rather un-nerved.
And tell her to open the pizza,
I do want it daintily served.
Taken from 'How to Get On in Society@ by John Betjeman for the Copy Cat Contest.