How I Got Rich And What Happened Then
Written in summer of 1976.
I used to eat my lunch with groups
of businessmen from Campbell Soups.
We drank a drink at lunch each day
Of Coca-Cola mixed with hay
And talked of pending corporate plans
And willow-haired orangutans.
I spent a lot of time this way
At doing things that were not play.
But while I was away at work
My wife went just a bit berserk.
So I gave my wife a giant tome
To keep her company at home.
I simply, clearly just was not –
That is to say – at home a lot.
Though fun we had when I was there
Tossing cookies in the air
Or watching Dodgers playing Sox
On multi-colored faceless clocks.
We did these things so much, you see
Because we were so rich were we.
I made my money selling stuff
Like plastic prunes and candied snuff.
I planted seeds from seedless grapes
And sold the sprouts as seafood crepes.
I sold some coffee in a cup
And leased a fork to drink it up.
I sold a man a pair of lamps
with perforated ceiling clamps.
I bought exotic types of booze
And sold it all to polish shoes.
I grew some trees from stale eggs
Which fruited beer in gallon kegs.
I bought a candle and some wax.
I spun them into purple flax
Then wrote it off as income tax
And stole my lawyer's Cracker Jacks!
I plucked the feathers from a fish
And sold the rest as lic-or-ish.
I sold them all in Topenish
To a man named Cavendish.
He ate it with a real flair,
A certain regal, haughty air.
I made bold plans to tyrannize
A northern Spanish enterprise
In grapefruit-palms and dates and figs
And maladjusted corkscrew pigs.
(Alas it failed, sad say,
But I got them anyway.)
And when I died, I died in style
Laughing smugly all the while
They put my coffin in its crypt
And read some Damoclean script.
I went away at last to see
The Gates of Heaven welcome me.
St. Pete was there, beside the Gate.
He said I was a little late.
I bowed my head, apologized,
Wondered if he realized
The angels were all out on strike;
I couldn't drive; I had to hike.
Then a soul ran right past me
As though he simply couldn't see.
Then another did the same
And thousands more - a horde - they came!
They pushed me rudely to the side.
St. Peter told me I had lied.
Well, okay, I hadn't hiked.
I thought that slow, and so I biked.
As from his Book of Rules He read,
“Tsk tsk-tsk tsk-tsk tsk, Pete said.
So PICKED up I my bags and left
For that damnéd lower cleft.
I stomped away then turned and paused.
How much fuss had my fib caused?
A pardon'd come if I'd just wait.
Saint Pete smiled then shut the gate.
A bus rolled up marked Hell this Way.
I climbed aboard. I tried to pay.
"There's no charge as you can tell.
Outbound's free. You pay in Hell.
This bus is special 'cause it can float.
Retracts its wheels, becomes a boat."
The bus was old with not much power.
It bumped along for 'bout an hour
Til a bang and then a thunk
And even worse a loud kerplunk.
The driver left to check the bus.
He returned, explained the fuss.
"We're almost at the River Styx.
The bus is broke and I can't fix
The things I found. It's just too tough.
I checked 'em all. I've had enough.
The left-hand gizmo's really stuck.
The Dudkin Ring has gone amok.
I checked the wuffler. It's ok.
The ring-nut seized I'm sad to say.
A tire's come right off its rim.
The bus won't start. We'll have to swim."
Then the bus just disappeared
And things for me got really weird
God appeared with old St. Pete.
"We've a problem. We've got to meet."
St. Peter said, "It's quite unique.
It's your records. We took a peek
at our polls, all done by Gallup.
Found your number. It's not up.
It takes us two to set things right.
I brought God to use his might."
God said, "I've never sent souls back.
I did some research. Found a hack.
Turns out this problem's easily fixed.
Just stand still. My potion's mixed."
A wink a nod a look my way
and God undid the whole last day.
They shook my hand and bade farewell,
said I wouldn't Go to Hell.
They faded slowly from my sight
and dimmed their glow to black as night.
I reappeared, surprised my wife,
told her let's get on with life.
My death was just a clerical error.
They sent me back. It's only fairer.
We smooched and hugged, went out to eat.
Had pickled oysters fused with meat.
We ordered crêpes with grated pear
and lit 'em up to add some flair.
Then I pondered what to do.
I quick thought up a thing or two.
I'd profit from financial schemes
using cash inversion themes.
I'd buy a cat and teach it tricks
to wow the guests at trader Vic's.
I'd give them all tatami mats
and waterproof electric hats.
I paused a moment. I could see
My brand-new stuff was vintage me!
I mused a while: what to do?
I mused some more and then I knew.
I'm only happy being me.
My plan was simple as can be.
I'll carry on with selling stuff
like plastic prunes and candied snuff!
Copyright © John Mudge | Year Posted 2016
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