I know I'm dull. I know I got a brain That's only fit fer fertilizin' 'air. I don't arst for bokays: I ain't that vain; But fair is fair. An' when yeh think yer somethin' uv a man, It 'urts to find yerself a also-ran. 'Urts like one thing. To git sent to the pack When you 'ave 'ad idears you're ace an' king An' all the pitcher cards down to the jack Is like to sting Yer vanity. I thort I was some use, An' now I'm valyid as a 'umble dooce. Don't mind my sulks. I s'pose I 'as swelled 'ead; But gittin' snouted ain't wot I expeck. Aw, they can 'ave it on their own! I'm full Up to the neck! Never no more! I chuck good works right 'ere. . . But lets start frum the start an' git it clear. I own I used me nut. Fer marriage brings Experience to stop yeh actin' rash. I've missed the step before through rushin' things, An' come a crash. I planned it out all careful frum the start; Me taticks was a reel fine work uv art. Me problem's this: The noos 'as to be broke Concernin' Rose. Doreen 'as to he told. The 'ow an' when that bit uv noos is spoke I've learnt uv old. I'm shrood. I wait. I watch me chance to act. The trick's to know the time an' place exact. You blokes unmarrid ain't got no idear Uv 'ow successful 'usbands works their 'eads. It's like a feller strugglin' to keep clear A thousand threads. Once let 'em tangle, an' you take the blame. You're up to putty; an' yeh've lost the game. I picks a nice, calm, cozy, peaceful night. The suppper things is washed; the kid's in bed (I 'elped to wipe the plates) the fire burns bright; An' then I led The tork around to tales uv Ginger Mick, Cunnin' an' crafty like, an' not too quick. "Funny," I sez, "that we should mention Mick. In town I met that girl - (Wot's 'er name? Rose) By accident. Poor thing looks orful sick. . . . Well, I suppose She 'as 'er worries. . . . Lost 'er job, yeh know." Doreen don't take much int'rest. She sez, "Oh?" "Yes," I goes on; "a bit uv country air Is wot she needs. She's very sick - an' low. She seemed - well - sort uv - 'opeless with.... despair." Doreen sez, "Oh?" It's 'eavy goin'; but I sticks it, grim. Poor Mick!" I sez. "I often think uv 'im. "Poor Mick!" I sez. (Well, any'ow, I mean Them words) "If you 'ad seen that girl, my dear, You'd arst 'er up to stay." "Why," sez Doreen, "She's comin' 'ere On Choosday next." (I jist choke back a shout) "That's why I got the spare room tidied out." "She's wot?" . . . I can't say more. "Well," sez me wife, "Seein' you arst 'er, why all this su'prise?" Seein' you 'ad a fight, an' risked yer life, An' got black eyes, An' played the 'ero, as the parson says, You ort to know. I've knowed," she sez, "fer days." Snowy! To think that parson cove would go An' let me down to flounder in the mud, An' scheme, an' lie, an' work the game reel low, To come a thud! "Yeh mean to say," I arsts, mad as can be, "Yeh've fixed all this without consultin' me? "Yeh mean to say I 'ave n't got the right To know wot's goin' on in my own 'ouse? Yeh mean to say -- "There, Bill," she sez, "keep quite. Why should you rouse? You told me nothin'. Parson wrote to me; An' we fixed things without yer 'elp," sez she. Women! She sits an' tells me this dead cold! To think I've worked an' worried till I'm tired, An' squeezed me brain a treat, jist to be told i ain't required! "You was too modest, Bill, to let me 'ear About that fight," she sez. "Now, were n't you, dear?" Modest? Aw, well. I s'pose I am -- a bit. A feller can't go skitin' all 'is days. But, spite uv 'er nice way uv takin' it, An' all 'er praise An' that, I got to own I'm feelin' 'urt Fer to git treated like a bit uv dirt. Nex' mornin' I ain't feelin' none too good: That snub still 'urt. I potter round about; Then go across to where 'e's choppin' wood To 'ave it out With Wally Free about 'is thievin' cow. But that pie-faced galoot won't 'ave a row. I'll 'ave the lor on 'im, I tells ' im straight. Me fence 'er out? 'E's got to fence 'er in! The lor sez that. But all the lors I state Jist gits a grin. That's all. 'E grins a sight too much, that bloke. Clean through the piece, I seem to be the joke. I know I'm dull. I know me brain's jist meant To nourish 'air-roots. But I 'ave me pride. An' when I toils an' frets, an' then gits sent To stand aside, I know me place: I don't need to be shown. I'm done! An' they can 'ave it on their own.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06|