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Fashion Note by C.J. Dennis

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A Berlin cable announces that four prisoners were recently beheaded by an executioner in evening dress and wearing a top hat.

If I'm ever executed
   And quite easily I may
My dispatcher must be suited
   In sartorial array
That befits the great occasion.
   I refuse to be bumped off,
Or to listen to persuasion,
   Lest he be a perfect toff.

If he passes my inspection
   When he treads the gallows deck,
Then in gratified subjection
   I'll extend my swan-like neck.
But he simply may not back it --
   And I must decline to die --
Should he wear a dinner jacket
   With a ready-made white tie.

I shall voice extreme displeasure
   If I find him crudely dressed
In a suit not made to measure
   With a pair of pants impressed.
Then, in accents patronising,
   I'll upbraid such crude display;
And, while he's apologising,
   I shall calmly walk away.

Yet, if I am executed,
   I've a fear they will employ
Some ill-mannered cove recruited
   From the ill-dressed hoi-polloi.
And I'll yield my life, unhappy,
   To some prince of uncouth coots --
Some black darbled, shirt-sleeved chappie
   In a pair of blucher boots.

First published in The Herald, 29 August 1933;
and later in
The Courier-Mail, 9 September 1933.

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