I was prompted to put this up as a response to another blog elsewhere which made me think of this which I wrote about my local pub, some of which is true. The remark about not wearing shorts in England came about at the end of a fairly drunken evening and seems to make sense, except the fellow who uttered the phrase was not prompted in any way to comment on the wearing of shorts nor had the subject come up in conversation. It was one of those wonderful moments when for no reason at all someone uttered a random phrase and it was placed in my memory bank for a later date to re-emerge in this poem.
THE REASON I
DON’T WEAR SHORTS IN ENGLAND
My local pub is a wonderful place,
full of humour, wit and joie de vivre.
Folk of every race, creed and colour,
who laugh, chat and drink together.
I’m not so keen on football supporters, who
mostly loud, stand in your face.
They all assume you care who’s winning,
even when you look away.
Next door there is a coin-op launderette,
and a haberdasher, now closed down.
It gives the place an old-fashioned feeling,
or is it just the people there?
I find it’s best when nights are quiet,
like being in an old-style movie.
A row of faces all sat along the bar,
everyone with a tale to tell.
The wonderful old dyke with cigarette holder,
held aloft, now never lit.
Uncle George who’s a serious alcoholic,
always with a gin in hand.
John who cycles in from Palmers Green,
on a ladies bike with wicker basket.
Or the chap who’s always in the corner,
reading Philip Larkin prose.
Then the older drunken fellow, who would,
often utter this strange phrase.
The reason I don’t wear shorts in
is because of varicose veins.