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Selected Monologues and Poems


  Selected Monologues

  and

  Poems

  Olive Sweetman

  Copyright 2014 Olive Sweetman (Text)

  Vicki Trowler (Line drawings)

  & Ken Sweetman (Photograph)

  The Author

  Olive Sweetman’s interest in monologues and poems began as a 10-year-old schoolgirl during World War 2. At local concerts she would recite well known monologues such as ‘Albert and the Lion’ by Marriott Edgar and famously performed by Stanley Holloway. She then started to write her own and having been born and brought up in Maghull Liverpool she found it natural to write in the Lancashire idiom.

  After moving to North Wales, Olive served for many years, as a Community Councillor and Youth Leader in Gwernymynydd.

  In 1981 she was employed by BBC Local Radio based in Mold, as an interviewer and presenter on the BBC Radio Clwyd morning programme. She retired in 1993.

  Contents

  The Amazing Adventures of the Brown Family

  Good Lad Les

  The Haunting of Fred Platt

  Rosie’s Rescue

  The Sad Saga of Annie Fat and Sally Tall

  The Last Performance

  The Amazing Adventures of the Brown Family

  A family lived in Postlethwaite

  A northern English town

  There was Mother, there was Father

  And their young son Bertie Brown.

  Quite a normal little family -

  Or so you would have thought,

  But all their lives were altered

  By some breakfast food they bought.

  Father wanted cornflakes -

  And Mother,' Shreddy Tops'

  "But Mother", little Bertie wailed,

  "I want them Wheaty Pops!"

  At the grocer's Mother said,

  "It's waste o' brass is that,

  You only want the Rocket that's inside

  So no! That's flat."

  The shopkeeper assured her that

  Far from being a waste

  "There's a contest he can enter

  And besides - he'll like the taste."

  "Our Bertie", grumbled Mother

  "Is exactly like his Dad,

  I'm fair fed up with both of them

  They've gone Space bloomin' mad!"

  At home, Bert opened up the box

  And scrabbling with his hands

  Unearthed a plastic rocket

  And some strong elastic bands.

  And then he read on t'packet

  What the makers had to say

  About a prize they offered

  Of a trip to U.S.A.

  With gathering excitement

  He decided to take part

  He found the contest easy

  For young Bert was pretty smart.

  They posted off his entry

  With the minimum delay

  And anxiously he waited

  For the postman every day.

  At last, there came a letter

  With the most exciting news

  That Bertie and his family

  Were invited please, to choose

  If they’d rather have the money

  Or the trip to Houston base.

  "We'll take the brass", said Mother

  With a firm look on her face.

  But simple weight of numbers

  Won the day for Bert and Dad

  And soon, all three took off by plane

  For t'rocket launching pad.

  A meal was served up right away,

  Ma said,"I never thought

  They'd feed us - what a wicked waste

  Of sandwiches I've brought!"

  On landing at the Rocket base

  They were met with much ado.

  A big brass band was playing

  And they'd hung some flags out too!

  A film star straight from Hollywood

  Met Father with a kiss -

  Said Mother,"Ee well what a cheek!

  We're 'aving none of this!"

 

  "Oh don't take on ", said Father

  "It's just the Yankee way

  An' any road, I like yon lass -

  She's made my bloomin' day.”

  Meanwhile, young Bert saw nothing-

  But the Rocket standing there,

  Its motors ticking over

  And its nose stuck in the air.

  The Astronauts were all aboard

  The countdown twenty four

  When little Bertie chanced to see

  A partly opened door.

  The little lad, unnoticed

  Up the gantry quickly flashed

  And shot like streak o' lightening

  Through the door - and shut it fast.

  'Midst cheers and yells the Rocket rose

  And headed for the moon

  And Mother said,"Thank Goodness -

  I'd 'ave been fair deafened soon!

  Said Pa,"By gum, I'd like to go

  T'moon - and that's a cert,

  I fancy being an Astronaut.

  'Ere Mother - where's our Bert?"

  The uproar was immediate

  And a search was soon in hand,

  With road-blocks and publicity -

  Even t'President took t'stand.

  "This British subject must be found

  The blame for it is ours."

  And no-one guessed that Bertie Brown

  Was halfway to the stars.

  So Ma and Pa went home

  And left a message that they'd gone

  For Bert, in case they found him -

  That he'd got to follow on.

  Said Mother, "See, a lump sum

  Would have been the best by far,

  We could have bought a washer

  And a carpet, and a car.”

  A chap came out from 'Wheaty Pops'

  And said they'd like to give

  All t'Wheaty Pops the Brown's could eat

  As long as they should live.

  "Ee well, it's very fair is that

  And generous", Mother said,

  "I s'pose you wouldn't care

  To make it 'Shreddy Tops' instead?"

  Well next, a message was received

  From Astronauts on t'moon

  They'd had a good look round there

  And would be returning soon,

  And by the way - they'd found a lad

  Who'd stowed away inside,

  He said he wasn't going back -

  And thanked them for the ride.

  He'd met a Lunar family

  Who'd invited him to stay

  And he'd promised that he'd take them

  On a trip to earth, one day.

  "The cheeky little begger",

  Mother said, "It's your fault Dad!

  You always were too soft with him,

  I said you'd spoil the lad."

  Well gradually the fuss died down

  In Britain and the States

  Bert, losing all news value

  Was abandoned to the fates.

  The months and years slipped by

  And Ma and Pa were getting on

  But often, they would sit at night

  And talk about their son.

  Pa was rather thin on top

  And Ma was getting fat -

  For years of eating 'Shreddy Tops'

  Had had effect like that.

  One evening Father said to her

  "I wonder if tha knows

  How old our Bertie would be now -

  'Round twenty I suppose.”

  "Now let me think", said Mother

  He was ten when he took off -

  I hope them Lunar folk

 
Knew how to treat 'is nasty cough.

  I reckon that he's twentythree -

  No, more like twentyfour.”

  Just then they heard a noise outside

  And banging on the door.

  "Now what the heck's the matter",

  Pa said, rising with a grunt,

  Outside a crowd was standing

  With a Bobby at the front.

  The policeman with his notebook

  Eyed Pa sternly up and down

  "I've 'ad a strong complaint", he said,

  From t'neighbours, Mr Brown. "

  "Oh aye", said Father, bridling,

  "And what's it all about?

  It best be good young Jackie,

  I'm sure as I've done nowt.”

  "Please Mr Brown, on duty

  My name is P.C. Coates", the Bobby said

  And there and then

  Proceeded to take notes.

  "There's something on your premises

  That's causing great offence

  I'll ask you to explain it please"

  He said, "It makes no sense!"

  And when he looked, poor Father

  Found it hard to trust his eyes,

  For standing in the back yard

  Was a craft of wondrous size.

  Father called for Ma

  And as they stared at it - they saw

  It had a lot of windows

  And an aerial, and a door.

  "Stand back!" the Bobby ordered

  "Everyone keep out of t'way!"

  "I'll not", said Ma,

  I only planted out that rhubarb yesterday!"

  Indignant - up she marched to t'craft

  You couldn't hear a sound,

  "Just get away from here", she shrieked

  "It's not a parking ground!"

  The growing crowd stood paralysed

  And gazed at Ma with awe,

  And then they gasped,

  As all espied, the slowly opening door.

  A ladder sprung from nowhere -

  Giving everyone a fright,

  And from the open doorway

  Shone a brilliant Cosmic light.

  A figure then descended,

  The suspense was getting great -

  Till "Ello Mother", Bertie said,

  "By 'eck, you've put on weight!"

  "Our Bertie", cried his Mother,

  As she clamped him to her chest

  "You never did like rhubarb

  So I s'pose I should have guessed!"

  Said Pa "I'm pleased to see you,

  It was nice of you to call,

  Your Mother's got a hot-pot on

  And suet pud an' all!"

  P.C. Coates stepped forward

  Bent on sorting out the mess,

  "I've reason to believe you're Brown,

  And late of this address.”

  "Well bless my soul", said Bert,

  "It's Jackie Coates. And on the Beat!

  Why when you were a lad

  You were the naughtiest in t'street!"

  The Bobby was offended

  And he took it most amiss

  "Eh lad", said Bert

  "They'll make you up to sergeant after this!"

  "Now Bert", said Pa, we'll have to hear

  The story of your life."

  "Well 'alf a tic", said Bert,

  "I'd like to introduce the wife."

  Unnoticed in the fuss, a Being

  Had stepped outside the door,

  And weakly, Mother said

  "I'm very honoured Miss, I'm sure."

  But Pa , who stood astounded

  By the creature standing there

  Completely lost his manners

  And could only stand and stare.

  "Her Mum and Dad", said Bertie,

  "Have decided not to come,

  They didn't like the look of Earth

  They thought it rather rum!"

  "Well as for that ", said Mother

  "I've never in my life

  Seen anything much rummer

  Than that thing you call your wife!"

  Bert told them not to worry

  That she didn't look quite real,

  They'd just dropped by for now,

  And wouldn't stop and have a meal.

  "Well thank the Lord for that", said Ma,

  "I don't like sounding rude,

  But seeing THAT for very long

  Would put me off my food!"

  So after the departure

  Of young Bertie and his Bride,

  The crowd dispersed -

  And Ma and Pa and t'Bobby went inside.

  And eating hot-pot, Jackie said,

  "You'll not be pleased I'll bet,

  To see your little Grandchildren,

  They'll look the queerest yet!"

  The Browns agreed , to see them go

  Had been a big relief,

  And that they were quite happy

  That their stay had been so brief.

  "For sure as eggs", Ma said,

  "I would have rather sunk through t'floor

  Than introduce that Lunar thing

  To Mrs 'er-next-door!"

  Said Dad, "Well living all this down

  Will really be quite hard!"

  And left to check the damage

  To the rhubarb in the yard.

  The next thing Mother heard

  Was Dad shout "By! Whatever's this?"

  And dashed out in her slippers quick

  To see what was amiss.

  They stared in pregnant silence

  And in disbelieving state,

  For standing in the back yard

  Was a six -by-four-foot crate.

  "Our Bertie must have dropped it off"

  Said Pa in stunned surprise,

  "You're right" said Mother pointing

  As a label met her eyes.

  "This fellow is a Robot"

  Read Bert's message on the box,

  "His name is Joe - you'll find

  He's worked by several different clocks.

  His springs are coiled, just keep him oiled

  Don't worry, he won't hurt,

  I hope you'll find him useful,

  Well ta-ta for now, Love Bert."

  Father fetched his crowbar

  And the crate was soon unsealed,

  And to their great excitement

  Joe the Robot was revealed.

  Cast in gleaming metal

  With arms and legs and face,

  Said Ma,"I'll likely go berserk

  With that around the place!"

  "Oh rubbish", answered Father,

  "Just think of work he'll do,

  He'll tidy up the yard for me

  And wash the pots for you.”

  "Ee - do you really think so?"

  Marvelled Mother, greatly struck,

  "I fancy watching telly

  While he cleans up the muck!"

  They looked at several buttons

  And then pressed one labelled 'Walk'

  And growing rather bolder

  Yet another, reading 'Talk'

  The Robot stirred, and spoke

  Just like a Dalek to the life

  "Take me to your Leader",

  And Pa answered "That's the wife!"

  "Instructions please", said Joe to Ma

  "Just speak and I will hear",

  "My stars! The thing's alive",

  Said Mother, petrified with fear.

  But Pa invited Joe to

  "Kindly step inside the door,

  And if he REALLY didn't mind -

  Perhaps he'd mop the floor?"

  The Robot jumped to action

  And he'd mopped it in a trice

  So Mother gave his arm a pat

  And said he'd done quite nice.

  As Joe the Robot settled in

  The news soon got about

  And folks arrived in Postlethwaite

  To have a good day out.

  They studi
ed Joe in action

  From morning until night,

  And Outside Broadcast units came

  To film the novel sight.

  Mother bought new clothes

  And had her hair done every day

  While Father left his job

  For showing Joe were better pay.

  They travelled up to London

  For an audience with the Queen

  Who said the Robot was

  The most fantastic thing she'd seen!

  Offers poured in right and left

  For Ma and Pa and Joe -

  To star in anything they chose

  A million pounds a go!

  "Well that's a bit o' summat like"

  Said Mother, “For a start

  We'll have a great big posh Rolls Royce

  So's we can look the part!"

  The Brown's are rich and famous now

  And though they're living high,

  Mother still eats 'Shreddy Tops'

  And Father - rhubarb pie.

  And sometimes, on their patio

  They look up at the moon,

  And Ma says "Do you think Bert's kids

  Might drop in, sometime soon?"

  "Well aye, they could I s'pose ",

  Says Pa "We mightn't like 'em though,

  We're p'raps best off the way we are -

  Just thee and me – and Joe."

  **********

  Good Lad Les

  By ‘eck! 'e were great were Les Dawson

  Though dumpy - and not very tall

  I loved 'im as 'Ada and Cissie'

  With Roy Barraclough, bosoms an' all!

  And old Les - when 'e played the pianner

  So serious, and all out of tune

  Then t'pianner 'ud break up in pieces

  And 'im still sat there like a loon!

  Then on Blankety Blank as quizmaster

  The expressions 'e pulled - what a case!

  You'd 'ave thought 'e were india-rubber

  The things 'e could do with 'is face!

  And the time when 'e brought on them dancers!

  'Roly Polys' - an' 'e picked the name!

  Who but Les would 'ave thought t'load o' fatties

  Could 'ave come to such fortune and fame?

  That gravelly voice - can you 'ear it?

  The lugubrious way that he'd tell

  His really fantastical stories -

  And you'd almost believe 'im as well!

  Ay! I miss 'im - I reckon we all do

  But in Heaven - I'll bet they're right glad!

  We can all use a laugh and a chuckle

  And they'll get 'em up there - with that lad!

  **********

  The Haunting of Fred Platt

 

  A chap lived right next door to us

  Called Frederick Percy Platt,

  A bachelor, and fiftyish

  (And getting rather fat!)

  You'd never think to see him

  He was more unique than most,

  But Freddy Platt WAS different -

  He was haunted by a ghost!

 
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