Inga's Santa pic......I LOVE it!

115


J ARTHUR SMALLPIECE
I have noted from the comments to blogposting 114 that there seems to be a demand for me to copy into the blog the esoteric versifying of our esteemed Poet Laureate. I have to tell you that there are two primary reasons why this isn’t going to happen. Firstly, they are copyrighted, albeit to the Dead Poets Society. And secondly, remember that they are not sent to me electronically (as it were) but via snailmail. Believe me, they are far too long for me to copy out verbatim. Perhaps J Arthur might consider emailing them to me if we all ask him really nicely....

Which leads me on to the subject of the man/woman him/herself....

Although I pretend that not knowing the true identity of our Poet Laureate doesn’t bother me, it does. I have, quite literally, lost sleep over it. J Arthur Smallpiece is (I think it is safe to assume - although you never know) a nome-de-poetiste. So is he/she male or female? Local or further-flung? Alive or dead? (That last may sound like a fatuous or even offensive remark, but bear in mind that each of his/her poems is copyrighted ‘Dead Poets Society’, so he/she could be contacting us from beyond the grave, except that I’m not sure the Post Office delivers mail posted there - although you never know about that, either.)

Nothing in Smallpiece’s poetry hints at his/her identity, either. I’ve searched in vain for oblique or even opaque clues; clever references to age, location, background and experience. But there are none to find. He/she covers his/her tracks masterfully/mistressfully. (See how extraordinarily difficult it is to write about someone whose gender you don’t even know?)

I’ve even tried the approach which I imagine would be used by one of my all-time heroes; no, not Margaret Rutherford or St Aidan or E B Lamb but Sherlock Holmes. Assemble all the evidence and, having rejected the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.....

So what do we know to be incontrovertibly true about him/her?

He/she is perfectly obviously a person of taste and discrimination. After all, they listen (fairly attentively, it seems to me) to The Nightshift. I suspect that they also read this blog; that they are, indeed, reading it right now!!! What a perfidious thought. It’s brought me out in hives....

What else do we know? Well.......his/her vocabulary is admirably extensive, especially when it comes to intoxicating liquor, fruit and vegetables and adjectives.

He/she has what appears to be an innate sense of rhythm and metre which incorporates an ability to build in quite complex multisyllabic words (like incorporates and multisyllabic) into a strictly and meticulously observed pattern of rhyme and rhythm. His/her abilities in this respect are positively para-Shakespearean.

The subject matter of his/her poems, however, gives nothing away, unless you can infer some hideous truth from the fact the he/she seems to be concerned with pubs, barmaids and rhubarb. So nothing there, then....

You could, I suppose, conclude that he /she is a little behind the times because, firstly, the poems appear to be laboriously typed rather than laboriously word-processed; secondly, they invariably arrive by post rather than via email (and no, these days you can’t necessarily tell where the letter was posted from the postmark). Perhaps the Smallpiece household is computer-free or computer-unfriendly.

Or perhaps J Arthur Smallpiece is too discumknockerated by liquor, lust and rhubarb to be able to operate a computer. We just don’t know....

And I guess we may never know. Our Poet Laureate seems grimly determined to keep his/her true identity forever a secret. And maybe the biggest clue lies there. Perhaps he/she knows we would not be able to cope with the trauma that would follow such a revelation. A famous local politician? A rags-to-riches local tv celeb - perhaps one of a pair? A man of the cloth? A member of the local landed gentry - or even of the Royal Family!!!!

Unless he/she finally reveals all with some glorious flourish of the sort not unknown amongst men of an artistic bent, we must allow him/her to take his/her secret to the grave - or wherever they intend to go when the pubs shut.

CONTACT ME
Post comments on this blog or contact me in any one (or more) of these ways....
ian.robinson@bbc.co.uk
text 07786 200954 (while the programme is on-air)
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565
Ian Robinson, The Nightshift, BBC Radio Newcastle, Spital Tongues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE99 1RN

NOTE
Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.




19 comments:

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

I love Inga's Santa photo too, but hope it isn't a reflection of the pilot's flying abilities! After all, would you board a plane which has just taken out Santa?

You've got me pondering over J. Arthur Smallpiece too. If we all say who it isn't, then you will be left with who it is, perhaps? So I'll start the ball rolling by saying it isn't me. You must have guessed that anyway, as you've had a sample of my poor poetic abilities!

I may be wrong in thinking that J Arthur isn't a blogger. After all, why spend hours using a typewriter if you have a computer at hand? However, I do think that J Arthur may have made him/herself known to others. So maybe you could start a campaign to track him/her down. Also, if you announce that you've had requests to post his/her poems on your blog, but you need her/his permission, plus an electronic version, maybe you'll get a response. Good luck!

Inga said...

???? discumknockerated ??? HELP !!!
Looks like a word of a condition one has to be in to think of and be able to use despite of it !!!

Inga said...

Thanks, Lawrence, once again. I did not catch all of the Highway man story but what I did was great and I did get the music! ABBA, Beatles, Village People: Eat Your Hear Out - Boogie Woogie is where it's at! They just don't compose them like that any more, do they?

Maureen said...

Thanks Ian,
It all becomes clear now ...mmm.
Let's hope that the mystery man (and I am sure that only a man would write in such a style) will take pity upon us and participate in some way, after all he obviously feels the need to communicate ...
Inga, lovely picture. Do they really decorate the planes just for Christmas?

Inga said...

Cute comment, Maureen LOL!
But here, as they say, is the rest of the story and the reason I and Ian found the photo so funny:
A few years ago a tele-marketing business here in Piggott sold Santa balloons. We saw these at a bank and they were really amusing. They just sort of floated around,but yet held by some trick just above the floor. Well, I decided that we had to have one of these for our grandson. It was, unfortunately, only available wholesale but somehow I managed to obtain one of those Santa balloons. They were quite large and Wendell did not think it wise to attempt to blow the thing up himself so he finally talked one of the flower shops [who were selling these balloons] into blowing it up for him. Please note here that helium gas was used so they would float around the room. He somehow managed to get this balloon into his van and the plan was to bring it back on Christmas day to our grandson's house. Well, when he got back to his residence, he was going to take it into his house. He opened the door . . . and the helium gas charged balloon saw its chance after being cooped up in this vehicle for a while and popped out of there before Wendell knew what was what. And so Santa floated off into the wild blue yonder . . . irretrievably lost to grandpa, grandma and grandson. I was so furious with Wendell and his carelessness, I could have strangled him until . . . I got to thinking about this Santa Claus floating around up there and possibly being spotted by a pilot of a small airplane who lost control of same while thinking about just how many beers he's had which he shouldn't have had . . . and that point sheer hilarity just took over and I forgot all about everything we had done just to amuse our grandson !

Loz said...

Hi Inga,

Glad you caught most of last night's Doorstep and that you enjoyed the Boogie-Woogie piano.

That was from New York in 1941 and no you rarely get such energetic music now, it's good stuff that Jools Holland certainly can do today... more please.

Lawrence

Sid said...

Inga, I think you could use that story as a plot for a television comedy, I can see it all unfolding before my eyes. It gets my vote for laugh of the day.
In harmony with you Vivienne I would like it put on note that 'Smallpiece' isn't me either, although of course we could be telling fibs.

Hildie said...

Morning you folk! I love your story Inga. I'm just dropping by to let you all know that I haven't forgotten you at all, it's just that I have been a little tied up lately (although it has not been half as interesting as that sounds!) ... I keep getting roped into things at my local school and to be honest I didn't really have the time, but this is the time of year for showing good will, isn't it. I have SO many things I would like to do today that I don't know where to start. I've been helping at school, having visitors, fitting the dentist in where I can , and today I have to do some of the things from my list of "Things To Do" ... get dressed for a start! Then I've got cards to write, presents to wrap, I've even got presents to order from Amazon and HMV, bills to pay on 'on line' banking, washing and ironing to do, and food shopping from Tesco ... I am SO behind that you wouldn't believe it. And, no, I'm not J. Arthur Smallpiece, although I wish I was at the minute! Hoping to get back to see you all before Christmas. xxx

Inga said...

Hello to all! If I hear "Can I get this done for Christmas?" one more time - well . . . . until I win the lottery - I will say, one more time, "sure, no problem" !

Maureen said...

Wow! Aren't we all getting stressed out? I have just finished work at 7pm (been in since 9.30) I hate what Christmas does to people. WHY does it have to be done for Christmas? Will the world come to an end? I am refusing to be wound up. If it doesn't happen, so what? We'll survive. I'll let you know how I'm doing by Tuesday! Hang on in there everyone!

Hildie said...

Ian ... I heard you say you are now a member of The Lit. and Phil.
Congratulations ! That's something you can tick off your Project 60/60list. But what does it involve? What will you be able to do now that you are a member? Do you go to meetings or something? Sorry I am so naive about this.
I'm still up to my neck in wrapping paper here .... how are you people getting on?

Sid said...

Hello everyone, its a lovely day for wrapping things up Hildie. I still have mine to do. Waiting of the postie to bring two items then I'll wrap them in one go.
I had a dentist appointment today for 1 o'clock, they rang at 10:30 and cancelled it. Seems the 'inlay' being made hadn't arrived from the lab. T'was caught up in the Xmas post somewhere.
For a moment Hildie I thought "The Lit and Phil" was cockney rhyming slang, had even attempted to try and work it out. There's never a dull moment in our house.

Maureen said...

Hi All,
Just heard from Hildie that she's having pc problems again. I hope she gets back soon.
I'm listening to Michael Poulter, in for Paddy while he's poorly, and Chris from New Zealand has emailed in. Chris and Jojo are regular listeners and contributors to quite a few programmes. Ian mentioned them this morning and I wondered if you'd noticed that they've left a comment on the Alec Guiness page? Welcome to Truckshunters. Ian did give you a mention in the very early days of the blog, hoping to hear from you, it's nice to see that you've made it at last!

Sid said...

Oops, we didn't get any news at six this morning. Ian's show ended, then silence. A bit of 'five live' then the fishing program started. It wouldn't have happened 'in the old days'.

Inga said...

Go with Wendell, the fatalist, on this one, Sid: no news is good news :-)

Sid said...

Morning everyone, hope you are all doing ok.
Inga, I read in the news that parts of the USA are having terrible weather, I hope that you and yours are safe and well. Yes I shall go with Wendell and 'no news is good news'. We also say over here that 'bad news travels fast', why that should be I have no idea.
How many of us still hang up a stocking for santa to fill?.

Sid said...

To all the folks who read this blog, and for one reason or another don't contribute to it, can I just say on behalf of ALL of us...Merry Christmas, and Good Wishes for 2009.

Maureen said...

Hi All,
Sid what a nice thought, can I add my greetings too? Chris and Jojo have added again. (They seem to prefer Alec Guiness for some reason!) So that shows that they are fellow Truckshunters out there. How about adding your voice for the festive season? We'd love to hear from you.
Sid we are greedy in our house... it has always been a pillowcase here!

Inga said...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE !
We are leaving for a short vacation, actually that should be "escape" :-)