Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
A golden, sozzled party guest

Hangs on for longer, by request.

As drunken sun commences climb,

The season goes to injury time.

The difference is, it's dark by eight

And evenings aren't content to wait

As autumn moves to stack the chairs

And shut the summer for repairs.

Ten million viewers can't be wrong?

A recent survey isn't sure.

The Changing Rooms team comes along

But would you let them in the door?

"Not on your life," the readers say

Of Homes & Gardens magazine,

Not wishing to parade their homes

In all their glory on the screen,

To suffer days of cameramen

And engineers with furry mikes

Who crouch in hallways, trying for takes

While tripping over children's bikes.

Meanwhile the owners, overwrought,

Have far more frantic chores to do,

Removing "objects" and the like

From bedside cabinets and the loo.

Best not to let those cameras in:

Our hovels are a private thing.

Imagination scares us all,

But lack of it's more frightening.

Your Happy Shopper laureate here

Will never win a Booker prize.

The novel's not my forte. Though

This week I had to sympathise

When Booker judges bleated that

They're paid a rather paltry rate,

Two-seventy an hour in fact,

To plough through novels less-than-great.

A brickie, say, can make far more

Then look back on the things he's built

And stand his round on Friday night

Untroubled by attendant guilt.

By scanning leaden yarns for gold,

These wretches earn their caviare.

Quite so, well, "It's a dirty job..."

Etcetera and, indeed, blah blah.

The Britpack artists, Tracey Emin,

Rachel Whiteread, Damien Hirst,

Exhibit in America.

It's controversial and a first.

We here at home are hardened to

The bullet-wounds, the chopped-up cow,

The lovers' names adorning tents;

They seem almost familiar now.

But in the mighty USA,

The threat of terror rears its head.

The gallery which hosts the show

Received a package, so they said,

Which smelled so bad they daren't go near.

Some local maniac on a mission?

Well, possibly, but I'd suggest

They try it in the exhibition.

Oh send me the Portillo that

You dream on in your Chelsea flat.

At least you can be sure the chap

Would never wear a baseball cap.