Weekly Muse

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The Independent Culture
Confusion was its oeuvre

And the Nineties was battle,

As it ended in a protest

Both in London and Seattle.

If the Sixties was a smile

And the Eighties was a pout,

Then the Nineties was a wasteland

Where they met to slug it out.

And the brickbats they were hurling

Were of either greed or guilt,

And of such familiar mortar

The Millennium was built.

The Fifties food was good for us,

Or so the latest studies say,

And kids back then were healthier

Than many of the kids today.

What gastronomic miracles

Those recipes they had in store:

Cabbage, cabbage - extra cabbage,

Tapioca, sago, more.

Swiss roll and evap for pudding,

Standby of the post-war home,

Kidneys, liver, Spam, Danoxa

Washed down with Creamola foam.

Food was bullied, boiled and beaten

Just in case it got ideas,

Sluiced in goo and grimly eaten

During those idyllic years.

Sunday dinner's bones saved over,

Fed to dog or used for stock.

After that you'd watch the telly

Till it stopped, at eight o'clock.

Sleeveless pullies, nasty haircuts,

Good old Cliff at Number One.

Even though I don't remember,

Must have been terrific fun.

The language of the lonely hearts

Has changed, and love's no longer blind.

Abbreviations rule these days,

And thus I am dismayed to find

That US anthropologists

Have studied how we advertise,

In papers like our organ here,

For guys for girls or girls for guys

Or guys for bi's or bi's for girls

Or gays for gays or bi's for bi's,

Our base requirements finely tuned

Before we start to socialise.

Relationships make such demands

That Cupid cannot satisfy.

The bolts he fired so randomly

No match for what the ads supply.

The scientists' conclusions were

That love is a material thing

As partners run exhaustive tests

Before they buy the wedding ring.

GSOH? Good Shag On-Hold?

No, can't be right. What can it be?

OHAC? Old Hag And Couch?

It's far too difficult for me.

Our times have left the god of love

Redundant now to scratch his head

As market forces intervene

And... (that's enough Cupid - Ed.)

Martin Newell's latest collection `New' will not be available in the shops until the New Year, but is available to readers of `The Independent' by mail order for the reduced price of pounds 6 inc. p&p. Send a cheque, made payable to Newell, to JLMP, 2 Featherbed Lane, Selling, Kent, ME13 9QU