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 9QUReuse content