A pair of cobbers bet themselves a stake,
The last to die would end up with the bills,
And ‘shout the bar’ till closing time at the others wake,
So shaking hands, they wrote it in their wills.
Edward Joseph Archibald, the winner, passed away,
Just the type of man who always swore,
If ever forced to pay a debt, or miss the final say,
He was always ‘on the bite’, and crying poor.
Sitting down, a few rows back, behind and over there,
Was the loser by the name of McEnroe,
In dulcet Scottish tone he said, "He done me fair and square,
Here’s a hundred on the bar to see him go".
Scottie shot to fame ‘cos he was ‘ikey as a Mo’,
And this was going to cost a pretty pound,
People came from all about to help him spend his dough,
He said he’d pay till Ted was underground.
A labourer that dug the grave said, "Listen here my son,
All my life I never saw him pay,
We’ll fill the hole in afterward, when all his money’s done,
McEnroe can shout us all today!"
The pastor droned in monotone’s as pastors always do,
The faithful sung the psalms with all their zeal,
And all that Scottie thought about was beer and shooting through,
While hoping to renege upon the deal.
In the end, the others left to drink with Teddie’s kin,
Scottie stops to have the final word,
Tossing mud into the grave, he stumbled, falling in,
He cried in vain for help but wasn’t heard.
Meanwhile the local licensee’s the busiest man in town,
Relatives are drinking fever pitch,
While Scottie wallows in the plot as rain is falling down,
Inconsolable, alone in Teddie’s ditch.
Afterwards near closing time, the labourers venture back,
Completely unaware of Scotties plight,
Caked with stinking mud and belly down upon the track,
Like Frankenstein he made a fearful sight.
Their eyesight dimmed by alcohol they peer towards the plot,
As Scottie gamely lurches to his feet,
Then reaches out towards them, and they run as if they’re shot,
Screaming ‘bloody murder’ in the street.
They chance upon the pastor who tries to intervene,
While directly on their heels the zombie looms,
He blesses them at once as they’re relating all they’ve seen,
Of ghostly apparitions robbing tombs.
The licensee steps out the door to witness the hubbub,
And sees the bolting troupers run away,
His speculation turns to fear as Scottie nears the pub,
And falling to his knees he starts to pray.
McEnroe, looking on, can’t fathom all the fuss,
Claiming all the money he can find,
He ponders in amusement about the exodus,
While he pockets what the others left behind.
"Ninety-eight plus twenty one that’ll do just fine,
It seems as if I’ve made a tidy quid,
If the buggers have nay had their fill by now, the money’s mine,
Then I’ll be off! ", and that’s just what he did.
© Steven Smith – 28th May 2000