The Tramping Calendar Blues (or Rap)
by Harry Smith
(Best spoken aloud with a heavy 4/4 rap beat)
(Apologies to everyone for this silly nonsense but Tony Gazley makes me do it every year).
Oh God, it’s that time of the year
When Tony Gazley’s calendar’s here
And he has asked me to review it
And I agreed and now I rue it!
I could’ve refused but I went and blew it!
How on earth am I supposed to do it?
He seems to think there’s nothing to it!
To write reviews is easy, innit?
Just whip up something in a minute!
But it’s hard to know just how to spin it
And whatever I write I usually bin it!
He makes me do this every year
I live my life in mortal fear
And I’m condemned for all eternity
Like Sisyphus in Greek mythology
To roll a boulder up a hill
Endlessly against my will
Then watch it to the valley spill
And start again – a bitter pill
The whole damn thing makes me feel ill!
What can one say about a calendar?
I may as well review a colander
Or some carrots or cucumbers
It’s just a grid with lots of numbers
Illustrated with a mixture
Of Tony’s outdoor tramping pictures
There’s one each year – one of life’s fixtures
And every year I must review it –
How the hell am I going to do it??
I know – I’ll do it as a poem!!
I’ll come across like Leonard Cohen
Like Keats or Coleridge or Byron
Just like a brooding, dark romantic!
Or maybe something fast and frantic
Like an expert ghetto-rap grandmaster
But maybe I’ll be even faster!
It could be great – or a disaster!
So here it goes – I hope it flows!
Tony’s calendar’s a beaut
You should buy one – it’s a hoot!
It’ll only cost you 20 bucks
If you don’t buy one – yah, boo, sucks!
Tony’s calendar is awesome
If you were in a shop and saw some
You would buy one in a jiffy
Because the photos are so spiffy!
Tony’s calendar is cool –
if you don’t buy one you’re a fool!
’cause it’s a really useful tool
Much better than an old slide rule!
(God, that’s awful but I don’t care –
I want to get the hell out of here!)
Yes, Tony’s calendar is cool
With lots of photos that are cool
And if you think that you are cool
You should buy one – that’d be cool
(I like my rhymes there – they’re so cool!)
Tony’s calendar is nice
With lots of shots of snow and ice.
And if you want my real advice,
I think you ought to buy it twice!
And you can hang it on your wall
In the den or in the hall
In the kitchen, in the basement –
That’s a really useful placement!
And you should hang one in the loo
You really need one in there too!
I think you should buy twenty-two!
I really, really, really do!
(And I’m sure that Tony thinks so too!)
Tony’s photographs are pretty
With outdoor shots, not in the city
(I’m trying to think of something witty
To help fill out this stupid ditty –
I can’t escape it, more’s the pity!)
There’re photographs of happy trampers,
Hikers, bikers, climbers, campers.
Sometimes they are wearing parkas
And there’s a great shot of a kaka
And even photos of big trees –
It really is quite the bee’s knees!
(There’s even a photo of bee’s knees!)
Tony’s calendar’s really pleasant
It’ll make a cracker Christmas present
Like socks or chocs or roasted pheasant
Or some pliers, or a crescent.
(God, I’m desperate for a rhyme!
I think it’s really getting time
That I went off and did a bunk
Down to the boozer to get drunk.)
Tony’s calendar’s just the ticket
For when you’re on a sticky wicket
Or lost in some God-awful thicket
And I know a place where he can stick it
(On the wall, I mean, like an art critic)
Tony’s calendar’s tick-a-boo
And he has made it just for you
So I think the least that you can do
Is go and buy a hundred or two!
I hope this review makes Tony happy,
That he will be a happy chappie
So buy one now and make it snappy!
And if you buy enough of them
He’ll watch the moolah rolling in
And if you buy a million copies
Tony will be rich!!
And he’ll rejoice in his good karma
And fly off out to the Bahamas
Sipping rum and coca-colas
And rolling in the mega-dollars!
Then he’ll decamp to fair Tahiti
And hook up with a South Seas sweetie
And munch on mangoes and drink martinis
And watch the flower-bedecked wahines
Dancing in their cute bikinis.
Then he’ll mosey off to Acapulco
And put up in a luxury hotel
And mingle with the wealthy people
And wallow in the thermal spa pool.
Then he’ll join the jet set down in Rio
Where there’s a certain Latin brio
Dancing all that fiery salsa
With all the pretty senoritas
And drinking wine and margaritas.
Then up to Vegas and out to Reno
To try his luck at the casino
Then off to Rome and San Marino
And then Provence and Monte Carlo
To splurge out at the roulette table.
Then he’ll be off to Biarritz
Staying in the Hotel Ritz
With all the glamour and all the glitz –
And wearing his old tramping kits!
So come on, make our Tony happy!
Buy a calendar and make it snappy!
Buy one now you stingy bastards!
And meanwhile I’m off to get plastered!
You can take a look at the calendar before rushing off to Bivouac, Mercer Street with your $20 cash.