Prince Philip

August 15, 2012

I don’t want Prince Philip to die. I mean, he”s a 91 year old man. He doesn’t have long for the world. He’s also a massive racist, and a member of the Royal Family. And whilst you can’t blame him for the circumstances of his birth, you can’t really excuse the racism. Except it’s the sort of racism that you might encounter from an old man leering over the bar at you and muttering about the Somalis. For the sake of an easy life, as a bartender, you can’t be bothered to make the fuss. or indeed get in an argument with a drunk old man. And that’s probably wrong, and I definately ought to challenge racism whereever it appears, but sometimes you’re really not up for another drunk-old-man-argument, and anyway you’re only two words away from finishing the crossword and there’s a chap over there hammering a pewter tankard at one of the pumps and demanding stout.

My friend Maya met Prince Philip a while ago, and he didn’t mutter any slurs at her, but perhaps he didn’t realise she was german.

I don’t want Prince Philip to die because he’s clearly the most interesting character. The royals and parliament are just as soap opera worthy as Neighbours and Eastenders, and with the most ridiculous elements of journalism furnishing us with facts which are as over-inflated as they are accurate. Philip is in the heart of every drunk old man.

And one day, I shall look up from the drip tray, reach my hand to the pump, and see Prince Philip there, demanding ale, encouraging me to get my hair cut.

The last reason why I don’t want Prince Philip to die is that I won’t be able to read Lucky Seven any more. I didn’t originally intend to include the Duke of Edinburgh in this poem, but by the time he had arrived, it was very hard to get rid of him. Here’s a recording of Lucky Seven I did in Jimmy’s basement.


Lucky Seven

Beneath the crisp suit there’s cash

The iron sears and flattens fivers

in the pinstripe vanity of Saville row


Becloaked, you’re called to the bar

Order-papers clutched in a non-masonic shake

The ball’s in your court

There’s squash in the glass

The bird of paradise comes to pass


The flat leather wallet contains plastic loot

The ice cube crackles in the champagne flute

A card slides out and you’re ready to deal

As the steak knife hovers over velvety veal


Your phone glides across the table like a chess piece

A Sicilian opening

For frames the size of walls

Lying empty in anticipation


The card’s behind the bar and you’re looking for more

Whilst subtitles narrate on News 24

And off for the weekend to the cottage in Devon

In tailored top that screams Lucky Seven

You redefine the D of Q’s

For two thousand and eleven


Ballpark! Timeframe! Drawing board! Game plan!

The ceiling’s made of glass and you are my main man

Blue-chip! Stagflate! Shoe-horn! Tea-break!

Let’s get some proper ice cream. I’ll have three flakes.


And it’s “Thatcher invented Mr Whippy, you know”

And all this talk of S & M the conversation goes south

“Would have thought it was that chap who died with an orange in his mouth”

And Stuart Lubbock found dead in Barrymore’s pool

And how it was the Kurds who killed Jill Dando

And how Prince Philip can travel through time…


… and suddenly he’s here! Prince Philip! The husband of the Queen!

… but he’s wearing a balaclava and he’s looking pretty mean …

… and he’s holding … some kind of shotgun … and through the mask …

… he tells you to get in the car … and it’s some kind of chauffeur driven limousine …

… and you turn and there’s all these bags of salt in the boot and under the salt there’s this guy and he introduces himself as Jason and whilst you’re looking at Jason … Philip, Prince Philip (and you still can’t really believe this) blindfolds you and then you small the sickly scent of chloroform and it reminds you of almonds, no, not almonds, pear drops, pear drops which reminds you of your childhood and you try to struggle but it’s too late.

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