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The Goer

by Chris “Childe Harold” Oakley and Danny “Don Juan” Henrey

Who thund’ring comes on race-green steed,
In leather clad, and scarf of tweed,
Mocking risk as at reckless speed
He carves his way into the lead?
The throaty roar and squeaking tyre
That set a maiden’s heart on fire
Do so now; for amid the throng
(A throng nigh on a hundred strong)
An adoring squeal: ‘Rich! Oh Rich!
My shining knight! Beware that ditch!’
Sails out above the fulsome din;
But now—high on adrenalin
He clamps the throttle to the floor—
The car takes off with awful roar;
Then brakes he, turns, and now shifts gear
(The carefree stud, he knows no fear!)
But—not seeing it there at all—

With puzzled frown he now climbs out
Unruffled by the mighty clout.
He says, ‘O.K., this car has died,
But I can take it in my stride,
For I am ‘Mad Jack’, Byronist:
A rhymester free who’s often pissed.’
Not shaken by the sudden blow,
He about his life on did go;
A swarthy tale red hot with lust—
Of pounding bums and broken trust.
He quoth, ‘On Crispin’s day I did espy
A dark-haired wench with beady eye
And thought with her my luck I’d try,
(To ease the pressure on my fly).
That night was spent in pleasure sweet
Entangled, thrall to passion’s heat;
But it seem’d she took more of me
Than the usual mete, 9 c.c.
For to her whim I was a thrall;
A conquered, unmanned menial—
No more a carefree, horny buck
Who varied oft his choice of female companion.
My prayer went to Casanova
To help this sad caged rover,
Who I knew would laugh scornfully
At my new-found monogamy.
“Sarah,” I crooned, “I love thee true:
Thy rounded breasts and cute tattoo—
Thy skin of pearl and slender arms:
Thy preppie shorts and voice that charms—
Would that I could more abjectly
Serve thee truly in slavery.”
And as the moon danced on the waves
Lighting faerie grottos and caves
The timeless rock and silver sand
Did hear our pledge upon the strand. ’

‘Though full that night our passion was;
Though fragrant vapours fill’d my schnoz;
I felt she was some place other,
Tho’ I was by kisses smother’d—
And when we met in summer’s clime.
She nary reck’d me worth a dime!
Quoth she, “Thy racing cars and chasing ass,
Doth mock the downtrod working class.
For poor folk’s toil and poor folk’s strife
Did give to thee thy easy life!”
With righteous spleen I plugged her spout—
For half the tale had she left out.
“Look here, cool chick,” quoth I, “’tis true
I race old cars, and row in crew,
And at heroic playboy play;
But pater’s toiled for these to pay,
And mean I too to earn a bunch,
So my sprog long and well may lunch
On life’s choice morsels, ere he too
Must make his wad—as Schulze’s do!”
As water from duck’s back my words
Slid off, as if she had not heard.
Instead, like frenzied corybant
She went on with her Marxist cant:
“Well, if by toil you mean the crass
Exploiting of the lower class
I count it not; for their small fees
Do not compare with fat M.D.’s
Who only to their hoards bring health;
Where common folks create real wealth
Which flushed away is, down the pan,
Of the degen’rate wealthy man.
Yet ’tis my wish to ope their eyes
And help the masses to arise!
To kindle hope in manly breast
That was ’til now so oft oppress’d—
As one the lower-paid will rise
And raise their standard to the skies.
With truth and justice will the horde
O’erthrow the unjust overlord
Till red the Mississippi runs
With blood of so-called ‘gentlemen’
And as for thee, thy wasted lout,”
Quoth she with angry, scornful pout,
“An alligator take for wife,
For I’ll not have thee in my life!”
Thus sadly did I get the shove
From one of my true lady loves
(That night I knew—’twas plain as day—
I would not get my end away).
Yet strange it was to hear this stuff;
This revolutionary guff,
This high concern from one who yet
Did go around by private jet!’

‘To the plantation I returned,
Where sun on farm hands backs does burn,
And found a missive ’waiting me,
That said I was for Trinity!
Glad to escape the continent,
Where wormwood bitter round me fenced,
To Oxon proud I set my chin,
And found I fitted right well in!
There chilly nights were filled with port,
But not, worst luck, with am’rous sport,
As oft the babes that I did chase,
Preferred their books to love’s embrace
And clearly did they make it known
That they would rather sleep alone.
Still, quite the darling I became,
As Aston, boat and prof. I tamed:
Yet pain pierced me, as rusty nail,
So to Lord Dan I told my tale
(A foolish move, as all must know—
Discretion has he yet to show—
My secrets were then broadcast wide,
And—worse, far worse—were versified!)
But in mind’s trunk I filed the mess,
And founded the O.U.B.S.;
Thus passed the days in merry sport,
Till, from school chum, I heard report
That Sarah wedded had become
To some dissolute rich guy’s son!
This waster offspring spent his cash
In ways that Croesus would think rash—
I guess it was then proved to me
That chicks are just a mystery!’

Weighed down by blades, and mem’ries dear,
MJ proclaimed, ‘I’m outta here.’
To med. school long, along he flits,
To learn his trade, and toy with bits.
Quite early on, when in the lab.
A corse dissects he on a slab.
He wonders ’bout the happy grin
That rigor mortis has locked in.
‘When life inspired these pallid limbs
And “it” here was instead a “him”,
What was he like, this good old boy,
Did well he taste life’s fleeting joys?
His lifeless flesh does show a smile,
Which makes me think that this old file
Was ne’er subdued by sorrow grey,
And sought instead the light of day.
And, when we’ve had our final fling,
And are a corse for dissecting,
What matters it what others goss;
If we’ve had fun—then what the toss!
No more will I to others pay
The slightest credit, what they say.
Sarah! Pah! Gadzooks! I’ll show her!
In life’s brief jaunt I am The Goer!’

He cuts these bitter musings short
To finish off his lab report—
His knowledge of anatomy
At end of term will tested be
(The tester is both grim and pale,
And laughs out loud when students fail!)
The sight of textbooks piled high
Does cause Mad Jack a weary sigh;
For every stupid twist and note
He knows he has to learn by rote.
The tiredness and pressure tell
And Morpheus does cast his spell.
As slumps he on his escritoire,
His spirit travels swift and far
To where upon a sunlit morn
Is croquet play’d on formal lawns:
Where carefree students come and go
To play, to drink, to punt and row.
The place he spies is Oxford sweet
Where Life and Art—says Wilde—do meet.
He pauses next the Trin’ty gate
As leaves the noisy rowing Eight.
Then swift a fleeing lass does scream
Hard followed by a panting dean.
He next his shuffling tutor spies
Who fails Richard to recognise
But then opines, “’Twill help you learn
If maybe we meet up this term.”

A heavy tome falls on his head
And back to wakefulness he’s led.
He scoffs now at the rel’tive ease
Was won his Oxford Lit. degree.
Quoth he, “Those poets and playwrights
Are useless, good-for-nothing wights,
And shame on them who make their work
The study of  those stupid jerks!”
He works long, hard and hellishly
And ’ventually scrapes his M.D.
(’Though whether Richard’s studious task
Was helped by bribes, I’d say, “Don’t ask”)
For now Mad Jack fulfils his plan,
A surgeon he, like his old man.
Thus hard and conscientiously
He works and works—for paltry fees
Until the name of Schulze’s son
Is trusted like the older one.

In all of this there is a gap
(As any stable, normal chap)
A longing for an “other half”
To share life’s joys and pains and laughs.
There are wrong ones—let’s not pretend:
Amours he knows will have to end—
But Tricia, when he sees her first
He thinks will quench his wifely thirst.
It all seems good—it does not suck—
She comes to watch his monster truck.
And she, an actress, gets him roles
For holding spears or other poles.
And to romantic isles they go,
To walk, or bathe, or sail, or row.
He is so sure of the real thing
He ventures out to buy a ring!
But when he calls, his piece to say,
He finds that she has gone away!
Her housemate then explains the mess:
“She’s taken off, with no address:
She’s made it clear, you have to see,
That you and her is history!”

But with this pill M.J. is fey—
No solace could be had that day.
And when he races next his truck
He makes it hard for Lady Luck—
His driving is so crazy-assed
They move aside to let him pass.
“To loopy S.O.B.’s give way,
They ought to die alone,” quoth they.
This reckless and unhinged trend
Does work until the final bend
When triple axial somersault
Does land M.J. in hospital!

M.J. in spirit form does roam
Oft near at hand, oft far from home.
And when around the ward she moves
The staff nurse asks if he’s improved.
“I know you’ll think this is absurd,”
Quoth he, “But wake and sleep are blurred.
I dreamed I’d died and helpless lay
In chamber brighter than the day
When a beauteous angel, gold of hair
Did whisper words of love and care.”
She laughs, she snorts, she gives him pills:
And quoth, “I hope these help thy ills.”
At length does Schulzie’s body mend
And then he’s free, his way to wend.
The nurse, hight Donna, knows him well
Enough to say a brief farewell.
But first she makes it very plain
She will not hear his tale again.
“Of unrequited love you moan
As though ’twas felt by you alone;
To hear such words from a lad
Who treats so many women bad
Infuriates and vexes sore!
As if there weren’t, within these shores
A world of sad and lonely folk
With trampled, lovelorn hearts more broke.”
Her unintended fury grows
’Til Richard thinks, “It’s time to go!”
And as the door does slam behind
He starts to mull things in his mind.
And spends not many days alone
Before he reaches for the phone:
“You prob’ly think that I’m a dork,
But I kinda think: we ought to talk.”