Hullabaloo FVM on-line

About 3,550 words * 22nd August 1994        

First British Serial Rights        


Rick & Euan (fail to) Save The World

Hullabaloo     PDF







A Flaming Row














Prelude: Bad News


The Lament: Punch and Judy


A Year Later: The Hullabaloo


The Argument: Scoring Points


Alone Again: Back Home




~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  




A man was sitting alone at a bar

Unaware of the woman who watched from afar;

His admirer was a stranger who knew he was no Star

But she herself was lonely, they were both on a par.


The attractive young woman came across the pub

Sat down beside him and whispered, "Beelzebub!"

He scowled at her sneering, "What d'you want with me?

Calling me names won't get a seat on my knee."


The woman laughed and pointed at his fag,

"You dream of a princess but deserve only - a Hag!"


He dismissed her rudely and was about to go away

When she caught hold of his jacket and begged him to stay.

He snapped at her sternly that he was going for a walk

But she ordered some drinks and suggested they talk.

Drawing herself closer the elegant lady asked if he was all right,

He assured her that life was wonderful but then bemoaned his plight:


"I drink, I smoke, I swear, I spit;

Shoot smack, sniff coke, take trips, and vomit;

I cheat, I lie, I burgle, I fight,

I eat like a pig, I snarl and I bite.

No woman can keep me though many have tried,

My love I lost, I cried and cried.  

Why should I care, who gives a toss?

I've got the hide of a rhinoceros.

I may as well smoke another cigarette,

Before going next door to place a little bet."


"But surely kind Sir to win back your love

The habit of smoking you'll easily shove?"


"If I give up my smoking will she return?

Or will she just jeer and my affections spurn?"


"Oh yes sir undoubtedly she'll appreciate the change,

'Tis worth it, you'll see, a meeting I'll arrange."


"Worth it?  Why bother, my drinking will stop her,

I'm scrawny and ugly and my nose is whopper."


"But surely dear man for your heart's desire

To give up your drinking is not very dire?"


"If I give up my drinking will she come back?

Or will she just laugh and paint my name black?"


"Oh yes sir certainly she will notice the difference,

You make the effort and she'll lose her diffidence."


"Worth it?  (with a cough) my swearing will put her off.

 When she hears how I speak she will leave with a scoff!"


"But surely young fellow to win back your happiness

You could give up swearing with the greatest of rapidness?"


"If I give up my swearing do you think she will stay

Or will she just mock me and again run away?"


"Oh yes sir undoubtedly she will like the improvement,

'Tis worth it, you wait, she'll pay you a compliment."


"Worth it?  Forget it, my spitting will deter her:

When she sees me gobbit she'll be gone in a blur-r."


"But surely old chap to retrieve your darling

You'll gladly give up both spitting and snarling?"


"If I stop spitting will she be mine?

 Or is this a joke, a cruel feminine design?"


"Oh yes sir undoubtedly she'll admire your behaviour,

She'll kneel at your feet and call you, "her saviour"."


"You jest!  What's the point, fixing will disappoint,

Let's drop this discussion, I'll roll up a joint."


"But surely dear master to fulfil all your dreams

Giving up fixing is worth a few screams?"


"If I give up my fixing will she love me forever?

Or will she ignore me and deride my endeavour?"


"Oh yes sir certainly she will reward your effort,

For the rest of your life she will be your escort."


"Escort?  I'm reminded: my stealing will wreck it,

When she knows what I'm up to she'll see I'm a misfit."


"But why, silly fool, with such a valuable reward

Would you want to keep stealing and adding to your hoard?"


"If I give up my stealing will she remain faithful

And where will I find money to buy us a vehicle?"


"The way you complain you do yourself no favours,

A man of your talents will earn well from honest labours."


"You're wasting your time, my fighting's too big a crime,

When she sees me let fly she'll know it's no pantomime."


"But surely you blithering idiot if you love the woman truly

You'll gladly give up fighting and become much more ruly?"


"If I give up my fighting will she be my wife,

Or will she call me a wimp and make me fight for my life?"


"Oh yes sir certainly she'll marry you with delight,

Cut your bad habits and your future will be bright."


"Sweet lady I am sure your intentions are sincere,

I have listened to your admonishments poured in my ear.

I take them all seriously, your advice I will heed,

To accomplish these things about a year I shall need.

Come back and see me perhaps I'll have changed

And all your promises: we'll see if they were feigned."


With this his antagonist finally departed,

She bade him good wishes while he loudly farted.

Alone on his bar stool he contemplated quietly

What life could offer with so much sobriety.









The time passed slowly and he used it well;

He was back a year later with a story to tell.


"Dear sir how are you, what a long time has past,

Have you conquered your habits, won your love at long last?

I see you are sitting in exactly the same place,

Drinking and smoking, you look quite a disgrace!

Did you not hear me, have you forgotten our chat?

Where is your willpower or are you a prat?"


"My dear lady I heard you, I listened with care;

I carried out your instructions - here, take a chair.

My faults you enumerated one by one,

I have with me a book where they are all written down."


"Writing and listing that's not how to do it!

You must strive and practice, live like a Jesuit.

But tell me anyway, how did you get on?

Did you make any effort or are you a con?"


"My faults as you know they are many in number,

I have worked at each one by day and a-slumber;

I tried very hard and with expert assistance

Whittled away till there was no resistance.

You may now be wondering why I sit here and stare,

You see no results you think I don't care;

Nothing however could be further from the truth,

I now know exactly how to regain my lost youth:

I can give up smoking, drinking and swearing,

I can stop myself stealing, shouting and glaring;

I can be servile and do 'good deeds,'

I can cut out drugs and start wearing tweeds.

I can slim my body, build up some muscle,

Become a straight guy who gets lost in the bustle.

I can be a brave hero like Superman or Bond,

Take up skating or fishing by the pond

But try and try and try as I might

There is one little detail bedevils my plight:

No matter how hard or how long I may fight

I know I can never, never ever be right."


"How can you say such a thing to me now?

After all that we've been through, this I cannot allow!

You've heard me, you've listened, you know I mean well,

Stop snivelling, grow up, call her back or go to hell!"


"This one little thing that I never can alter,

Regardless of habits I know it will halt her.

The problem, as I knew before we began,

Curable neither by magic or talisman,

Is quite simply - "


He looked at her waiting to see if she knew,

Her eyes were wide open, apprehensive, and blue;

He smiled wanly and continued to finish the rhyme,

After all, they had been talking for quite a long time:

"The problem, as you know, is that I am a man."


At this the woman grew purple with rage,

She stared and she glared for quite a long age.


"How dare you!  How dare you!"  She spluttered and fumed,

Finally with deep breathing her composure she reassumed.


"That's men all over, inside and out

You drink and you beat us you swear and you shout!"


"Carry on, old woman, curse me some more!

You're only happy when we're off at war!

You tease and lure then nag and scold,

'Tis not men you love but power and gold!"


"A man who loved women would never talk thus,

You think you're so clever while stuffing your pus!

Gorge your appetite on alcohol and drugs -

Remember me when you're fighting with thugs.

You accuse us of this and say we do that -

There once was a time when a man raised his hat!"


"That's enough, horrid woman, it is you who is wrong..."

And in this vein the two of them went on, and on.


An hour and a half later the protagonists stood in a clearing,

The customers in the pub formed a circle around them cheering.

The men applauded him while the women backed her each time a point was scored;

The woman snapped and spat while the man pranced, bellowed and roared.

"Husband and wife!" a couple from the crowd clapped and yelled with glee,

"Hoi, did you hear that?" shouted another, "they're just like you and me!"

But these two people were not married, their names they hardly knew;

They'd met by chance yet now they were lacerated painfully through and through.

Not a single physical blow was struck but their words cut deeper than knives

With each one finding the other's Weak Spot they lost a thousand lives.

The Gulf War, Vietnam, World Wars One and Two,

None of them were a patch on this, so intense was their hullabaloo.










"'Men are Evil Criminals' is thundered across the media

And with every day that passes all you women are getting greedier!"


"How dare you make such vile accusations! 

Us women fought hard for tiny concessions.

Filled with self-pity you men are all the same,

You lock us in the kitchen and then joke, 'it's just a game!'"


"There you go: Nag! Nag! Exactly like I said,

What is wrong with a married woman keeping her husband fed?"


"It's slavery and drudgery, it's dreary and it's dull,

You drive off in big flash cars while our reward is null!"


"What complete and utter nonsense and a pack of filthy lies,

Us men must work for all you women as you'd know if you'd open your eyes.

Most of the jobs we have to do are unpleasant and monotonous

And you are stealing away from us the few that are adventurous!"


"That's it!  That's it!  Shove us down the hole!

Not so very long ago a woman 'had no soul'!

If you had everything your way we would all be on the dole."


"Rubbish!  That's poppycock, you know it's just not true,

Women have an important place, there's masses for you to do.

By stealing away our livelihoods, our professions and identities,

Not only are you robbing us but neglecting important duties!"


"Power, domination, fame and fortune is all you ever want,

You take us up the central aisle then leave us at the font!

You've no idea how hard it is for lonely women with kids,

You stand there glittering among the stars while we are on the skids;

We've been fighting for our rights since they built the pyramids!

Women must unite against you evil men to show you who is boss,

You must learn that without our help you'll suffer every kind of loss!"


"What you say is very unpleasant you blame us with such bile,

Can't you see that men love women but your hatred is quite vile?"


"Hate you?  We would love you but you cause us so much pain!

All our efforts at keeping house have ended up in vain.

We slog from morning till late at night cleaning, cooking and mending,

Never a token of thanks do we get, you just go on offending!"


"'A woman's work is never done' is what once was commonly said

But today her work is never done 'cos she's always lying in bed!"


"How dare you!" she screamed at the top of her voice for she had been mortally wounded,

"Many a girl has married a man who with his lechery ruined it!"


"How can a man love any woman with a mind as black as yours?

All boys dream of romantic love but today there are only wh***s!"


At that the woman grew more enraged for he had gone too far,

He'd uttered the ultimate hypocrisy and she was eager to spar.

What, she demanded, did he imagine young girls dreamed at night?

Of foul-mouthed youths who leered and spat or a resplendent rescuing knight?


"With good little boys and good little girls everything would turn out "Right"

But where is the fun in playing by "The Rules" and always 'being polite'?

It's rough and tumble and life is a muddle with people all tangled up,

At the end of the day it's a roll in the hay and nobody wins any Cup."


"That's all very well for you to say for you just want to f**k,

But the poor little girl who is charmed and enamoured ends up cursing her 'Luck'.

You court and tease her until she swoons then vanish into the haze

While the innocent lass who carries your heir must hide from society's gaze."


"That's just not so, you're full of spite, it's the romantic lad who suffers:

His heart is torn, his mind's a storm, it's the girls who shun us Duffers.

She begets his child who suffers her lip and whom he never sees,

Yet she hounds him to the ends of the earth in order his money to seize.

If you were as 'equal' as you always make out you'd pay the Dad a rent -

Instead you deprive him of the child he loves and forever your hardships lament."


"Why are you shouting so belligerently at me in this way?

I came here to help you win her back and for you to make her stay!

I have no argument with you as you know perfectly well,

You have not even tried to make her return - it's time you went to Hell."


"What's the point?  You think it's simple - there's something you should know:

For many a year I kept in touch and all she said was, 'no!'

"I have lived alone and poor while she's had others with whom to play,

She boasts she's married another man and now I have nought to say.

What can I do?  The story is at an end;

I have written many letters that I dare not send."


The man paused, then turned and addressed the staff

Who continued their duties and tried not to laugh.


"Was it love or a lie?

Her heart or her thigh?

That captured my eye

And held me on high?

I saw her I wanted her we kissed and we danced,

For several weeks we shared a passionate romance.

I thought I'd forget her and go looking for more

But decided instead to keep in touch and explore -

What would happen if rather than disappearing

We remained good friends with letters endearing?

Sad to say the experiment failed,

Instead of happiness I became impaled.

Here I am many years later,

Miserably striving not to berate her."


The customers had departed, the protagonists were exhausted and alone,

He was about to ask the 'chivalrous question' by offering her a lift home

When at that moment the pub-door opened and the pair of them turned to look:

The lady who stood there returned their stare and exclaimed, "it's just like the book!"


The man's eyes were opening wider and wider and scarcely a word was he able to utter.

She walked smiling towards him as his antagonist watched him and he began to stutter,

But his stomach was churning, his cheeks were burning and he was all of a-flutter.

The woman with whom he had been arguing vehemently recognised immediately

The stranger here was his long lost love and now they were hugging affectionately.

While they embraced the man turned and looked at the barmen with a grin

But the lady who watched them knew right then that The Battle had yet to begin.










A happy ending had at last been contrived

His missing beloved had finally arrived.


Sadly, this was not true at all,

No one had entered to conclude their brawl;

T'was but a fiction, a passing idea,

The man had just turned to order more beer.


The lady who'd found him stood back and thought,

'There is something here that I still have to sort.

This man is not fit for love nor friendship,

His loneliness is due to his lack of fellowship;

Wherever he goes he carries a bitter chip,

The people he meets abhor his cheeky lip.

'The world must change!' is his eternal lament,

But the world replies with, 'Thou Shalt Repent!'

'Repent?  Why me?  I did no wrong!

All I was doing was trying to Belong!'

"Behave!"  "Conform!"  "Change!" and, "Obey!"

"Children must suffer if they ever run astray;"

Punishment and threats control this man's life,

He has never seen anything but bitterness and strife.

Outlook and feelings became cruelly twisted

Long before his, "Lost Love" had even existed.'


The woman surveyed him as he stared into space,

She could see deep loneliness carved in his face.

If ever these truths were to be uncovered

He would realise that he had been hiding in a cupboard;

Surrounded in darkness and quivering with fear,

His intense confusion lets no one come near.

"Innocence," "Freedom," "Friendship" and "Fun,"

"Do What You Like," was once his rule-of-thumb.

Now he sat broken, splintered and deranged,

Lost friends wouldn’t believe how sadly he'd changed.

That he was sincere was not in question

But what could be done to cure his obsession?

No matter how hard he tried he was wrong,

Either too weak or far too strong.

The 'Happy Ending' was all in his mind,

In silence she wondered what he might find.

As glasses rattled in sinks full of soap

The woman reflected upon her own Lost Hope,

The love she had had and attempted to overcome,

Her own burning desires and her own, "Rule Of Thumb."


The couple walked to the door and waved goodnight.

As she sat in his car her stomach grew tight,

Could this man save her from her own sad plight?

She stole another glance and saw no, "White Knight."


He accompanied her back to her expensive flat

Then made his way homeward without any more chat.


Under the yellow lamp of his Anglepoise

He tried yet again to write with equipoise.

If she returned, would he be kind?

"Happily Ever After" or an interminable bind?


''Tis not the world that changes but me,'

He cursed his solitude and wished he could see

Exactly what it was that he truly sought

And why it should be that his efforts came to nought.

He heaved a sigh as he pulled over the covers,

Tried to forget and to think of other lovers.


Suicide, misogyny, bitterness and pain -

'Am I raving mad?  Or, actually, quite sane?

And far away in her distant town,

Is she wearing a smile?  Or a grim, bitter frown?'

She thought of him often, of that he was sure,

Why was it that still he felt quite insecure?

Turmoil churned as he tried counting sheep,

The thoughts in his mind would not let him sleep:


'I wear the wrong clothes, I say the wrong things,

I make mistakes and blame the underlings;

I drive too fast, I'm ill tempered and rude,

I slurp my soup and bolt my food;

'I cannot cook, my meals are canned,

I hate DIY and plants fear my hand.

What chance for me, happiness or love?

I'm a boor and a pest, I push and I shove.

Money's on my mind nearly all of the time:

A pound, a Franc, a quick Mark or a dime.

I chase fast women and curse when they go,

They squeal if I grab but jeer if I'm slow.

I'm wild and I'm crooked, I'm guilty and I'm torn,

Many's the day I wish I'd never been born.

"Jack the Lad!" I pretend to be cool

But all the time I know I'm a Fool.

My life is a shipwreck, a car-crash and a Joke,

It's a murderous battle being an "Ordinary Bloke."

And as if these woes were not enough to put Her off,

Apart from my appearance, dull wit and smoker's cough,

When chatting in company I'm a crashing great bore -

And my crowning failure is that at night, I snore.'


With these sad thoughts tumbling about in his head

Our hero fell asleep, alone in his bed.


~ The End ~

Hullabaloo PDF


~xX o0o Xx~

© Lord Alexander of Glencoe

Future Views Magazine







Hullabaloo FVM on-line



This edition:  23 July 2005




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