DAILY PROMPT: IMITATION/FLATTERY
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Jack Spratt could eat no fat. His latest blood test showed
Cholesterol in huge amounts, which clearly didn’t bode
Too well for poor old Jack, and so he thought the matter through
And came to the conclusion there was just one thing to do.
He gave up cheese, he gave up eggs, he gave up fatty meat –
In short, he gave up all the things he really liked to eat
And tried instead to cultivate a taste for leafy greens
And carrots, and potatoes without butter, and string beans.
And being, we are pleased to say, a gentleman of honour
He also did his utmost not to take it out on Donna
Who sat around where he could see, this skinny wife, and guzzled
The cream and pies and pork spare ribs against which he was muzzled.
But sure enough his gastronomic diligence and care
Paid dividends. The doctor cheered, and for a moment there
Our hero puffed his chest out and derived a certain pride
From having healthy veins and healthy blood in his inside.
But pride means less than nothing when you sit it down to tea
In front of lettuce, opposite your dear wife’s boeuf en brie,
And Jack was only human. With an anguished shriek, he lost it
And tore the lettuce limb from limb and smashed the plate and tossed it
Across the room and through the plate-glass picture window, then
Exploded with a mighty leap (akin to supermen)
That took him screaming out the door and straight into the road
And slap into a truck that ran amok and lost its load
Of prime beef on the hoof, which then stampeded with a roar
Of rage that shook the neighbourhood right to its very core…
When order was restored, the culprit lay upon the street
Unmoving. Jack, clean veins and all, had been reduced to meat.
So while it’s wise and sensible to listen to the boffins,
Be warned: excessive deprivation, too, can fill our coffins.
With thanks to my father, who read us Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Verses with gleeful delight and boudless enthusiasm.