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Thursday, 2 August 2012

image for Obituary - Harry Postlethwaite. The Bard of Saddleworth

Harry Postlethwaite
July 2nd 1923 - July 30th 2012.


The death has occurred of one of the area's least talented poets. Harry Postlethwaite worked for most of his life as a milkman in and around Saddleworth. Between his milk deliveries he would compose poetry, most of which he discarded as rubbish, and published only a few poems a year, which most of the public classed as rubbish. Harry's problem was that his poems lacked a finish that actually rhymed with what had gone before. An example of this came in a poem he wrote in 1948.

"I had a little pumpkin
It was so bright and fair
But when it wouldn't grow at all
It really made me swear.
I called it a bastard
I said "You really suck
So why don't you just piss off home"
I just couldn't give a hoot."


This lack of credible punchlines was a plague that stayed with Harry well into the late 50's, until his problem was diagnosed as a rare disease called "Shakespeare's syndrome", which affects about 1 in every 10,000 people, of which most are poets.
A course of treatment led Harry to his finest hour. His limerick "The Barmaid of Sale" won acclaim from dozen of locals, and it appeared that Harry's problems were behind him.

"The breasts of a barmaid from Sale,
Were tattooed with the price of brown ale.
And on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in Braille"


He published a few more poems without success, and decided to turn his talents to writing poetry for children. His first submission to a publisher came a few weeks after the return of "Shakespeare's syndrome", and Harry's first attempt at children's poetry, was to be his last.

"Red lorry, Yellow lorry,
Sugary Buggery.
Bicycle, Test tickle
Bucket, Fuck it"

Harry lost interest in poetry for many years, and it wasn't until 2012 that he put pen to paper again. Sadly the punchline failures of the past were there again, but this didn't stop him sending it to a national newspaper who printed it, probably because it was the only poem written about the pasty tax.


"Georgie Porgy and his mate Dave
Said the country they wanted to save.
They lowered the taxes, saying "That's fair"
But only if you're a millionaire.
They put VAT on a pastie
But were told they were nasty.
It was said they would hurt working men
So they did a big u turn the following week
And put VAT down again.
They really don't know their backs from their fronts
What a couple of stupid men".

His last piece of writing came in a poem about the Olympics.

"Earth hath not anything to show more fair
Than my girl Sally in her underwear.
Sitting one night as the fireside flickers
I saw her count her Olympic stickers.
Then later at bedtime as she undressed.
I could see through her negligee, right to her vest."

The irony was that he actually got the last line to rhyme with the rest of the poem probably, as most people say, by pure chance. It was still a fitting finale for one of the area's least talented poets.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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