A Tea-Pot of Trouble
There was a family of gnomes
who loved drinking tea.
Slurping those antioxidants
filled them with tannin and glee.
But they all shared a stubbourness gene
that often caused them trouble,
and arguing about who should make the tea
made that problem double.
So they had a family meeting
and by the time they had adjourned
they'd decided the best way forward
was that they should all take turns.
They didn't write down the rota,
they memorised instead,
but they all had dreadful memories.
You can tell there'll be trouble ahead.
Now this family of gnomes,
made up of Father Gnome and Mother
and Gloria a teenage daughter gnome
that's three - there was no other.
Gloria had a boyfriend gnome
who rode a motorbike,
he didn't figure in the tea making plans
and his name was scruffy Mike.
Well as could have been expected
the rota went to pot,
whose turn it was to make the tea
was very soon forgot.
The argument raging on and on,
needed a solution found.
Said Dad, "Okay listen here's the plan,
nobody must make a sound.
"The very first gnome who makes a noise
will have to make the tea.
But I'm saying now, I'm promising
that gnome will not be me."
So it was agreed and there they sat
silent as you'd like,
it was easy to hear Gloria's boyfriend
arrive outside on his motorbike.
In came scruffy Mike
to see his Gloria Gnome
and found the entire family
sitting silently at home.
"Hello Gloria," Mike said to her
but his girlfriend made no reply.
Mike repeated,"Hello Gloria."
he looked her in the eye.
She met his gaze, said not a word
and his temper began to heat.
Mike turned to Mother Gnome
with a smile that was not too sweet.
"Mother Gnome, why is Gloria
ignoring me today?"
Mother Gnome smiled at scruffy Mike
not one word would she say.
"What the bleep is going on?"
Mike asked Father with a curse.
But Father Gnome did not reply
Mike's temper just got worse.
"Right," said Mike. "Here's what I'll do
to make you speak to me,
I'll have my way with your daughter, Gnome
on this table set for tea."
Father Gnome's mouth went into a line.
Mother Gnome's mouth went thin.
Gloria looked a bit concerned,
but none of them would give in.
No matter the provocation,
how bad it came to be,
those stubbourn gnomes
would not make a sound,
or they'd have to make the tea.
Mike carried out his promise
or to be more true his threat,
The Gnomes all looked extremely cross
but they weren't making noises yet.
By now Mike was in a fury
his temper knew no bounds,
He repeated his threat
now for Mother Gnome.
Still none of them made a sound.
When it was done and Mother Gnome
and Gloria sat back in their chairs,
looking a bit dishevelled
with slightly mussed up hair,
Mike decided he was giving up
and leaving perhaps for good,
so he went off to start his motorbike
to ride back to his home in the wood.
But he slipped as he tried to kick start the bike
and the pain he felt was keen,
he had a cut on his shin
so went back for some Vaseline.
Father Gnome heard Scruffy Mike's request
added one and one - to get three.
Decided that enough was enough and said
"I'll make the tea."
This poem was inspired by a joke I heard when I was about ten. It was on a program called 'Joker's Wild' which was on tv in the afternoon when I got home from school. I remember people like Barry Cryer, Bob Monkhouse, John Junkin, Kenneth Williams, Barry Took etc used to be on it.
They would be given a subject and then have to come up with a joke that fitted the subject.
The jokes were often filled with double meanings. At ten I had a phenomenal memory and this joke just stuck with me.
I had no idea what it meant, but just liked the story I suppose.
I told it to lots of people, but it was a long time before anyone explained it to me. I can't remember who came up with this particular joke.
But I've never found anyone else who remembered it.
I have therefore immortalised it in poem form.
I'm rather pleased with it.
Hope you like it.
A version of this poem appears in The Alternative Poetry Books - Yellow edition published by Endaxi press in 2009.