As one does

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 22:17 PAG
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(On a bus in Kensington, BBC staffer Arthur Calder Marshall ‘heard’ a fellow-passenger remark that war had broken out in Debenham’s. As the bus neared the store, Arthur, half-hoping for a scoop, got off only to see a newsvendor’s poster announcing ‘War in the Lebanon’. Here is one of my Calder Marshall moments…)

Ken Dodd dead, the newsman said.
Leicester police investigate
motorway service station:
grim find in back of van.
Strange, I mused, as one does:
he usually dies on stage.
Is this Doddy’s final curtain?

It had been a scorching day;
all windows were tight closed,
Death due to heat exhaustion.
so said the RSPCA.
Without compunction,
as one does, I thought
he should have had the strength

or gumption to open one.
Perhaps he couldn’t reach.
Why was he there? I wondered,
as one does. Dossing down
from sleep to death unknowing;
or suicidally inclined to
finally pull down his blind?

Why the RSPCA? Paramedics on strike
again? Then a summary enlightened me:
how absurd! I’d misheard. Not Ken Dodd.
It was ten dogs that died. I sighed.
Glad that Doddy hadn’t died?
Sad for those hot doggies fried?
Or maybe just because. As one does.

Jeff Garland