A Dire Emergency


A car alarm shattered my bedroom window.
Parched, I demanded a frank explanation,
or at the very least, three glasses of ice.
"I'm sorry sir", the boiler-suit said,
"your water privileges have been withdrawn."
I slipped on my favourite beige slippers.


"Why don't you buy a fucking watch."
The Speaking Clock's rebellion
had come on leaps and bounds.
I was proud of him, and slightly in awe,
but still needed to know the time.
Late afternoon? It was a real pea-souper.


On the pavement, I attempted playful
"I love fog. If fog were beer, I'd be alcoholic."
The Gas Man studied me with distaste.
As our graceless hours rudely bowed,
my hatred for the Gas Man festered.
He became featureless; another rogue balaclava.


After the stabbing, I finished my cigarette
on the steps outside Rose's Kebab.
Only a sleeping homeless as potential witness.
Confused, yet entirely tranquil,
I dialled 999 and requested Police.
Their hold-music fit the bill:
Sending out an SOS / Sending out an SOS.

I involuntarily sang along.
A soft Yorkshire accent finally answered —
"Good evening. How can I help thee?"
"Someone has just stabbed me."
"No one likes a tattle-tale, dear."
"You sound old enough to know better."

"Listen, I've been stabbed. With a knife."
The line hummed like a July evening.
"Why don't you drink a beaker
of warm milk. Forget the whole thing."
Like a heavy dose of chloroform,
her voice guided me to sleep.
I awoke in a room with the window open.