By Joseph James
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The Gutter Poem Twas a sunny morn to start it The rotting gutter lay there I had to wire-brush it To lay the metal bare. My next job was to paint it With red oxide, brushed with care And the old man leaning on the wall Looked on in absent stare. My next job was to fix it The best that I knew how I couldn’t have thought at that time That I’d get in such a row. My hands were red from painting My chest was full of pride I saw the plumber coming His rage he could not hide. A verbal rocket followed My chest of pride was gone I had to take the lot down The old man just looked on.
You could not see anything as it was all blurred, but what a reception you got when the girls turned round. They all took it in good part and there was no indecency about it. It was very much like the party game where all the men, along with one woman, go into a room and the rest of the women go into another. Six cushions are laid about two-foot square apart and the first lady volunteer is blindfolded and led into the room. She walks along, placing each foot on a cushion, and when she has completed this (walking along to the other side) a man lies between the cushions and looks up towards the ceiling.
So off you set. The first obstacle would be a brick honeycombed wall which you had previously chopped a hole through with a hammer and chisel. Lying on your tummy or side, whichever way was the easiest, you would worm you way through the obstacle, pulling the pipe and possibly a twenty-four-inch Stillson wrench and chain dogs with you. Then you would crawl, sometimes ripping your knees, arms and face. If you had to travel on your back, it was one hell of a game and extremely uncomfortable if you crawled over a clinker.
Above the Water Line by Joseph James