At a time years ago when I lived in a bedsit, I would eat out at least twice a week. The local Wimpy Bar staff were almost like a family. They knew which day we would come in, where we sat and what we liked to eat.
Mother of them all was Muriel. A dear lady who fussed over everyone. Months passed into years and the ageless Muriel was always delighted to read the short poems I wrote about her and her supposed adventures. In fact I believe they went to Head Office and one or two she had framed. So here’s to the memory of Muriel – an extraordinary lady.
Some people visit Brighton,
Others fly to Spain,
But why do people go so far
In Newport’s Wimpy Bar
Has a welcome ALL acclaim?
Where-ever I went a’Wimpying,
At homeland or afar,
The fame of lovely Muriel,
Had passed on long before.
At last I found old Newport
One wet and windy night,
But where was lovely Muriel,
Her absence was my plight.
I asked the ample waitress
Who answered loud and clear,
“Oh yes, the famous Muriel
You won’t find her working here!”
“But I am in NEWPORT,” I spluttered.
“Surely I read the name right?”
“You are in NEWPORT my darling –
NEWPORT, Isle of Wight.”
Now follows the most ambitious ‘Muriel’ poem in play form which also mentions some of the delights offered on the menu at the time. For some readers this might well be a trip down memory lane.
Gloria : Some people visit Brighton,
Others fly to Spain.
Jean: Oh no, don’t tell me let me guess
Muriel’s off again!
Gloria: You’ve heard me speak of Muriel,
And now she’s gone away.
Me: To the Wimpy on the Isle of Wight?
Gloria: Much further.
Jean : Well I say!
Gloria: For months she was quite happy,
Though excitement was what she yearned
Jean: Well, yesterday she was kidnapped
And all her Wimpys burned.
Her Cornish Maidens melted
And her Delta’s turned quite pale.
Her famous powered ox-tail soup
Had a froth to rival ale.
Me: Fear not High Street Wimpy
For Muriel will be saved.
My passport is now ready
And all my plans are made.
Gloria: We have it on good authority
It’s eastwards you must go,
For Muriel’s detained in Italy…
Me: By whom?
Jean: You do not know?
Gloria: She’s busy making Longboats
For the Mafioso.
I wonder how many other staff in catering are so well respected that poems are written for them.