The Lion and Albert in times of Covid-19
By Robin Parker
The most well-known work by the 1930s comic poet Marriot Edgar is The Lion and Albert.
This is my Covid-19 version
There’s a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
Once noted for fresh air and fun.
But now beaches are all deserted,
No tourists here, not even one.
Poor Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom,
To self isolation consigned;
And Albert, he’d had to stay with ‘em,
To terrace and garden confined.
The zoo, it were totally deserted,
No visitors allowed to come through.
And Wallace missed swallowing Albert;
‘Twould’ve given him something to do.
Wallace were very unhappy,
The zoo were all empty and drear;
And a stick with a horse’s head handle,
Would have felt quite a change in his ear.
Th’animals were all getting restless,
They’d never missed humans so much;
For keepers were all that they had now,
To give ‘em the personal touch.
Catering staff, they were on furlough,
Cafe were all shuttered and barred;
No serving of old ale and sandwiches,
No punters to sit in the yard.
Head keeper then had inspiration,
He’d thought about what they could do;
With powers of digitisation,
They’d create a virtual zoo.
Elephants walked around freely,
With imaginary children on backs;
And humans escaped to the tree-tops,
When wolves would come hunting in packs.
But by far the greatest attraction,
Would happen in Wallace’s cage;
With the re-ingestion of Albert,
For viewers, this was all the rage.
For whenever t’lion rolled over,
In boredom and having a yawn;
He’d swallow a virtual Albert,
And digital income were born.
For punters who watched on devices,
Would pass information around
And Albert’s digestion went viral
So income were solid and sound.
Head keeper, well he were delighted,
To see all this money come in
But he had to keep making it happen,
The question was, where to begin?
Then in a flash he had a vision
He’d follow the obvious track
With Albert so fetching to punters,
He’d magic the little lad back.
When Wallace got up to go pacing,
Moving around a lot more
He’d suddenly get struck with th’iccups
And spit Albert back onto floor.
Well Social Media were rampant,
There’d never been such a t’do.
Advertisers fought with each other,
To be part of this digital zoo.
The moral of this is quite simple,
While living with Covid 19;
Creative writing will flourish,
However bizarre it may seem!