Don't you just love it when people have a way with words? This poem is by the talented Pam Ayres. Her entire collection is hilarious, but this one is Grazia's favourite.
If you've made numerous trips back to your apartment for fear of leaving electronics plugged in, read on...
We are off for a treat, it’s my birthday today,
To London. We’re seeing a musical play!
Though I love all the dancing and know all the songs,
All I can think is: ‘Did I turn off my tongs?’
Did I turn off the tongs? Well I just cannot say,
My ghastliest fears are rampaging away,
I fret, while pretending to savour the drive,
Are flames licking round my Chanel No 5?
And mentally, throughout the show and applause,
I check our insurance to look for the clause,
That says any payout is shrouded in doubt,
If you don’t turn your tongs off before you go out.
Is my beautiful bathroom now swirling in smoke?
Is my orchid bent over and starting to choke?
They will burn through the worktop and into the drawer,
If they haven’t already set fire to the floor.
I can smell it, can smell the most acrid of pongs,
As my carpet dissolves under hot curling tongs,
I can hear it, the hiss and the roar and the crackle,
An inferno out of my hairdressing tackle.
Oh, please, as I twiddled the hair round my face,
When every last twiddle was twiddled in place,
Did I put the equipment back where it belongs?
Did I flick off the switch? Did I turn off the tongs?
I’m seeing the ruins, all smoking and black,
The fire brigade hoses now useless and slack,
The shock on the face of the horrified throngs,
At the fate of those failing to turn off their tongs.
Much later we sit in the restaurant dim,
He’s smiling at me and I’m smiling at him,
On this night which has hit him so hard in the pocket,
I think: ‘Did I pull the plug out of the socket?’
And when we get home and we sigh and we stop,
And the day out has been a phenomenal flop,
I hurry upstairs where I splutter and scoff,
The birthday was ruined. The tongs were turned off.
You Made Me Late Again! by Pam Ayres, published by Ebury Press