Von Sacher-Masoch’s Rebuttal to the Golden Rule

If a brutal bash
can bring one pleasure,
one man’s lash
is another man’s leisure.

 

 

Angus MacHartey’s Final Party

a sequel to “Angus MacHartey’s Parties” 

Angus MacHartey’s famous parties
Are terrors I’ve told you the tale of before.
The drinking and dancing go on for a week
And och aye!, but the bastard lives next door.

I finally decided to attend
When Angus decided that what was needed
Was the Party to End All Parties—and
It may just have succeeded.

The guest list had no heavy-hitters,
No champions straight from the Highland Games,
No Rob Roy or Robert the Bruce:
Two first-rate men with four first names.

The Earl of Athole and some of his brose
Snapped at me like a tattie crisp.
All I said was “Hey there, Athole!”
How could he know about my lisp?

Lord Ullin’s daughter seemed all washed up;
We called her the Caledonian Bore.
I finally met the real McCoy,
But I found I’d liked the phonies more.

And of all the devils that wander the moors,
Just who do you think decided to show?
The last person I wanted to see:
My ex—John Anderson my jo.

I got trapped in a droning sales pitch
From a timorous beast of a stuffed-kilt goon
Who kept trying to get me to invest in
The Banks o’ Bonnie Doon.

The spread was McDonald’s and Campbell soup,
As the caterers never showed up—how cheeky!
I asked the maid for some rumbledethumps,
But she left me with a cock-a-leekie.

It was doomed as soon as the whisky ran out:
It looked like enough to fill the lochs,
But, even though we poured it neat,
Soon the liquor supply was on the rocks.

MacHartey was doing whatever he could,
For his hype as a host was his only celebrity.
But plainly, poor old Angus was
More at-sea than an Outer Hebride.

After this bash, my neighbor dear
Has finally exhausted his revel reserves.
Old Angus has parted with parties for good,
And taken to bed with a case of nerves.

 

Notes

Och aye — oh yes
Highland Games — annual contest of Scottish games
Rob Roy — a Scottish folk hero, swashbuckling outlaw, and eponym of a very satisfying cocktail;

Robert the Bruce — heavily mythologized Scotch king who fought with William Wallace;
Athole/Atholl — a historic earldom, now extinct;
brose — a kind of porridge (Atholl brose is a traditional Scottish drink);

tattie crisp — potato chip;
Lord Ullin’s Daughter — a poem by Thomas Campbell: “‘Come back, come back!’ he cried in grief”;
Caledonia — Scotland;
the Calydonian Boar — a monster of Greek mythology;
the real McCoy — the genuine article;
John Anderson my jo — a poem by Robert Burns: “But now your brow is beld, John”;
timorous beastie — from another poem by Robert Burns;
The Banks o Doon — another Burns poem;
MacDonalds and Campbells — the most famous blood feud between Scottish clans, running for over 300 years after the Massacre of Glencoe;
rumbledethumps — a dish of cabbage, onion, and mash;
cock-a-leekie — “Scotland’s National Soup,” made from chicken and leeks;
the Outer Hebrides — rocky islands off Scotland’s northwest coast.

 

 

Daniel Galef’s comic verse has been published in Light Quarterly, Measure, and New York Magazine, and he is a featured author in the Potcake Chapbooks series of mini-anthologies from Sampson Low.

 


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4 Responses

  1. Leo Zoutewelle

    Angus’ Final Party: the first “humorous poem” I really found funny! Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    The thing about a sadist
    Is that he is a pro —
    When masochists say “Hit me!”
    The sadist says “No!”

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      A telling point, but you must admit that the fourth line would scan better if rendered thus:

      The sadist answers “No!”

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        It’s not my own poem, Kip. I remembered it from an old issue of MAD magazine. I swear, that magazine had some great poetic stuff in it — mostly parodies, but sometimes just off-the-cuff material like the above.

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