in response to Mike Bryant’s “CDC: New Guidance”

“The Helicap’s a wondrous thing,” I heard the salesman say,
I ordered one from Amazon, it came the other day.
It fits just like a bathing cap; it’s colorful and slick,
And has these huge propeller blades that spin at quite a lick.

For when you put the batteries in, the blades go whizzing round,
And all those nasty Covid bugs go spinning to the ground.
No need for masks and visors now, your life will be complete,
Apart from all that laughter as you walk along the street.

But if you switch it to “Reverse,” you’ll get an awful fright,
Your Helicap will lift you up, above the city lights.
You’ll end up in the Stratosphere where you’ll be quite alone,
To hurtle into orbit like some clever NASA drone.

But as the batteries start to fade, as very well they might,
Your Helicap will take you down from your Celestial height.
Your life will flash before you as toward the Earth you fly,
To burn up like a meteor across the evening sky.

We’ll beat this thing together now, I really hope we will,
As long as we don’t holiday in India or Brazil.
So, send my kindest wishes to that clever Texan chap,
The salesman who persuaded me to buy a Helicap.



Jeff Eardley lives in the heart of England near to the Peak District National Park and is a local musician playing guitar, mandolin and piano steeped in the music of America, including the likes of Ry Cooder, Paul Simon, and particularly Hank Williams.

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15 Responses

    • Jeff Eardley

      Julian, thank you for your kind words. I hold Mr. Bryant to account for starting this nonsense.

  1. Mike Bryant

    Jeff, I’m thrilled that you’ve taken the guidance to heart. However, you have missed the latest guidance. As it turns out, the latest studies prove conclusively that the taller you are, the less likely that you will succumb to the Wuflu. For that reason Dr. Sparky, and the CDC, and the WHO, are all recommending using stilts to put your face above the fray. Of course, the taller you are the shorter the stilts must be. In fact, many basketball players may be able to get by with platform shoes or even stilettos, in keeping with the times. If you’re short, you may need mega-stilts. Of course, you’ll need the compulsory airbags add-on to protect you in the event of a fall.
    The CDC recommends that even after the vaccine, it’s only sensible to use the Helicap, the Stilts, three masks, and if you know a Voodoo priestess, a spell might not go amiss.
    Jeff, great poem, but do try to keep up with the Science.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Mike, we now have the “Indian Variant” to contend with. I guess it may head your way, in which case you had better kick-start the Cavalry, strap on your stilts and helicaps and head out for the last shoot out at Wounded Knee.

      • Mike Bryant

        Jeff, the one you need to worry about is the “Timbuktoodle-oo Variant”… if you get that one just put your head between your legs and kiss your sweet bippy goodbye.

  2. Sally Cook

    Dear Jeff –
    We on this side of the pond are desperately in need of
    further HELICAP procedures and pronouncements !
    What have you to say of that brave Texas cat
    Named George Lionel, who is happy and fat
    As a grey striped porker, when wearing his MEOWER
    Designed by Mike Bryant. It gives him the power
    To flit cross the state in a moment of glee
    Or sweep up the coast to see poets like me !

    Perhaps Mike may add to the battery life
    Of the Meower, and then you might cut with a knife
    Through the crowds of striped pussycats up in the sky
    Just gyreing and gamboling — who can say why?

    Oh, they may talk long about Meower – clad cats
    ( I hear Mike is working on one for blind bats)
    And puppies, and turtles, and hummingbirds too –
    For keeping a count of the red, white, and blue !

    PS – for referencing the term MEOWER please see last
    HELICAP announcement.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Dearest Sally, this is priceless – my sides are aching! Fantastic poem! George is hovering above me waiting for his lunch… I must turn my Helicap up to max and get my stilts. Toodle-pip from me and George!

    • Mike Bryant

      Sally, George has been very stubborn. Even though the Meower has afforded him a tremendous amount of freedom, he refuses to fly the two blocks to the supermarket to pick up a gallon of milk. I don’t know why I even bothered saving him from Wuflu.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Wow, Sally, thank you for this wonderful response. I have no idea who George Lionel is, or Meower, but “gyreing and gamboling” is something we should be doing more of over here.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Jeff, I love this… fantastic rhyme and rhythm, but, more importantly, you are getting an important, life-saving message out to the public. A quick warning. The stilts are in full use in our neck of the woods and there’s a nasty side effect known as “height envy”. Texans are feisty folk and always eager to rise, like cream, to the top. The stilts are growing increasingly higher – altitude sickness and teetering to one’s doom is now in full swing! Thank goodness for the airbags!

    • Jeff Eardley

      Thank you Susan. I just wonder if there is a physical maximum stilt height, beyond which, oxygen is required. I guess all Texans are now tottering about up there in the sky, coughing and hacking over each other as way below, the Indian variant slowly creeps in like a swamp alligator to slither its way into your Summer, as I fear it will do to what is left of ours. Time to fit Duracells into the Helicap and blast off.

  4. Gail

    I’ve always loved stilts. I’m skeptical of the helicap, but there may be some familial bias behind that. Dad was a helicopter pilot; I’ve been up more than most folks–and it was free! (To me, anyway.)

    Very enjoyable work, Mr. Eardley.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Oh, thank you Gail for your kind words. I used to love walking around on home-made stilts when I was a child. Far more fun than the Helicap. Your Dad sounds like he was a lot of fun

  5. David Watt

    Jeff, your response matches the technical skill and hilarity of Mike’s poem. I’m wary of heights, so i’ll have to stick to the floor like the occupant of a burning building. I might be safer down there anyway if this stilt walking catches on.

  6. Jeff Eardley

    Thanks David. I am still having nightmares about that Bunyip as I strap on my Helicap. Perhaps you could use one to hover over your watercourses and drop grenades on the rascal. You can also strap one to your privates and spin around vertically while the wife practices her circus skills with the kitchen knives. Thanks again and that Big Bill Broonzy song is worth a check on YouTube.


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