This tale concerns an English Lass,
Who signed up for an evening class,
“There’s money to be made” said she,
“I’ll try Aromatherapy.”

So, every Winter, Wednesday nights,
She headed for the city lights.
Where on the back seat of her car,
Were many bottles, tubes and jars.

And so, an expert she became,
With many letters by her name.
She set up practice in the square,
Where customers she could ensnare.

The first to enter was a man,
So tall and thin, and pale and wan.
“Now do you have some oil” he said
“To grow the hair upon my head?”

She said this was his lucky day,
No fees to her he’d have to pay.
“My services, today are free,
I’ll do my very best for thee.”

And so, she told him not to slouch,
Then pushed him down upon the couch.
As snapping on her rubber gloves,
She said a prayer to God above.

She rubbed the oil upon his head,
His skin, it turned a fiery red.
And just like maggots popping out,
So, bristles on his scalp did sprout.

An hour later lying there,
He had a healthy head of hair.
He asked her then to do her best,
To grow some extra on his chest.

So down his front she rubbed some more,
His nipples turning very sore.
He thought if he could last the night,
He’d have more hair by morning light.

That night he had a fitful sleep,
With nightmares of the deepest deep.
He woke up in an icy sweat,
With all his bedclothes soaking wet.

He saw his image standing there,
Inside the mirror by the stairs.
Upon his chest had made their home,
Two very large and shiny domes.

He stood distraught, reduced to tears,
(He looked a bit like Britney Spears.)
He knew ‘twould be a long time when,
He’d face his drinking friends again.

And so, you girls who can impart,
Your knowledge of the healing arts.
Be very, very careful when,
You’re practising upon we men.

For Lavender and Tea-tree oil,
It can, a fellow’s life bespoil.
For rub it hard upon his chest,
He’ll end up with a pair of breasts.



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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16 Responses

    • Jeff Eardley

      Jd, thanks for your kind comment. The thought of having funny bones tickled in the morning is a wonderful piece of imagery.

  1. Margaret Coats

    Jeff, I’m glad you understand the power of essential oils. So often men fail to receive any physical effect because they think aromatherapy merely employs faintly pleasant smells that might possibly improve one’s mood. As you point out, essences are not extracts like prescription drugs, with supposedly excess botanical forces discarded. If fresh enough, they have all that nature supplied to go along with the fragrance. Practitioners and patients must take care!

    • Jeff Eardley

      Margaret, thank you as ever for your observant comment. We men can never admit to using Aromatherapy. However, I must confess to the practice
      of regular ear-steaming with boiling water and Tea-Tree oil which does wonders for the sinuses. Best wishes to you.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    This poem passes the sniff test, Jeff. For my part, I’ll take balsam fir, or perhaps vanilla.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Thanks C.B, I must try the vanilla, although the thought of a balsam fir (is that a tree?) up the nostrils is a step too far.

      • C.B. Anderson

        One doesn’t want to snuff the whole tree, but just the aroma. And yes, the balsam fir is a northern tree, which is often used as a Christmas tree here in the USA.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Jeff, I can certainly depend upon your fun brand of poetry to add an extra flood of sunshine to my day. I’m still hoping to regain my sense of smell after having Covid… but, I think I’ll give this aromatherapist a miss.

    • Jeff Eardley

      Thanks Susan and I am surprised you are still having having after effects. The lady in question is on standby for a trip over to Texas whenever you’re ready.

  4. Brian Yapko

    Jeff, this is a hilariously eccentric piece of poetry. It’s almost as if W.S. Gilbert had written a transgender nightmare song. I know you didn’t intend it as a patter song but for me it cries out for some good G&S-style music. When I read this out loud I hear it to the tune of “When I Was a Lad.”

  5. Jeff Eardley

    Brian, thanks for your observations and I am now singing this to the tune you mention, and you are right, it works so well. The only other transgender song I know features a lady who dresses as a man to join the British army, to follow her soldier boyfriend, who himself turns out to be a woman. A case of most of the Privates having none of the parts.

    • Brian Yapko

      Good one, Jeff. I don’t know whether to laugh out loud or groan. As for “When I Was a Lad” — I didn’t realize but if you think about the title it now sounds like a transgender autobiographical piece.

  6. David Watt

    Jeff, the laughter therapy provided by your poem is sufficient for me. I will leave the essential oils for others to enjoy.


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