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  1. The Back Pages
13 January 2014

The NS Competition No 4306

By New Statesman

Set by Leonora Casement

You were asked for updated nursery rhymes.

This week’s winners

Good. You enjoyed this one, although the postbag shrank a little after the Christmas monster. Presumably you’re all more than a little worse for wear after the holiday celebrations! Having spent New Year in Germany, this NS judge was pleased to come back to a country where you can order free tap water in restaurants. It is impossible there and waiters look at you as if you are mad. The reason, besides cultural traditions, according to one website, is that the German for tap water is “Leitungswasser”, which means “plumbing water” and sounds too horrible to drink, even though tap water there is perfectly safe. The winners get a tenner each, with the Tesco vouchers going, in addition, to Gerard Benson.

Poor Mrs Proctor

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Poor Mrs Proctor

Tried to see the doctor.

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She’d got a nasty thing

Growing on her skin.

She needed special ointment,

Tried for an appointment;

“We’ve just got one in May,”

The receptionist did say.

She lived through the spring

With the nasty on her skin.

But before it got much hotter

The carcinoma got her.

Poor Mrs Proctor

Never saw her doctor.

Gerard Benson

Monday’s child

Monday’s child hangs cats for kicks,

Tuesday’s child is turning tricks,

Wednesday’s child is posing nude,

Thursday’s child is bum-tattooed,

Friday’s child is horribly obese,

Saturday’s child is sought by the police,

And the child who was born on the Sabbath day

Is a lovely boy; we think he’s gay.

Brian Allgar

Two little dicky birds

Two little dicky birds getting on my wick;

One named David, one named Nick.

Fly away, David! Fly away, Nick!

Don’t come back, you make me sick.

G M Davis

Hey diddle diddle

Hey diddle diddle,

They’re all on the fiddle,

From bankers to cheating MPs.

From tax-free hoards to expenses for Lords,

It’s a cesspit of wangle and sleaze.

Peter Regan

Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary, entrepreneury,

How does your business grow?

With loans on spec and cutting-edge tech,

And maximum profits on show.

Alanna Blake

Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary, better be wary.

What might the government know?

At GCHQ, they can listen to you,

And can watch everywhere you may go!

Gordon Watson

Georgie Osborne

Georgie Osborne, cunning and sly,

Taxed the poor and made them cry.

But when the voters say, “No way,”

Georgie Osborne will have to pay.

Albert Black

Little Jack Horner

Little Jack Horner stood at the corner

Thumbing his wad of cash;

There came a drug dealer

Who put out a feeler

And now Jack is sky-high on hash.

Mary had a robot lamb

Mary had a robot lamb

As clever as a prof.

It went with Mary everywhere,

Made everybody laugh.

She selfied it on Twitter,

Received ten million hits,

Now Mary loves her robot lamb

To mega, megabits.

M E Ault (x2)

Christmas has come

Christmas has come and gone, the euro’s getting thin,

Please put a trillion in the old Brussels tin.

If you haven’t got a trillion, put a billion, if you must;

If you haven’t got a billion, then your country’s bust!

Nicholas Holbrook

The next challenge

No 4309 By Adrian Fry

Inspired by Alan Flint’s letter to the NS in November 2013, in which he suggests that Edward Lee-Six drew the wrong conclusions about George Orwell (from only four phrases selected from a six-volume oeuvre), we want you to select one line from prose or poetry and draw from it completely the wrong conclusions about the writer. Betjeman’s Nazism extrapolated from “Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!” might be a prime example to inspire you.

Max 150 words by 30 January

comp@newstatesman.co.uk