28 Jan 2016

And Then A New ‘Bad’ Word....

And that bad word is? Yup, you’ve seen the news, the word is ‘bunch’. I’m assuming a bunch of bananas is still acceptable but referring to an assemblage of people as a bunch is, apparently, incredibly naughty.

After Mr Cummerbund refered to the many people gathered in Calais waiting for a ride to the UK as a “bunch of migrants” the usual suspects, a bunch of the constantly offended, declared his use of the word ‘bunch’ as variously,  inflammatory, dehumanising and/or callous. You reckon we should start referring to all these hand-wringing bed wetters as a Thicket of the Offended?

What comes as a shock to me is that not too long ago we’d have read {say ‘red’} that or heard Dave say that and it wouldn’t have registered as anything other than what was written or said. Now? As we read it or hear it coming out of Dave’s mouth we collectively think, “Oh ho, now he’s in trouble.” Sadly, it seems, in one way or the other, the Thicket of the Offended have got to us.

So what to make of those classic lines penned by Robert Service, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, parodied below by Billy Bennett; especially the opening line and the last few verses. Shocking use of language eh?

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up
In the Malamute Saloon;
An American guy from Peckham Rye
Was playing a ragtime tune.

And back of the bar, in a poker game,
Sits dangerous Dan McGrew;
Watching his luck is his lady love,
The lady that's known as 'Loo'

Now Dangerous Dan was a dirty old man,
And he worked underground all alone-
Digging for dope, scrounging for soap,
Pumping for Eau-de-Cologne.

He claimed to be Mother Seigel's son
Vouch for that statement I can't,
But I think he was born on a liner
Whilst travelling abroad with his aunt.

Now Dan was a gink that could mop any drink
From laudanum to unsweetened gin;
You can tell he was tough, he'd eat salmon and stuff
Without even opening the tin.

Just picture a real tough son of a gun,
A man that could fight any two,
With hair on his chest where the birds used to nest,
And that's dangerous Dan McGrew.

Out in the snow it was fifty below
And would give a brass monkey the croup,
When in came a stranger, dismounted, on foot,
Disguised as a slice of pea soup.

He looked like a man with one foot in the grave,
You could see at a glance he was queer,
For he made a rude noise with the back of his neck,
And bubbles came out of his ear.

In a football shirt that was glazed with dirt
He looked strange in his evening dress clothes;
Icicles hung from his eybrows,
And bicycles hung from his nose.

'Who is this man?' said Dangerous Dan,
And Loo with a voice like a crow
Said: 'I know the stiff, it's Buffalo Biff,
And he's running a Wild West show.'

At the cocoanut shies, Dan McGrew shut his eyes,
He picked up a ball made of lead,
He let fly at a nut, but it bounced in a rut
And hit a bald man's nut instead.

The cannon ball bounced off the bald fellow's nut
And bang went a parrafin lamp,
Set fire to the bearded lady's moustache
And up went the whole of the camp.

In less than a second, or longer than that,
Pandemonium started to reign:
The skeleton slipped up the elephant's trunk,
And the fat lady slipped down a drain.

Dan McGrew fired a shot at a wild leopard's spot
(I couldn't say which spot he chose):
It bounced back on his chest, his braces went west
And down came his how-do-you-do's.

The girl with tattoos had a fit of the blues,
For they'd scorched all the paint off her chest;
A man with a hose started pinching her clothes,
Singing ''Everything's done for the best.'

There were Esquimaux, half a mo's, Ikey mo's, too,
Greek freaks and pip-squeaks as well;
Chinese, and knock-knees, and buzza-bazooks,
That only a mother could tell.

White men and black, with no shirts to their back,
That morning looked tattered and torn;
One poor little Hindu, he just made his skin do
The same as the day he was born.

With a heart like a rock, And a boot full of sock,
Buffalo Biff started off with his crew;
Though the journey's a big'un, they all walked to Wigan
Through the shooting of Dan McGrew.

Sadly, it would appear that the Thicket of the Offended may have got to Billy all those years ago as he drops the opening line in this rendition...


Quote;  Tim Fargo.

“Some people take offense like it's a limited time offer.”

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