Friday, February 20, 2015

Eminently qualified

My English blogging friend Neil T., whose cyberspace moniker is Yorkshire Pudding, has made noises of late that his beloved Yorkshire should have a vote for independence just as Scotland did recently. I suggested that if the new nation he longs for becomes a reality he might be named Chancellor of the Exchequer or perhaps even Minister of Public Education since he has a 30-year career as a teacher of English in his résumé. However, his heart is set on being The Lord High Executioner.

Don’t be so fast to say, “Preposterous!” because this is not such a far-fetched idea. Your honor, I believe Yorkshire Pudding is eminently qualified for the position. In fact, Gilbert and Sullivan presented us with an impressive precedent in H.M.S. Pinafore:

When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an attorney’s firm
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor
And I polished up the handle of the big front door
He polished up the handle of the big front door
I polished up that handle so carefully
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
He polished up that handle so carefully
That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy


As office boy I made such a mark
That they gave me the post of a junior clerk
I served the writs with a smile so bland
And I copied all the letters in a big round hand
He copied all the letters in a big round hand
I copied all the letters in a hand so free
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
He copied all the letters in a hand so free
That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy


In serving writs I made such a name
That an articled clerk I soon became
I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
For the Pass Examination at the Institute
For the Pass Examination at the Institute
And that Pass Examination did so well for me
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
That Pass Examination did so well for he
That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy


Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
That they took me into the partnership
And that junior partnership I ween
Was the only ship that I ever had seen
Was the only ship that he ever had seen
But that kind of ship so suited me
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
But that kind of ship so suited he
That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy


I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament
I always voted at my party’s call
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all
No, he never thought of thinking for himself at all
I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
He thought so little, they rewarded he
By making him the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy


Now, landsmen all, whoever you may be
If you want to rise to the top of the tree
If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule
Stick close to your desks and never go to sea
And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy
Stick close to your desks and never go to sea
And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy


Given this incontrovertible evidence, Your Honor, I submit that Yorkshire Pudding's 30-year career as a teacher of English is the perfect credential for his being named The Lord High Executioner in the saucy new nation of Worcestershire Yorkshire.

Don’t you agree?

6 comments:

All Consuming said...

I do indeed, and this seemed fitting too;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKFMWhxJask

Kate said...

I've never actually heard those words properly… very droll.
btw talking of the navy, I am a great fan of the Patrick O'Brian series. Ever read any Robert?

rhymeswithplague said...

All-Consuming (Michelle), thanks for the Star Trek: The Next Generation clip of Data and Jean-Luc Picard doing Gilbert & Sullivan!

Kate, I have never read Patrick O/Brian but I have watched Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation; I also have read several books by Tom Clancy. Do they count?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You referred to the wrong Gilbert and Sullivan opera Bobby. As my American agent you should have quoted From "The Mikado":-
Behold the Lord High Executioner
A personage of noble rank and title —
A dignified and potent officer,
Whose functions are particularly vital!
Defer, defer,
To the Lord High Executioner!
Defer, defer,
To the noble Lord, to the noble Lord,
To the Lord High Executioner!

rhymeswithplague said...

Yorkshire Pudding, Lord High Executioner Wannabe, you are wrong, sir. It was not my aim to announce that one and all should pay deference to the Lord High Executioner (which you are not, by the way, at least not yet). There will be plenty of time and opportunity for paying deference once you are actually the Lord High Executioner. On the contrary, my aim was to show evidence to the court that since an office boy rose to the position of Ruler of the Queen's Navy, a retired teacher of English can rise to the position of Lord High Executioner. This was clear to all with the possible exception of retired teachers of English. I hasten to add that you are the very model of a modern Lord High Executioner.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You are cleverer and more wily than Richard Nixon. If you were a Yorkshireman I would happily petition for you to become Minister of Information in our inaugural government but sadly you are a Rhode Island Red which is a kind of chicken I believe - often favoured by Colonel Sanders.