Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Ogden Nash Redux




This morning I was speaking with a man who makes a living by doing odd jobs and repairs, and he was complaining about his shrinking paycheck under Obama, not only in the form of less work opportunities, but the actual deductions from his pay in the form of added taxes (I think he files quarterly) and health care costs.

His lament was almost word for word Mr. Nash’s famous poem:


One From One Leaves Two

Higgledy piggledy, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
Gentlemen come every day
To count what my black hen doth lay.
If perchance she lays too many,
They fine my hen a pretty penny;
If perchance she fails to lay,
The gentlemen a bonus pay.

Mumbledy pumbledy, my red cow,
She’s cooperating now.
At first she didn’t understand
That milk production must be planned;
She didn’t understand at first
She either had to plan or burst,
But now the government reports
She’s giving pints instead of quarts.

Fiddle de dee, my next-door neighbors,
They are giggling at their labors.
First they plant the tiny seed,
Then they water, then they weed,
Then they hoe and prune and lop,
They they raise a record crop,
Then they laugh their sides asunder,
And plow the whole caboodle under.

Abracadabra, thus we learn
The more you create, the less you earn.
The less you earn, the more you're given,
The less you lead, the more you're driven,
The more destroyed, the more they feed,
The more you pay, the more they need,
The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take
If the tax-collector hasn’t got it before I wake.

-Ogden Nash
(1902-1971)


Snaps of my old battered 1975 book of selected poems by Ogden Nash-

In addition to his poetry, the book also contains many of Ogden Nash's hand drawn cartoons.
This one reminds of a certain politician I know.

Another of my favorites.




- JP

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

John, I have never read that poem. Of course I've heard of Ogden Nash but never read this poem. Wow, it's like dejavu all over again. But, I fear this election was a tipping point and we're truly outnumberd now...results like last November's will likely repeat every 4 years going forward, unfortunately.

John Pacheco said...

To Anon:
You sound disheartened. Don’t be.

The Jewish prayer “tikun olam” translates roughly into “fix a broken world.” It expresses a religious conviction that our duty to God is to fix the world. All our best intentions and beliefs are worthless if we don’t act on them in some external capacity in our daily lives.

Yes the November Presidential Election was a great loss for the country, but we have a responsibility to continue working for what is right.

As I point out to my fellows here in central Texas, things are nowhere as dark as the media would have you believe. While we did lose the Presidency to a mountebank, locally in Texas, we won big. We won just about every race that mattered at every level including the all-important judicial races.

Now it’s up to us to continue this work and build upon it.