A Grave Mistake!
A Grave Mistake!
Alf and Elsie - such a pair. Inseparable, throughout.
A paragon of ‘love and care’ (no shadow of a doubt).
Down’t pit until retirement, Alf was ‘Yorkshire, born and bred’.
Which met his wife’s requirement (strong int th’arm and thick int th’ead!)
But, after sixty years of bliss, came by ‘that dreadful day’
when Alfie, with a tender kiss, sent Elsie ‘on her way’.
Each day he’d tend her place of rest, to while away the hours
and made it look its very best, adorning it with flowers.
Then, after weeks of visiting, Alf finally conceded
he had to do the decent thing and buy the headstone, needed.
So, scanning Sunday supplements for stones, of bargain price,
Alf thought (despite some testaments) the cheap slate ones were nice!
He telephoned the firm, so sad and flirted with ‘Reception’.
Then (thanks to vouchers from the ad) secured a ‘price-exception’!
Arriving at the factory, Alf chose a fitting shrine.
Requesting, the inscription be “ELSIE... SHE WAS THINE.”
So, as the mason’s ‘palm was greased’ Alf took his price to task.
“Five ‘Undred?” he recoiled, “At least, Dick Turpin wore a mask!”
Alf bid him down to four (‘for cash’) as was his normal way.
Then, from his coat produced a stash of five-pound notes, to pay.
For days, the mason worked the slate. Then asked Alf to assess
the final, finished, stone (ornate), which proved, a total mess!
For there, in gilded letters, proud was “ELSIE, SHE WAS THIN.”
“Them’s not the words.” Alf carped, aloud. “The bloomin’ ‘E’s missin’!”
The mason, then resumed his post and toiled throughout the night.
To sculpt a stone, that he could boast, was absolutely right.
‘Til, finally (through blood-shot eyes) he summoned Alf to check
the stone, so there was no surprise... but Alfie cried “By Eck!”
The mason (stunned by Alf’s disdain) then mopped his fevered brow.
“I’ve done the bloomin’ lot again. You should be happy, now.”
“I must agree, yer’ve put in th‘E’.” said Alf. “It’s clearly there.
But can’t yer see, t’t ‘rub’ for me, is not the ’What’ but ‘Where’!
Just look at it!”, Alf remonstrated (pointing in amazement).
“Yer’ve botched ‘er stone again” he ‘slated’. “Best, it’s chucked in’t basement!”
Then, as the mason scratched his head, reality ‘set in’.
The headstone’s epitaph now read: “ELSIE, ‘E’... SHE WAS THIN.”
John Andrew Nield.