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Further Adventures
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ALBERT AND THE 'EALTH & SAFETY INSPECTOR
by
Andrew Vasey

The story of Albert Ramsbottom,
And his trip to the old Blackpool Zoo,
Is one that is rightly remembered -
I can quite recommend it to you.

To put the whole thing in a nutshell,
And get on to our story today,
Young Albert was ate by a lion,
But, quite unharmed, got away.

Our story's set many years later,
With Albert himself now a dad.
He returned to the zoo with his wife, Chardonnay,
And young Albert Junior, their lad.

The day had got off to a pretty poor start -
Dad had wanted to buy a new stick,
With a 'orses 'ead 'andle, just like the one
He had used to make t'lion so sick.

"We'll go into Woolworth's to get one," he'd said,
"We'll not," said his wife, Chardonnay.
"And for why?" he'd retorted, quite piqued by her tone,
'Til she said, "Woolworth's long had its day."

As luck would have it they went into Poundland,
And found a nice stick that would do.
Albert twirled it about as they went on their way,
And rolled up at the gate to the zoo.

"You're not coming in 'ere with that stick," said the man,
Albert said, "Why the flippin' 'eck not?"
"'Ealth and Safety man says so, that's why," said the man,
Albert said, "That's a load of old rot."

"Old rot it may be," asserted the man,
"But you must leave your walking stick 'ere.
Once, long ago, a lad came in with one,
And poked Wallis, our lion, in the ear."

Albert decided he'd said quite enough,
So he paid and they went in the zoo.
They'd a big cats display, and a camels display,
And a reptiles display in there too.

They thought that they'd start with the reptiles,
And went in the building thus signed,
Where video shows of various beasts
Had all been superbly designed.

Albert asked where the real reptiles were housed,
But his query was met with disdain.
"If we'd real reptiles here," came the icy reply,
"'Ealth and Safety'd soon stop us again."

The same thing occurred wherever they went;
There were videos, pictures, displays.
"Where are the real ones?" just got the response,
"Not safe, 'Ealth and Safety man says."

The Ramsbottoms felt they'd been cheated;
They went on to the zoo's exit place,
Where a sight they'd not seen when they walked in the zoo
Brought a strange look upon Albert's face.

A stuffed lion stood 'neath a rickety roof,
Coat mangy, nose covered in scars.
"Look, mother, look," Albert Junior exclaimed,
"Yon lion looks like that one of pa's!"

"Wallis!" cried Albert, and indeed it was he -
The lion that had swallowed him down,
And right at that moment a fellow appeared,
With a clipboard, a pen and a frown.

'Twas the H and S man, inspecting the zoo -
He eyed the stuffed lion with distaste.
"That's a 'azard to 'ealth," he declared in the end,
"It must be removed from this place."

"We'll take it," said Albert, "right off their 'ands -
We've got room for the thing in our yard.
I'll speak to the man at the pay desk right now -
To do a deal shouldn't be hard."

He went off right away, and, true to his word,
He got the thing sorted out quick.
He returned to the place for his wife and his son;
He'd remembered to pick up his stick.

"Now 'ang on a bit," said the H and S man,
"I see that you have a small son.
A stuffed beast like this might be bad for the child,
So you'd best get the deal undone."

To this day in the Ramsbottoms' garden there stands
A stuffed lion in best pride of place,
While a trip to the toilet will still bring a tear
To the H and S officer's face.

For a poke in the ear with a walking stick handle
May annoy any cat of each class,
But a stick bought at Poundland, inserted with rage,
Will always ruin anyone's life!
 
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