HERBERT THE INVALID
written by Paul Gerard Smith
performed by
Pat O'Malley
Along towards the end of the summer 
All was peace at the Pinwinkle place, 
For 'Erb was confined to 'is boudoir 
With little red dots on 'is face.

The Pinwinkles summonsed a doctor 
Whose record was known far and wide, 
For of forty-four patients 'e'd treated 
All forty-four patients 'ad died.

They felt, with 'is able assistance 
Young 'Erb couldn't pull through alive, 
As, with forty-four straight to 'is credit 
'E would try for a straight forty-five.

They paid 'im a shilling a visit, 
And, tho they begroodged every cent, 
If the doctor's luck only 'eld out with young 'Erb
They considered it money well spent.

"'E's upstairs," said Pa to the doctor
"'E's now in your 'ands... do your best."
"I shall," said the doctor, "do unto your 'Erb
As I've done unto all of the rest,"

"That's that," said Mother Pinwinkle. 
Pa replied with a wink and a laugh, 
"You said it old girl, all we've got to do now 
Is think up a good epitaph."

"Now, Father," said Mother, "remember, 
Our duties we mustn't neglect. 
An occasion like this is a red letter day 
There are certain things people expect.

"As soon. as the folks learn of 'Erbert 
And discover 'e's well on 'is way, 
They'll 'ang flags out all of the windows 
And close up their shops for the day.

"You get busy and make some sandwiches, 
I'll get busy and whip up a cake, 
Well 'ave to 'ave cheese, pickled pigs' feet and beer, 
I expect a big crowd to the wake."

'Bah Goom, thou'rt right," answered Father 
"The finish of 'Erbie, our son, 
Is a day that comes once in a lifetime, 
And we've got to go 'ole 'og or none.

"As parents we must do our duty, 
It's a penalty parents must pay, 
And we'll give little 'Erbie a sendoff 
Much bigger than Armistice Day!'

So Father went down to the village 
And spread the good word all about, 
And detailed some folk to stand by and ring bells 
And others to stand by and shout.

'E arranged a parade led by bandsmen 
All dressed up in bright crimson coats; 
Be'ind them came two dozen 'orses, 
Be'ind them came three dozen floats.

Then came the rest of the village 
Dressed up in their best coats and 'ats, 
Then the mayor and city officials 
And then came the stray dogs and cats.

And when the parading was over 
A concert and vaudeville show 
Would. be 'eld in a grove by the river 
And all were invited to go.

There'd be games and community singing 
And all of it free as the skies 
To be followed by one minute's silence 
In honor of 'Erbert's demise.

When arrangements were all consummated 
'E 'urried back 'ome in a sweat 
And inquired of 'is wife, "Is it over?" 
But she only answered, "Not yet!"

In the kitchen they waited impatient 
For the doctor to bring the good news 
"Stop walking," said Mother to Father 
"Sit down or you'lI wear out your shoes."

"I'm too nervous to sit," answered Father 
"This waiting around isn't fun 
We're paying this doctor for service 
Let's go up and see what 'e's done."

So up they tiptoed to the bedroom 
And quietly opened the door 
To find their young 'Erbie was laughing with glee
And the doctor was pacing the floor.

'E stopped in 'is tracks when they entered 
And shouted, "Now look what you've done." 
And they saw that 'is face was all full of red dots
The same as young 'Erbie, their son.

"'Erb's give 'im the measles," said Mother, 
"It's too bad they both 'ave to die." 
Father stretched out 'is 'and to the doctor 
And said, "We are grateful... good bye."

"Don't be silly," the poor doctor shouted 
"Who ever saw measles like these? 
That fool son of yours has a dog in the bed 
That is well populated with fleas."

'E won't die," said the doc, "but I'll suffer 
If I get my 'ands on a switch 
I come 'ere to do you a kindness 
And now I end up with the itch!'

Well the Pinwinkles was disappointed 
'Twas a 'eartbreaking blow, no mistake 
To 'ave to call back invitations 
They 'ad sent out to young 'Erbert's wake.

So 'Erbie went right back to normal 
Filled with pep and original sin, 
'E mixed Epsom salts in the sugar 
And poured kerosene in the gin.

The villagers tried to avoid 'im 
And wished 'e 'ad never been 'atched 
For wherever 'e went with his flea bitten dog
People broke out with red dots... and scratched.
The end