HERBERT THE INVALID
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