Thursday, February 26, 2004


My Fib – Your Reply

My fib:
I'll soon be off to work in the Namib region of Namibia - a cool coastal desert with sand dunes and gravel plains. I've been told I will need some headgear – made of breathable fabric, and flexible enough to fold into a rucksack. I've already got a baseball cap, but want something else a little different … Do you know where I can find one of those Oliver Twist caps - the kind with peaks and a steepish front?

Your reply:
Working in a desert of Namibia?
Hmm, has there ever been told a more fib-ier
Fib than that
(‘Cos I ain’t heard one, so far)?
But I hope you find your Dickensian hat
("... oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah!!") ...

Rolling inland, the sea mist parts
To reveal the backdrop to Lionel Bart's
The rookery slums are suddenly strewn
On the side of a giant sand dune.
Two native ostriches
Use their beaks to pick at the stitches
In a pile of stolen wallets.
Fagin is blinded while he sings,
And his pet owl cowers, using its
To shield its eyes;
His treasure stash lies
Exposed in the sun, glinting
(Oliver Twist is squinting,
Having lost his cap in the sand).

Gazing across the palm of his hand,
Bill Sikes sees the air wobbling
With the rising heat of Nancy's blood
(Her body in a red dress
Looks like a rosebud
On the horizon).

Although I did originally fib about working there, I am now toying with the idea of going to Namibia this summer, specifically to the Namib Desert, where I dream of putting on a production of Lionel Bart's "Oliver!" among the sand dunes. I just wonder what it would be like ... Dehydrated and burnt, the Dodger loses his vigour, becoming a sluggish lully prigger, tangled in a mirage of laundry hanging on a washing line - sneezing while he tries to suck moisture from the judge’s wig he imagines is drying there; the photic sneeze reflex - triggered by exposure to the desert sun - completely ruins the song he is singing ...