106. home of the brave.

We stand there, meekly,
while the dumb waitresses
huddled together
are studiously ignoring us
as we wait in line to order
at the Harry Ramsden’s
motorway services concession.

And no, – we’re only customers
and, blowing bubblegum,
they’ve altogether bigger fish to fry –
like who shagged who last night
& did you know that J-Lo
takes it in the back door ?
And Carly’s getting a tattoo
just above her arse next week,
– a classy one, mind, in Chinese script
that says “eat my clam”,
except no-one but the guy at the Golden Orchid
will be able to read it
& even he wouldn’t stoop that low,
although he is partial to a fish supper it’s said.

Until giggling, they look across – too late –
& now, as if re-enacting Custer’s last stand,
emboldened, & with an admirable fearlessness,
the massed majority overcome
& close in for the kill
and the uniformed concede defeat & split up
to round up stragglers & dirty plates,
give up their golden booty
and utter those timeless words
“d’yer want mushy peas wi that?”