Brian Allgar


An Ideal Husband

I wonder what on earth she could have meant,
The day she left, by calling me a slob?
I’m always there on time to pay the rent,
Although, it’s true, with money from her job.

When she gets home, a glass of wine is waiting
Before she has to go and make our dinner;
Then, while she does the chopping and the grating,
I watch TV; does that make me a sinner?

And every night, I help her do the dishes
By making sure I don’t get in her way,
So why she keeps insisting that she wishes
I’d shift my butt, is more than I can say.

I always lift the toilet-seat to pee,
And sometimes even put it down again.
If I can do it, surely, so could she,
And yet she never ceases to complain.

I try to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom,
But absent-mindedly may hit the middle.
That time I fried some eggs? I just forgot ’em;
The firemen kindly doused the flaming griddle.

I told her I’d be looking for a job
Quite soon, but that I’d given up for Lent.
She left that day, still calling me a slob;
I wonder what on earth she could have meant?

Virgil’s Ghost Reveals What He Really Thinks of Aeneas

Arms and the man? Don’t make me laugh! I hate
Aeneas, founder of the Roman state.
Would that the imbecile had stayed in Troy,
Or Carthage, pampered as Queen Dido’s toy.
Instead, he had to come to Italy,
And I, for one, resent it bitterly.
This Trojan blighter made himself at home,
And founded – what presumption! – Ancient Rome,
Which led to wicked Emperors and Popes,
To Mussolini and his Fascist dopes.
Now Berlusconi and his like pollute the Tiber;
The wretched place is really up the Khyber.

Get lost, Aeneas! Hands off our Chiantis!
Your Rome is an Inferno worse than Dante’s.
You never should have strayed from Dido’s panties.


Brian Allgar, although immutably English, has lived in Paris since 1982. He started entering Spectator and New Statesman competitions in 1967, but took a 35-year break, finally re-emerging in 2011 as a kind of Rip Van Winkle of the literary competition world. He also drinks malt whisky and writes music, which may explain his fondness for Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony.