ONE OF THOSE DAYS (©Words and music by Paul F. Cowlan)

Before you accuse me of exaggerating I should inform you that I have, actually, been bitten by a mouse which jumped out of a Christmas tree; and have also fallen into a fishpond while rhapsodizing about the moon. In fact the only truly fictional event in this narrative is the cat’s diahorrea. Not that I haven’t encountered this hazard too in the course of my wanderings, but I’ve never owned a cat, so the little squitterer was not my responsibility.


I could tell it when I woke up in the morning
and tried to clean my teeth with shaving cream,
that it was going to be one of those days
when you can’t do a damned thing right
and, crazed with shame, you wish the whole thing was a dream.

Just look out,
because there’s bound to be a window
open somewhere just above your bed,
and when you wake up with a yawn
in the golden, early hours of dawn
the first thing that you strike will be your head!

The day begins
as it intends to carry on;
the cat has had a case of diahorrea.
You’re half an hour late anyway,
and your underpants have gone astray,
but exactly where you left them isn’t clear.

Run up the stairs,
missing only one or two,
and arriving at the front door in one piece.
But, what with all the noise you’ve made,
the next-door neighbours are afraid
that someone’s breaking in,
and have already called the police.

But never mind.
That can wait until you’re home.
Right now you have to try and start the car.
And when you find that it doesn’t work
you sit there looking like a jerk and,
on consideration, well, in many ways you are.

Throughout the day, in every way,
whatever it is you try to do,
whatever it is you say.
Utterly irretrievably,
and incredibly unbelievably
quite horrifically inconceivably,
and you knew it all along,
you get it wrong!

A mouse jumps out of a christmas-tree and savages your thumb,
your plastic bag tears open,
and your bread and milk and eggs and plums
and joghurt and chocolate biscuits
tumble gaily to the floor.
But what of that romantic tête à tête you bought them for?

Woo her with wine and with roses,
candlelight, music and love.
Lure her out into the garden
to gaze at the moon up above.
Take a step back in the darkness
with a gaze that is doting and fond;
then cry with despair
throw your legs up in the air,
as you trip, and you fall into the ornamental pond.

Don’t even ask her to help you.
Surely don’t ask her to stay!
That would be tempting disaster,
on a wonderful day like today.

No, no.  
Send her home in a taxi.
When she has stopped laughing, just smile.
Take a bath and go to bed,
at which point you’ll catch your head
on the window that’s been open all the while.

The final straw!
You have to end it now, all hope is gone.
Throw the window open wide
and boldly cast yourself outside,
and then recall, as you collide
with a dustbin lid and a cat that died
a month ago from pesticide,

that you are living on the bottom floor.