Personal Column


Words & Music: Jake Thackray

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Right behind the headlines of the papers there's a space entitled Personal.
And since I'm young and sensitive it's always there I turn to first of all
For in between the vibro-massage, sauna baths, the rubber goods, the corsetry
Someone sends a message that is classified as advertising Agony.

Agony will always find a way.
You read there every day
True-life love stories, taken short.
Agony at seven-and-a-kick a time,
A stifled sob a line,
A list of breaking hearts and surgical supports.

"Molly, will you please come home. I miss you. Will you please forgive me?
I love you very much and I am sorry for what I did. Love, Sidney."
"Artistic photographs, plain paper covers, fifty-nine-and-sixpence, postage free."
"Unsightly hair on arms and legs and faces is removed quite painlessly."

Who knows if wayward Molly will return?
Does Sidney really yearn?
And if he does, does Molly care?
What quarrel set them at each other's throats?
Did Sidney send for postcards through the post?
Or did Molly grow superfluous hair everywhere?

"Widow, 46 would like sophisticated gentleman to contact her.
Similar interests and with a view to friendliness. Motor car preferred."
"Mrs Ivy Armitage thanks all her friends for kindnesses when times were hard."
And "The Honorable Dicky Cholmondley is not sending anybody any Christmas cards."

"Dynamic methods Strengthen and Refine
The Power of your Mind"
In case your memories are none too good;
And if you cannot manage on your own
Take out a personal loan.
There's no security, it's understood.

"Seven days' free trial for an anti-nuclear shelter. No obligations at all."
And there's news of debutantes coming out with all the customary Belgrave balls.
Ten shillings reward: Box No. 33 has gone and lost her budgerigar.
"Happy Birthday darling Sheila from your Mummy and your Daddy, wherever you are."

Right behind the headlines of the papers there's a space entitled Personal
And for those who get the agony, that's the place to turn to first of all.


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