A Ribald Tale!

Well there’s a thing! I had the very strangest dream……a dream in which I was at one with an oak tree I had hugged in a fit of angst apropos my previous 55 unsuccessful attempts to top myself once and for all.  It seemed so very, very real…..the dream that is…….I felt so serene being part of the tree and the tree part of me.  Then I woke with a start and thought bollocks I’m still alive so it was back to the drawing board again – believe me it was ever so irksome.  You see I really couldn’t face the thought of living a life where I am being so very unlucky in love any longer.

Even down the pub I hear the boys talking behind my back…….things like, ‘Look at her she’s had more pricks than a second hand dartboard’……hurtful stuff although I do accept that there is a measure of truth in what they say.  I have after all….how shall I put it……… ‘been round the block a few times’ in my quest for a soul mate.

And then, quite out of the blue along came Jonny…….he’s a plumber you know who is often commissioned by famous artists to attend to their plumbing needs. Jonny brightened up my life no end and for the very first time I was, indeed am, truly in love.

The afternoon we met will stay with me forever.  There I was in the forest with my kit off – as per usual – having a private swoony moment hugging away on a rather fine elm when I heard his dulcet tones for the very first time.

“Oi luv you’ll catch your death of cold like that…….what on earth do you think you’re doing…..I mean you get fucking weirdo’s in the woods…….a fair damsel such as yourself shouldn’t be hanging around in the naughty naked nud.  Not at all safe in my book.”

I turned to see where the voice was coming from and it was at that very moment I noticed him stood there with his todger in his hand. At first I thought him to be a flasher and made to rush to bushes where I had hidden my clothes for within my jacket was my pepper spray.

“Sorry about that luv……I parked up in the lay by on the edge of the forest for a swift Jimmy Riddle and I was halfway through when I spotted you….you have to understand a chap…..not even me a plumber by trade, can turn off the old bladder valve when in full flow although I expect you really don’t want to know that. Don’t worry you’re as safe as houses luv.”

With that he zipped up and introduced himself, “Jonny Catapault the plumber the artists all trust at your service……and you might be?”

“Jessica…..Jessica Downlow…….I like to commune with nature…….you know tree hugging and all that…..the energy from the trees makes me feel less suicidal…….you see I mostly feel suicidal.” It was then that for reasons I’ll never understand I spat out my life story.  Jonny was such a great listener, a kind and sympathetic man with a heart of gold.  He told me not to be so hard on myself and take one day at a time and things would soon get better but not before his frivolous, some would say cheeky remark, “Crikey girl you do look gorgeous, never have I seen a pair of thruppenny bits so alluring in all me born days…….best you get dressed as I feel meself firming up a tad and that’s not very gentlemanly in the circumstances.” I must admit I’d quite forgotten I was naked so relaxed I felt with this man.

As the weeks went by we started dating.  Jonny had such an interesting life with all his famous artist chums and the bohemian things some of them get up to nearly took my breath away I can tell you. Anyway Jonny and I became……well we became more than just acquaintances if you get my drift.

Shortly thereafter Jonny and I were having a chat one evening when he said, “Tell you what Jessica poops you’re always going on about being skint what with you not having a job and I got to thinking that you’ve got no qualms about taking your kit off……….so that being the case have you thought about a bit of modelling……..nude modelling that is for some of me famous artists clients…….I mean they like nothing better than a new muse and they pay cash……beats paying income tax……you’d be quids in girl.”

I thought about it and thought ‘yes, why not’ and told Jonny I was up for it.

“Right then my old mucker Picasso’s sink is blocked – yet again – but I know he’s positively itching to knock out a swift nude painting……..why don’t you come along with me today……..if I know Picasso he’ll jump at the idea and likely will paint you there and then…….I’ll just send him a private message on Facebook to let him know we’re on our way.”

So off we went to Picasso’s studio.  I must say he seemed the strangest man yet being on my uppers I undressed and posed for him as directed and within about half an hour he announced that he’d finished the painting.

“Here luv come and take a gander at this……I think I’ve got you spot on…….oh by the way I hope this grand in hard currency is to your liking,” so said the great artist.

“Frankly Mr Picasso I can’t thank you enough…..a £1,000……..that’s, that’s wonderful…… let me see the painting……….oh…….well……that’s surely not what I look like is it?”

“Yes luv……..I mean it’s as close as you can get to the real you……..a selfie on your IPhone couldn’t do you any more justice than what I have just done……..don’t kid me you don’t like it.”

Even though Jonny was still upstairs unblocking Picasso’s sink I just ran out of the place in floods of tears for I really couldn’t believe I was so hideous and wretched. Once home I sat down with a cup of herbal tea and decided that this time I would top myself good and proper but not before writing what could be my very, very final poem thus;


A great artist proved to me I’m misshapen

Picasso is his name

He painted me nude and all deformed

And I cannot stand the shame


Of living out my life knowing

That I’m a revolting ugly wretch

For the man of such accomplishment

Must feel sick when he doth sketch


Me, the girl poor Jonny Catapault

Has been kind to out of pity

For I know he must be lying

When he says that I am pretty


So I will go and top myself

I really can’t go on

I’ll overdose on laxatives

When I’ve finished that’s me gone


I do hope Jonny doesn’t get upset at my passing……he’s been so very kind.  Still before I do the dreadful deed I think I’ll pop along to the woods and have a quick last hug of a horse chestnut tree I befriended a while back……he’ll understand.



  1. Brilliant, Mike – very funny. Can’t think of a better pairing than dear ol’ Jessica and Jonny! Weird synchronicity – see what you mean on that front. Must be something about trees, nudity and yer horizontals in the water at present…

    1. I tend to think that with your writing skills you will/are able to go beyond the ‘ribald’ though. I have tried a couple of times yet mine stabs at the subject matter always end up as comedy – can’t help it!

      1. Really appreciate this comment, Mike. I do think there is something irresistibly comic about certain aspects of the erotic – but there is, undeniably, poetry there too, and navigating between the two extremes is what I am aiming at here!

  2. So first of all, I thought Jessica topped herself already, but even if she hasn’t I really don’t approve of her running around with that no goodnick Jonny Catapult. Also, Picasso did the same thing to me!

    1. True – had to go a bit ‘Dallas’ to get her back. I found myself missing her. Jonny will take good care of her though the thoroughly nice chap that he is! Did Picasso give you a grand in cash?

  3. AHA! I LOVE IT! I’m so glad Jessica is back and I love, love, love that you mixed and matched her with Jonny! You made my day! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Now if only we can get Carruthers back! 😀

    1. I can see a template for this one. Jonny helps her out getting work; he disappears to do a bit of plumbing; she goes from elated to suicidal over whatever; knocks out a swift poem yet fails again in her bid to top herself. Even though the ending is predictable and safe I enjoy writing these. Now for Carruthers I say!

      1. Yeah, but I hope she takes back up with him…OR meets that other man-hating nature lover woman, then wants to kill him with her and Bobby Bob Bob will step in to the rescue!

        Do you have elections there like we do? It would be funny if Carruthers got elected to something because of a write in vote and then he didn’t know how to handle the power. 🙂

        Sorry. I didn’t mean to come off like I was telling you what to do. I love the things your brilliant mind comes up with. I was just thinking out loud. On paper. Or rather on screen. LOL !:)

      2. Not at all your ideas are good ones – after all the Dallas idea has brought Jessica Downlow back from the grave! I still am not quite there with Carruthers yet – the mag skits are tremendous fun to write – I just have to get his home life back on track. Have you heard of Florence Nightingale in the US?

      3. Interesting that you’d heard of her. I find it odd thaat household names on either side of the pond are often unknown to us/you etc. Seems Flo has stood the test of time.

      4. Yes, but I’ve always heard she was like a saint to the medical community… can’t imagine her in hell. Then again, I always heard Benjamin Franklin (I’m sure you know him, right?) was such a good guy, and I only read recently that he was a womanizer and quite the perv.

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