Eight of Spades: Fork and Tongs

Eight of Spades featuring Lake Lucerne (Lake of four cantons)You’re not like all those other tools,
fond only of their wieners.
Yet even as your fire cools,
I see a snag between us.

Why won’t you be my Montague?
I’d be your Juliet.
I see you at the barbecue
embracing Andouillette.

That pig, I’d like to pierce her through,
and feed her to the cat.
She’s full of tripe, she smells of poo,
The wurst, a spoiled brat.

She sizzles near your tenderloins,
that visc’ral vivisection.
My tines vibrate as she purloins
the flames of your affection.

I come in closer, she’s dead meat.
I touch you with a tine.
You see my points, I feel your heat,
and briefly, we entwine.

And then I see the sausage roll
to ashes in disgrace.
It’s my turn now, I’ll take control,
I vow, I’ll take back space.

We’re stronger than the sausage link,
I’ve seen our stars align.
And later in the kitchen sink,
I know that you’ll be mine.


This week I started writing a sonnet inspired by a French song I like. I won’t call it a translation, but it was to have to same story, and some of the same imagery, and some new imagery.

Then on Saturday evening I realised that I couldn’t find any connection between this sonnet and either the letter H or any of the cards. So I looked through the cards again, and found one of Lake Lucerne. In French this lake is called Lac des Quatre Cantons, which translates to Lake of Four Cantons. My brain immediately leapt from this to Lake of Fork and Tongs.

Suddenly I knew it was my turn to follow in the traditions of Jérémie Kisling‘s Le ours et la hirondelle (the bear and the swallow) Toufo‘s Le soleil et la lune (the sun and the moon) and Le pneu et le hérisson (the tyre and the hedgehog) by writing a whimsical rhyming poem about two personified creatures who fall in love, despite their incompatibilities. For some reason, I can only think of French-speaking singers who do this.

The link to the letter H is probably not obvious to most of you, but there’s a whole stanza on it. It begins with ‘ash’ which is close in pronunciation to the French name for the letter. The rest of the stanza is a hidden reference to the fact that the key combination control-H is equivalent to backspace.

Halfway through, I wrote this extra stanza to go between stanzas one and two:

For tongs are only made with tongs,
just read Pirkei Avos.
And blades are normal friends of prongs.
Are we a total loss?

I think it leads into the Montague/Capulet thing better by implying a gap between the two families of utensil, but breaks the connection with ‘snag between us’ (snag being Australian/NZ slang for sausage) and the andouillette, as well as making the idea of the tongs loving the sausage a bit iffy. What’s more, I’m pretty sure Avos isn’t pronounced that way. The first few lines refer to this interesting idea I found out about from wikipedia:

An opinion cited in Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), a Talmudic tractate, states that God created “the original tongs, for tongs must be made with tongs.” Jewish thinkers therefore have used tongs as proof to God’s existence.

Avot can also be spelled Avos, but the stress is on the first syllable. I’ll have to get some Jewish friends to tell me the pronunciations and see if I can find something to rhyme with them.

On the subject of pronunciation, I also considered ‘Capulet’ instead of ‘Juliet’ but I’m not sure whether it’s okay to pronounce it that way.

And now for a few notes about bangers. I originally went for, ‘she’s like a spoiled brat’ since apparently ‘brat’ is short for bratwurst, at least in America. But since I didn’t know that myself until today, I thought I should make it obvious by throwing in that ‘wurst’.

I have eaten andouillette, without knowing what it was, and I have to say, it didn’t smell of faeces at all (if that’s not damning with faint praise, I don’t know what is.) It didn’t have much taste either. It does look rather too much like parts of an animal instead of nondescript sausage meat though, which is why I looked it up afterwards. Next time I don’t understand the menu, I’m going vegetarian.

So as Paul and Storm would say: …and that’s the news of the week!

, , ,

  1. #1 by A meri ca on May 3, 2008 - 3:04 am

    There was a wee girl from the Hutt,
    That became a bit of a nut,
    With bytes and bits and other strange gits
    decided that she needed to learn
    Has invaded the likes of one Cern


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