The following monologue has been inspired by “The Lion and Albert”, written by Marriott Edgar in the 1930’s and made famous by Stanley Holloway with his acquired Northern accent.
There are more than 30 references to the Tai Chi form in here. Can you find them?
Try reading it with a Northern accent for best effect.
BAD FORM AT THE ZOO
There’s a place you’ll have heard of called Dudley
Quite famous for having a zoo
Where people throng to on Sundays
Saturdays and Bank Holidays too.
Now Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Took their young son, Albert, one day
This was well before Wallace the lion
Got poked in the ear, by the way.
Firstly they came to the aviary
Expecting to hear the birds sing
But all that was there was a white crane
Trying hard to spread out a wing.
He weren’t much impressed were young Albert
Then looking about shouted “My!
There’s cousin Pat on a high horse
I’d love to try that, by and by.”
“Now, now” said Father, being stern-like
In no mood for any back chat
“You’ve a stick with a horse’s head handle
For now you can mek do w’ that.”
They spotted a caged-off enclosure
The sign saying, “Primates Ahead”
With a gleeful kick of his heel
Hands lifted, off Albert sped.
He’d spotted a big hairy creature
With its nose right up to the bars
A rather repulsive fat monkey
Its face was all covered with scars.
With his stick with the horse’s head handle
Albert gave the poor creature a poke
With no chance to ward off or parry
It didn’t see this as a joke.
It turned and chopped, with a yelp and a grimace
Flying diagonally to back of t’cage
Young Albert just couldn’t stop laughing
But Father weren’t half in a rage.
“It’s time we went somewhere quiet-like
We need to bring you down a peg
There’s a peaceful part of this zoo
Where a cockerel stands on one leg.
Albert weren’t inclined t’wards this offer
The place was beginning to jar
He was thinking he’d rather be home-like
Where he’d sit, and just play guitar.
But he suddenly was struck by a notion
Of the sort that’ll happen when young
He’d mek his way to see reptiles
And t’snake that spits out its tongue.
It was as if snake saw him coming
With his stick with its horse’s head
Withdrawing itself in an instant
It crept down to its underground bed.
Determined to cause more commotion
Young Albert was running amok
With his stick held up to the heavens
He made straight for the poor golden cock.
He grasped the poor bird by its tail
Swung it round, just brushing his knee
Felt the wind, blow ‘gainst his ears
His face was a picture of glee.
This wasn’t enough for young Albert
More creatures could all play their part
The wild horse with its mane, for example
Got a kick from his heel for a start.
The lad was in a right frenzy
With his hands waving up to the clouds
He gave a loud holler, like Tarzan
He was also attracting the crowds.
If even a tiger had stood there
He’d have wacked it left and then right
Sat on its back and ridden it
Young Albert was up for a fight.
The Ramsbottoms senior then caught up
To be sure they were terribly vexed
Father, stepped up ready, to punch him
And Mother said, “Whatever next?”
A whack round the head got poor Albert
And down on his bottom he fell
You could see that Father was needled
Albert stepped up – seeing seven stars as well.
Then Father, on closer inspection
And straight from the horse’s mouth
Said, “Lad you’ve brought shame on t’family,
It’s time that we weren’t hereabouts.
Young Albert became all angelic
With hands crossed, head looking down
Said Mother, “We’ll just see one more turn”
Said Father, “Aye – then we’ll leave town.
They move on to the big cats’ enclosure
Where a tamer with a long single whip
Was taunting a fierce looking lion
Young Albert would remember this trip!!