Childproof Your Chewing Gum, Will You?

by Jerry Ratch

Have you ever heard a bird sneeze?

Okay, okay, I was sitting on this branch,

and you know how everybody loves to hate poetry, right?

So, I ran into some hippies, who had named their daughter Echinacea,

and you could instantly read her future, and it wasn't good.


I was at a loss for something to say to them,

that didn't sound ridiculous, so I said:

How will the younger doctors recognize melodrama

if it crops up around here?

Which, it turned out, did sound sort of ridiculous.


We were in Virgin Territory, and I was in this band called Cold Feet.

I used to be with the Long Island Raccoons,

and before that the Flashing Monkeys.

I kept roving from band to band, depending on the name.

They all sounded so good I couldn't settle on just one.


For a time I was a one man band called One Horse Outfit.

I was the front man, the bass man, lead guitarist, and the drummer,

and played everything at once,

but people got dizzy from watching me.


I invented a thing called Childproof Chewing Gum

but lost the patent when a bunch of kids

broke into the factory and chewed through the entire stock.


Here is a picture of me from that time,

at the Mothers Behaving Badly Rest Home,

shown here in pajamas.