Fred Dineage 1-2-3

N.B. I wrote this poem for Peter Jones (the voice of the book in the Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) to perform, but sadly he passed away before we had the chance to do it.  It was written with his tone of voice, turn of phrase and love of surreal word play in mind…hence the surreal end result!  Do check out the reading of it by John Wait, who I think is as close to the late, great Peter Jones as we can ever hope to get!

Fred with his How2 co-presenters Gareth Jones & Gail McKenna

Fred with his How2 co-presenters Gareth Jones & Gail McKenna

“Fred Dineage 1-2-3”

I was interested to learn, or actually discover
The secret to eternal youth and prosperity.
I had heard from a man sporting an incredibly orange beard
That the best route to follow was “The Way of Fred”.

Ah yes, dear Fred, of the Dineage dynasty,
A man wanted in more states than Elvis.
Surely he would have the answer to life’s wee small questions,
Or at least some nice cake and a hot cup of tea.

So I travelled and roamed and sought the wisdom of Fred
And I looked and I hunted all day and all night.
And just when I thought I should head home for tea
Fred appeared, like a man made of right smelly cheese.

“Oh Fred”, I declared in an Anne Summers voice
“What’s the secret to life immemorial…and big cash?”

And he looked down upon me, for up on a ladder was he
And spewed forth the following load of old cobblers…

“The things that you seek, O’Anne Summers voiced one,
Are things not to be sought by your type at this time,
Come back after I’ve finished painting this drain,
And I’ll have a think and see what I can find.”

So back home I headed, but stopped off at the pub
And downed several stiff little fingers of fudge.
And returned forthwith with forths and several small dogs
As a gesture of faith and possibly something to Bar-B-Q later.

Ding dong, went Fred’s doorbell, for it was I who pressed it,
And there stood the Fred, dressed in gingham and lace.
He handed me a note, simple plain and effective,
Then slammed the damn door on my foot, the one with the in-grown toenail!

As I hobbled my way to the A&E ward, I read forth from the note he’d delivered.
On it was written instructions and what also appeared to be
A recipe for strudel and onions, some shopping and a doodle
Of Carol Vorderman in some nice S&M gear…leather not the plastic crap that gives you right sore areas later!

After getting my poor foot bandaged and cared for,
I dove headfirst into the super whizz-bang contrivance…or Fiesta,
And raced forth into overdrive to the place Lord Dineage had suggested
I looked for the answer to my ineffable questions.

And do you know where I was?

Can you guess at my location?

Would you believe me if I told you?

Could you grasp the enormity?

I don’t think you can, or could, or would, or might…

So I’m not gonna tell you.

But if you see Fred, or Lord Dineage himself,
Say thanks and maybe offer him a McVities Jaffa Cake from me.

N.B. You can hear “Fred Dinage 1-2-3” being read by the legendary Radio 4 broadcaster and journliast John Waite by clicking on the POETRY AUDIO widget at the top right of this page.

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