Sometimes when I type I miss a comma, yes, 'tis true;
Speechmarks, or quotations, a hyphen, one or two;
But fancy if you can, the horror, when I heard,
That yesterday's submission had omitted one whole word!
It changed the sense of everything,
And caused a Hullabaloo,
My phone rang off the hook,
With calls from here to Timbuktu;
I had to put on headphones,
And shut the bloody door,
And all because I hadn't used
That single word 'before'!
If anyone can find the clause that it should have been in,
I'll meet you in the pub and treat you to a glass of gin!
Answers in rhyming couplets by the close of business today
Should be sent on a postcard to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
But first, I must back to my tale of those Merry Pranksters, Oates and Tonge – or as we know them to truly be, MacFarlane and Doubleday, but enough of that – who conspired to put it about that the Catholics, and principally, Jesuits, were plotting and planning a dastardly and fiendishly fatal assault upon King Charles II (clearly unaware that that Merrie Monarch was himself playing a game of Double Bluff by outwardly professing to be a good Protestant Gentleman, while secretly negotiating through the offices of his personal financier, King Louis XIV of France and – yes, simultaneously – directly with His Holiness himself in his Vatican eyrie, Pope Clement X and his successor, to be officially inducted into the Catholic Faith at a later date when it might suit him best, for, like his father, Charles I, the one who lost his head, whatever he said in public, he always meant the opposite) and when he was told of this Plot, the Merrie Monarch had a good old laugh at such blatant fibs, dismissed the claim with a wave of his hand and told one of his Ministers, the Earl of Danby (universally referred to behind his back as either 'Namby-Pamby' Danby because of his lisp by some or 'His Chairness' by others, on account of his wooden personality) to deal with it; because, of course, Charles knew he had nothing to fear from the Catholics, but he couldn't very well tell anyone this, so delegation was the Royal Prerogative and that would also mean someone to Blame when all came to naught, and in the meantime, Cheery Charley could concentrate on his favourite pursuits – the Ladies of the Court – whose husbands happily turned a blind eye, welcomed the fruit of their Monarch's rogering of their wives with the sensibilities of sensible Courtiers and were rewarded with Lord This, Earl of That or Duke of Such-and-Such for their compliance; and while the King fornicated gaily, daily, come rain or shine, diligent and determined Danby fairly got stuck into it: Israel Tonge was questioned, Titus Oates was questioned and boy, did they name names!