Monday, August 10, 2015

On being asked "What did you do this summer?"

30 years ago, in 1985, I was working for the South Portland, Maine School Department.  I worked in the Business Office where we worked 52 weeks a year.  Every year when the teachers came back one or more of them would ask "that" question; I finally wrote the poem to pass out.

What do you do in the summer?
Some people ask us what we do when school closes,
  so let me tell you of our bed of roses.
It's not just play, work, sing and laugh,
  they even cut our lunch hour in half.
Ralphs out combing the bushes for help,
  and looking to sea in big beds of kelp;
looking to see who's beating a path,
   to our doors wanting to be his better half.
If he doesn't show soon we'll see better days,
  when Ralph goes on Vacation and stays.
Lee guards the parking lot chasing off golfers,
  even old ladies with nine irons, and walkers.
He makes many trips to old City Hall,
  the path is well beaten well before fall.
A rumor floats 'round here in the air,
  that South Portland soon will have a new mayor.
Ellen's all smiles, and eager to please;
  her new boss is coming, wonder if he swings from trees?
She's very crafty and really thinks BIG,
  spends hours and hours stitching a pig.
Fran's out back processing words,
  tells the rest of us it's for the birds.
She wears pretty skirts, and a prettier blouse,
  get down from the chair Fran, it's not that kind of mouse.
Judy's been on vacation down at the beach,
  forgot the beeper, real hard to reach.
She's dropping off weight, losing a bunch,
  she still can remember that good Portsmouth lunch.

Elinor takes care of some summer pay,
  I wonder if maybe my check's here today?
She's the one that dishes out what we take,
  then she goes home to her house on the lake.
Now, Elinor, please I know this is awful,
  but there's been a change.  I can't cash a waffle.

Dot Lee's been here seems like all summer,
  but without her it would be a real bummer.
She type's up PO's by the dozen - no by the gross,
  I'll bet she's typed way more than most.
But she keeps out mouths working and stuffin'
  keep it up Dot, make me a muffin.

Jackie's been typing up PO's too,
  she's a real pro, one of us few.
She's very soon moving, and she needs more boxes,
  for Wisconsin apples and famous French loxes.

Hope's been in here scrubbing up walls,
  watch out for her ladder before someone falls.
The windows are clean and the floor is all shiny,
  but you'd better watch out - the toilets all slimy.

This is me Larry, who's writing all this,
  it's just my way of throwing you all a good kiss.
The poem is long and maybe downright sloppy,
  but I just finished stapling "Students Welcome" - 4 millionth copy.

So when someone asks you what you did this summer,
  just smile and look happy and no ones the dumber.
Say we all went to market, and bet on a hunch,
  so we could all enjoy our one half hour lunch!