Friday, May 19, 2006

The Jumblies

I was reading 'The Jumblies' to my daughter and suddenly thought 'this sort of madcap, reckless adventure sounds familiar...'

I
They flew to Shanghai on a plane, they did,
   On a plane they flew to Shanghai!
In spite of all their friends did tell,
That they’d all catch SARS and feel unwell,
   On a plane they flew to Shanghai!
And when the plane turned in the sky,
With everyone thinking they're going to die,
'It’s safer than crossing the road!’ they’d yell,
‘Oh no! That’s something we do as well!’
   On a plane they flew to Shanghai!
Far and few, far and few,
   Are the clients they managed to gain.
So they went out East to do something new,
   And they flew to Shanghai on a plane.


II
They flew to Shanghai on a plane, they did,
   On a plane they flew so fast,
With video-on-demand till they land,
And never an empty glass in their hand,
   They relaxed in Business Class;
And everyone said, who saw them go,
‘They’ll get thrombosis, I’m sure it’s so!
Dehydration is terribly easy,
And drinking too much will make them queasy,
   In a plane that’s flying so fast!'
Lots and many, lots and many,
   The far-shore resources they need.
They went out East because they’d not got any,
   And they flew to Shanghai at great speed.


III
They flew to the Eastern Sea, they did,
   To a land renowned for its tea,
After meeting consultants, it didn’t take long,
To set up a company based in Pudong,
   Which seemed like the right place to be.
They went to Hangzhou to interview folk,
Who worked with computers and English they spoke,
Some they were good, but others were tricky,
And the interview room was so hot and sticky,
   But Hangzhou seemed the right place to be.
Much and a lot, much and a lot,
   Are the times they changed their clothes;
For in the Summer the weather is hot,
   In Hangzhou that’s just how it goes.


IV
They rented some temporary space, they did,
   Terribly far from the Rad;
They bought a big fridge and stocked it with cheese,
And plenty of loaves of bread they could freeze,
   For the Brits are sandwich-mad.
And they passed the night in the Shamrock bar,
And each of them said, 'How lucky we are!
A pizza for lunch, a banquet for tea,
Then out on the piss till half past three,
   Do you think that is terribly bad?'
Lots and many, lots and many,
   Are the beers they had to consume;
Drinking the Guinness till there wasn’t any,
   And they stayed in a hotel room.


V
And all along they looked for an office;
   An office with lots of space,
They found a big building so terribly tall,
That wasn’t much more than some floors and a wall,
   But they wanted to rent out the place.
On a hot summer’s day, to the tenth floor they climbed,
With holes in the floor that they had to mind,
But construction work went terribly slow,
So they had to go somewhere-else, you know,
   It’s all about guanxi and loss of face,
Often and ever, often and ever,
   Were the times they had to wing it;
Off the top of their heads, being awfully clever,
   By the seat of their pants, they did it.


VI
And after a year they all came back,
   After a year or more,
And every one said, 'How fat they’ve gotten!
They've been to West Lake and have banqueted often,
   And they’ve seen the tidal bore!'
They drank their health, and asked them to speak,
Some words of Chinese, and they asked if they eat;
Rats and snakes and ducks with their beak,
And bits of bone chopped up with their meat?
   And would they go back for more?
Few and less, few and less,
   Are the people who’d ever believe it;
That they went to China and made a success,
   Who’d have thought they’d ever achieve it?


(with apologies to Edward Lear)

1 comment:

JP said...

That's all a bit close to the knuckle you know... which is apt.