4 APRIL 1992, Page 52

c o VAS R E G A




Beckett's turn

J aspistos In Competition No. 1721 you were in- vited to provide a lyric from the forthcom- ing musical Waiting for Godot.

Come forth one day it will, I have no doubt. When it does, Tim Hopkins's Ro- gers and Hammersteinish quatrain could come in handy:

Oh what a conundrum morning! Oh what a paradox day!

Oh what ambivalent feelings! Everything's ten shades of grey.

So could Chris Tingley's exchange between Estragon and Vladimir:

E (anguished): Godot, where are you? Festering dreams still haunt this ravaged head.

V (consolingly): A thousand dormice hid their nuts in Ernie Bevin's shed.

Others who did well were Jonathan Fern- side, Peter Norman, Roger Woddis and Stanley J. Sharpless. The prizewinners, printed below, get £16 each, and the bonus bottle of Chivas Regal 12-year-old de luxe blended whisky goes to George Simmers for his effectively lunatic lyric.

Lucky's speech — to the tune of the Nightmare Song from lolanthe

Given God is existent qiiaqua quite consistent with Puncher and Wattman, who tell us That he with the white beard who stares from a height with apathia divine on us fellers Is lacking dimension or temporal extension and loves us with certain exceptions, Quaqua those time will tell, and they'll plunge into hell where the flames of their fiery receptions Will, so to say, blast the whole earth not so fast into calm qua this thought must impress us In the writings unfinished but nowise diminished of Testew and Cunard, professors At the Acada-mee of Anthropo-me-tree that in Essy-in-Possy's located,

112 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY For Cunard and Testew and all of the rest — you know, Puncher and Wattman — have stated

That alimentation and then defecation and wasting and pining and boating and floating and gliding and riding, conating and skating and flying and dying and physically jerking and working at lurking and similar sporting achievements And tennis and so on and golf, I could go on, and holding your breath or at least since the death of himself, Bishop Berkeley for time to tell darkly of quaquaqua suchlike bereave- ments . . .

To the tune of one inch four ounce per caput . . . the skull , . . tennis . . . the stones . . . so calm . . . unfinished . . .

(George Simmers)

Vladimir: The scene's lone, deserted place; Of human life there's not a trace, Estragon: Except, of course, for Vladimir Vladimir: And Estragon - Estragon: That's me!

Both: For we're doomed to stand here waiting, Estragon: Thinking , Couldn't we just hang ourselves from that convenient tree? Both: But we're here because we're hoping

to meet Godot, And though it's not a pleasant place to doss, We play games with our hats and indulge in lively spats, And agonise like two thieves on the cross.

Yes, we're patiently awaiting Godot's coming; A sign from him we desperately crave; While we chatter on like parrots about radishes and carrots, And think of giving birth astride the grave.

(Watson Weeks) Pozzo: They're waiting here for Godot, The pair of bloody fools, And while they wait they must debate If luck or providence or fate Or simply chaos rules.

I have my servant Lucky, Who isn't quite all here, A gormless lout who moons about And when he opts to talk will spout Absurdist logorrhea.

Is Godot ever coming? Who knows? Who cares? Not me.

I've made my pile. I'll stay awhile,

Then leave them to their durance vile Beneath this leafless tree.

(Basil Ransome-Davies) (Vladimir, Estragon) Adrift, forgetful, zany, With neither nous nor clout, Sometimes we wonder, Godot, Just what it's all about. Awaiting your arrival, We're standing by a tree, Debating fiddle-faddle, Two dropouts — me, and me.

With balderdash and blarney, We've managed to survive.

We know, because we've counted, How many beans make five.

Our thoughts are mumbo-jumbo, Our speech is ballyhoo, Yet one way or another We've learned a thing or two. (Phyllis Fountain) (Vladimir, Estragon) V: Nobody comes, nobody goes: This waiting is awful, but still I suppose It passes an hour or two. E: We told Lucky to think — we gave him his hat (For he simply can't think when he hasn't got that)

V: Yet existence remains unaccountably flat — Both: What'll we do? what'll we do?

E: Nobody comes, nobody goes:

We take off our boots and look down at out toes, Like old men at the zoo.

V: Let us go.

E: Yes, let's go.

V: But we can't.

E: And why not? V: We're waiting for Godot.

E: Ah. I forgot. Still, it passes the time.

V: And that's saying a lot. Both: What'll we do? what'll we do?

(Martin Woodhead )