14 MARCH 1958, Page 27

Good Heavens !

Competitors were invited to submit the ideas of Heaven entertained by any three of the following: charwoman, lawyer; dock labourer, shop steward, burglar, journalist, policeman or any other occupation calculated to produce an amusing entry.

THAT veteran competitor, P. M., suggested that 1-leaven for a literary competition winner must be setting a competition you don't have to try to Win.' I doubt it. However, had I entered, 1 think I should have credited my Heaven-yearners with More good nature. For instance, most of the char- women mentioned were not satisfied with putting their feet up and drinking endless cups of tea : they also desired to see their late employers scrub- bing floors and being sworn at. No Heaven would stand for this. Moreover, Heaven is presumed to be of a somewhat lasting nature; and it seems Inadequate to yearn to do, or enjoy something Which takes only a few moments and is not re- peated. A further mistake was to substitute wise- cracks of the punning kind for genuine desires. This is where that eternally bright spark, J. A. Lindon, slipped up. Another mistaken assumption Was that most men—particularly journalists and burglars—hate their jobs, or at any rate would have them made childishly easy.

Nancy Gunter and P. M. avoided all these faults and I award them one and a half guineas each. A guinea each goes to Mrs. V. R. Ormerod and Gloria Prince; and Clement Otway and J. A. Lindon get half a guinea each for one of their three Heavens. I quote below, so far as space per- mits, most of the other good Heavens.



LAWYER: An endless Chancery suit between multi- millionaires. NovELErre HEROINE: Eternal moonlight, soft dance music, rose-garden, nightingales, shimmering Paris gown, tall, dark, handsome Hero enfolding her in a passionate embrace. SCHOOLGIRL READER : Boarding school on high cliff, smugglers' caves, secret passages, spooks, unjust accusations, vindication and victory at hockey, rob- beries and rescues, exams with cheating facilities, funny French mistress and gullible Head.

(P: m.) TEENAGER: Sitting on Elvis Presley's knee sharing a milk-shake.

CHARWOMAN : Doing for a bachelor who pays you to mop up the sherry, polish off the cigarettes and clear out when it suits you.

BIRD-WATCHER: Taking a friend to a sewage farm where you are able to point out, in one morning, a Squacco Heron, a Glossy Ibis and a Ruddy Shel- drake.


CHARWOMAN: Sitting in front of the telly with a nice cup of tea, bedroom slippers on and teeth out. BURGLAR: Being a guest at a masked ball.


BARBER : Choosing my customers and using scissors and razor on them just how I please. CHARWOMAN: All nice clean white marble steps, love, and either tin pants issued free or else little angels with bows and arrows prohibited.


CHARWOMAN : Polishing haloes at time-and-a-half.


NIGHT-WATCHMAN: Lying snug in a warm feather bed dreaming of lying snug in a warm feather bed dreaming of . . .


PAK IR : Hell. (D. It. Peddy.) JOURNALIST: Being Bcaverbrook (H. A. C. Evans); When the press lords cease from lording it, and nobody wants to be first with the news (because there isn't any), I shall look into my heart and scribble, scribble, scribble till I an really write it right (C. Gimble(t); Perpetual editorship of the Celestial Tines (circulation : infinite), with Addison as assistant, Michelangelo as cartoonist, Baron and Daguerre as staff photographers, 4th Leaders by Boswell, Lear and Carroll, and Crassus and Crcesus as advertisers (J. S. Fidgen).

CHARWOMAN : There is sweet rest in Heaven, so I'm going to do nothing for ever and ever; just sit and listen to the music and perhaps have a lovely chat with the little angels when they bring round the tea (C. Gimblett); All I'd want'd be a bar of soap wot lavers itself—and a pair o' foam-rubber knees (R. Edwards); A place where I could polish, the stars till they shone better than anything I'd ever seen before and where the angels always smiled at me and said : 'I never saw the stars so bright, Mrs. Mopp' (Annie Allen).

BURGLAR A colony of tent-dwelling millionaires addicted to sleeping draughts (R. A. Mackenzie); To come back to earth with the Pearly Gates (G. J. (Blundell); Where every cloud has a silver lining and the Hounds of Heaven can't bark (Guy Had- ley). DOCK LABOURER: All he wants is just to live like a Docker (Guy Hadley); Unloading cargoes piece- work, quid an article, them 'undreds-and-thousands. see? (R. A. Mackenzie); Unloading cargoes of feathers, packed in cartons and receiving sneeze money (P. Roberts).

LAWYER: Enjoying the case of a rag-and-bone man suing a laundress for promise of breeches (J. A. Lindon).

SCHOOLBOY: Becoming a hero owing to sporting bril- liance. Lessons become effortless and unlimited indulgence in confectionery never reaches satiety (C. L. Lyall).

PUBLISHER: Eating fish and chips out of paper from another publisher's remainders (G. Farley).

PSYCHIATRIST: Dwelling place of gods and goddesses suffering from hypothymia, ochlophobia. cacodie- monomania, acatamathesia and crotographomania (Nimai Chatterji)..