Bill and Pete went up the town
To check things at the Rose and Crown

They made sure that the liquid flowed
And left with smiles and cheeks that glowed

Such happiness permeates this tale
With satisfaction from their ale

Walking home Pete said ‘Oh it’s nippy
Let’s go warm up inside the chippy’

They waited patiently in queue
Till someone shouted ‘what’s for you?’

‘Two cod and chips’ Bill pipes up, ‘please
And don’t forget the mushy peas’

So off into the night they strode
To find some place along the road….

….where they could stop and get stuck in….
….to greasy chip and battered fin

Bill then declared as they were talking
‘I cannot eat while I am walking

I want somewhere to park me bum 
And feel the warmth go down me tum’

‘Too much info, thanks’ said Pete
‘Look, there’s a bus stop with a seat’

The shelter light, a friendly glow
Illuminating all below

‘Twas 12 a m, so there they sat
Both with scarf and woolly hat

Then Pete reflected, with a tear
‘I proposed to my wife, sat right here’

‘Don’t worry’ said Bill ‘for goodness sake
We’re all allowed one big mistake’

The chuckling twosome tore with pleasure
Into their bags of greasy treasure

Their hands upon the fish were poised
Just like two spoilt little boys

The air was filled with fun and chatter
With lots of vinegar and batter

‘Best fish shop around here’ said Pete
Dropping his peas about his feet

But disaster strikes, ‘Oh no’ says Bill
As he was going for the kill

Such pain ebbed from his suffering lips
‘Ain’t got no salt upon me chips !

Can’t eat this lot, it’s not me fault
I asked the bloke for lots of salt’

Both men stared blankly at the food….
….that lay just empty, saltless, rude

‘I can’t go on’ cried Bill, ‘I quit
Ain’t got no salt, and that is it’

His chip – mate, broken – hearted Pete
Shared his friend’s pain, in this defeat

The bus – stop has a deathly kiss
First was his wife, and now all this

The midnight meal had ceased to be
But things were not quite done you see

Insult, not salt was added to the night
When above them, pop, went out the light

Alone, unnourished, shell – shocked, still
At darkened bus – stop, Pete and Bill

Cold Pete dropped all the chips he bought
He was colder than a witch’s wart

End of story, what you say ?
Explain the moral here today

Simple isn’t it, there’s no doubt
Salt and light – can’t do without

(c) John M Sterry 2020