Nudgeing the Thing-ama-jig
(in response to Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap)
Finally, ticked it off the list –
So easy to put it off for another year,
A must-see show that can be missed
Because it’s always here.
Pretty much what I expected –
Dialogue from my grandparent’s day,
Archetypes who’re all suspected –
But that’s the fun of the play.
For entertainment, purely,
To be mesmerised by the whole ordeal –
Cheesy, sure, but surely
On a spike of cunning steel.
Alas, for an author so attuned
To clever plots as tight as a snare –
This one has holes like a gaping wound,
And simply doesn’t care.
Was it because it’s a play, not a book,
That undid the wit of the Queen of Crime ?
Did she dash it off, no second look,
Then order a gin and lime ?
The set was creaking, the policeman botching,
And the killer was inconsistently planned,
Conning when only the audience were watching –
It just feels a tad underhand.
So by the end, I was scratching my head,
As they raised the dead for their final bow,
And the killer stepped up – here we go, I said,
Here comes the solemn vow –
They begged us, before they let us go,
To not let on who done the deed –
And decade after decade, wouldn’t you know,
Their pleas, it seems, succeed.
But I’m not sure they’ve earned our hush –
The plot’s phoned-in, then they cut the line.
And if we were all to bust their flush,
They’d close in double-quick time.
I can’t even give you a walkthrough
To show how the plot just doesn’t gel –
The trouble is, who can I talk to,
About the play that we must not tell ?
The most middle-class of secrets,
For woe betide who blabs the second act –
And here I am, despite my regrets,
Obeying the unspoken pact.
But I guess they’re breaking even,
Even after all these cynical years.
So maybe I should stop my peeving –
Clearly they’re shrugging off the sneers.
And after all, I still had fun –
(And even more when I got to complain).
So on it goes on its endless run
Just off St Martin’s Lane.
And yet, I can’t help feeling
That a redraft could make it a thing of joy,
Like a cat that sends the punters squealing
As it plays with its startled toy.
They need to build a better Mousetrap,
Up the tension in the spring,
Or else the rats waltz through the gap
Before the jaws can swing.