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
Archeotypes 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 were all to bust their flush
They’d close in double-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,
Woe betide the one 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.