Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Or is it?  A song, I mean. It was certainly written (in 1994) as a poem to be performed as fast as possible, taking the audience by surprise and battering them into submission.
But, while I was writing it, I did have the tune of  I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General by Gilbert & Sullivan rattling around in my head. So, if you're feeling particularly brave, you might try to do it as a song. Just don't ask me to. 
'Post It Note Song' just sounds a little better than 'Post It Note Poem'.
I think so, anyway.
This piece was inspired, as is blindingly obvious, by the Post-It Note, that humble necessity of everyday life, which was developed by Dr Spencer Silver of the 3M Corporation in  1968.
My method of introducing this poem was thus: I would ask the members of  the audience what they thought the most important aid to communication in the modern world was. They were supposed to shout out answers like, 'the  space satellite', 'the computer', and so on. I would then say something like, 'you're all wrong - it's the Post It Note!'
That, at least, was the idea.
In practice all I got was a sea of blank, uncomprehending faces. It never worked. Not once. In fact I only went on introducing the poem in this manner through sheer cussedness.
Eventually I had the idea of telling the audience each time that the previous audience were the ones who had given me the blank looks, and that they (the members of the current audience) were obviously much more intelligent. Crawling to the audience is always a good idea, in my experience.
Those who know about such things will realise that the rhyme scheme is incomplete at the end of the last verse. I know it is, but it doesn't seem to work any other way, so there we are.*
And talking of the last verse, if you should decide to perform this as a song then it would be advisable to substitute the words 'song is' for the word 'poem's' in the second-to-last line  of said verse. 
We must have things right, after all.

And now....


by Dave Roberts

There are people sticking little bits of yellow paper everywhere,
You'll find them on your toilet seat, you'll find them in your underwear,
You'll find them on the tortoises that crawl around at Chester Zoo,
In television studios you'll find them on the autocue.
You will find them stuck on windscreen with a message saying, 'thanks a lot
'For dumping your old banger in my very favourite parking spot,
'I hope you rot in Hell, you creep, I hope your engine seizes up,
'I hope I'm here next winter when your radiator freezes up'.

Post It Notes are everywhere, you'll find them stuffed in shopping bags
Listing things like Jaffa Cakes and Coco Pops and twenty fags
And half a pound of margarine and PG Tips and Lucozade
And cotton wool and bags of crisps, spaghetti hoops and marmalade.
Everybody uses them, from doctors down to dustbinmen;
Solicitors and social workers gladly put their trust in them
To tell them who they ought to see, and who they've really got to see
And, obviously, sometimes, people who it's better not to see.

The 3M Corporation spent a fortune on the R and D
To make sure that their Post It Notes are relatively trouble-free.
They'll stick on almost anything, because they're made with special glue
Which sticks to things like billy-o, except when you don't want it to.
Magistrates make use of them for calculating traffic fines
And people who wear anoraks and hang around near railway lines
Will tell you that for writing numbers down the things are heaven sent;
They stick them on their bedroom walls and read them to their hearts' content.

There are HGVs with dashboards quite festooned with yellow Post It Notes
To tell their drivers where to pick up loads from Kent to John O'Groats;
In council houses Post It Notes are waiting, should the rent man call,
To tell him, 'sorry mate, but we have not got any cash at all''..
Young nursing mothers use the things to tell them all that Baby needs,
And how much he should weigh by now and when he wants his daily feeds.
You'll find one on the telephone to tell you who you ought to ring
And one stuck on your flowerpot which reads: This Plant Needs Watering.

I'n sure you will agree with me that Post It Notes are all the rage,
They're used in every walk of life by everyone of every age;
Writing little messages is how the nation gets its kicks;
They're used by politicians and they're used by raving lunatics
And people who write poetry are apt to use them all the time
For writing daft ideas down and sweating blood to make them rhyme.
Our poem's almost finished now but please remember, just like most
It started life in bits and pieces scribbled on a Post It Note.

© Dave  Roberts/Salt Town Productions 2011

Geraldine Williams has come up with this, much neater, ending:

 'Our poem's almost finished now - no need for further anecdote
And all from bits and pieces simply scribbled on a Post It Note!

Originally published on THE ODD EXCEPTION 13th September 2011

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