Poem: Kenneth (who was too fond of bubble-gum and met an untimely end) by Wendy Cope

The chief defect of Kenneth Plumb

Was chewing too much bubble-gum.

He chewed away with all his might,

Morning, evening, noon and night.

Even (oh, it makes you weep)

Blowing bubbles in his sleep.

He simply couldn’t get enough!

His face was covered with the stuff.

As for his teeth — oh, what a sight!

It was a wonder he could bite.

His loving mother and his dad

Both remonstrated with the lad.

Ken repaid them for the trouble

By blowing yet another bubble.

Twas no joke. It isn’t funny

Spending all your pocket money

On the day’s supply of gum –

Sometimes Kenny felt quite glum.

As he grew, so did his need –

There seemed no limit to his greed:

At ten he often put away

Ninety seven packs a day.

Then at last he went too far

Sitting in his father’s car,

Stuffing gum without a pause,

Found that he had jammed his jaws.

He nudged his dad and pointed to

The mouthful that he couldn’t chew.

‘Well, spit it out if you can’t chew it!’

Ken shook his head. He couldn’t do it.

Before long he began to groan –

The gum was solid as a stone.

Dad took him to a builder’s yard;

They couldn’t help. It was too hard.

They called a doctor and he said,

‘This silly boy will soon be dead.

His mouth’s so full of bubble-gum

No nourishment can reach his tum.’

Remember Ken and please do not

Go buying too much you-know-what.



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