Friday, January 07, 2011

Personal Nightmare That I Hope I Never Have to Face

Tonight I found this poem by Rudyard Kipling (one of my fave authors). Very, very funny.

For the sake of my personal well-being and happiness I'm certainly glad that the HLDW* has never made me choose between her and cigars.

I'd really miss her.


Oh, c'mon, I'm joking here.


Now, that isn't to say that she hasn't engaged in a womanly version of asymmetric warfare on my other burning love. Thus far I've held the line.

But mostly I'm just glad that I haven't received any ultimatums.

The Betrothed
Rudyard Kipling

"You must choose between me and your cigar."

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas--we fought o'er a good cheroot,
And I knew she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a space;
In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at--Maggie's a loving lass,
But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There's peace in a Larranaga, there's calm in a Henry Clay;
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away--

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown--
But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty--grey and dour and old--
With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar--

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket--
With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a while.
Here is a mild Manila--there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion--bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent--comforters true and tried,
And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
With only a Suttee's passion--to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,
So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,
And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?
Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider anew--
Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba--I hold to my first-sworn vows.
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for Spouse!
Rudyard Kipling's poem: The Betrothed

It's good to be the cigar smokin' and still married to a hot babe Rhino.

*Hippie Liberal Douche Wife


  1. "Do you like Kipling?"

    I don't know, I've never kipled"

  2. Bomm tish! Barnes is here all week folks. Try the veal.

  3. Haha. Hilarious. I haven't delved into Kipling a whole lot but I have enjoyed what I have read so far.

    visions unto myself

  4. Hi Kara... thanks for stopping by and posting. Scotch is in the bar and cigars in the walk-in humidor. You can even have one of the cubans.


  5. Rhino, as I am new to your blog, and John Birmingham's, I need to ask what is probably a very silly question: Did he model the Rhino character on you or did you model yourself on the character? Serious question, not meaning to be a smartie here

  6. Stewart ... no problem at all. The character was modeled on me. Obviously, there are some exaggerations - in real life I'm much more handsome and rugged than the character.

    Joking aside. In a nutshell: Birmo is a cool guy and I was a regular on The Burger and pretty good at "taking the piss" as they say down there. So when he had the idea for the character he based on my online "persona" (which isn't much of a stretch from real life as the HLDW likes to remind me) and asked me if I had a problem with the Tuckerization. After I said, "DUH", he was kind enough to let me read the early drafts of it and contribute to his "personality". Among other things that's where the line "You don't get these pettin' kitty cats" came from.

    Hope that answers your question. Feel free to visit again. Always nice to see new faces.


  7. Thank you for explaining. It all makes sense now. It is a great character, one of his best. I must admit, I have started using "kitty cat" myself as a result. His next trilogy needs to have the Rhino as the lead! You are influencing the world.
    I will visit again for sure, although I have been worrying about Monkey rape for the last 24 hours after reading one of your posts!

  8. Stewart - Thanks buddy.

    Trust me, everyone needs to worry about monkey rape. Evil little bastards.

  9. Oh, and I will be using your comments to bust Havock's balls over at the Burger ... I hope that you don't mind. That is one of my chief responsibilities.

  10. No problems at all, feel free to use my comments. Not sure John could work monkey rape into one of his next books but we can only suggest! Perhaps that could be the subject of the first book in the Rhino trilogy: monkey rape occurs and Rhino leads a troop into the jungle to capture and castigate the culprits. Adventure ensues.
    John could add colour and texture, I am sure

  11. I had a Kipling once. No, wait... that was a Kipper.


Comments are welcome. However, being an ass may result in a horrible, albeit accidental, goring.