Squawker's Poem

Messiah ŕ la Dr. Seuss
Cache me if you can.

Squawker’s excellent poem; the result of watching ‘Derren Brown: Messiah’ and reading too much Dr. Seuss.

Squawker explains:
"I was re-watching Messiah and had spent the entire week with my 3-year-old insisting on ‘Cat in the Hat’ every single night as her bedtime story. It was completely engrained in my head and as I watched Messiah two things leapt out at me: firstly, my own reaction to what he was about to do, which was 'Shit, shit, shit, shit' (and Dr Seuss's 'Sit, sit, sit, sit' sprang to mind), quickly followed by the bit about Thing One and Thing Two. I laughed my head off at the pads Derren was attaching to his head and could only think ‘Pad One and Pad Two’ (still my favourite line for some very sad reason!). Anyway, that was it! I had my two lines and had to fill in all the rest, attempting to remain as faithful to the original as possible!"


The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.
Then we opened the wine
And we locked the front door
And filled up the glasses,
Turned on Channel 4.
And threatened the children
(whisper who dared),
The new DB special
Was due to be aired!
I sat with my husband,
We sat there, we two,
And I thought, “Oh God! What
Is this man going to do?”
No doubt something dodgy,
No doubt play with fire,
And I refilled my glass
And awaited Messiah.
And all I could think was Oh
They are NOT going to like this.
Not one little bit.
For Brown would purport
To have skills messianic,
A claim sure to fuel
Feelings near pariahic!
He claimed he did not wish
To mock or deride
The New Age belief systems
Reaching worldwide,
But rather to call into question,
To test,
The claims of the leaders,
The skills they possess.
“ I know some good games we could play,”
Said DB.
“ I’ve got some new tricks,”
Said DB, “so let’s see …

A lot of good tricks.
I will show them to you,
But beware! There are those
Who won’t like what I do.
But some will, and I hope
On the basis of that
Information they’ll question
Who’s telling them what!”
And my husband said “No!
Make that man go away!
Tell that nutter DB
I do NOT want to play.
He should not be here.
He should not be let out.
He should not be here
To belief systems flout!”
“ Now! Now! Have no fear.
Have no fear!” said DB.
“ My tricks are not bad,”
said DB, wickedly.
“ With magic, suggestion,
Psychology, some
Misdirection, some showmanship,
We can have fun!
To Sedona we’ll go
For the first little game.
As a psychic I’ll pose,
Daniel Owen my name.
Have no fear!” said DB.
“ But show you I will.
They’ll be easily fooled
(Remote viewing, my skill!)”
And Abby went off
And drew pictures like mad,
And Derren described what she’d drawn
On a pad:
A cross and a shrub,
A banana, a boat,
A warm face, p’rhaps the sun,
Then ‘twas high time to gloat.

They were all right (of course)!
“ What a gift,” they declare.
Makes you wonder what people can do
If they dare!
So Bravo! DB,
You’ve left us enthralled, but
What? That is not all?
“ Oh no.
That is not all!
Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.
Bit dodgy, this next one,
Effect’s bound to hurt.
Non-Christians converted
By touch?
Let’s meet Curt!”
An evangelist he,
Who thinks Derren’s the same,
(Oh – James Lawrence this time),
A much riskier game.
“ I can touch and convert
just as quickly as Curt,”
That is what DB said,
Then he touched the girl’s head!
And old Gran’s inner hug
It took hold, changed her views,
And my husband and I,
Well, we cringed, unamused.
We couldn’t believe that
He’d fooled the whole lot!
He said “Do I like this?
Oh, no! I do not.
This is not a good game,”
Said DB as he swore
He’d revert all the converts
To the same as before.

But decisions are made
On the basis of trust,
So if Derren can con us,
Then question we must!
“ Be honest,” he said,
(The catchphrase of the day),
But who’s being honest,
Who’s leading astray?
A point has been made,
And the point is ‘Beware!’
There are lots of James Lawrences
Lurking out there!
“ And so,” said DB with a grin,
“ So
I will show you
Another good game that I know!”
And so, off he went
But then, fast as a fox,
He was back on a plane,
In his hands a small box.
A small, silv’ry box,
Custom-made for a crook!
“ Now look at this trick,”
said DB,
“ Take a look.”
Then he tapped on the top
And he grinned evilly,
“ I call this game DREAMS-IN-A-BOX,”
Said DB.
“ Robert Frawley’s my name
For the purpose of this
Little dream-catching scam
With Lorraine De Félice.
This little box catches
Not dreams but false hope,
Scams endlessly preying
On those who can’t cope.

In the box there is nothing,
Just a light that turns on
And ‘records’ all your dreams,”
(Just the job for a con).
Five nights Lorraine slept
And her dreams found their way
Through the pillow inside which
The little box lay.
Then Derren, nay, Robert,
With dreams to pursue,
Attached to his temples
Pad One and Pad Two!
Then Three and then Four
And a flick of the switch
On the box and those dreams
Woke and started to twitch.
“ I must warn you,” said Derren,
“ That you likely dreamt less –
And in black and white, too.
Design fault, I confess!
But for now, let’s to work!
Let us see what we’ve caught,”
And he focussed a moment
As though lost in thought.
“ I see circles, yes, cartwheels,
White woman, black man,
His clothing eccentric,
Am I close? Yes, I am.
And I see a large bird,
Lots of animals, too,
White buildings, black sky –
Am I right? Is that true?”
“ Yes, yes,” said Lorraine,
“ That’s exactly my dream,”
But oh! Sweet Lorraine!
Things just aren’t what they seem.
Can’t you see you’ve been played
At your very own game?
And you do it daily?
Well, shame on you. Shame!

Then my husband and I
Saw him run down the hall,
We saw Derren Brown
Bump his kite on the wall!
Bump! Thump! Thump! Bump!
Down the wall in the hall.
Oh – sorry – wrong poem,
(Bit distracted, you know).
What? Abducted by aliens?
Who? Me? No! No! No!
That was Derren! Aw – wasn’t he
Frightfully brave?
(Though, all told, ‘twas probably
Coops or Big Dave!)
And behold, Pasadena!
I hope you’re prepared!
Richard Collins is coming!
I were you? I’d be scared.
And I said
“ I do NOT like that mischievous look!
Even poor old dear Ann
Won’t be let off the hook.”
No, he’s claiming the aliens
Left him endowed
With a ‘health-reading’ gift?
(For crying out loud!)
Oh, what will he say to her?
What will she say?
Oh boy! She’ll not like
Being tricked in this way.
“ I want you to touch me,
And I’ll close my eyes
And await the connection,”
The wicked man lies.
No, he didn’t quite say that
But it WAS the idea.
He put on quite an act,
Fooled another old dear.

He coughed and he spluttered
From the frogs in his throat,
Sorry – tumours, we’re told –
And plenty more. Note!
Her drugs non-prescriptive,
Her trouble with sleep,
He could sense it all (Mmmm!),
And a straight face did keep!
At a JSF lecture
She begged him to speak,
But alas! He’d be leaving
The U.S. next week.
It was time to move on
And new victims to seek.
“ Now mind,” said DB,
“ You wont like this next game.”
(What a shock!
And who’s to blame?
Who’s to blame?
Who’s to blame?)
And he warned of unease
If things worked as they should,
And said “If this makes you
In Manhattan we find him,
DB and his crew,
To the dead he’ll be talking
(Well, that’s nothing new!)
With the name Fraser Sherwell!
(Ah yes – kid you not!
Whoever thought that one up
Ought to be shot!)
In a dark room he’s sitting,
Before him a group
Of ‘sceptical’ people,
But eyes full of hope.
And yes! How disturbing,
That sorrow to share,
And to witness such raw
Vulnerability there.

“ I’m picking up signals right now,”
Derren said,
And they watched and they hoped
As he ‘talked’ to their dead.
“ He’s young, someone close.
It’s his birthday, I think –
Or another big day?
Is it you who’s the link?
I’m getting a picture –
A good-natured man,
Be honest with me –
Dimply face? Yeah? Big hands?
I’m getting a name now,
Tom, Thomas, OK?
Or Charlie, or Charles?
Your ex-husband, you say?”
Then he talks of a pet
And he tells her the guy’s
Looking out for her and
We all watch as she cries.
And it’s shocking to know
Just how easily caught
In a scam we can be
If we don’t pause for thought.
So check out your sources
(For scammers are rife)
Before making decisions
That could change your life!
And next time – WATCH OUT!
When you pop into town
To have your palm read?
Could it be Derren Brown?

A powerful programme,
with a strong message in it.
Thanks, Derren – and crew,
It was worth every minute!

Adapted from Dr SEUSS (2004) The Complete Cat in
the Hat (Omnibus edition), Harper Collins Children’s Books
BROWN, D. (2005) Messiah, courtesy of Channel 4

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