Dance of the Devil Woman
(after Robert Burns, "Tam O'Shanter")
When the hoodies have all left the street,
And we hear the sound of stilletto'd feet,
Girls clip-clop their way to the latest club,
While the menfolk watch from inside the pub.
The young ones sip their bottled beer
While all decked out in designer gear,
Thinking only of scoring with the dames,
Though the morning after they'll forget their names.
Ignorant of the public transport strike
(Apart from one who brought his Boris bike),
They've no idea how late home they'll be,
Locked out by their wives, and they took no key.
This situation finds Tam O'Shanter's kin,
His grandson—great, great and great agin.
Who on nights out is known to make passes,
Sometimes at men, but mostly at lasses.
Also called Tam, this lad's just as silly
(He once bought a record by Milli Vanilli).
His wife would call him an idiot often
With a sharp tongue she would rarely soften.
She knew young Tam was a rascal, a cad,
Just like his once famous great great grandad.
The woman had reason to be so bitter
As Tam bragged about conquests on Facebook and Twitter.
As husband of the year he'd certainly lose,
Having wasted their money on women and booze.
He could never pass up a dare or a bet,
Which is why Wonga.com had to help them with debt.
Oh, gentle readers, it would make you sigh
To know how many times Tam made her cry,
Never have I seen a man treat his wife
So bad and so cruel in all of my life.
But after this particular night of our tale,
Tam became a much chastened and more sober male.
It started out as a normal Monday
(The same as on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday),
Standing and chatting, propped up at the bar,
Making his way quickly through each frothy jar.
Under the influence, Tam started to flirt
With the new barmaid with a belt for a skirt.
What Tam didn't know, and he really oughta,
Was she was the landlord's youngest wee daughter.
The storm brewing outside was nothing compared
To the one stirring inside when cheeky Tam dared
To loudly proposition the comely young Miss
And grabbing her behind, swooped in for a kiss.
The landlord went purple and threatened to strangle
Our Tam, or worse, his manhood to mangle.
Careful, Tam was, to protect his prized packet,
So he finished his drink and picked up his jacket.
He left the pub and made his way down the sod,
Listening to Will.I.Am on his iPod.
Too drunk to care about the rain and the wind,
Or how close he had come to being well chinned.
Unlike his ancestor from a long time past
Young Tam had no way of getting home fast.
No faithful grey mare like the unfortunate Megs
To save him from staggering on unsteady legs.
Before very long he was covered in mud
And the coldness of night was chilling his blood.
As he travelled away from the centre of town,
The number of streetlights went steadily down.
Tam fancied he heard, over the voice of Plan B,
An unearthly wail like a hellish banshee.
By this time he was more than half way back,
And soaked to the skin in spite of his mac.
He switched off his music and listened real hard,
Feet sinking into the road so recently tarred.
Before him the river Doon was steadily rising,
And more noises came that Tam found surprising.
Never before had he heard such a sound,
As the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled round.
The screeches that echoed were not those of an owl,
Not since X-Factor was heard a ruckus so foul.
It was strange how Tam (initially) felt no fear,
Emboldened by multiple bottles of beer.
Tam had no time for supernatural creatures
(At the movies he'd slept through the Twilight features).
He believed in no such things as demons and witches,
So he carried on forward and pulled up his britches.
Behind a hedge in Farmer Burns' top field
Tam's eyes opened wide at the sight now revealed.
People were dancing, they were all in the raw,
And the one in the middle was his mother-in-law!
Now Tam knew the old bat was into new age stuff,
But he had no idea she liked things so rough.
Sprawled across her chest were markings in red
That seemed to be invocations for raising the dead.
Some revellers had whips, others had sticks
And all using them liberally to get their kicks.
His mother-in-law seemed the one in charge,
Leaping and hollering with breasts so large
Tam wondered how her jiggering didn't hurt,
As he realised he was drooling down his shirt.
But all at once the old woman stopped dancing,
And held up her hands till the others ceased prancing.
She cocked her head to the side, a smile on her face
As she slowly turned toward Tam's hiding place.
Then she dropped to her haunches, turned around
And seemed to fiddle with something down on the ground.
When, to Tam's consternation, a strident ring tone
Pealed out from his pocket—his darn mobile phone!
Cries of anger rose from the naked throng
As the new iPhone 5 continued its song.
Tam fumbled for the switch to turn it off,
And then close to his ear he heard a slight cough.
His mother-in-law was there, right by the hedge,
Smiling a smile that had a cruel edge.
She said: "Oh, Tam! You will get what is due,
When my demons and I have got through with you.
If you cheat on my girl, I'll do a Bobbitt
And into the Firth your manhood I'll lob it!"
Though Tam's legs were shaking, he ran for his life,
Wishing that he'd married an orphaned wife.
He sensed the old bag was right on his tail,
So he ran and he ran over meadow and vale.
Until, exhausted, he fell into a ditch
And looked up to see that same smile of the witch.
Unlike Tam, she was not at all out of breath.
Tam closed his eyes and waited for death,
But before her raised dagger could make its mark,
Tam went all woozy and all became dark.
At dawn Tam woke up, he was all alone,
Shivering, filthy, and soaked to the bone.
Staggering home, he embraced his bride
And swore he'd never again stray from her side.
Now, dear readers, did Tam dream what he saw?
Was he nearly Bobbitted by the mother-in-law?
For the rest of their days Tam treated her well,
Though privately thinking she belonged in Hell.
So before you drink and give in to temptation,
Remember the threat of Tam's near amputation.