Let’s all wig out on the Underground
They’re rarer than curves on a six-sided cube, But before I die, I know I’ll see a smile on the Tube. I know they exist, ’cos in the Seventies Dad saw one — From a girl sitting opposite, he managed to draw one.
He’d been waiting for years, for that moment to come, And tears filled his eyes, now his long search was done. As he rose to leave the train, the girl smiled once more And Dad’s backward glance brought a further encore.
From the station to home, Dad was walking on air, How privileged he felt to witness something so rare. All those sad, sullen faces, for years he’d deplored Now that smile saw his faith in humanity restored.
He told Mum, but she remained strangely subdued, Undeterred, Dad waxed lyrical, with elation imbued. ‘But she actually smiled!’ he said. Mum gave a slight cough, ‘The thing is,’ she said, ‘your toupee’s half hanging off.’
Dad rushed to the mirror and was filled with dismay, His wig was slanted at an angle, like some hairy beret. He was utterly distraught, it really messed with his head That the benevolent smile was a mickey-take instead.
Mum tried to explain it was merely a follicle mishap, Even fitted his toupee with a camouflaged chin-strap. But it was all to no avail, he never once put it on, He passed away with all his faith in humanity gone.
So now the task falls to me to carry on Dad’s quest, To find a smile born of kindness, not one given in jest. But life is so fraught, islands of angst we’ve become And we all suffer alone, when we should suffer as one.
The truth is, my friends, we’re all in the same boat, Yet we all of us retreat behind our personal moat. The moat guards our castle, but we’re the prisoners within, Yet we can raise the portcullis, with just a smile or a grin.
So this is a plea to you all, let not Dad’s death be in vain, Please smile at somebody on this morning’s Tube train. Just lower your newspaper, and look across the aisle, Make eye contact first, then grasp the nettle and smile.
It’ll make you feel better, and make someone else’s day, You may find they smile back, and meet you halfway. One day I’ll stand at Dad’s graveside, to tell him: ‘We’ve won! ‘People are smiling on the Tube, thanks to you and your son.
If I should smile at you today, it truly comes from the heart, The world won’t change overnight, but let’s all make a start. Dad was sure that mankind was on a slippery slope, The war by malice on goodwill now lost beyond hope.
He lost his faith in humanity, now Dad’s dead and gone, But he’d be proud if you folk can now prove him wrong. As I lay flowers on his grave, his disenchantment remembered, Help me write a card from us all . . . ‘Today malice surrendered.’