Extract From My Inaugural Speech to The Senate (after Juvenal) by Kevin Higgins


Guillotine — Image by © Handke-Neu/Corbis

after Juvenal

I will stand up for the fleas
just trying to make an honest living
in the toupees of white men
who like to surprise their mistresses
by leaping out of wardrobes.

We need to start thinking outside
the small parallelogram; realise
large parts of this country are a vast
hair-transplant waiting to happen
the moment the necessary funds become available,
or not available, as the case may be.
We are cycling our high nellies
into uncharted territory right now;
wherever we’re going,
we’re not there yet.

At times like this we think
in particular of those who haven’t
been forgotten but should be;
those who’ve sacrificed
nothing, and when the hour comes
will do so again. Speaking
as the mother of an elderly child,
what we’re all crying out for
right now are more
underwater hospitals.

While these are being built, I promise
to introduce legislation to put
mustard on all your sandwiches,
whether you want it there or not.
The party opposite have used
my longstanding support for the right
of limousine drivers to knock old ladies
down at roundabouts, to accuse me
of being in favour of everything.

Let the record show, I’m against
type two diabetes in most circumstances
and think every sexual relationship,
right down to the humble sweaty handshake,
should be equality proofed by a government inspector
before being allowed to proceed.

These are the issues I’ll be both talking about
and not talking about. Who at the end,
and perhaps also the beginning
of the day, will make your children’s future
that bit more catastrophic?

Posterity, mark my every syllable,
will hold festivals
where members of the public will gather
at their own considerable expense
to aggressively forget what I said here today.
And what I didn’t say.

KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogmans Cannon Satirist-in-Residence