Cheap Birthday Gifts
Really Cheap
by Paul Niquette
Copyright ©215 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.

Can a gift satisfy oneís recipient

When oneís taste is barely percipient?

Try to make the selection

With regard for perfection,

For to fail is quite likely incipient.

There once was a preacher named Dave

All his life he has tried to behave

Now at age sixty nine

(For this limírick to rhyme),

I foresee a private crime wave.

If you were not my sister, then the face you'd see on me

Would likely look like someone on a lifelong scowling spree.

It takes time-consuming effort to bless each day with style,

That right there is quite enough to make a brother smile.

You have a light a-shining from somewhere deep within;

And self-effacing humor folds my face in flickered grin.

A heart with caring nature is another precious gift,

Expressed in many thoughtful ways that give my soul a lift.

If you were not my sister, of who's beauty could I boast

In verse each year to please your ear?  Not always but almost.


If you were not my sister ‑‑ hey, I know what I would do:

First pick the locks to rob Fort Knox and take a ton or two.

I'd buy a mid-sized country in the western hemisphere,

Then spend the rest to buy the best of whiskey, wine, and beer.

My fleet of ships would plow the seas, and planes would fill the sky;

The finest art and sculpture I would buy to please my eye.

A million hired servants would become my household staff;

From a hundred towns, a thousand clowns would come to make me laugh.

If you were not my sister, all this stuff might be enough

To make my life as happy, but I admit, it would be tough.


The forties were not such a long time ago.

My sister got born -- a sensation!  Although...

Why was life in our family dealt such a blow?

May I be forgiven for wanting to know?


The fifties and schoolwork both gave the heave-ho

To Patricia the child, and in grand quid pro quo,

A young woman took charge of her brothers.  How so?

May I be forgiven for wanting to know?


The sixties and seventies set manners aglow

With formal correctness, like cello and bow.

Why did Trishia insist that we had to tip-toe?

May I be forgiven for wanting to know?


The eighties and nineties rushed by in a flow.

With trailer-trash brothers left far below,

How did Trishia attain the highest plateau?

May I be forgiven for wanting to know?


At her sixtieth milestone in life's cameo,

Shall we not with great fanfare an honor bestow

On Trishia the title, Queen Appropos?

May I be forgiven for wanting to know?

Reaching fifty, a preacher named Dave in Corvallis

Broke his rule against cruelty, rancor and malice:

          At his age, he felt rage!

          (Is it rage at his age?)

The truth of lost youth more than pride his downfall is.

Here's to my brother, for better or worse,

Warmest greetings expressed not in prose but in poetry.

It required a whole year, which was just enough time,

To accomplish perfection in meter and sound.


For your birthday this year it seems clear that I can't

Find a gift in a thrift shop you won't take for grant-

Ed.  A necktie I bought there had something the mat-

Ter.  The pattern was dull and the colors quite flat.


So I kept it myself to display `round my neck,

But my wife said politely, "That tie looks like hell."

I went back for a T-shirt I thought you might fit,

With a picture of Congress and one crock of Gingrich.


Instead of my verses, which do tend to spoil

When wiped on your dipstick while checking your lubrication,

I might write you a sermon to give free advice,

Which you'd put in the bathroom to use once or more.


Let my labors convey on this special occa-

Sion a blast from the past just to say, "On The Day

Of Thy Birth that my brother no longer called `Butch'

Will get neither a necktie nor T-shirt, which both cost too much."

Husband Alan asked Beth, "Should I dye my gray hair?"

Shaking her head, she said, "Au contraire!"

          "Beth, I'm fifty!" he cried.

          His wife shrugged and replied

"Hey, try to imagine how little I care."


Brother Alan asked Trish for a hat he could wear.

She said, "That's not in style; so just leave your head bare."

          "But I'm fifty!" he cried.

          And his sister replied,

"Hey, try to imagine how little I care."


Pastor Alan asked Dave, "Will you offer a prayer?"

"You want, I suppose, Providential repair?"

          "Yes, I'm fifty!" he cried.

          But his brother replied,

"Hey, try to imagine how little I care."


To his brother from hell, Alan turned in despair. 

"More roughage," Paul said. "Eat an apple or pear."

          "Oh, I'm fifty!" he cried.

          But that sibling replied,

"Hey, try to imagine how little I care."


Yelling and throwing both hands in the air,

Repetitous petitions pierced the earth's ozone layer.

          "I'm now fifty," he cried

          It was God who replied,

"Hey, try to imagine how little I care."



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