David Harris

Gold Star - 4,611 Points (18 June 1945 / Bradfield, England)

A Case Of The Demon Drink - Poem by David Harris

How many times have we heard
alcohol called the demon drink,
many.many times I suppose,
but there is no such thing as the demon drink.
Now when Jesus turned water into wine,
I’m sure that he didn’t put any demons in it
just to spice it up.

The demon drink as it is called
originated with the Temperance Movement.
Astonishing enough the movement was not started
by a woman, but was formed by a man.
What I am about to tell you
is the untold story about its origins.

It all started in the early 1800’s
with Henry Whittle and his wife Gertrude.
Now Henry was a boozer
who could lay the drink down
with the best of them.

One night he got carried away
on a sea of alcohol.
He went so far that
he wasn’t sure just where he lived.
He left his friends at the bar
and off he staggered.
He found the street where he lived
and staggered down it.

What house did he live at he wasn’t really sure.
All he knew was his Gertrude
always left the door unlocked for him.
He began to try the doors one by one,
when one opened
he quickly stumbled in.

He climbed the stairs as quietly as he could,
shucking his clothes as he went.
Until finally all that he had on
was his red long johns and his boots.
He tiptoed along to the bedroom
where he could hear Gertrude snoring.

Moving inside he climbed into bed.
What Henry didn’t know
he was in the wrong house.
The house belonged to Pierre the lumberjack,
and when he climbed into bed,
he climbed in bed it was with Pierre.

As you don’t cut down trees in the winter,
Pierre had come home.
He was a big man
with a big red Santa Claus beard,
and Henry had crawled into bed with him.

Morning awoke and so did Henry
just as Pierre rolled over.
Henry stared wide-eyed,
confronting the bushy whiskers of Pierre.
Henry’s first thoughts were
Gertrude had grown a beard overnight.

He rolled his eyes around
staring at the bushy faced figure,
then realise it was not Gertrude, but Pierre.
You can imagine his horror
as he slipped out of bed,
gathered up his clothes and ran.

Getting outside he darted up the road
with the back of his red long johns flapping.
People in the street looked around
at Henry doing a moony
and shook their heads.
We can imagine what they were thinking.

Finally, Henry got home
and who was waiting for him,
Gertrude with a rolling pin in hand.
“What floozy were you with last night? ”
She asked. “Don’t you like to me.”

Before Henry could answer,
the rolling pin came down
and Henry saw stars.
As a consequence,
Henry never drank again.
He tried to encourage his friends
to do the same.

The Temperance Movement was born
and Henry’s alcoholic demons
died of dehydration.
After that, he walked around
with a sign saying
DOWN WITH THE DEMON DRINK.

1 April 2008


Happy April Fools Day.
Hoping no one fooled you today.


Comments about A Case Of The Demon Drink by David Harris

  • (5/4/2008 3:05:00 PM)


    Hi, David: This was a fun piece, more like a prose poem, and I like those when well done, such as this. Also very educationa and funny to boot! I did not know you had been ill, as I have been away for a while. Glad to see you back in the thick of things.

    Keep up the good work.
    alicia
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  • (4/5/2008 6:20:00 PM)


    You once told me a joke like this once to lift my spirits (and that is a the smile not the drink) ......I can just picture this....hehehe (Report) Reply

  • (4/5/2008 3:22:00 AM)


    David you are a great raconteur. You keep your audience on the edge of their seats. What a fascinating tale and one I haven't heard before. So that's where the expression 'demon drink' came from and here was me thinking it must have been coined by an elderly spinster with nails in her heart and disappointment under her pillow. Great piece.
    love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2008 4:13:00 PM)


    Don't touch the stuff myself, but loved this... Andy 10 (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2008 2:46:00 PM)


    Loved it David,10 10 and 10 for this
    Lynda xxx
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Poem Edited: Monday, February 2, 2009


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