Write It Poetry
Critic's Picks: HUMOR

In the spring of my junior year, my AP English class endeavored to unlock the meaning and poetry of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. For two weeks, we researched and analyzed the imagery, symbolism, and allusions that make the work such a poignant commentary on the indifference of society. While eating a family dinner one night, I began reflecting on how much the poem had struck me, and after a short while, my family and I began tossing around some ideas. Before I knew what had happened, my creative spark had been lit, and I was sitting in front of my computer typing at an almost stream-of-consciousness pace. With seemingly little effort, the first twenty lines were finished and after about another hour or two of working, my parody was done.

Editor's Comments:
This parody is hysterical. Read the T.S. Eliot side-by-side and note all of the clever times that Robert keeps words from Eliot's piece and changes the meaning for his own.

The Waistline: A Parody of "The Wasteland", Section 1

Robert Plummer
Age 17
Gold Award 2004

A Parody of The Wasteland,
Section 1



For Extra Pounds
il miglior gusto.

Indeed I saw with my own eyes the Colonel of the K
standing in line, and when the boy cried out to him:
may I take your order; he would reply: I want a thigh.

1. The Cereal and the Bread
2. A Game of Dress
3. The Fat Sermon
4. Death by Chocolate
5. What the Scale Said

The Cereal and the Bread

NOVEMBER is the cruelest month, breeding
Sluggards out of bed, mixing
Protein and carbohydrates, stirring
Full vats with big spoons.
The oven kept it warm, covering
Turkey in mounds of gravy, feeding
Many mouths with mashed tubers.
The in-laws surprised us, coming over the night before
With a shower of cookies; we stopped on the patio,
And turned sideways through the door, into the backyard,
And drank Diet Coke, and talked about flour.
When are you expecting? Oh you're not, I am sorry.
And when we were children, staying at the reverend's,
My uncle's, he took me out in the car,
And I was excited. He said, Larry,
Larry, pick a flavor. And down it went.
With the elastic, then you feel free.
I breathe, much of the night, and go downstairs for more snacks.

Why buy the jeans that clutch, why carry
A spare wherever you go? In a can,
You cannot guess the calories, for you know only
A pleasure of protein and the heartbeats,
And the arteries begin to clog from grade E beef,
And the crepitating stomach no sound of hunger. Only
There is shadow over this place
(Look at the size of your shadow)
And I will show you something similar about either
Your shadow at morning blocking all natural light
Or your shadow at evening, covering like night.
Slowly he rises,
Up from the couch,
But collapses too quickly,
Breaking it, ouch.
'You gave me phen-phen first a year ago;
'They called me the skin-and-bones man.'
- Yet when I came back, late, from the emergency room,
Flattering in my gown, I could not
Speak, and my lungs failed, I could neither
Eat nor drink, and I jiggled slightly,
Looking only at the nutrition label, the sodium.
Sweet and sour egg rolls for me.

Jared, the Subway man,
Has maternity pants, nevertheless
Is known to be the skinniest man in America,
With a wicked six grams of fat. Here, said he,
Is your sandwich, tuna salad with mayo,
(Those used to fit me, I swear. See!)
Here is a meatball and cheese, the king of fat,
The king of suspenders.
Here is the cookie with three kilos sugar, and here the Combo Meal,
And here is the one-eyed porcelain hole, and this abyss,
Which smells rank, is something while on your back,
Peering over a mountain, fails to be seen. I do not find
The promise of thin. Fear death by chocolate.
I see lines of people, jazzercising to music.
Thank you, and come again. If you see Ronald McD,
Tell him I want a Triple Quarter Pounder and a Diet Coke:
One must be so careful with Lays.

Unreal Size,
Under the brown buns of complex carbs,
A cow sizzles to alternative rock, so many,
I had not thought they had cooked so many.
Orders, short and impatient, were exhaled,
And each child fixed his eyes on the toy.
Stepped up the stairs and over forty feet,
To where the green meets a brick wall
With a crunching sound at the bottom of the ninth.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Beer Man!'
'Send me a cold one and some chips my way!
'That dish you made last night with the cream,
'Has it begun to digest? Will it brood for a while?
'Or has the sudden nausea disturbed you from bed?
'Oh keep the hotdogs far hence, that's fat to men,
'Or sausaged pig entrails shall consume you!
'You! Hypocrite gluton! - ma taille, - mon corps!'

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