With war-time rations, a writing deadline with his publisher and a miserable birthday party ahead, Cyril Clarke is not in a candle-blowing mood. With a rush of inspiration he manages to finish the poem, a peculiar ode about a magickal fellow named Merlin Mound.
There is knock at the door that evening at the party (Betty Clarke has only cold sausage to offer the guests). The slimy looking Merlin Mound enters, proposing to ladle them with luxuries.
Merlin to Betty: "I received your husband's message and came at once."
Cyril to Betty: "He's the exact image of the character in the ode I finished this evening."
Cyril then gleefully wishes for a slap-up dinner. Merlin spins his tie and takes dinner from another party and materializes it in the dining room. He swipes a bottle of port from an ancient castle. With a swoosh he fills Betty's wardrobe with designer gowns that he has stripped from ladies at a rich party.
The guests are wondering how the Clarke's do it. One, (Mr Short, a government man) is calculating their coupon rations and tallying up food items.
A tiered cake arrives with a band; all stolen by Merlin.
Merlin moves in and continues to produce. They think they have a genie.
Mr Short, a government food inspector, arrives the next morning on an official visit concerning the Clarke's observed luxury. People start arriving, wanting their goods back. The band wants their food and cake. Gangsters demand their dames' dresses be returned.
Merlin flashes over the problem by manifesting a pile of money. In desperation to rid themselves of this trouble-making jester, Cyril adds banishing lines to the ode.
Merlin returns as a devilish trickster.
The gangsters discover their loot has gone from the safe, while Mr Short reports a safe full of coupons have disappeared. Betty begins to say a couple of lines of poetry in the hope of spoofing away Merlin but he spirits her away to Doomsday Hall.
Cyril is pursued by the gangsters and the government.
Wacky scenes in a cardboard castle follow.
"I'll make you finally disappear By putting fireworks in your beer Then belching fireballs - reds and greens You'll blow yourself to smithereens."
Cyril wakes from this fizzy dream to a birthday party and cold sausage.
It's an understandable tale of war-time rationing. One might consider writing odes to Merlin. Here is the ode if you are tempted:
Ode (composed by Cyril Fletcher who played Cyril Clarke)
When making magic, Merlin Mound
would start his bow tie spinning round
He found the magic quite a strain
for he took off like an aeroplane
So to weigh him down next to his skin
he wore combinations made of tin
Also wore a Norfolk suit
and one elastic-sided boot
Then the departed, most surprised
he found his combs. were magnetized
Before his guilty secret showed
he had spun his tie and shed his load
(adding later as the adventures proceeded)
Your machinations make me sick
Go back and conjure for old nick
(then finally adds)
I'll make you finally disappear
by putting fireworks in your beer
Then belching fireballs - reds and greens...
You'll blow yourself to smithereens
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?