The Wrapper
© Rhonda M. Tallnash, 2016.

Winner, 2016 Humorous Section, ABPA WA State Championship, Toodyay WA.

Young Lionel worked in Bendigo at Myer’s bustling store,
the best darn parcel wrapper that had ever walked the floor.
He’d wrap the biggest birthday gift to sweeten the surprise,
or neatly strap the smallest box with lovely bows and ties.

So many wrappers came and went but Lionel was the best,
he’d wrap a gift in no time flat.  Far quicker than the rest.
If items were unwieldy that just didn’t mean a thing
for he could wrestle any shape with fancy curling string.

His Mum was very proud and thought the whole wide world should know
of Lionel’s gift for wrapping gifts.  He should be on a show!
Then reading through the newspaper, she happened on an ad
that read, ‘Auditions – Rappers Wanted - Every Lass and Lad’.

So Lionel packed for Sydney – suits and ties to look his best
with comfy shoes and dapper shirts his doting Mum had pressed.
He packed his papers, bows and strings in colours that would match.
Then gave his Mum a hasty kiss.  He had a train to catch!

The queue of scruffy city kids in clothing meant to shock
began outside the theatre door and stretched around the block.
He thought them quite disgraceful with their unkempt dirty looks,
their backward caps and gaping shirts and piercings.  Just like crooks!

Then Lionel noticed none of them had brought their tools of trade
but only ghetto blasters with a deafening tirade.
If he had known he needed to bring music to compete
his ‘Partridge Family Remix’ would have given him the beat.

At last inside the theatre, three cool judges gave the cue
to file up on the stage to show the crowd what they could do.
They lined up as some music started thumping out full bore,
then two kids threw their legs out wide and twirled across the floor.

Well Lionel was astounded that there were no gifts to wrap,
but undeterred he grabbed a passing twirler by a strap
that held his scruffy pants up - with the view to wrapping him.
The rapper squawked, bobbed up and down – and shook each lanky limb.

But Lionel had the paper set.  A lovely duck egg blue,
a gorgeous floral pattern with contrasting golden hue.
Well he had wrapped some tricky things back home in Myer’s store
but this gyrating parcel would now test his skills for sure.

So when the dancer hit the floor and spun upon his head,
he grabbed the chance to wrap him from the bottom up instead.
He wrapped the paper round the feet.  It curled up to the knees
and when it reached the waist he ordered, “Put your arms in please.”

Before the kid could back-chat or eject a nasty word,
the paper covered up his mouth so all his curses slurred.
By now our Lionel had the curling string around the feet,
so on the rapper’s final spin the parcel was complete.

He lay there on the stage.  A wondrous vision to behold.
A lovely wrapped up rapper trussed in duck egg blue and gold!
The curling string was neatly looped from feet to neck through crutch.
A gold bow on the backwards cap was Lionel’s final touch.

And when the music stopped the theatre crowd were all amazed.
Despite the blatant mix-up Lionel’s wrapping skills were praised.
A special trophy was created, shaped just like a bow,
so Lionel’s Mum could put it on the mantelpiece for show.

The big boss back at Myer was as proud as he could be,
he put Lionel on a poster and called in WIN TV.
So now when Lionel wraps the gifts, crowds gather in the mall,
but will you see a rapper busking there?  No!  Not at all!


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