the Bad Humor man
First you'll hear somebody snarling,
Then a clash of cacophanous bells.
Frozen dill pickes and vinegarsicles
Are what the Bad Humor Man sells.
He yells, "All you brats quit that shouting!"
And he smacks any kiddie who sings.
Cold curdled custard and horseradish mustard
Are what the Bad Humor man brings.
He carries a silver cop whistle
And he sneers that all children are crooks.
Birds fly away, and the puppies won't play
When they catch his bad-humored looks.
The special today's cubes of topsoil
Bedecked with a relish of dills
Stuck to the foil you'll find cold castor oil
And a garnish of saccharine pills.
He never gives anyone change back
And he takes nothing smaller than dimes.
Take it from me, you're wisest to flee
When you hear the Bad Humor Man's chimes.
(by me, circa 1983: originally printed in the New Pals Club Magazine)