Shakespeare bought a time machine –
He found one going cheap.
He revved the engine up to max
And made that quantum leap.
He waved goodbye to Tudor times:
He told his actors, “Ciao.
I’m off to see how people live
Four hundred years from now.”
He landed in the present day –
Slap bang in Leicester Square! –
And people went bananas when
They noticed he was there.
“It’s England’s greatest playwright!”
“Cor, blimey! What a thrill!”
“Quick! Let’s get a selfie with
Our favourite writer, Bill!”
He greeted his new fan club:
“Good morrow, gentle friends.
Prithee, show me something new.
What are the latest trends?”
He really got excited,
He felt his heart rate skitter
When someone switched a laptop on
And logged him onto Twitter.
But rapidly his joy dispersed.
He shouted, “Zounds! Confound it!
Browsing this, ’tis bootless!
I can’t get my head around it!”
“I’m used to cramming complex thoughts
In five iambic feet,
But I’m buggered if I know how I
Can fit them in a tweet!”
He found a website, ShakespeareChat,
Run by an English prof,
But it seemed that all the posters there
Just came to slag him off.
Some called him, “Overrated”,
Or even claimed that Marlowe
Was the sexy Robbie Williams to
His boring Gary Barlow,
While others said he signed his name
With a rude, unlettered scrawl,
Which proved he was a chav and didn’t
Write the plays, at all.
At just that point his mobile rang –
It was the Daily Mail.
They said, “A kiss and tell from you
Would be our Holy Grail!”
“Tell us what the Globe was like
And what the actors wore.
Did you trash hotel rooms when
You took your shows on tour?”
“Did groupies proposition you?
If so, did you say ‘Yes’?
And did you ever have a one-night
Stand with Good Queen Bess?”
“Tell us how you felt the day
You heard your son was dead
And tell us what Anne Hathaway
Was REALLY like in bed?”
He said, “I value privacy
Above all earthly wealth,
So, sorry, but the answer’s ‘No’.”
They muttered, “Please yourself!”
“We don’t need to talk to you –
We’ll read a Shakespeare sonnet,
Pick out all the raunchy bits
And base our piece upon it!”
But when he saw their headline,
He thought, “They’re off their rocker!
‘BISEXUAL LOVE RAT, SHAKESPEARE,
BRAGS OF KINKY THREESOME SHOCKER’??!!
He got back in his time machine,
He simply couldn’t wait.
He belted up and set the dial
He couldn’t be convinced to stay –
“I’faith, I just want out.
The sixteenth century has its faults, as well,
Without a doubt.”
“Bubonic plague and syphilis
Are bummers, I confess,
But I’d rather take my chance with them
Than the tabloid frigging press.”