The Muffin Man – 28 April 2014

Posted: April 28, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




28 April 2014

“Good morning, Chuck. I see that you have your winter coat on.”

“Yeah, I had a lighter jacket on yesterday and I nearly froze. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the wind. As it is only my hands and feet are cold. I’ve got some nice leather mitts at home somewhere, but I can’t find them.

I asked, “How was your weekend?”

“Pretty good; I only got into one fight. For me, that’s good.”

“What happened.”

“There was this cranky old guy, complaining that he didn’t have enough money for a coffee. I was going to buy him one,  then this guy comes by with a case of  empty beer cans. He said, ‘Take these, they’re worth ten cents a can,  you can turn them in for enough money to buy a coffee.’ ‘Oh no,’ the guy says, ‘I can’t have people see me trading in empties. They’d think I’m poor. I don’t want that.’ I really laid into him for that. I put myself on the line out here. A cop could give me a hundred-dollar ticket for panhandling. If I didn’t appear for court, I could do jail time. Mind you, if I did appear. The judge would probably throw the case out. I’ve never actually seen the charges stick. I’d probably say something like, ‘Your honor, I can’t afford to pay the ticket now, but if you’ll give me a few days, I can probably collect enough money panning, to pay for it.’

“I bought a lottery ticket yesterday. It sure would be nice to win some money. I know it’s selfish, but what I’d really like is to buy a small electric car. They cost about seven thousand, but if I could get a down payment of three thousand, a guy I know would let me pay the rest in monthly installments. That would give me a lot more freedom. Since the Wheelchair Taxi can’t get near my place in winter because of the snow drifts, I’m stuck inside. If I’m desperate I can get through the snow with my walker. I have enough strength to get to the corner store and back, but that’s about it.

I said, “I met Little Jake and Little Albert yesterday. Jake chased Albert away, he was drunk.”

“Drunk or sober that guy is an imbecile. I’ve chased him away a few times myself. If a person has a mental disorder I can empathize with that. I’m a bit crazy myself. I remember when I was a kid in Perth there was a kid that was slow. A local bully dropped a candy, rolled it in the mud, then gave it to this kid to eat. I slapped it out of his hand. I got beaten up for it, but I didn’t care. I don’t like to see people treated like that. When I got home I got a beating from my dad for fighting.

“At school I told my teacher off one day. Of course my parents were phoned. I got a beating for that too. Seems  I got a beating for just about everything.

“Sitting here, day after day, I see a lot of things. Quite a few hookers stop to talk to me; not a bout sex, just because they’re bored and I’m bored.  Speaking of hookers.  I was reading about some of these film stars from the thirties. Clara Bow had quite a reputation. A newspaper named her as the mistress of several men and claimed that she of ten had sex in public, engaged in threesomes with prostitutes, slept with women when no man was available and turned to animals when no human companionship was at hand.stated that between scenes. She’d go to her trailer and ask her manager to bring her some good-looking extra or stage hand. Another one was the same, I can’t remember her name — the one from Mommy Dearest” … Joan Fontaine. She had a ninety year feud with her sister Olivia de Havilland.  When wrestling, as children, Olivia broke Joan’s collarbone. They were both interested in Howard Hughes at the same time.

A beautiful woman, bent over, placed a five dollar bill in Chuck’s cap and smiled at him.

When she left I said, “That woman is gorgeous!”

“Yeah,” said Chuck, “I’d love to dive into that. Some people say I’m a dirty old man, but I’ve died nine times, so I’m entitled.

That reminds me of  nursery rhymes. They sound innocent until you start looking into them, Like The Muffin Man.” He sang:

Oh, do you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane?

Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Yes, I know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane.

He’s never in a hurry
Never has a worry
Bringin’ joy to everyone
Then he knows his work is done

Oh, you should know the Muffin Man
The Muffin Man, the Muffin Man
You should know the Muffin Man
Who dwells in Drury Lane

I’ve read two versions  of this story. In the first, the Muffin Man was a pimp who went by the name  of Muff.  He worked Drury Lane which was the Red Light District of London.  Actors, drunks, and even Queen Elizabeth flocked to the street after a play for a quick hand or blow job (or the like, for the females). That’s where the term ‘muff diver’ came from. His main street cookie went by the name Ginger Bread.

In the other version, the Muffin Man was actually a baker, otherwise known as the Drury Lane Dicer.  He would tie a muffin to a string, and as one of the street urchins tried to grab it, he pulled the string, eventually luring the child to his house. He’d knock the child out with a wooden spoon. He was convicted of killing fifteen children and seven rival pastry chefs.

There are also some other rhymes like:

Mary had a little lamb
she also had a bear.
I’ve often seen her little lamb
but never seen her bare.

Or this one:

Mary had a little lamb.
She tied it to a pylon.
10,000 volts went up its arse,
And turned its wool to nylon.


Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she bent over,
Then Rover drove her,
‘Cause he had a bone of his own.

I said, “I was talking to Bearded Bruce, Friday night. He said he was getting a job in Scarborough. He didn’t say what he’d be doing. I wonder if he’ll be a cook in a restaurant. That’s what he’s trained for.”

“He’s supposed to be working with my son, Chuck, laying sod. I hope Chuck doesn’t screw up. It would be just like him.”


  1. I had more than a little chuckle here Dennis.. thank you .. for your compassion, humour and love to your fellow man..
    Blessings Sue xox


  2. driftersonline says:

    This guy looks like me in a few years, if I don’t submit to the new world order.


  3. mikupa says:

    Loved it, every bit.


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