Friday’s Countdown Poem – ‘Your target’s not zero’

27 02 2015

So here it is. The last thing I did with my time in Dictionary Corner.

I can honestly say that I think this might be my favourite thing I’ve ever written, so I hope you enjoy it.

Anyway, here goes. Have a lovely weekend, and again – my sincerest thanks to Nick, Susie, Rachel and everyone at Countdown HQ. Couldn’t have loved it more.

Your Target’s Not Zero

In the secular world
Of twenty fifteen
It’s common to wonder
“What does all of this mean?”
“What if all of it’s pointless?
It all comes to nout?”
And you sit in the dark
Tryin’ to figure it out.
But life’s like an onion
The more that you peel
The harder you cry
And the less that you feel
And once it’s stripped down
right down past the core
There’s nothing worth keeping
And your eyes are red raw
Coz the truth is that
Given enough time and thinking
some mild desperation,
a night’s heavy drinking
Everybody on earth
has got the ability
to repaint the world
fifty shades of futility.
Don’t look for THE meaning
Just pick one for you
Coz nothing means nothing
When ‘to thine own self’ you’re true.
Nothing is pointless
If you choose it that way;
Your reason for living
self-determined each day!
Be it friends, dogs or children
Your husband, your wife
Cats, hats, bats, football stats –
All Meanings of life!
And if you have God
And thus tenets of duty
I pray that you still see
the power and the beauty
Of chaos and random
Of luck and of chance
As our little blue planet
And shining stars dance
Coz it’s really no biggy
To realise how small
In the grand scheme of things
we are. All of us. ALL!
And love is the answer
The question? Who cares!
You’re free if you choose it
The winner’s who dares.
And nothing is pointless
No, nothing at all!

…maybe that one thing
Right there, on the wall.
Now my euphoria’s
starting to waver
And if you’ve an answer,
please do me a favour
Tweet me or email me
Please let me know
Why does the hand
on the countdown clock go ONLY HALF WAY ROUND?
At no point in the show
Does any round in it
Happen for anything
close to a minute!
Each word challenge issued
Each total that beckons
Each rascally conundrum

I mean bits of it light up,
It tics and it tocs
But as the hand hits the bottom – it gives up – it stops!
I’m sorry, I’ll calm down
I’m here for a laugh
But who builds a whole clock
Then just uses half?!

In conclusion then:
Try thinking out of the box-
Define your own happiness.
And don’t stare at clocks.

The good burghers of Twitter have pointed out to me that Jimmy Carr made a similar observation about the clock on Catsdown. Please accept my apologies – no plagiarism intended. It’s just one of those things. In fact, I’d be surprised if he was the first to mention it. I’d think any comedian looking to make jokes about Countdown might notice the same thing, but – for the fact that he got there first – sorry.



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