Godfrey in Paradise

Clive James

Admirers of Godfrey Smith’s ‘Sunday Times’ column, one of whose principal concerns is the various promotional free meals to which he is invited, were not surprised to learn, from a recent feature article by him in the same newspaper, that lunch is his idea of heaven.

When Godfrey Smith goes up to Heaven
He’ll see more cream teas than in Devon
And angels in McDonald’s hats
Ladling chips from golden vats.

Because he has been very good
Godfrey will smell all kinds of grub:
Lancashire hot-pot, Yorkshire pud,
Saddle of lamb and syllabub.

When Godfrey breasts the pearly gates
Fat cherubs will bang spoons on plates,
Filling the air with chubby singing.
The gong for dinner will be ringing.

But dinner, Godfrey will intuit,
Leads on to breakfast, thence to brunch.
In Heaven there’s no limit to it.
The whole thing’s one enormous lunch.

Brie, Stilton, Roquefort and Caerphilly,
Banana splits avec Chantilly,
Petits fours, wafers, halvah, toffee
Come with, if not before, the coffee.

The scoff in Heaven’s done just right.
The chocolate sauce is not too thick.
They do not beat the mousse all night
Nor oversteam the spotted dick.

When Godfrey dines with his Creator
He’ll bung five quid to the head waiter
And compliment his beaming host
On the aroma of the roast.

The Koran promises its readers
Heaven’s one endless copulation.
Godfrey will pity the poor bleeders
From his eternity of gustation.

What proper man would plump for bints
Ahead of After Eight thin mints?
True pleasure for a man of parts
Is tarts in him, not him in tarts.

When Godfrey Smith finds Paradise
He’ll sniff that spread both long and broad
And start by eating it all twice –
The Lord’s perpetual smorgasbord.