“Can I borrow your ladders a couple of days?”
Asked the bloke from across the road.
His house got burgled: my ladders got nicked –
At least, that’s what I was told.
He also borrowed my workbench;
It came back with a leg that was wonky.
So, far from providing a worktop that’s sturdy,
It wobbles about like a plonky!
He was painting; he borrowed my dust-sheets:
They came back all shredded and tattered.
And as for my brushes (he had them as well)
They’re all dog-eared and stiffened and matted.
He “borrowed” some wood and some screws and some nails;
He mended both back and front fences.
Everyone said, “What a good job you’ve done!”
Unaware that I paid the expenses.
He borrowed my saw (quite a new one)
And returned it (now there’s a relief) –
Until I examined it closely -
He’d extracted two-thirds of its teeth!
My screwdriver’s bent, my chisel is blunt
(You’d think that by now I would learn)
My electric drill whimpers and whines for a while
But it’s given up trying to turn.
He borrowed my pasting table -
At a car-boot he wanted to sell.
He sold all his nick-nacks and rusty old tools –
And then sold my table as well!
His house is all mended and tidy
Mine’s going to wrack and to ruin
While he’s got my tools (and my ladders!)
D-I-Y is not something I’m doing.
His house wins acclaim from the neighbours;
Mine causes them much discontent,
But I can’t help but think the reverse would be true
If I’d borrowed as much as I’d lent!