“RETAIL THERAPY”

by Christopher Mason


(Performed as a Surprise at Denise Hasting’s 50th Birthday Party at the Savile Club, London, February 27, 2010.)


Click to listen:


to “Moondance” 

Denise is a great blast of sunshine

When the world seems incurably vile,

She’s so cheerful and gives you an earful,

So delightful you can’t help but smile.


   Amid this brief mortal coil

   No other friend is more loyal

   Nor as enchanting as she,

   She just exudes joie d’esprit!


This bizarre allegation she’s 50

Seems an odd cognitive disconnect,

’Cause what makes her so thoroughly winning

Is her childhood’s not quite over yet!

In her mind, she’s a natural pop star

With the thrill of fame just on the brink, 

Her dazzling debut is overdue

So instead, she’s becoming a shrink! 


   And when she feels in the dumps

   She just buys more Prada pumps,

   Her inner shrink finds great glee

   In major retail therapy!

 

She’s the wife who’s the life of the party,

Loves Tequila Slammers, it’s true

That she has rip-roaring fun after one

And she is under the table with two! 


to “Mack the Knife” 

And she’s fearless when she’s boxing,

All that punching gives her a thrill,

In a fight look out for her right hook

On the mean streets of Notting Hill!


If some young dude dates one of her daughters

And he tries to misbehave,

Ere the night’s out she’ll punch his lights out,

Mrs. Hastings is fierce and brave! 


Clay, her trainer, can’t restrain her, 

Not contain her desire to hit,

All that vigor seems to trigger

A slender figure, so she’s stays fit! 


to “How Much Is That Doggy In the Window?” 

Though her family she dutifully dotes on,

Sugar Ray is her favorite, bar none,

Though technically he’s a Lakeland terrier,

She’s convinced that he’s her Jewish son! 


Everyone knows her dog’s neurotic,

He inspires a recurring refrain:

When Denise comes home, every time she screams out, “Shuggie! 

“He’s pissed on the carpet – again!” 


to “The Windmills of Your Mind” 

Her darling dog is barking mad, and here’s the curious twist:

She’s now a psychoanalytic psychotherapist,

She got savvy at the Tavvy, have-a chat, and she will find

A conclusive diagnosis of what’s cluttering your mind; 

Heavy doses of neuroses are a therapist’s delight,

And it’s nice to see so many of her patients here tonight! 

    Lining up for expertise

Before tequila drowns Denise!


She now undergoes analysis herself ten times a week,

Having fun with all her phobias, a game of hide-and-seek; 

After years of all this therapy, examining each trait,

So far no one has deduced exactly why she’s always late! 

Or quite why she seems impervious as old friends fairly seethe,

When she shows up bright and breezy when it’s almost time to leave!

   

Her daughters all adore her, being with her they rejoice,

But of late they’ve come to dread her psychotherapeutic voice;

They admire her dedication, but they get a bit annoyed

When she asks them how they’re feeling, like she’s Sigmund effing Freud!

Invitations to the Hamptons

They must sadly now decline,

Mummy has to see her patients,

So she cannot spare the time. 

    Life’s less glamorous, they think,

  Why did she have to be a shrink? 


to “Those Were the Days My Friend” 

After 20 years they’re still romantic,

Denise and Nick love India, Paris, Rome,

But in London she goes gallivanting, 

Nick is thrilled to chill and just stay home.


Their first meeting hardly seemed propitious,

In Piccadilly Circus, in some bar,

Neither knew the meeting was a set-up

That Steve, Nick’s brother, match-made from afar.


Sure, it helped there were no expectations,

Nothing to suspect this was a date,

Nick had been instructed, help this stranger,

He noticed she was 40 minutes late!


Denise was contemplating some PR job,

To Nick, her questions seemed a touch bizarre;

At the time his job was flogging Swatches,

He really knew fuck all about P.R. 


   But somehow magic sparked

   And swiftly they embarked

   On sweet romance, robust in all respects,

   And to their joy and glee

   They spawned a family

   Three gorgeous daughters, 

   Each more lovely than the next.


Lily’s going to wow the boys at Cambridge,

Stylish Clemmy spouts philosophy,

Florrie sings and acts just like angel,

In short, they are an all-star family! 


to “Love Potion Number Nine” 

They owned a splashy house in Holland Park,

It was much photographed, all sleek and stark,

Wasn’t so cozy, so they gave the kibosh

To Holland Park. They found it too posh.


So now they’re slumming it in Westbourne Grove,

Leamington Road Villas, treasure trove, 

She claims she’ll never move, the house is divine,

Love and devotion for the house at Number Nine.


Nick’s chief complaint is that the floorboards creak,

But dear Denise dismisses his critique,

When he complains of it, his dutiful wife

Tells him to “Shut up Nick and just get a life!” 


They argue, sure, 

But when push comes to shove,

You never saw two people 

More in love,

She digs her hubby, 

Thinks he’s simply divine,

Love and devotion 

In that house at Number Nine. 


to “Home On the Range” 

When the weekend descends,

Like their Range Rover friends,

The Hastings all head for the hills,

Denise thinks there’s no match

For their Oxfordshire thatch

But London provides all her thrills.


As a bride she could barely make toast,

Now she’s practically itchin’

To get in the kitchen

And cook up a nice Sunday roast! 


to “I’m in Heaven” 

But her passion is fashion,

It’s a pleasure that enthralls her every week,

Every season she finds reasons to go seek

Gorgeous get-ups so she’s never less than chic. 


   And her stunning inspiration’s been

   Her mother, all along,

   Lalla’s glamorous as ever,

   Playing bridge and going strong!


She’s in heaven, retail heaven,

Scouring London in pursuit of new boutiques,

Searching magazines for fashions that beguile,

That supposedly are redefining style!


She’s in heaven, retail heaven, 

Loves a little jaunt to Paris for a spree,

Just to spend a very sweet romantic day,

Doing damage on Faubourg St. Honorée!

   It has not escaped her notice, 

   And she never could deny,

   That she sure is mighty lucky 

   Nick’s an understanding guy!

   He’s bemused by her excursions 

   And in time he’s come to see

   That tension in a marriage 

   Melts with retail therapy!


to “The Guy’s Only Doing it For Some Doll” 

It’s bizarre but sweet

How her girlfriends compete

For the honor of being her closest pal

And the fearsome competition

For that coveted position

Must really do wonders for her morale!


There is Melanie, Dorothy, Janie B.

And Theresa, Charlotte, Chrissie, all first rate,

She is caring, so it’s curious

That she gets so bloody furious

When Dorothy pinches food from her plate!


The great pantheon of her best friends goes on,

Namely Danny, Lisa, Lisa, Janet, say –  

There’s also Penny, Linda, Julia,

But the thing that’s most peculiar

Is, the one she talks to most is Sugar Ray! Oy vey! 

That quite infuriating, copiously urinating

Doggedly despotic, faintly idiotic

One she loves the most is Sugar Ray!


And that’s Denise!

Happy Birthday!