Bard Billot on National’s new tough guy
The Ballad of Ironballs Mitchell
Way out west, where the tumbleweeds roll,
the rogues and varmints roam lawlessly
in the badlands up beyond Budget Liquor Gulch
and down south of the border in Meagre Prospects Mall.
Sheriff Poto is missing on a Yogic Retreat preparing
for her anti-varmint crystal vibration therapy session.
The moonbeams have aligned on the correct frequency
but the cigarettes and two dollar jewellery
keep getting rustled, night after night.
The locals sit around grousing in the Luxville Honky Tonk Saloon.
“We need some rough justice,” says Mayor Luxon.
“Dang straight,” yells Rancher Luxon.
“Preach it brother,” yodel’s Pastor Luxon.
“You better put that all down in the newspaper, boy,”
says Luxville Chamber of Commerce President Luxon.
“Most certainly!” says Editor Luxon of the Luxon Herald.
Just then, through the doors slams Ironballs Mitchell.
He thumps his six shooter down on the bar
and calls for a bottle of rye.
“Nothing doin'”, says bartender Luxon.
“Them varmints ram raided the top shelf.”
Ironball’s Mitchell stars in the distant distance.
“Them varmints gonna pay,” he growls.
Ironball jumps up and strolls round the town square.
“Get them nooses tightened up! Oil up the carbines!”
So it was a posse of twenty brave young deputies
came by the saloon saddled up and packing heat.
Their leader salutes with a tear in his flinty eye.
“Lead the way, Ironballs! We’ll follow you to the gates of Hell.”
There is an uncomfortable silence.
“Oh no, no, no!,” chuckles Ironballs eventually.
“Bandit wrastlin’ is an operational matter
and as the new Head Sheriff, my duty is remain
here at the saloon and hold the fort
and sign off press releases about getting tough on crime.
Here’s a map of the badlands, boys!
And don’t get yourself ambushed up a gulch.”
So it was the Rough Justice Posse of deputies
left town at dusk on their pack mules
by themselves; and as they wound their way
through the mean hills up the back of Luxville
towards the camps of the heavily armed bandits,
they could just hear the distant sounds
of an almighty good hoe down getting going
back down at the Luxville Saloon.
Victor Billot has previously felt moved to compose Odes for such luminaries asLouise Wallace, Mike Hosking, Clarke Gayford, Brian Tamaki, and Garrick Tremain.