Old Scallywag scapegoat has skedaddled,
Retired at last to bridge and both kinds of bird-watching,
No more suspect phone calls from shady acquaintances,
Anonymous ladies and flush-faced Rotarians.
He could always be blamed when case-notes strayed.
(His MG boot? His mistress’s bed? We enjoyed guessing.)
How we shall miss his reliable shiftiness,
Wow and flutter on tape, Wimbledon-fortnight illness,