An Annotated Ode To Hitch

Poem of Advice

(by Jim Holt, for his stalwart but sometimes uncouth friend, Christopher Hitchens)

Don't tipple at tiffin(1)
Or roar(2) for your rum.
Don't scowl at a griffin(3)--
You'll only look dumb.

Don't nobble your neighbors(4)
Or haver(5) at bees;
But strive to be kindly
And always to please(6).


(1) Hitchens is known to imbibe immoderately at luncheon.

(2) When his spirituous beverage is slow in coming to the table, Hitchens often raises his voice at the waiter/bartender.

(3) The griffin, being a union of terrestrial beast and aerial bird, is seen in Christianity as a symbol of Jesus, whom Hitchens deplores.

(4) In the "Watkins leaving-present affair"of the late '70s, Hitchens collected handsome subscriptions from his fellow New Statesman staffers for the departing Alan Watkins, yet produced a meagre gift.

(5) Hitchens is wont to haver at any animate audience, including bees.

(6) Although he is a man of great courage and conviction, Hitchens is not known for his complaisance.