Charity Begins at Home

In an old house in Brooklyn (where the Dodgers once played),
Lived two spinsters with int’resting ways.
They’d take single old men as lodgers who paid,
Then hasten the end of their days.

For they held it was charity to the old and alone,
Who’d be happier when they had died,
To hurry them on to being cold as a stone
With wine laced with some cyanide.

Then they’d summon their brother, an unsteady crank,
And up from the basement he’d charge.
For he thought he was Roosevelt (that’s Teddy not Frank),
His fixation had grown pretty large.

For the Panama Canal down below he had dug,
And they told him the newly dead souls
Were navvies succumbed to some really bad bug,
So he used them to fill up some holes.

The spinsters pressed on with placid resolve,
To make each paying guest a has been.
In elderberry wine, they’d prussic acid dissolve,
Then their nephew appeared on the scene.

Played by suave Cary Grant, whose real name was Leach
Found a guest who had recently died
And put uncle and aunts beyond the law’s reach
By having poor Ted certified

Then the black sheep (Ray Massey) sad to tell makes it back,
His presence is really a worry.
A murderer scarred by the shakes of a quack
Played by bulging-eyed star, Peter Lorre.

So the film rattles on, a true festival of crime.
Until every loose thread’s tied in place
In my consid’red opinion, one of the best of all time.
And its name’s Arsenic and Old Lace.

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