The Sorrows of The Mediocre

Poor poor Ralphie was a man
Who spent his life an also-ran
And though he tried with all his might
The ‘almost perfect but not quite’
Was heard as a nonstop refrain
And soon to be his sad life’s bane

School passed by predictably
With his average solid B
Involved in sports but to his nettle
His room adorned with silver medals
He never made the football team
Or dated the homecoming queen

He settled with a decent gal
But thought her more a sort of pal
Though long of leg and slim of waist
Just something off about her face
And so she joined him for the ride
And she too bridesmaid never bride

And Ralph he wrote though not the best
He cursed his marginal success
At wisdom some found somewhat sage
Though buried on an obscure page
But all that found it surely would
Agree that it was ‘pretty good’

And so with all his life to shoulder
The sorrows of the mediocre
He found himself long in the tooth
And simply figured what’s the use
“I never will find fame or wealth
I might as well just off myself

Perhaps when they call me ‘the late’
These silly fools will think I’m great”
And so after a few events
Which ended up as failed attempts
Ralphie took his final bow
Though none really remember how

But as he went heavenward soaring
Happy to see the whole world mourning
In aftermath of his sad death
To heaven’s gate with arms outstretched
Angels with their golden books
Gazed towards him with beatific looks

But as he reached St. Peter’s side
They merely told him step aside
And so he became quite downhearted
When he saw why those gates parted
He would have waited if he’d known he’d
Die on the same day as Bowie.

'If you couldn't get into clubs, what makes you think you can get in here?'

‘If you couldn’t get into clubs, what makes you think you can get in here?’

82 thoughts on “The Sorrows of The Mediocre

  1. Excellent stuff. Very well done and I really enjoyed it. I remember writing about “The average tragedy of second rate” but this has your normal cheerful spin to it which somehow gives more bite to the verse. Of course, the ending made me chuckle, especially given my own recent foray in to Bowie land.

  2. Ever since I made a correlation with bow and bow (as in where you bend forward) the name bowie has never been the same. I see it as bowel-e (kind of). Sad I know. A lovely tale Marissa, thank you!

  3. Oh the ending is kind of heart breaking indeed… The sorrows of the mediocre, the title speaks out loud… great share, deat Marissa… Best to you. Aquileana 🌟.-

  4. I so..loved this Marissa. There is so much in here. The majority of humanity is actually struggling against being also-rans and against mediocrity. Only a handful can actually rise above the mediocre and scale great heights. Managing one’s expectations about one’s own self calls for a lot of maturity. Brilliantly expressed, as alwaya.

  5. I loved everything about this, Marissa.
    “Something off about her face” made me laugh out loud. Then seeing he showed up at the same time as David…well, I just had to sigh and ache for poor Ralphie. This was soooo good!

  6. This was a very interesting way of pointing out how average people every day live and die. So happy you put the joke/comic in and one of my faves, David Bowie, too. I like his “Lazarus” song and also, will always think of “Changes” which he co-wrote, will remind me of how “Time marches on,” Marissa. Sadly, with less gifted people following the legends’ footsteps.

  7. Part of heaven is no doubt reserved for the mediocre…or maybe hell. But isn’t the problem w. Ralphie ,and American life , that if you are ordinary you always feel you HAVE to be extraordinary, so you become obnoxious instead of content? I mean, there are extraordinary, undiscovered people forced to live tedious lives and then there are humdrum people with ideas above their stations. I am assuming you see Ralphie as being in the second category? Just curious…

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