A funny poem that architects and their clients, builders and contractors will all appreciate
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
by Ethel Jacobson (written in 1938)
Dear Mr. Moffly, do me a house,
A suitable shelter for self and for spouse,
The plans are all drawn to a very fine scale;
We've picked out the site and we've burrowed the kale.
And everything's ready for you and your crew
To whip it together with mortar and glue,
To rivet the rafters and frame the foundations
As per the original specifications.
Nice Mr. Moffly, you've built it as shown,
But knock off the stucco—I'd rather have stone—
And let's slip the east room around to the west—
Or wouldn't a southern exposure be best?
And make the roof steeper to shed any snow,
But still have the lines just as rambling and low,
And keep it pure Georgian—but modern as Winchell,
With maybe a tinge of the Greco-provincial.
Kind Mr. Moffly, I know you won't mind,
But the kitchen and porch would look better combined,
And just shift the plumbing—it's no trick at all—
And why don't we rip out that one study wall
And add on a game room, but more to the rear,
And wangle a space for a dressing room here
And shorten the hallway and widen the casement?
And, oh, I've decided I do want a basement.
It's perfect! It's lovely! It can't be improved!
When we once get the front door and fireplace moved
And—Goodness, what happened? These times are so hectic.
Poor Mr. Moffly, he was apoplectic.