|

The Story of Mrs. Minchella (the peanut seller)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Some call her Lou Lou, some Isabella
But to most fans at Palace, she was Missus Minchella.
“Peanuts forra sixpence
A tanner a bagga”
Her accent went through you
Like a sharpened up dagger.
She was boisterous and moody
and prone to a moan
and before Kane was to Tottenham
She was one of our own.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Back in the Sixties and Seventies
her primitive bark
would compete with the chants
at pre-match Selhurst Park
“One two, three, four
Can you hear the Palace roar?
Peanuts for Sixpence”
Would mock the visiting fans

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Unlike the players who came, played and went
Missus Minchella was always there
Rain, snow. wind — sun or hail
You’d always hear her accented wail
“Peanuts forra a sixpence,
a tanner a bagga.”

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 So who was the mysterious Missus Minchella?
The monkey-nut lady with the feisty demeanor
The bandanna covered head
And the olive, leathery skinned face.
A face that had memories, it couldn’t erase

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 A face that witnessed poverty, war and relegations
A lined face that saw much sorrow
But very few elations
Many claimed to know her
but no- one really did.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Urban legends abounded
Some said she was an Italian countess who fled the Nazis
It was whispered that she had Mafia connections.
And in her younger days was a raven haired beauty
Whose husband died
on war time duty.
That the large gold earring’s that hung down to her shoulders
would fetch thousands if sold
Some assumed she was a gypsy, who hoarded her gold
in a secret compartment, that her basket would hold.
That she lived in a mansion of luxury
Far away from the din, of match day Selhurst Park
from her boisterous persona and thunderous bark.
“Peanuts forra a sixpence – a tanner a bagga. “

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Some bought her wares, for a quick pre-match snack
Others to take aim, at the stern Peelers back.
If your aim was well practiced and you’re nut hit the cop
You felt like Jocky Wilson finishing
on double top.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 She was hated by police
And the ground staff alike
The apprentices on Monday
felt like calling a strike.
Having to clear more spent shells
than a South Bronx shot up street
Shells that had been stomped
by thousands of feet
that throughout the match
jumped up and down
and an occasional knees up to old” Muvver Brown.”

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 On terraces packed
As kids were being passed
down to the front
Missus Minchella for sales with her basket would hunt.
With wicker basket, tied to her chest
She’d wade her way up the terrace
Parting the red and blue sea
of working class humanity
As easily as Victor Moses would part
the heart of an opposition defense.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Many’s the decent pre-match terrace brawl
was rudely interrupted by the threatening call
of Missus Minchella
“Stoppa you punching, you kicks and head butts
putta you hands in your pocket and buya my nuts.”
They always did.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 She pulled a crafty substitution in Seventy – One.
Decimalization meaning we changed up our mon
She subbed the D for the P
said she was only doing her job
And now our cherished monkey nuts
cost just under a bob.
But she still said tanner.
“Peanuts forra a fourpence
A tanner a bagga.”

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Then one mid- football season around the year Eighty -Four
At Palace Missus Minchella was not seen no more.
At first no one took much notice
But soon with the rumour mill we got a bad vibe
Was Missus Minchella dead or was she alive?
She was murdered by the Mafia
She was banned by the club
But all of these stories just didn’t add up
Nowadays. “ Find Missus Minchella” Facebook groups
Would spring to life
And Twitter pages would be rife
But then there was just gossip.
More than a Coronation street corner
or a Sky studio on transfer deadline.
She was reported seen, at the Den, Millwall
and selling nuts at the Albert Hall
At a Status Quo concert at Charlton’s Valley
and even outside the Hammersmith Palais.
She was sighted at Sainsburys more times than Elvis
But sadly — never again at the Palace.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 Now the tannoy makes the pre-match noise
as fans look at their phones
Oblivious to the sounds of Elton and the Rolling Stones
But old timers claim to hear another sound
As they moan ‘bout peanuts for two pound
They swear that as the game gets near
a voice attacks their inner ear.
After maybe drinking too much Stella
they hear the voice of Lou-Lou Minchella
And despite the tannoy blaring out
the latest sounds of Lady Gaga
They hear the feeble, eerie cry
“ Peanuts forra a sixpence a tanner a bagga.”
The ghostly voice of Missus Minchella
The Crystal Palace peanut seller.

10

Notes

At Selhurst Park it wasn’t just players and managers who became legends. In the 70’s alone we had Clive (sideburns) the programme seller. Len Chatterton (the flatterer) the groundsman who used to drive his car on the pitch to flatten it at half time. Joyce the Voice, a supporter whose vocal support could be heard from one end of the ground to the other. While she urged the players on and questioned the parentage of the ref her husband would sit quietly next to her. This story of course is about the one and only Mrs. Minchella. Everyone who went to Palace in that era remembers her fondly. A recent newspaper article cleared up some of the mysteries surrounding her. She was born in Italy. Her disappearance from Selhurst was due to a new chairman wanting a bigger cut of her profits. At the time the club denied they had anything to do with her disappearance . Apparently she told the chairman in exactly what location on his anatomy she would like to place her peanut basket. She was the mother of six, who never learned to read or write, had limited English and lived in a Victorian house not far from the ground. Her husband Ralph, one day told all the kids not to argue with their mother and walked out; never to be seen again. His daughter Josephine assumes he went back to Italy. “Every day my mother went out with her basket she went out hoping to find him,” said her daughter. After Palace, Mrs Minchella continued selling her wares every day, out of a pram, in the Croydon area. Unfortunately some genius’s designed underpasses in Croydon that were a muggers paradise. Three times Mrs Minchella was mugged. Each time she fought back . The last time they got her wedding ring and tore her earring off and beat her badly. She was hospitalized for some time.. When she came out of hospital her family intervened and forbid her from going out selling nuts. Poor Mrs Minchella died in a nursing home in 1991 at the age of 82. According to a nurse she used to wander off a lot , walking the streets for hours, still looking for Ralph.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-story-of-mrs-minchella-the-peanut-seller/