Wednesday, December 27, 2017

DOING MORE WORK FOR IVERS ~ PART 2 ©

      Once we'd finished out at the River, Ivers said to me, on the way home,
"I'm starting a new job tomorrow out Hilston way, if ya still wanna' work Burgoo."
"That's miles away from the Lake. It'll take an hours' travelling each way. Ya gonna' pay me for that?
"No fuckin' way, ya burgoo spittin' bastard. We'll be campin' out in the shed."
"What shed? Is it a fuckin' humpy?"
"No ya pommy bastard. It's the same shed that we're building."
"Then how can we camp in it, if it's not built yet?"
"Half of it's already built, Pongo.  All the steel frame work's up and a bit of floorins' in. We've gotta' put the corrugated iron on the roof and the walls and finish the flooring. We've also gotta' weld up some tubular steel catching pens and forcing pens. So, ya still wanna' come?"
"No worries Cecil. I've got nothin' else on."
'You'll need to bring enough gear with ya for about a week or so."
"What are we gonna' do for tucker and grog, mate?"
"I'm providing the tucker and ya supply your own grog. I'm not a Vinnie de Paul fuckin' charity."
"Alright Cecil, keep ya fuckin' hair on mate. I was only askin'. Anyway, Cecil I've been meaning to ask you, why are you always so cranky and ignorant?"
"Fuck you Burgoo! But seein' as ya asked, I'll fuckin' tell ya! Years ago I used to be real easy-goin', but I found out, the hard way, the better I treated mi workers, the more they took advantage of me. They cost me a lot of money! Between that and mi old missus hittin' me up for a ton of money for maintenance, I had to change mi ways. Anyways, what the fuck am I telling you all this for burgoo?"
" I thought it help us get on a bit better Cecil."
"You just keep ya head down ya arse up burgoo and you I will git on fine."
"No worries Cecil, suits me."
"Don't forget Burgoo, It's your first round, as soon as we hit Gilltraps!"

     As we reversed into the street parking outside Traps, Ivers said,
"Keep your eye out for a bloke called Reggie. He's comin' out with us for a few days."
"Who's he and where d'ya know him from?"
"He's a blow-in I met at Twitcheys' the other night. He says he's lookin' for work so I'm givin' him a go."
"No worries Cecil."
"What the fuck are we sittin' here talking for in the hot street when Gilltraps has got cold beer, ten feet away?"
"I don't know Cecil, you're the one doin' the talkin'."
"Fuck you ya' Burgoo spittin bastard.", said Ivers as he opened the Utes' door, got out and slammed it, as he made his way into Traps."
     Traps was busy that night so we had to wait a  minute or so for our middies. Ivers, being as impatient as he was, yelled out,
"Oye, how about some fuckin' service here. You've got two thirsty customers waitin'."
     One of Gilltraps bar stewards came over and said,
"What a' ya have fellas?"
"2 middies.", said Ivers. "and fuckin' hurry up. We're dyin' of thirst!"
"No worries mate. We're a bit busy tonight."
"Ya see that Burgoo. That's how ya git fast service mate. If I'd left it to you, we'd still be fuckin' waitin'.
"Well that's not my way Cecil, what can I tell you."

     The barman sat the 2 middies on the bar and I shouted the first round. Ivers picked up his beer and downed it in one go.
"AH!", he said, "You bloody little beauty! Come on Burgoo, get that middy up ya, it's your round."
"I just bought the first one Ivers."
"Did ya? It must be my turn then? Are you sure you bought the first one Burgoo?", said Ivers, with a slight grin on his face.
"Course I am. You just downed it."
"I'm just checkin' mate. You Pommy bastards are as tight as a fishes arse, and that's water-tight."
"What about you fuckin' Aussies mate? If you had another brain in your head, it would be fuckin' lonely."
"Two more middies.", said Ivers as he pulled out the old leather, sweat-stained wallet.

     This was the kind of relationship I had with Cecil Ivers. I would have preferred it to be of a different nature but Ivers never said he was unhappy with it, so I continued to play my part.
     A few beers later, Ivers said,
"I'm off now. I'm havin' an early night. I've got a shit-load of stuff to git ready for tomorrow and I don't want to forget anything 'cause it's a fuckin' long drive back."
     As he got up off his stool he said,
"Be at mi place tomorrow morning at 5, Burgoo. Ya can give us a hand to load up the Ute and before ya ask, Yes, I'll give ya' an extra hour and consider ya' self fuckin' lucky, ya burgoo spittin' bastard!"

     The next morning I was at Ivers house, right on time. Ivers was already up and loading the Ute. As I walked into his yard, he said,
"Ya late Burgoo. What ya been doin', floggin' ya fuckin' maggot all morning?"
"Very fuckin' funny Ivers. I see you're in your usual charming mood this morning."
"Throw those fuckin' tools in the back and don't forget any or we'll be in the shit."
"Ya mean, I'll be in the shit."
"Right, first time Burgoo."

     About the time we were finishing loading the Ute, Ivers wife came out into the yard and said to Ivers,
"I've got hot tea and toast for ya, when your done Cec."
"We'll be done in five minutes,", said Ivers, without even lookin up.
     After we had finished, Ivers said to me,
"Come on inside Burgoo. Let's have a mug of tea before we take off."

     I noticed Ivers old, weather-board house was quite neat, as I followed him into the kitchen. His missus was pouring the tea and putting some hot toast on the table as we entered.
"This is Burgoo.", said Ivers as we sat down."
"Mi names Yorky Mrs. Ivers. Pleased to meet ya."
"His names Burgoo.", said Ivers, as he shoved a piece of toast in his mouth.
"What did you call him Cec?", said Mrs. Ivers.
"His names Burgoo, 'cause he's a Burgoo spittin' pommy bastard!"
"Behave yourself Cec and show a bit of respect and manners. He's a guest in our house."
"He's a pommy bastard."
"My names Susan. How d'ya like Australia Yorky?"
"I love it Susan. It's a really great place."
"Did ya come out here with ya parents?"
     Before I could answer, Ivers said,
"He hasn't got any parents. I told ya, he's a burgoo spittin' pommy bastard!"
"Oh shit up Cec and act your age! Would you like more toast Yorky?"
"Yes please."
"Yes please.", said Ivers in a mock english accent. "Anyone would think that you're well bred Burgoo!"
"Maybe he is Cec. How would you know?"
"None of these pommys they send out here are well bred. They're all a pack a' bastards that we have to put up with."
"How can you stand workin' with him all day, when he's so rude Yorky?"
"Oh, this is nothin' Mrs. Ivers. He's being quite polite this morning."
     Ivers looked at me and said,
"You crawling pommy bastard!", and then shoved the last piece of toast in his mouth and swilled it down with the last of his tea.
     Getting up out of his chair, he said,
"Come on Burgoo, get a bloody move on. We've got a long drive this morning."
"He hasn't finished yet Cec."
"If he eats anymore I'm gonna' dock it off his pay."
"Don't listen to him Yorky. He's all bark and no bite. He's a big softy really."
"Jesus Sue, don't give the bloody game away or I'll never get any work out of the pommy bastard!"
"Thanks for breakfast Mrs. Ivers.", I said, pushing back my chair.

     Ivers now had one of his usual scowls on his face as he picked up his tucker box. He gave his missus a quick peck on the cheek and said,
"I'll see ya on the weekend Darl."
"Don't forget ya clothes bag.", said Sue, as Ivers headed for the door.
"Yeah, right. Thanks."
"What would you do without me Cec.", she said jokingly.
     Ivers just grunted, took the bag from her and made his exit. His missus stood at the door and waved us off as we pulled away from his front yard.

"Yes please, no thank you Mrs. Ivers!", said Ivers, in a phony pommy accent as he shoved the gear shift into second.
"What's the matter with you this morning Cecil? Did ya miss out last night?"
"Fuck you!", said Ivers as we made our way back to Twitcheys' Hotel, where the new blow-in was supposed to be waiting for us.
     Ivers applied the brakes outside Twitcheys as the blow-in walked over to the Ute.
"Jesus christ.", said Ivers. "The bastard fronted up! Hurry up Sport!", yelled Ivers, out of the window. "I haven't got all day to wait for you, ya bastard. Throw ya gear in the back and hop in before we strike a blow."
"G'day.", said the blow-in as he opened the door and slid in. "Mi names Reggie."
"Yorky.", I said, offering him mi hand.

     Without fail, Ivers piped up right on que and said,
"His name's Burgoo. He's a crawlin' pommy bastard.
     The blow-in didn't know what to say, so he forced a fake smile onto his face.
     Driving off up Lake Cargelligos' main street , Ivers said to Reggie,
"I hope you're as good as ya word Reggie?"
"What d'ya mean?", said Reggie.
"Work! That's what I mean mate, what fuckin' else. I want this fuckin' job finished in record time. I've got a lot of fuckin' bills to pay out this month."
     Reggie didn't know what to say, so he said to me,
"Ya want a smoke mate?", as he pulled out a packet of Pall Mall.
"Good on ya Reggie. Don't mind if I do."
     A minute later, Ivers said,
"Open that fuckin' window ya bastard. I hate those stinkin' breathing sticks."
"It's open.", said Reggie, in a nervous voice.
"It's only half-open, ya fuckin' dingbat!"
     With that, Reggie wound the handle all the way down.

      Reggie was a medium height, skinny sort of bloke with slicked down hair. The front of it was combed over in a small quiff. The length of it was the standard Bush length of those days, short back and sides. Anyone who let their hair grow long was called a 'bloody Yobo." He wore the usual bush clothes, navy blue singlet, shorts and Blunstones, with no socks.
"D'ya bring enough grog with ya mate?", said Ivers to Reggie.
"No mate. I'm broke. I asked the Publican to put a couple of dozen cans on tab for me but he said, "Why would I do that, I don't even know ya'. Ya might shoot through on me. Try me again once you've cashed a couple of checks over the bar."
"That sounds like Twitchy.", said Ivers. "He's been shafted one too many times."
     Reggie made the mistake of asking Ivers if he'd brought any spare tinnies with him.
"You've gotta' be fuckin' jokin' mate. I'm a fuckin' building contractor, not a fuckin' nurse-maid! Even Burgoo knows to bring his own grog when we're campin' out and he's a fuckin' pommy!"

     Just then, Ivers lifted the side of his arse and let go one of of the loudest and longest farts I've ever heard. The expression on his face didn't change one little bit as he said to me,
"Hey burgoo, do farts have lumps in 'em?"
"Not too my knowledge Cecil."
"Then I think I might have shit miself. It's probably that beef stew the missus made last night."
"Oh Jesus! Reggie! Open the fuckin' window mate."
"It's already open mate. It won't open any more."
"Ivers, stop the fuckin' Ute mate. That's really fuckin' disgusting! You smell worse than a roo dog that's been eatin' rotten kangaroo meat!"
     Ivers never even took his eyes off the road as he said,
"Fuck you Burgoo. Ya think your shit doesn't stink? That's what I mean about you pommy bastards. You're all up ya selves!"
     As I pulled mi singlet out of mi work pants and covered mi nose with the end of it,  I said to Ivers in a muffled voice,
"You need a fuckin' pull-through Ivers, with a  length of barbwire."
     Ivers, who was, by now, quite predictable said,
"Fuck you Burgoo!"

     By this time, I knew Ivers habitual responses so to tease him a bit more, I said to him,
"Hey Cecil, your missus seems like a lovely, well-mannered lady. How does she put up with you? She must be a saint!"
     This little joke pushed one of Ivers' buttons and he said,
"Shut the fuck up Burgoo or I'll stop this fuckin' Ute and knock ya arse over head, ya pommy bastard."
"All right Cecil, no worries mate. Just havin' a bit a' fun."
"Ya won't think it's fun if I give ya a fat lip, ya pommy bastard.", he said, as he turned off the main Hilston dirt road, onto a bush track that led to the cocky's  property.

     When we arrived at the cockys' half-built shearing shed, the cocky was already there, cleaning up the place, as the last bloke had left all his garbage laying around.
"Unload the Ute, Burgoo, while I have a yarn with the cocky. Ya can stack all our gear over there. "
"Come on Reggie, let's git started. It's not gonna unload itself.", I said to Reggie.
"Jesus, Yorky mate, how do you put up with that  bastard. he's as ignorant as pig shit."
"Yeah, you're not wrong there Reggie. He wouldn't win a popularity contest or a beauty contest!"
"Is he alway like that?"
"Yeh mate, he's pretty consistent. The one good thing in his favor though, he's a good payer if ya work hard and he always pays cash money."
"If he starts on me like he does you mate, I don't think I'll last too long.", said Reggie.
"Try to ignore him and you'll be right mate. He's like a big, fuckin' wart, he grows on ya, after a while."
"He sounds like a dose a' pox to me Yorky.  I'm not lookin' forward to a week of that!"

     When Ivers had finished talking to the cocky, the cocky hopped in his Ute and took off.
"Haven't ya finished unloadin' that fuckin' Ute yet Burgoo? Ya fuckin' around like an old Moll at a christening!", He said, as he walked towards me. "Alright you two bludging bastards, here's the Johny Dory!"
     Ivers walked us both around the job sight and pointed out al the work he wanted done in a week.
"Strueth! That's a lot of work to do in a week!", said Reggie.
"Bullshit!", said Ivers. "Those fuckin' bungs out at the mission could do this in a week and still have a couple of hours to spare! If ya not up for it mate, you'd better fuck off now!"
"No, no, she'll be right mate. You're the boss."
"Yeah, that's right sport and don't you forget it!"

     We worked really hard all day moving 10 X 4 corrugated iron sheeting closer to the shed, ready to put the roof on the next day. At 6:30 the cocky drove up in his Ute and handed Ivers an old beat-up tucker box, said a few words to him, then drove off. Ivers carried the tucker box over to where we were working and said,
"That'll do for the day. We'll git a good early start in the morning."
"What we doin' for dinner Cecil?", I asked.
"Jesus Christ Burgoo, Ya already had a sandwich at lunch time.  Don't tell me ya hungry again?
"I'm a growin' boy Cecil. What can I tell ya."
     Ivers bent down and opened the Tucker box. He pulled out a six back of cold Tooeys and tossed us both a beer.
"Good on ya Cecil.", I said as I tested the cold can on mi forehead.
     Reggie opened his can and said, "Cheers." He almost downed it all in one go. "Ya got anymore where that one came from?"
"Can you cook Reggie?", Asked Ivers.
"Sure mate. Why?"
" 'Cause there's 3 T-bones in the Esky and an electric fry pan in that wood crate. You're the cook mate! I'll have mine medium-rare and don't fuckin' burn it or you'll be walking to Hilston ta get more! There's a loaf a' bread in my tucker box and a tub of margerine. That should do us for tonight."
     Ivers finished off his can and tossed us both another can each. A couple of beers after a hard days work was always welcome. It turned out that Reggie wasn't a bad cook after all either. Even Ivers wasn't complaining about the T-bone as he tore a chunk out of it,  gave it a couple of chews and then swallowed it.
     Just for a joke, I said to Ivers,
"Didn't ya mother ever tell ya to chew ya food well before swallowing it Cecil?
"Fuck you burgoo! Look after ya own fuckin' steak and don't worry about mine. I'll bet you never had a T-bone in ya life till you came over here. What did you eat in Burgoo Land, Spam and fuckin' beans?"
"Ha ha ha, very fuckin' funny Cecil. No, my old man had a farm. We had chicken and roast potatoes for Sunday dinner."
"Jesus Burgoo, that's pretty rich tucker for a pommy, mate. Did it give ya the scours?"
"No, it didn't Ivers. Unike you, when ya dropped ya guts in the Ute this mornin'."

     Reggie started laughing. Between laughs he said,
"Yorky's got a point there Cec. That was pretty rank mate. I almost had a chunder out the window."
"Fuck you Reggie. I thought you were on mi side, ya turncoat, Aussie bastard! I hope ya not gonna' end up like this pommy bastard!"
     With that, Ivers got up and walked over to his Esky box and took out another six-pack of warm beer. When he came back, he said to me, "Are ya beers cold Burgoo?"
"No mate, I haven't got one of those magic bricks that ya stick in the freeze box."
     Ivers tossed Reggie a warm can and said, "Here mate, ya fuckin' owe me. Ya can buy me a couple on Wednesday when we drive into Hilston."
"Are we off into town Wednesday night Cecil?", I asked.
"I suppose so. I'm gettin too old for this camping out lark. ", said Ivers.
     Resting on a cold, wooden floor all night with no mattress was not the best place I had ever rested but it certainly wasn't the worst either.

     Next morning, we were all up at daylight and the long, hard day began. Ivers showed up both how he wanted the corrugated roof put in place and hammered down. Working with large pieces of corrugated iron sheets was not an easy job and 90 degrees of sun, bouncing off of it did not contribute the the eyesight. Reggie was not handling the job very well. Ivers barking out his orders didn't help matters much either.
"I don't think I'm goin' to last the week out Yorky. This stinkin' job is the worst I've ever had for years mate."
"Don't let the work git to ya Reggie and ignore Ivers manners. That's just how he is. He isn't gonna' change mate. Besides, if ya pull the pin, I'll be left with Ivers on mi own."

     At one point, we needed some more nails, so I said to Reggie,
"You sit up here for a while mate and I'll climb down and get us some more."
     Swinging mi leg over the side of the roof, I caught mi knee on a bent corner of the corrugation. I never took much notice of it until I was on the ground. In the process of looking for the roofing nails, I noticed a more than usual amount of flies landing on mi leg. Looking down, I saw a 2 inch gash in the side of mi knee. Blood was trickling down mi leg and into the inside of mi sock.

"Fuck me dead!", I exclaimed out loud as I examined the gash. I pulled it apart and found out it was also quite deep.
     Ivers, who was working close by said,
"What ya whinging about now, ya pommy bastard?"
"I just put a big gash in mi leg, climbing down off the roof!"
     Ivers took a look at it and said,
"There's a first-aid kit under the seat of the Ute. Go get it and clean it up."
     In the process of wiping off the blood with a some of rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad, Ivers took another look.
"If it doesn't stop bleeding Burgoo, we'll have to put a few stitches in it."
"Fuck that for a joke Ivers. That'll fuckin' hurt!"
"Then just put a lump a' gauze in it and stick it in place with a band-aid. Ya can wrap that crepe bandage around it. It should stop the bleeding."
     The band-aid didn't want to stick at first but eventually it did. I wrapped it up with the bandage. The blood was starting to seep through a bit. I said to Ivers,
"Yah think it's gonna be alright?"
" Course it fuckin' is Burgoo. It's only a scratch."
"Fuck you Cecil, there's a fuckin' big gash in it!"
"Oh bullshit burgoo, my old missus has a bigger gash than that and she's got no worries!"
   
     I was not going to get any sympathy from Ivers so I said,
"Fuck you Ivers, ya Aussie fuckin' bastard!"
"Stop fuckin' whinging burgoo and git back up on that bloody roof, I want it finished today."
     Once I was up on the roof, Reggie said,
"What happened mate?"
"I cut the inside of mi knee on the corner of the corrugation as I was climbin' down."
"Shit mate, from the look of the blood on the bandage, ya may have to sew it up or go into Hilston to the hospital. They'll sew it and give ya a tetanus shot."
"She'll be right mate.", I said. "I'll keep an eye on it."
"What did Ivers say.",
"He said his missus has a bigger gash than that and she's still walkin' around."

     Reggie burst out laughing. Between laughs he tried to apologize.
"Sorry about laughing mate, I just couldn't help it. I know he's an ignorant bastard but ya gotta' admit, it's not a bad joke."
"Yeah, suppose ya right, mate. If it wasn't stinging so much, I'd probably be laughing mi head off as well!"
"What are you bludging, fuckin' bastards doin' up there!", yelled Ivers. "Git ya fuckin' arses into gear or you'll both be up the fuckin' track!"

     By the end of the day, the roof was in place, hammered down and the center cap was in place.
    The roof was finished! Ivers climbed the extension ladder and begrudgingly gave it his seal of approval. At the end of the next day, with Ivers help, the walls were also hammered into place.
     Wednesday mornin' came round too early, for my liking.
Ivers said,
"We'll finish putting the shearing board in that those mongrel bred bastards left half-finished."

     He showed us how he wanted the boards clamped together before we nailed them into place.
"Look at this bodgy fuckin' work.", said Ivers as he inspected the way the other crew had nailed the boards down. "Pull those boards up Burgoo before ya nail 'em. These fuckin' boards are still not 100%  dry. If we leave 'em like that, in a couple of months there'll be bloody gaps in 'em! I don't know how some of these fuckin' builders make a living doing bullshit work like that!"

     For all of Ivers ignorance bluster, I will say, he was a damn good builder. He never let shoddy work slip by.

     By the end of Wednesday night, we were making good time on the shearing board.  Around 6 O'clock the cocky showed up with a dozen cold cans, steak and chops.
"Are we still going into town Ivers?", asked Reggie.
"Nah, fuck it mate. We've got plenty of grog and tucker. If we go into Hilston we'll git full and be late back. We'll probably be finished by Friday arvo anyway, so we'll stick it out here."

     We finished all the flooring, including the slats for the pens. By Friday arvo we'd finished everything that Ivers had contracted to do. While Reggie and me were loading all the gear into the Ute, Ivers walked the cocky around the completed shed. The cocky was laughing and joking around with Ivers so I reckoned he was pretty happy with the work.

     After the inspection was finished, the Cocky pulled out his checkbook, leaned over the bonnet of his Ute and wrote out the check for Ivers. He walked over to where Reggie and I were standing, shook our hands and thanked us for a job well done.

     It wasn't long now before Ivers Ute was rattling and banging away as we bounced along the Cockys' dirt truck road, on our way to the watering hole, The Hilston Hotel.
     Reggie was in high spirits as we drove along. He had finished the job, without pulling the pin. Ivers, also seemed in a bit better mood due to the fact that he had a big fat cheque folded up in his sweat-stained wallet.

     The gash in my leg was healing. It had formed a long dark-looking scab on it. The sides of the gash were not too inflamed looking so I was happy about that, plus we'd put in a lot more hours by camping out,  which meant we had a fair bit of money coming to us. That put a good smile on my face.
     All in all we were happy as pigs in shit!










   










   

   













Thursday, December 21, 2017

THE DANCE AT THE CIVIC HALL ©

"Hey Yorky mate, ya goin' to the dance at the Civic Hall this Saturday?", said Freddy as he entered my room.
"What dance mate? This is the first I've heard of it."
"I think it's the Lions Club dance."
"Does that mean anybody can go or just members?"
"No mate, it's open to everyone."
"Who's playin' the music?"
"Far as I know, it's Harry Plunkett and his band."
"Oh Jesus mate, that'll be a real lively affair!"
"Ya think so?"
"Nah mate, I'm only kiddin'. Harry Plunkett's about 60 and he's the youngest member, so a quick step will be about as lively as it gets."
"Have ya heard him before Yorky?"
"Sure have mate. Last time he played a dance, he asked me to sit in and play a few numbers on mi trumpet."
"What was it like?"
"Fuckin' awful!  Harry plays more wrong notes than right ones. That said, he's a good bloke. The time I played with him, they were playing a waltz and right in the middle of his solo, he hit a real bum note."
"Did everyone stop and look?"
"Nah mate. Harry was the only one who stopped. He took the saxophone out of his mouth and laughed his fuckin' head off! Soon as he could stop himself laughing, he turned to me and said,
"I always fuck up on this solo. I'm not a real good musician but I love playing music. Soon as I've got a few more beers into me, I'll be as good as gold. I never could play sober."
"Jesus Yorky, it sounds to me like it's gonna' be a lot of fun mate. Can you dance?"
"No mate, I'm as good at dancin' as Harry is at the saxophone. He hits bum notes and I tread on toes" The only dance I'm good at is the Quick-step and the Waltz!"
"I don't think I'll be dancin' Yorky. I can't even do that, whatever the fuck they are."
"It's easy Freddy. All ya gotta' do with the Quck-step is walk forwards and the Waltz, Ya just count 1-2-3 ~ 1-2-3 ~ 1-2-3.
"What happens if I fuck up and count 4?"
"The shit hits the fan mate. That's when ya gotta' start apologizing!"
"Do the sheilas' get the shits when ya tread on their toes?"
"No mate, they generally smile and say 'No Worries', but next time ya ask 'em for a dance, they usually say, very politely, 'No thank you' or 'no thanks, mi feet are killin' me."
"I'll be gettin' at least half-full Yorky before I even walk in the door!"
"Yeah, me too mate. I'm too shy, sober. I normally lean against the wall for ages and then when I do git up the courage to ask someone, most times they say 'No' and I end up gettin' the shits'."
"Well if nothin' else Yorky, it's a good excuse for a piss-up."

"Hey Freddy, I got a real beaut story for ya."
"Go ahead mate, I'm all fuckin' ears!"
"The last time there was a dance on, I was havin' a beer with a bloke called Lucy McGinnes. He's a cocky I did a bit of tractor-driving  for. Anyway, as we were stood there, watching the dancers, this bloke that Lucy seemed to know a bit, walked over for a natter, and after a short while he says to Lucy,  "Jesus mate, look at all these Sheilas in their good gear. Here's me standin' over here talkin' to you when I'm actually bustin' for a good root. I should put mi beer down and make the rounds. Ya never know, I might get lucky."
"Are ya lookin' for a good root?", asks Lucey.
"Do flies land on shit, mate? I haven't been with a sheila since the missus left me and took off back to her mothers' place with the kids."
"Maybe I can help ya out.", says Lucey.
     Now Lucy's a real larrikin, when he's got a few beers in him, so he says to the bloke,
"Ya see that good-lookin' middle-aged sheila over there, on her own? Well, she roots like a cut snake mate."
"How the fuck do you know that?", asks the bloke.
"I rooted her miself quite a few times."
"Ah bullshit Lucy, ya havin' me on."
"Nah, mate, I swear to ya, Gods' honor! She's a real fuckin' goer."
"Ya think I could do all right there?"
"Well, ya never fuckin' know mate, standin' here, bullshittin' with me. Go over and ask her for a dance!"
     The bloke thought about it for a bit and said,
"Yeah, fuck it! What do I have to lose?"

     He makes his way over to where the woman's sittin' and asks her for a dance and she says 'Yes'. By this time, Harry and his band are playin' a real slow waltz, so the bloke pulls her in a bit closer and continues to dance. All of a sudden, she pulls away from him and gives him a good smack in the chops and walks back to her seat, with a real disgusted look on her face."
"What happened then mate?"
"Hang on Freddy, I'm just gettin' to the good part!"
"So, this bloke walks back to where Lucy and miself are standin', and he's got the shits. Lucy by the way, is laughin' his head off."
"Suppose ya think that's bloody funny mate?". He says to Lucy. "You said she roots like a cut snake and you'd rooted her before, ya bullshittin' bastard!"
"Nah mate.", says Lucy. "I wasn't bull-shittin' ya sport. As a matter of fact, I rooted her last night. What happened anyway?"
"When I asked her for a dance, she gave me a great smile and said 'yes', so, after we'd been dancin'  a while, I pulled her in a bit closer and asked her if she fancied a root! That's when he hauled off and stauched me. Who the fuck is she, anyways?", asks the bloke.
     Lucy, who was still laughing his head off,  said between laughs,
"It's mi missus mate!"
     Lucy cracked up even more now at the look on the blokes face.
"Fuck you, ya miserable bastard!", said the bloke. "Remind me not to believe another word you say, fuck-nuckle!
     He downed his beer and took off.

"Shit Yorky, that's a fuckin' good story.", said Freddy, who was now havin' his own good laugh. "Is it a fair dinkum story mate? Did it really happen?"
"Sure did. It's as fair dinkum as I'm a pommy bastard!"


     Eventually Saturday arvo rolled around. All week long, I had been thinkin' about all the sheilas that would be at the dance. The Cockys and their daughters would be comin' from miles around. I'd already got mi good gear out of mi port and hung it on a hanger behind the door. Once the decision of what I was going to wear was over, I took off to Freddys' room to see what he was wearing. I found Freddy sat on his bed have a Stubbie with War Dog.
"Ya got ya good clober ready for the dance tonight  mate?"
"Sure have Yorky. I'm gonna' wear mi good Daks, shirt, tie and the new jumper ya gave me. What are you wearin'?"
"Pretty much the same mate, but I'm wearing mi good sports coat."
"Jesus fuckin' christ.", said War Dog. "You two blokes sound like a couple of old sheilas who haven't been out for years!"
"Aren't ya comin' to the dance tonight War Dog?", I asked.
"No fuckin' way cobber. I'm too old for that shit. I'm gonna' have a skin-full and go to bed early."
"There's gonna' be a swag of young sheilas' there War Dog.", said Freddy.
"What fuckin' use is that to me mate? Can you honestly see some young, nubile cockeys' daughter takin' a shine to a crippled up old bastard like me mate?
"Ya never know War Dog, ya might git lucky!"
"Yeah, and I might not. Last sheila I had was mi missus and I kicked that bitch out after I found out she'd been rootin' around behind mi back, while I was at work!"
"Well we're gonna' go and try our luck.",  said Freddy.
"You two useless bastards wouldn't git a fuck in a brothel with a fist-full of money!", said War Dog as opened another Stubbie and threw one to me. "Here, have a beer mate. It'll do ya more good than wasting time chasing a root that ya never gonna' get!"
"Ya not gonna' put us off War Dog. We're still gonna' go.", said Freddy.
"Please ya fuckin' self mate. I don't give a monkeys' fuck what ya do.  Just remember, this is the Outback, the Bush, mate. The only way you'll git a fuck out a' one of those cockeys' daughters is if ya put a ring on the finger."
"At least it will be fun tryin' War Dog.", I said.
"Since when was gettin' blue knackers fun? Anyways, I'm off for a lay-down so I can be in good shape for tonights' session."

      With that said, War Dog left his empty Stubbie bottles on Freddys night table and made a bee-line for the door.
"Ya think the old bastards' right Yorky?"
"Who gives a rats' arse mate.These dances don't come around every day, so let's make the best of it."
   
     I'd arranged to meet Freddy in mi room at 8 O'clock. The plan was to get a few beers into us before we made our grand entrance to the Lake Cargelligo dance. A bit of Amber fluid would not go astray!
"So, we gonna' have a few beers in the bar first  mate?", I said to Freddy when he arrived.
"Yeah mate, but not here. War Dog's in the bar and he's already half-shot and ya know what he's like. I've already had enough of his bullshit this arvo."
"Why don't we start at Twitcheys' mate? The hall's just across the street."
"Good idea Yorky. We won't have far to walk either."

"Look out Yorky mate, here comes Popeye!", said Freddy. as we walked towards Shamens' corner.
"Oh he's alright mate. I like Popeye when he's sober."
"I'll bet ya the first round he bites ya for 20 cents mate."
"You're on Freddy!"

"Where ya off in ya good strides, mate?", said Popeye.
"We're off to the dance Popeye. Can't stop and talk mate. We're running late."
"Can ya give us 50 cents mate? The missus took all mi money again."
"Jesus Popeye, how much ya owe me now?"
"Can't remember mate, but I'll give it ya back as soon as I start workin'."
"Here's 20 cents mate. I don't have a 50."
"I'll take 2-20s' and a 10. I'm not fussy."
"Twenty cents is all ya gettin' tonight Popeye and think ya self lucky."
"Ya got a smoke to go with it mate?"
     I'd bought a packet of Marlborough's that afternoon so I didn't have to pull out the 'bacci and roll one.
"Here mate.", I said as I handed him one.
"No, 'Rochmans' mate."
"No Rothmans tonight Popeye."
"Rich mans' smokes tonight eh Yorky?"
"They're the same fuckin' price as 'Rochmans' mate."
"Give us a light before ya go."
     I handed him the red-heads and said,
"Keep 'em Popeye, I'll get more later."

     Soon as we entered Twitcheys', we ordered a couple of middys' and looked around for somewhere to stand.
"Two middys' on the way.", said Annette, who was Twitcheys' wife.
     Putting the beers on the bar, she said,
"You two blokes are done up to the nines! I suppose you're off to the dance, are ya?"
"We sure are Annette. We just called in for some Dutch courage.", I said.
"I don't think you two handsome fellas will need much of that, the way you're dressed."
"Well thanks for the compliment Annette but we're not professional dancers ya know."
"It's easy Yorky, ya just put one foot in front of the other."
"It's not just the dancin', we've first got to get up the courage to ask."
"I'm sure you'll both do just fine.", she said. "I'd dance with ya both if you asked me."
"Ya would? Ya wanna come with us?"
"Thank you for the invite Yorky but I gotta' work and besides, I don't think Eric would be too pleased leaving the bar to him all night while I went off dancin'. Anyway, have a good night fellas'. I've gotta ' get back to it."
"Jesus Yorky mate.", said Freddy, once we'd found a place to stand, out of earshot. I'd root Twitcheys' missus any night of the week, given half a chance!"
"Yeah, you and every other bloke in town. She'd have to be the best lookin' woman this side of the Black Stump Freddy. If Twitchey heard us talkin' like this mate, we'd be barred for life."

     Harry Plunkett and his band were firing on all 3 cylinders and the dance floor was half-full of what Freddy and I termed, 'geriatics'!
"Have ya spotted any young sheilas yet Freddy?"
"There's a couple over there mate but it looks like they've got boyfriends with 'em."
"That's no good to us mate. We're looking for a root, not a fight!"
"What about those two sat over in the corner Yorky?"
"I like mine mate but yours is a bit of a porker."
"Fuck that for a joke. I may not be much to look at miself, but I'm not rootin' the monkey, while you poke the organ grinder!"
"Hey Freddy, what about the 3 young, town abbos sat over there?"
"No mate, not for me. They might say 'yes' and then we'd be stuck with 'em all night, and besides, you don't want to be branded a Ginn Jockey. Ya know what would happen once the blokes in Gilltraps found out. Our lives would be made a fuckin' misery and we'd have to start drinkin' at Twitcheys or Blackers."
"Yeah, ya not wrong there mate. It would be much easier if we were just lookin' for a dance, but the underlying fact is that we're after a potential root!"
"Maybe those young nurses from the Lake Hospital might show up later. A couple of those are pretty good-lookin' sheilas."
"Yeah, that would be great if that happened Yorky. I saw one of 'em in the Dagos' shop last weekend. She even gave me a smile."
"A smile's no good to us mate. We're after the whole 9 yards!"
"Let's go back to Twitcheys for a couple more. It'll give the plalce a bit more time to fill up."

     As the evening progressed, our prospects seemed to get worse, not better. Eventually after numerous requests for a dance, Freddy decided enough was enough.
"Fuck this bullshit Yorky! I think old War Dog was right. We wouldn't git a fuck in a brothel with a wallet full of money! I'm fed up with gettin' knocked back. I'm gonna call it a night mate."
"Hang on a bit mate. Don't go yet, I'll give it one more go."
"Who ya gonna' ask?"
'One of the abbo sheilas'. I'm sure to get a dance there."
     Casually makin' my way across the dance floor, so I didn't bump into the dancers, I stood in front of the 3 abbo girls, showing them what I thought was my best smile. Each one of them, in turn, smiled and politely said,
"No thank you, we're leaving soon."
"No worries.", I said and made mi way back to where Freddy was propping up the wall.
"How d'ya go Yorky?"
"How d'ya think? Up to shit Bonza mate! Even the fuckin' abbo sheilas knocked me back."
"That's it for me Yorky mate. I'm off back to Traps. This is too fuckin' embarrassing. They can shove their fuckin' Fox Trot up their tucker shute, for all I care! It's a stupid fuckin' dance anyway. Are you comin' mate?"
"I think I'll hang in here a bit longer Freddy. I guess I haven't had enough 'knock-backs' yet."

     By the time the last waltz had played, most people had gone home. I, for one, had downed too many beers, trying to drown my disappointment and rejections. I was also none too happy with the voice in my head that told me, I was an ugly bastard. That's why they won't dance with you! In my drunken stupor, I answered the voice, out loud by saying,
"Fuck you, you're the ugly bastard!"
"Are you talking to me?", said a big fat cocky, as he walked close by me.
"No mate, I was talkin' to miself. I do that when I've had too many."
"Do you ever get an answer?", he asked.
"Yeah, that's the problem."
"I've got the same problem miself mate, only worse! I don't need to get full a' grog before I get started!", said the cocky.
     The cocky gave me a pained smile as he left the hall. I was left thinkin' 'lucky he wasn't a cranky bastard or I might have been pickin' miself up off the floor by now.'

     'Fuck this dancing caper', I thought as I left the dance hall. 'This is no good to me.' Trying to walk a straight line up the pavement, I stopped outside Blackers' Hotel and decided to go round the back to his outside urinal. On the way round, I noticed a few voices coming from the barroom. After trying the backdoor, which was locked, I walked into the piss house and unzipped mi fly.
     As I stood there, on wobbly legs, I was thinking, 'Well at least I can have a piss when I want one! Last time I'm goin' dancin'.

     That was the last thought I had as instant darkness surrounded me. The next thought to arise could have been a minute later or an hour later,  I had no idea, whatsoever.

'WHERE AM I?' As I slowly came round, I became aware of the fact that I was wet and cold and could smell the stink of piss! The cold, hard fact of life hit me like a semi-fuckin'-trailer, head on!

     I've crashed out in the piss trough! All one side of mi good, 'goin' out gear' is soakin' wet with piss! If that little disaster wasn't bad enough, the end of the piss trough grate was blocked up! Slowly, I regained my feet and then looked down at mi clothes. This was almost the worst disaster of mi life, I thought, as I stood there in the semi-darkness.

     A few thoughts slowly crossed mi mind, as I stood there in total disbelief!
'I hope no one came in for a piss and saw a pommy, fuckin' bastard flaked out in the piss trough and pissed on me?  Now you know how the abbos feel when they're full of plonk mate! Then, I heard Kevin Skippys' voice say, 'Ya not gonna' become like some of those fuckin' alchys' who hang out at Gilltraps bar are ya, Yorky mate? What d'ya think ya mother would say if she saw ya now mate?'

    Up until that point, I had never realized how quickly one could sober up, in a dire situation. I decided to weave mi way along the back streets to Gilltraps, rather than risk the possibility of being seen walkin' up the main street with piss fumes rising off mi clothes! My main thought as I walked home was, 'Jesus, I hope I don't run into someone I know or this little story will be all over Lake Cargelligo before I get back to Gilltraps!'
 
     Finally! I made it back to Gilltraps, unseen. Once in mi room, I grabbed mi towel and soap, then headed for the shower stall. I made the water as hot as I could stand it, climbed out of mi good gear and threw them on the floor. I must have stayed in the shower for a good 20 minutes, trying to scrub away the smell of piss and the stink of shame!
     There was a bucket in the shower area. As soon as I was finished, I stuffed mi clothes in it and went back to mi room to put some clean-smelling clothes on. After I was dressed, I went out the back of Giltraps and stuffed all mi good clothes in a rubbish bin and put other rubbish on top of 'em, trusting that no one would find 'em.

     Back in mi room, as I laid on mi bed, I ran through the events of my big Saturday night out, which concluded with the false promise that I'd never drink again!

     Once I woke up, after a few hours rest, I went down the hallway to Freddys' room. I was surprised to see Freddy half-full and drinkin' Tinnies with War Dog.

"Here he is!", said War Dog as I walked in. "The Pommy fucking Romeo of the Outback! The big Bush stud! The King of Root Rats!"
"Fuck you War Dog! Take the piss as much as ya like. It doesn't bother me mate!"
"I'm so glad you came Yorky.  He's been takin' the piss out of me all afternoon."
"Don't listen to him Freddy, he's only jealous."
"Jealous of what? You two fuck-wits?"
"At least we got dressed up and went somewhere mate. What did you do? Keep ya' fuckin' piles warm on Gilltraps stool all night?"
"You leave my hemorrhoids out of it sport! You two are a bigger pain in the arse than my hemorrhoids will ever be!"
"Hey Yorky mate, did ya do any good after I left last night?"
"Nah mate, the only bright spot was when an old sheila came and asked me to join in the barn dance. I told her I was just leavin'."
"Why didn't ya put the hard word on her mate?", said War Dog, in a sarcastic way.
" 'Cause she had a face like yours mate, full a' fuckin' wrinkles!"
     Freddy thought this was a great joke and burst out laughin' which finally ended in a fit of coughing.
"I hope ya fuckin' choke to death, ya yobo bastard!", said War Dog. "You two young blokes are as useless as tits on a boar pig! I told the pair of ya that if ya were lookin' to get a root at that dance, you'd end up frustrated and floggin' ya bloody maggot!"
"I wasn't floggin mi maggot War Dog.", said Freddy. "I was so bloody drunk, when I got home, I slept in mi good gear!"
"The problem with you two bastards is, ya can't hold ya fuckin' grog!"
"And you can, War Dog? What about the time ya chundered all over ya bed and Cath Gilltrap made ya dry clean the covers?"
"Fuck you, ya pommy bastard! I was sick with the flu when that happened!"
"Yeah, bottle flu!", I said.
"Ya know what? I don't have to sit here with you two fuckin' losers! I'm off back to the bar where I can get some intelligent conversation!"
     With that said, War Dog finished his beer and stormed out.
"I think ya' upset him Yorky."
"Fuck that miserable bastard. He's alright when he's sober but when he's drunk, he's a mean, fuckin' dick-head!
   








Wednesday, December 20, 2017

MRS. GIBSON ~ ONE WISE WOMAN ©

     It was a common practice at Gilltraps, on a Friday and Saturday nights, to migrate into the lounge, which was commonly known as The Sow Pen.
     The Sow Pen was a room off of the end of the bar. It had a serving hatch where one could order their beers. A juke box that played country music, like Slim Dusty, Rick and Thel and Chad Morgan, and everyones' favorite song Running Bear. Sadie the Cleaning Lady ran a close second.

     Round tables and fairly comfortable chairs were provided as the Sow Pen was furnished with women in mind, seeing as they weren't allowed in the barroom. According to that bit of strategy, women were one rung lower on the ladder, as Abbos' were now allowed to drink in the bar and drink they did. Women not being allowed in the bar was not a NSW government law. It was, more or less, a Bush law owing to the fact that blokes would get full of grog, curse and swear.

     Those days were not like today, where most people swear in mixed company. For example; women were no allowed in the shearing shed. If any woman was within earshot of the shed, some one would yell out, 'Ducks on the Pond!'

     Mrs. Gibson was an Aboriginal cook who worked for Cath Gilltrap in the Hotel kitchen. She was about 50 years old and probably had 30 to 40% white fella in her. Her height was about 5'7" and she weighted around 12 stone (170 pounds).  Mrs. Gibson, who was known as Gibbi, dressed well and spoke very good english. She was also the proud mother of 5 children of various ages.

     Some mornings, when I was due to leave early for work, she would, very kindly, make me some breakfast before the scheduled time. Gilltraps dining room was nothing to write home about. Although very clean, it was more or less, one empty room with 4 dining tables plus chairs. Not wanting to sit in an empty room to eat my breakfast, Mrs. Gibson cleared a space on the over-sized  kitchen table where I could eat.

     On one particular morning, the head cook was late for work. She'd been on the grog in the Sow Pen, with her drinking mates the night before. Cath Gilltrap, who was normally even tempered and very fair, was in a stinking mood, as she rushed around the kitchen helping Gibbi with the cooking and cleaning. Eventually the head cook arrived for work 40 minutes late. No sooner had she put on her apron, Cath Gilltraps' had a piece of her.
"What time d'ya call this? Ya paid to start work at 5:30."
"Yeah, I know.", said the head cook.
"This is not acceptable. You've been late twice already this week."
"Yeah, 5 minutes.", said the cook.
"How would you like it if I had added up the times that you've been late and docked it off ya pay?"
"It won't happen again.", she said.
"What am I gonna' tell the guests this morning, now that the schedule is off?"

     All of a sudden and without warning, the head cook removed her apron and threw it into the large pot of lamb stew that was sitting on the stove.
"Ya know what Cath? Why don't ya take ya fuckin' apron and ya breakfast schedule and shove it up ya arse and while we're at it, if you ever want me to cook for ya again, I want a raise!"
   
     With that said, in no uncertain terms, she stormed out and said to Mrs. Gibson, "See ya in the Sow Pen."

"Well that certainly livened up the morning.", said Gibbi to Mrs. Gilltrap. "What are we gonna' do for a Head cook now?
"We're already one cook short until I find a replacement. You can be the head cook, until I find a replacement."
"Not bloody likely. I'm already working mi arse off in here, as it is."
"I'll put a few extra bucks in ya wages for ya."
"No bloody way. I've got a bad back and I'm already doing more work than I get paid for! You need to find another head cook today or there'll be no more meals cooked in this kitchen."
"I'm not gonna' be able to find another cook in one day! What d'ya expect me to do?"
"Well, I suppose you'd better go round and see her."
"For what?", says Cath.
"Apologize for going off on her. Ya know how temperamental she is, when she's had a big night on the grog. Besides, she's the best cook in the Lake. You'll never find anyone better than her."
"Just do lunch and dinner for me Gibbi and I'll have some one else by tonight."
"All right, but that's it! If you haven't got someone by the time I knock off, I won't be in tomorrow. You can let me know when you've found someone!"

"Jesus, what a beaut drama!", I said to Gibbi, once Gilltraps wife had left the kitchen. "So what happens now?
"She'll have to apologize to her and ask her to come back to work."
"What if she doesn't?"
"She'll have to. That old sheila took a hotel cooking course. She's got a certificate to prove it."
"Why don't you want the job Gibbi? You'll make more money."
"Bullshit! She'll have me doing more work for the same pay. I might be an Abbo but I'm not stupid or lazy like those mission bungs. I'm educated and I live in town. I've raised 5 good kids and they're all pretty well-educated as well!"

     The next morning, when I walked into the kitchen for breakfast, there stood the Head Cook, in a clean apron busying herself at the stove.
"What happened?", I asked Mrs.Gibbi, on the QT.
"Cath Gilltrap had to go round to her place and apologize and give her the raise she asked for."
"So, things are hunky-dorry now?"
"Yeah, till the next time."

 Mrs. Gibbons was a strong, powerful Aborigine woman, who never took bullshit from anyone! 

     It was now Friday night and Freddy, miself and War Dog were in a school together at Gilltraps bar, relaxing from a weeks hard work, in and around the Bush. Freddy, who had just come back from the dunny said,
"Hey Yorky mate, I just stuck mi head in the Sow Pen. They've got a bit of a party goin' on in there. Ya think we ought to join 'em?"
"Why not mate. We'll finish this round off, then poke our noses in there and see what's happening. Ya wanna' join us War Dog?"
"Now why the fuck would I wanna' sit in the Sow Pen with a bunch of middle-aged, fat sheilas' who are half-tanked up on grog?"
"It might be fun War Dog.", said Freddy. "Some of 'em are dancing."
"That sounds to me like it would be as much fun as a feed of shit mate. When are you two bastards gonna learn? If ya wanna' root, ya gotta hop in that old A55 of yours and take off to West Wyalong or Griffith. Somewhere, where nobody knows ya'!"
"Very fuckin' funny War Dog. Like you're the expert at gittin' a root."
"Look mate, I'm no expert at gittin' a root but don't ya' think I was a young bloke once? Same as you two fuck-wits. Lake Cargelligo is a small, conservative, Bush town. Ya can't fart without the whole town knows about it. The smell wouldn't have time to leave ya strides before they were talkin'."
"Were you a young bloke once?", asked Freddy with a shocked look on his face.
"Ya cheeky, fuckin' cunt!", said War Dog. "I'm surprised at you mate. Ya startin' to sound like this pommy bastard here. Haven't ya ever heard of respectin' ya elders?"

     The tone of War Dogs voice soon changed the look on Freddys' face, as he said,
"Can't ya take a joke War Dog? You're always tryin' to take the piss outa' me and Yorky. If ya not on at us about rootin, you're on at us about our workin' ability."
"And rightly so!", said War Dog. "He'll never git a root as long as his arsehole points to the ground, and you Freddy, mi old china, wouldn't work in an Iron, fuckin' lung!  Have ya forgotten mate? I'm the bloke who worked on the relief gang with ya."
"Yeah, well fuck you War Dog. You're not such a great worker ya self. You still think manual labor is a Dago tennis star!"
     This little joke of Freddys' struck a raw nerve in War Dog. He said,
"What am I doing, wasting mi fuckin' time sittin' here, drinkin' beer with you two disrespectful ding- bats? Fuck you two, I'm off down to Twitcheys for a beer. At least I'll git a bit of intelligent conversation there. All you two bastards ever think about is work and rootin', and not necessarily in that order!"

     At that moment, one of the barmen walked over and said,
"Same again fellas?"
"No, shove it up ya fuckin' tucker shute mate!", said War Dog and made a bee line for the door.
"Jesus fellas', ya sure riled the old bastard up tonight!", said the barman.
"Fuck him!",  I said. "He can dish it out but he can't take it. He's always the same once he's had a skin-full. Anyway, he'll have forgotten all about it by tomorrow."
"Ya probably right mate, but don't drive any more of my customers off to Twitcheys or I'll end up down there miself, lookin' for a job!"
     The barman put 2 middys on the counter, gave us a wink and walked away without pickin' up the money off the bar.
"Jesus Freddy, maybe you should insult War Dog more. I think the barman just shouted us!"
"Sounds alright to me Yorky mate. Let's migrate to the Sow Pen."

     Once Feddy and me found chairs and a table, we settled into a fun evening of beer and laughter. The usual songs were plugged on the juke box and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Even Freddy got up for a bit of a dance, even though his moves looked slightly retarded!

     Mrs. Gibson was, by this time, well on her way. She must have been because when some one played a slow song she'd say,
"Come on Chummy, ya pommy bastard, make an old Ginn happy, git up and dance with me."
     I noticed, as the night wore on, she started pulling me in closer on the slow dances. This little action started to provoke ideas in my teenage, sex-starved brain, as I could feel her rather large breasts pushing against mi chest.
"I really love a good party Chummy.", she said as we moved around in a small circle. "But don't get me wrong mate, I'm not an Alchy' like these black bastards, out at the mission. I'm a clean-livin' woman."

     After the dance finished, we sat at a table together, drinking our beer.
"Don't ya like the Mission Abbos, Gibbi?"
"Course I do. They're my people. How can I not?"
"So why ya down on 'em"
"I'm not down on 'em, it's their actions that I'm pissed-off with. They give all my people a bad name. Take your mate Popeye, for example. He walks around in bloody rags, 'cause he spends his money on cheap plonk. Then when he's broke down to the bones of his scrawny ass, he spends his time biting money off white fellas that have been working hard in the Bush all day! What the Aboriginal board ought to do is train 'em up to do something useful in life. That would give 'em a bit of self-respect and for the ones who refuse, kick 'em off the Mission and stick 'em back in the Bush. That'd wake 'em up."
"Don't ya put any blame on the white fellas' for stealing the land and introducing them to grog?"
"Course I bloody do. There's enough blame to go around for everyone but whinging about it hasn't done any good so far."
"What about ya kids, Gibbi? What do they identify with, black fellas or white fellas?"
"Both. And I brought them up not to be racists. There's too much of that shit around already!"
"What about ya husband? Is he still alive?"
"Yeah, he works on a station, west of here."
"D'ya ever see him?"
"Yeah, when he's blind drunk. He comes around biting me for money. He's a weak-willed piece of shit. Soon as he gets a check, he'll go and piss it up against the wall with his lazy abbo mates. What bloody use is he to a woman? I'm better off without him! I raised all my kids on mi own with no bloody help from that useless bastard! Let's change the subject Chummy, I don't wanna get all pissed- off and cranky. I'm in a good mood tonight!"

     Just then, one of Gibbis' mates came over and said,
"We're carrying the party on at our place after Traps closes, so I'm off home now to set up some tables and chairs on the lawn. You interested?"
"Too right Mavis, I'm up for anything tonight. I can't remember when I've had as good a time."
"Well, make sure ya come and bring ya mate with ya."
"No worries Mave, I'll be there."
"Hey Chummy, have you still got that old rust bucket of yours?"
"Yeah, it's out the back of Traps, parked up. I don't drive it much 'cause it uses near on as much oil as petrol."
"Ya think it would get us the other side a' town?"
"If she starts up, she will and as long as the battery's not flat."
"Ya wanna drive me to Mavis's place later?"
"No worries. Sounds like a good plan to me."
"That old bomb's safe isn't it?"
"Yeah. It's even registered!"
"Ya ever had a fat old Ginn in the passengers seat before?"
"I'm not sure what ya mean?"
"I mean me! You'd better make sure the front tires are good and solid or we'll driving on the rims."
"You're not a fat, old Ginn, Gibbi. You're a pretty good sort."
"Ya should have seen me before I got married and dropped 5 kids! I was a pretty good sort then."
"I'm sure you were Gibbi."

 "Last Orders!", yelled Gilltrap  through the serving hatch. "Better hurry up if ya want another!"

     After the last order was consumed, Gibbi and miself made our way out to the parking area where mi old A55 was waiting for us.
"Look out!", said Gibbi as we stumbled around, "Over there in the dark."
     It was almost impossible to see them, sprawled out with an empty flagon on its side between them.
"You start the car Chummy. I'm gonna call the Sergeant and tell to come pick 'em up."
"Why would ya do that? He'll chuck 'em in the Bull Wagon and take 'em off to jail for the night!"
"Better that, then gettin' run over by some drunken Yobbo, leaving the bar!"

     Gibbi took off to phone Montgomery and I set about starting up mi old oil burner that hadn't been driven for a few weeks. Surprisingly, after checkin' the oil, the old girl fired up on the third try. As soon as Gibbi came back I said,
"Hop in love, were on our way!"
"You are bloody joking.", she said in her dry sense of humor. "I'll be flat-out lifting up my fat, black arse onto the seat, never mind 'hopping'! I haven't hopped onto anything for the past twenty years!"

     This little joke of hers gave us both a good laugh as I carefully reversed the car out onto the street.
"We'd better git out'a here quick Gibbi before the sergeant shows up, or depending on his mood, he may ask me why I'm driving after drinking all night!"
"Oh fuck that fat bastard Chummy. He's after black fellas' now, not white fellas. One of those mission abbos was so black he'll have to use his torch to find him in the dark."

     The barbecue party at Mavises' humpy was a roaring success. We drank more Tinnies, ate lamb chops and steak and did our best to dance around on the lawn like a bunch of retards.
"Let's go Chummy, ya pommy bastard.", said Gibbi, as the long night drew to a close."
"No worries mate. D'ya need me to help ya git ya fat black arse into the car?"
"Maybe. Let me try it on mi own first and if not we'll take one cheek apiece and load it in that way."
 
     It was near on dawn when I pulled the old car up in front of Gibbis' humpy, which was on the outskirts of town.
"There ya go mate.", I said to her. "I got ya home safe and sound."
"Hey Chummy, I've got to tell ya mate, this is the best night out I've had since, I don't know when. Give us a bit of a kiss and cuddle and that will make my day."
     Very obligingly and with quite a bit of enthusiasm, I fulfilled the request. At the same time, I slowly slid mi hand up the inside of her leg. I'd only got mi hand halfway to the destination when it came to an abrupt halt with her hand on top of mine, stopping any further progress. After a few minutes of persistence and failure at each attempt, Gibbi said,
"Chummy, the front seat of this old bomb of yours are too small for what you've got in mind and I'm too fucking old and drunk to try fumbling around on the back seat, so I'll make you a deal mate! You take me on a night-out to a five star restaurant in Griffith, with a tablecloth and candles and when we get home, I'll invite you into my old humpy and ya can root me all night long! How does that sound?"
     Even though I was quite shocked with her blunt honesty, I gave her a good smile and said,
"Alright Gibbi, you're on! It's a date, as long as this oil burner can make it. I'll let you know when."
     With that said, she clicked open the car door and after a few tries to get out, she said,
"Well don't just sit there mate, these seats are too bloody low. Give us a hand out!"
     After a bit of effort, I had her up on her feet.
"Good on ya mate.", she said as she wobbled off up the path to her front door.

     It was now well and truly Saturday morning as I parked the car on the side street, next to Gilltraps. Once inside mi room, I threw miself on top of the bed and contemplated the offer that Mrs. Gibbi had made me. It didn't take long to nod off, as it been a long, hard night of partying. I was awakened around 4 in the afternoon by a loud knocking on the door.
"All right! All right, I'm fuckin' comin'! Hold ya bloody horses! Jesus Freddy, I said, opening the door, did ya have to knock so bloody loud?"
"Ya got a headache Yorky?"
"No mate, I never get headaches but I feel like shit. I didn't git home till this morning!"
"Ya got any Tinnies in ya room mate?"
"No, I just finished the last one. Mi mouth tasted like the bottom of a fuckin' parrot cage when I woke up. Go grab a six-pack will ya mate? Mi tongues stickin' to the roof of mi mouth. I'll fix ya up, when ya get back."

     Once the cans were opened we took a swig of the hair of the dog.
"What time d'ya git home mate?", I asked Freddy.
"About 3 this morning."
"What about you?"
"Ya beat me by a couple of hours. The sun was coming up when I laid down. I didn't even bother to take off mi good gear, by the looks of it!"
"That's not like you Yorky mate. Your room's always 10 times more tidy than mine and ya good clothes are always hung up behind the door."
"Yeah, I must have had a better night than I thought! What's the Johnny-Dorry Freddy? Did ya git any last night?"
"Well, sort of mate."
"What d'ya mean, 'sort of'? Either ya did or ya didn't. Come on mate, spill ya guts."
"I got a ride to the party with some sheila who was related to Mavis."
"The one I saw ya dancin' with?"
"Yeah, that was probably her, mate."
"She didn't look like a bad sport."
"Yeah, she was pretty good fun. She almost drunk me under the table. She was chuckin' it back like it was goin' out of fashion."
"Was she from the Lake?"
"Nah, she said she was from Condo. She's divorced with a couple of kids."
"How old was she?"
"I didn't ask mate but she looked about 35 or 40."
"A divorcee, with a couple of kids! Ya must have hit the jackpot?"
"Not quite mate. At the end of the night, we parked up along the lakeside and started some heavy pettin' but she wouldn't go all the way."
"How come?"
"I think she was one of those old-fashioned types that doesn't cock it up on a first date."
"So ya got nothin'?"
"Well, not exactly. She agreed to flog mi maggot and said she'd go all the way next time."
"Fuckin' hell Freddy, at least ya got something. It's more than I got."
"Last time I saw ya Yorky, you were spinning old Mrs. Gibson around on the lawn."
"Yeah mate, that's about all that happened."
"Don't tell me you were thinkin' of rootin' old Gibbi?"
"She's not that fuckin' old mate and besides, she's a lot of fun to be with. I wasn't thinkin' about age."
"Ya mean 'cause she's an abbo?"
"Yeah, sort of. She's not a mission abbo Freddy, she's lived in town most of her life."
"Did ya try anythin' on with her?"
"Yeah, I got mi hand half-way up her leg before she stopped me. After a few more times, she agreed to give me a root."
"So ya hit the Jackpot?"
"Nah, there was a fuckin' catch to it."
"What d'ya mean 'a catch'?"
"When she stopped mi hand the last time, she said she'd make me a deal. If I take her to a 5 star restaurant in Griffith for a night out, when we get home, I could root her all night long!"
"Fair fuckin' dinkum, she said that?"
"Fuckin' oath mate."
"Are ya gonna?"
"I don't know yet."
"Ya not seriously thinkin' of takin' an abbo sheila to a posh restaurant are ya?"
"Well, that's the problem I've created for miself. If I take her to a restaurant, it's bound to be full of white fellas' and their wives and ya know what that's gonna' be like. They'll be starin' at us and talkin' about us all the time we're there! I can't pretend it's mi older sister or mi auntie, can I? I'm as white as a shirt washed in New Blue Star, fuckin' OMO, in comparison to her. She's as black as the Ace of Spades!"
"Now, if I don't take her, she's gonna' think I'm a racist, white bastard who's ashamed to be seen with her, in a high-class restaurant, so I'm not sure what I'm gonna' do yet."
"I know ya not askin' me mate but if I was in your position, I think I'd rather be seen as a white racist bastard than a low-life Ginn jockey. Besides, even if ya weren't rootin' the old girl, they'd imagine ya were."
"Yeah, that's what I'm thinkin'. If I don't take her after I already said I would, she'll think I'm a racist bastard, as well."
"It's a pity she's not white?"
"Why'd ya say that mate?"
" 'Cause if she was white, they'd think you were a granny-fucker, which at least, is one step up from a Ginn Jockey!"
"I suppose you think that's fuckin' funny Freddy?", I said, as he broke into fits of laughter. "Here I am, in the shit now because mi brains were in the head of mi dick last night and all you can do is extract the urine at my expense!"
"Oh, I'm sorry for laughin' Yorky mate. It's just so fuckin' funny."
"By the way Freddy, don't you dare tell old War Dog about this fiasco or I'll never hear the end of it!"
"Well, all in all Yorky, after hearing about your night, I don't feel so bad about mine. At least I got a wank, with no strings attached!"

     After discussing my little predicament with Freddy, who, I might add, was not much help, I decided not to go into Gilltraps' kitchen for an early breakfast until I could work out a good excuse why I wouldn't be takin' Mrs. Gibson for a 5 Star meal. The excuse that kept comin' up more than any other was mi old A55. I'll just tell her that the old oil burner wouldn't make it.

     Once the fateful morning was decided, I walked into the kitchen wearing the best smile I could, under the circumstances.
"G'day Gibbi.", I said.
     Gibbi, who was stirring a pot on the stove, turned and faced me with a smile and said,
"G'day Chummy, How are ya?"
"Not bad Gibbi, how are you?"
"Eggs on toast do ya this morning?"
"That sounds great Gibbi. Thanks."
     As I sat there at the table, all sorts of excuses were runnin' through mi mind. What threw me for a loop was the fact that she smiled at me. Maybe she thinks I'm still gonna' take her? What's gonna' happen when I break the bad news to her? She'll never speak to me again. She put the eggs on toast in front of me and asked,
"Ya wanna' cup of tea with that Chummy?"
     She was being so kind and sweet to me that I now felt like shit inside. Once she'd put the tea down in front of me, she passed over the milk and sugar, which I could have reached miself, no problem at all.
     The head cook had still not arrived and Cath Gilltrap was nowhere to be seen.

"I think I'll have a quick cuppa' miself.", she said, as she poured out the tea and cleared a place for herself at the table, directly opposite me.
     'Oh, fuck me dead, I thought, here it comes. I'm not lookin' forward to this little drama!'
"So how ya been since the party Chummy. Ya haven't been in for breakfast for a few days."
"No, I wasn't workin' Gibbi. I've been gettin' a bit of extra rest in the mornings."
"Chummy, you and I need to have a bit of a chat about the other night."
     I almost choked on a bit of toast at the thought of what she was gonna' say to me. She still had a decent smile on her face. I knew the shit was gonna' hit the fan.
"That nights' partying we did together was the best fun I've had for a long time mate. I almost felt like a young girl again."
"Oh that's great Gibbi.", I said as I tried to hide the nervousness in mi voice.
"Yeah Chummy, dancing with you mate made me realize what life is all about. I've been working my arse off for so many years, bringing up 5 kids on mi own that I'd forgotten all about looking after miself."
'I'm happy to hear that Gibbi and I'm glad you had fun."
"How about you Chummy? Did you have a good time?"
"Yeah, of course I did. Parties are always good fun."
"Do you remember our little deal we talked about before I got out'a that old bomb of yours, in front of my place?"
     Oh fuck me, here it comes. I thought, She'll never speak to me again after this. I've ruined a good friendship, just for feeling a bit of warm thigh!
"Yeah, well I've been meanin' to talk to you about that Gibbi...."
"Hang on a minute Chummy, I haven't finished yet. Look Chummy, you and I are real good mates and I don't wanna' hurt ya' so I'm just gonna' blurt it out. I've changed mi mind about the deal. I'm not comfortable with it. I was full of grog when I suggested it and it sounded great at the time but it's been bothering me for the past few days.  I don't wanna lead ya' on, when it's not gonna' go anywhere. I don't wanna' go to a 5 star restaurant in Griffith, and besides the place will be full of rich white fellas' and their wives. Ya can guarantee they'll be thinking, 'What's that fat old Ginn doing with that young white fella. They'll be thinking I'm a bloody cradle snatcher! I can't really pass ya off as mi cousin. Here's me, as black as the night, and here's you with skin like a pomegranate! I hope ya not too disappointed?"
     'Oh Jesus, thank you Lord! There is a God after all!' I thought to miself. I'm off the hook and I won't come out a' this looking like a racist bastard!
"Well, I am a bit, Gibbi, but no worries mate. I don't wanna' hold ya to a deal ya not comfortable with."
"That's very gentlemanly of ya Chummy. As I said, I've been worrying miself sick since I made that stupid deal. I guess it was the grog that was talking."
     Just for fun, I said to Gibbi,
"I suppose a fuck's out of the question now, as well eh?
"Well Chummy.", she said with a big Aboriginal smile on her face. "What can I tell ya' mate, No feed no fuck! Anyway, why would ya' wanna' root a big, old black-arsed Ginn like me when there's a whole world of young, white sheilas' out there that would be glad of the opportunity."
"In Lake Cargellligo, Gibbi? If ya' come across one, let me know will ya?'
     We both had a real good laugh about the whole deal. Right in the middle of it, Cath Gilltrap walked in and said,
"What are you two laughing about, so early in the morning?"
"Gibbi just told me a rude joke.", I said.
"Mrs. Gibson, I'm surprised at you!"

     It was time to make a quick exit while I was still in front. Later that afternoon, Freddy was visiting me in mi room, when all of a sudden, he said,
"So ya still takin' old Gibbi for a 5 Star dinner Yorky?"
"Nah mate, she dumped me. She said she was full when she made the deal."
"Oh that's a shame. Would ya like me to give me Granny a ring? I reckon I could set ya' up there, no problem at all mate!"
"Git fucked Freddy!"


   




   
   
























Monday, December 18, 2017

THE BUSH TELEGRAPH ©

     Laboring work, in those days in the Bush, was either feast or famine. I was sittin' at Gilltraps bar havin' a cold one when old War Dog walked in.
"G'day Yorky.", said War Dog, in his usual gravely voice. "Ya havin' one mate?"
"Yeah, why not War Dog,"
"Two middies Trap.", said War Dog, as he pulled up a bar stool.
     Soon as the beers hit the counter, War Dog picked his beer up and said,
"Cheers mate!"
     He then proceeded to down it in one quick gulp.
"Ya thirsty, are ya mate?"
"Yeah, I've been workin' mi arse off leanin' on a shovel all day!"
"Where are ya working Yorky?", He asked.
"Nowhere mate, things are a bit slack."
"What about Ivers? Don't ya usually work with him?"
"Yeah, but he's only got enough for himself, at the moment."
"Where you slavin' at War Dog?"
"Oh mate, I've got miself a cosy little job on the council doing some emergency relief work."
"What's that mate?"
"They've got a few weeks work clearing up the lake and surroundin' areas. It's temporary, for blokes who can't find any work."
"Ya think I could git a start there?"
"Don't see why not mate. They've even got a couple of Mission bungs on mi crew. I'll have a word with the boss for ya tomorrow, if ya like."
"Good on ya War Dog, that sounds great! I've got a few bob left but after tucker, board and grog, it doesn't last long."
"Ya got enough for another round mate? It's your shout. I'm dyin' of fuckin' thirst here, cobber."
"No worries War Dog. I'm not that broke."
     War Dog and me had a few more rounds.

     The next evening found me sat in Gilltraps waiting for War Dog to make his entrance. For some reason, he didn't show up at his usual time. When he did show up, he walked over and said,
"Jesus Yorky, I thought you'd have one waitin' for me."
"I did mate, but ya never showed so I drank it miself."
     After I'd bought the first round and War Dog had downed half of it, he said,
"I went for a couple at Twitcheys' with one of the blokes in mi gang, soon as we knocked off, but he had to leave early. His old missus was sat in the station wagon outside waiting for him. Come on Yorky mate, git that middy up ya. I'm dyin' of thirst here!"

     We had our own form of communication in the Outback. It was loosely called THE BUSH TELEGRAPH. As Gilltrap placed two middies on the bar and took War Dogs' money, War Dog said to me,
"Hey Yorky, did ya hear about the big accident that happened last night?"
"No mate. What accident?"
     War dog downed half of his middy and then pulled out a packet of Camels from his shirt pocket. Soon as he was satisfied it was going alright, he started his tale.
"Well mate, apparently this Cocky was drivin' home, full as a boot. He'd been knockin' 'em back at Twitcheys all day and most of the night. On his way home, on the mission road, he fell asleep and hit three bungs who were walkin' home from town, on the side of the road."
"Fuckin' hell War Dog, are ya' fair dinkum?"
"My fuckin' oath mate!"
"Did he kill 'em?"
"Too fuckin' right, he killed 'em mate. Stone fuckin' dead!"
"So, what happened mate?"
"Well, someone passed him on the other side of the road heading into the Lake. He informed the old Sarg and his constable once he hit town. When the Sarg arrived at the scene, they say it was real gruesome. A couple of bungs were found dead on the road and the third one they found dead about 20 feet away, in the table drain."
"Jesus War Dog, I reckon that Cocky's shittin' himself now. He'll probably git done for drunk drivin' and murder!"
"Hang on a bit Yorky mate. I haven't finished the story yet. By the way, it's your shout mate.
"No worries mate, I'll git 'em once your finished the story."

"Now where was I? He'd just hit the black fellas' and killed 'em, right? So, before Monty and his constable left the cop shop, he called the Condoblin cop shop for some back up. Anyway, to cut a long story short, there's about 5 cops on the scene now, taking measurements and a statement from the Cocky. They tell me, by this time, the Cocky is pretty sober and now realizes he's fucked, so he says to the the fuckin', big ugly Condo Sarg,
"I guess I'm in the shit, big time now, eh Sarg?
"Oh, I don't know mate.", said the Sarg.
"What d'ya mean?" said the the Cocky.
"Well, ya not completely rooted mate."
"I can't see how I'm not, mate."
"Look at it this way sport. You've got a broken windscreen right, so we can charge this black bastard with breakin' and entering and all that damage to the front of ya Ute, we'll charge that other bastard with willful damage to ya property. The other fuckin' bung in the table drain, up the road a' ways, we'll charge him with leavin' the scene of an accident!"

"Oh fuckin' bullshit War Dog, ya yankin' mi fuckin' chain."
"Nah mate, it's fair dinkum, I kid ya not!"
"Who d'ya say told ya this?"
"I heard it on the Bush telegraph!"
   
     As it turned out, old War Dogs story was correct. A cocky, drivin' home drunk, had fallen asleep on the way home and killed three abbos. After a lengthy trial, he was done for manslaughter, lost his license and was given a suspended sentence. Later, I heard that he was given a temporary license for driving in daylight hours so he could continue to work his property.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

THE HILSTON HOTEL ~ MORE CEC IVERS ~ Part 3 ©

     Pulling up into the back parking area, Ivers got out and said,
"Burgoo, you and Reggie make sure those fuckin' toolboxes are locked and throw a tarp over the back of the Ute. I don't want these Hilston bungs nosing around and stealing mi good tools. I'm gonna' go see the Publican about cashing this check."

     Once that job was done, Reggie and me made our grand entrance into the bar. It was only 6 O'clock. The bar was about half-full. Ivers was nowhere to be seen. I ordered three middys and asked the barman if he'd seen Ivers.
"Yeah mate, he's in the back with the boss, cashing a cheque."
"That's good.", said Reggie. "I'm down to the bones of mi arse!"
"Look at that Reggie, they've got a dart board over in the corner. Soon as we've had our drinks, we'll chuck a few spears.", said I.
"I'm not much good at darts, Yorky mate. I can hit the board but that's about it."
"Well, I'm no fucking expert mate. We'll just play for fun."

     We'd just finished our middys when Ivers appeared at the back room door and called us over. We passed the Publican as he walked over behind the bar.
"Shut that door Reggie.", said Ivers as we walked into a small office.
"Alright ya two bastards, I reckon 60 hours a piece will about do it. I've chucked in a couple of extra hours in for ya both. There's an extra hour for you Burgoo for helping load the Ute up Monday morning. Check ya money and make sure it's right. I might have given ya too much."
     That was Ivers attempt at making a joke. When the money was checked, I said to Ivers,
"Thanks for the work Cecil."
"Me too.", said Reggie.
"What work?", said Ivers. "You wouldn't work in an iron lung, Burgoo, but if ya stick it out with me mate, I'll make a decent worker out of ya. That's taking into account ya handicap."
"What fuckin' handicap?"
"You're a bugoo spittin', pommy bastard mate! That fuckin' handicap."
"Hey Cecil.", I said,
"What?", he replied.
"Fuck you. Your beers on the bar out there gitten' warm."
"Why didn't ya fuckin' say so Pongo? I've drunk enough warm beer this week."

     Tonight was a great night. We all had a pocket-full of money and all night to spend it in.
"Are we staying till closin' time, Ivers?", said Reggie.
"We're stayin' till we get kicked out mate. Why?"
"Oh, just thinkin' about pacing miself. I don't want to get pissed too early."
    Ivers shouted another round and said to Reggie,
"Here, get this into ya mate and don't worry about it. You're in safe hands sport. I'm drivin' us home."
"Were you happy with the job Cecil?", I asked.
"I suppose so Burgoo, but I reckon we could have finished it in 4 days if you'd pulled ya finger out mate."
"Fuck you Cecil. I worked mi fuckin' arse off on that shed. Anyway, did ya make enough money out of the job?"
"I didn't do too bad Burgoo but by the time I pay mi maintenance and bills and the missus dips her hand in the pot, I'll be fuckin' broke again, come Monday."

     The beer flowed consistently and as the night wore on, the bar room started to fill up a bit.
"Hey Burgoo, ya want a game of darts?", said Ivers."  "Loser buys the next round and the winner plays Reggie."
"Come on then Ivers. Don't be surprised when I beat ya."
"Fuck you Burgoo! I'll wipe the fuckin' floor with you, ya pommy bastard! I'm feeling real lucking tonight."
"You'd better be Cecil. Pommys are real good at darts!"
"All you pommy bastards are a pack a' puftas'. That's all you're good at."
"Fuck you Ivers!", I said as I picked up the best set of darts. "Nearest the bull and we'll play 301.  Will you score Reggie?"
"I'm not much good at numbers Yorky mate, but I'll give it a go."

"Three more middys.", said Reggie. "And a couple more bags of crisps."
     When the barman came back with the beers, Reggie said, "Did ya forget the crisps mate?"
"No mate, we don't usually sell a lot of crisps but you blokes have gone through a bloody carton-full."
"Well, I guess we'll start on the peanuts then. Couple of packets will do for now."

     Round about this time, an old boiler (sheila), walked into the bar and sat on her own in the corner. By this time, we all had a good glow on. Ivers, who had seen the old girl said,
"I think I'll go over and ask that old sheila if she wants to join us for a round."

     With that, he took off for the corner table. A few minutes later she was sat on a stool next to Ivers, who was ordering her a 7. She said to Reggie,
"What's your name mate?"
"Reggie, what's yours?"
"Cheryl. What's ya mates name?
"Yorky", I said. "Pleased to meet ya, love."
    Ivers piped up and said,
"His name's Burgoo!"
"What kind of a name's that?", said Cheryl.
"It's a pommy name 'cause he's a Burgoo spittin' bastard!"
"That's not very polite.". she said.
"Ya don't have to be polite to pommys, love."
"Yes, ya do. Ya should be polite to everyone."

     I liked this old sheila. I jumped into the conversation and said,
"There ya go Cecil! What did I tell ya about being polite."
"Fuck you Burgoo, nobody's talkin' to you anyway. I thought you were playin' darts?"
"Ya wanat another beer love?", I asked the old girl.
"Yes please, I'll have a 7"

     I ordered 3 more middys and a seven. I had to wait for the beer, so I decided to go for a leak. I'd downed quite a few middys by now. As I was stood at the trough, Ivers walked in and said,
"Hey burgoo, are you trying to git on to that old boiler?"
" Course I'm fuckin' not Ivers! She's old enough to be mi grandmother and she's near on old enough to be your mother!"
"Bullshit burgoo, she ain't that old and anyway it doesn't matter. She's mine! Keep ya fuckin' eyes off her!"
"Fuck you Ivers. I'm not interested in ya boiler!", I said as I headed for the door.

     Back in the barroom, Reggie and I played another game of darts. After Reggie fluked a game, I said to Ivers,
"Your turn to play Reggie."
     Ivers, reluctantly, grabbed the darts off the bar and threw for a bull, whilst I ordered round for being the loser. The old sheila started chatting to me. She asked me questions about England, why I came out here at such a young age, things like that. A short while later, she excused herself and took off to the Ladies room. Ivers, who had been giving me a few dirty looks, came over after his throw.
"Are you tryin' to close the womb on me, Burgoo?"
"What d'ya mean Ivers? I was just tellin' her about England. She was interested."
"Bullshit, Burgoo! I told ya before, she's mine! And now she's starting to get cranky with me for callin' ya Burgoo!"
"Maybe you should use a few manners Cecil, then you'd be in there."
"Fuck you Burgoo, I don't need any fuckin' manners. I'm gettin' along all right, as I am."
"Look Cecil, we've all had a lot of grog tonight. Just relax a bit. I'm not interested in the old girl!"
     Ivers was gettin' quite upset now as he said the standard, "fuck you burgoo."

     At some stage in the evening, I lost Reggie.  He was nowhere to be found. After goin' for another leak, I walked round the back of the hotel to check the Ute. Walking a bit wobbly around the corner, I found Reggie, sittin' in the passengers seat, with the door open.
"Hey Reggie!", I yelled out. "Ya alright mate?"
     Once I got a bit closer, I could see what a stupid question it was. There was a great big puddle of chunder on the ground, between his legs.
"Fuckin' hell mate, are ya crook?"
"I think I'm fuckin' dyin' Yorky! I've been sneakin' a few shorts in, on the side."
     Looking down, I recognized the nights entertainment. Crips and peanuts floatin' on a pool of frothy, liquid.
"Can I do anythin' for ya' mate?"
"No mate, just leave me alone. I just need a lung full of fresh air. I'll be alright for a few more then. What's Ivers doin'?"
"He's still tryin' to chat up that old sheila. He's gettin' quite argumentative."
"Yeh, I noticed that before I felt crook."
" Ya want to come back in mate?"
"Not yet sport. I'll be in, in a few minutes, soon as I'm feelin' better."
     Just then, he burped and hurled another gut-full on the ground. I jumped out of the way just in time as the amber fluid splattered his boots and wooly socks. He sat there moanin' and groanin' as the steam rose up between his legs, due to the cold night air.

     Back in the bar, I ordered another round for miself an Ivers. The old sheila was still nursing a flat 7 ounce.
"Hey Burgoo, where's that gutless fucking Reggie?"
"He's outside, sat in the Ute, chucking his guts."
"Jesus christ, he's not chundering on the floor of mi Ute, is he?"
"No mate, but there might be a bit of overspray on the outside."
"The weak piece a' shit, that'll eat mi good paint job away."
"Hey Cecil, there's more dings and paint missin' off that old fuckin' Ute, ya won't even notice it!"
"Fuck you Burgoo, that old Ute of mine is a real piss-cutter. She's done more work in her short life than you'll ever do in your fuckin' lifetime mate!"
"You know what Cecil, I'm going to the Ladies room and then I'm going home. You're an ignorant, ill-mannered bloke! I'm sick of the way you're talking to that young fella'."
"Oh come on love, don't be like that. I'm only jokin' around."
"No you're not Cecil. You're takin' the piss out of him!"
     With that, Ivers turned to me and said,
"Am I takin' the piss out of you Burgoo?"
"Well, you're not exactly being decent, are ya Cecil?"
"Fuck you Burgoo!"

     Ivers picked up his middy and tipped the rest of it down in one go. The old boiler made her exit to the Ladies room. When she was out of earshot, Ivers turned to me and said,
"If I don't get a root off this old sheila tonight, I'm holding you fully responsible Burgoo and I won't be real fuckin' happy!"
"If ya don't get a root Ivers, it's your own stupid fault for being so fuckin' rude. Fuck you!", I said, and rolled another smoke.
     When the old boiler returned, she walked up to me and said,
"I don't know how ya can tolerate Cecil. He's not a very polite man, to say the least."
    She then turned to Ivers and said,
"Thanks for the couple of beers, Cecil. I'm goin' home now."
"Hang on a minute love, till I find mi keys. I'll drive ya home."
"No thanks Cecil. I'll walk. I only live down the road. Besides, you're full. and I don't like drivin' with drunks.
"Jesus, I'm not that fuckin' full!"
"Yes you are! You need to sober up a bit before you drive back to Lake Cargelligo."
     Ivers was now resigned to the fact that there was not goin' to be any root for him tonight. At least not from her. She gathered up her change and smokes and said,
"Good night Cecil!", as she headed for the front door.

     Ivers was now in a foul mood.
"This is all your fault burgoo! I was makin' good headway till ya' opened ya bugoo spittin' mouth!"
"Don't blame me again, Ivers. It's ya own stupid fault. Anyways, why did ya wanna' root that old sheila when you've got a decent lookin' wife at home?"
"Mind ya own business bugoo and leave mi missus out a' this or I'll knock ya arse over head!"
"Fuck you, Ivers.", I said, as the publican called  'Last Orders'.  Anyway, it's your shout mate."

      Ivers was really pissed off now, as he ordered our last round.
"You'd better order some stubbies, if ya want a drink on the way home."
"If you're sure ya' can drive, Ivers? Ya know there's a lot of potholes and roos' on the way back to the Lake. I don't want to end up, upside down, in a fuckin' table drain!"
"I can fuckin' drive drunk better than you can drive sober, any fuckin' day Burgoo. Where the fuck did Reggie go? If he's not here, he can fuckin' walk home! I'm not keen on the gutless bastard anyway. He's not a real good worker and he can't hold his grog! What kind of Aussie chucks his guts after a few middys anyway? He's shot his bolt with me, I won't be takin' him out anymore!"

     We made our way out to the parking lot. As we rounded the corner, Reggie was laid out on his back on the front seat. The passenger side door was still open. His legs were hung out of the doorway.
"Wake up ya bastard!", yelled Ivers as he neared the Ute. "Git ya scungy, fuckin' carcass off mi drivin' seat."
     Ivers maneuvered the pile of puke and kicked Reggies boot!
"Come on, wake up ya useless fuckin' bastard! You're a fuckin' disgrace! Even the burgoo spittin' pommy can hold more grog than you, ya fuckin' pufta! Ya really let the fuckin' side down tonight, fuckin' yobo!
     It took me a while to wake up Reggie, as he was totally flaked out. Eventually, he came around.
The first think he said was, "Where am I!"

     Ivers walked over to the fence and took a piss while I roused Reggie back into the world of the living.

     Once we were all settled in on the bench seat, Ivers turned on the key, put her in first and slowly maneuvered the Ute around the corner, on to the main street. We headed off back to the Lake at at the break-neck speed of 30 miles an hour.
"Hey Burgoo, open one of those stubbies for me.",  said Ivers.
"Haven't you had enough yet Cecil?", I said.
"I'll decide when I've had enough, burgoo. Not you, you pommy bastard!"
     I opened the beer with mi tobacco tin and passed Ivers his stubbie.
"Ya want one Reggie?", I asked.
"Ya, good on ya Yorky. I think I need a hair of the dog."
"Hair of the dog mate?", said Ivers. "Ya need ya arse kicking, ya gutless bastard. Ya let this Burgoo spitter drink ya under the table?
"Here ya go Reggie. Take no notice of him mate. He's cranky 'cause he missed out on rootin' that old sheila."
"It was all your fault, Burgoo. You were the one who closed the womb."
"Fuck you Ivers. Ya didn't get a root 'cause you're too fuckin' ugly. That's why!"
"I've had more roots than you've had hot dinners, Burgoo. You're still floggin' ya fuckin' maggot every mornin'."
"Ivers, apart from your missus, you wouldn't get a fuck in a brothel with a fist full of money!"
"I'll stop this fuckin' Ute in a minute and deck ya, Burgoo! How would you like that?"
"Let it go Yorky.", said Reggie in a shaky voice.
     By this time, I had enough grog in me that my dutch courage was spilling over and out of mi mouth. I felt great!
"Fuck him Reggie. I've just about had enough of the fat, ignorant fucker! He's fuckin' ugly and I'm good lookin'. Any mirror will tell ya that."
"Keep it up Burgoo! I've fuckin' warned ya. I'm not gonna' tell ya again!"
     I was now firing on all 8 cylinders. I said to Ivers,
"Go root ya boot ya ugly, fat bastard!"
     All of a sudden, Ivers slammed on the brakes and the Ute broad-sided to a halt at the side of the road.
"Git out ya burgoo spittin bastard! I'll show you what a fat bastard I am."
     I had gone too far to stop now. I said to Ivers,
"When was the last time you saw ya dick without a mirror on ya boot, Ivers?"

     Ivers blood pressure had now made his face almost crimson. This was no mean feat as it was usually weather-worn brown from working in the Outback sun.
"You're a fuckin' dead man burgoo.", said Ivers, as he struggled to get out of the Ute.
"Shit Yorky!", said Reggie."Ya not gonna' fight him are ya?"
"Fucking oath, mate! I've had the fat fucker!"
"He'll fuckin' hurt ya mate. He's a big bloke!"
"He can't hurt me Reggie. I've got too many middys in me to feel it! Anyway, he's as full as a boot himself. Ya never know, I might get lucky!"
"Rather you than me mate.", said Reggie as I pushed open the door.

     As Ivers rounded the front of the Ute, he let out a big bellow and made a lunge for me. Luckily for me, he was as full as he was. I side-stepped him and he went stumbling past .
"Ya fuckin' missed me Ivers!", I said, as he turned around for another go at me.
"I won't miss again, ya fuckin' bastard!", said Ivers, as he took a well-aimed blow that caught me on the side of mi head, behind mi left ear.
     Stumbling backwards, I lost mi footing on the loose dirt and hit the deck!
"I fuckin' told ya' I'd knock ya arse over head Burgoo, ya weak piece of shit!"

     Now I'd gone past caring. As I got to mi feet, I threw a straight left jab at Ivers face and luckily it caught him on the left corner of his mouth. I moved back as fast as I could, which wasn't fast enough because of the amount of grog I had drunk. Ivers rubbed his lip. When he saw blood, on the back of his hand. He lunged forwards and grabbed hold of me. I decided, in mi drinken stupor, to stay in close and try to pummel his big fat guts. Right, left, right, left, right, left! I pummeled away at Ivers' gut but it didn't seem to make much difference.
     Just then, I felt a big pain on the side of mi face.  Ivers' big hairy fist had made a connection with it and down I went like a sack of shit!
"That'll teach ya to fuck with me burgoo!", he said as he walked back around the front of the Ute.
     The next think I knew Reggie was helping mi back up, onto mi feet,
"Ya all right mate?"
"Yeah mate, I'm only just gettin' started!"
"Jesus, Yorky mate, let it go. the fat fuck's at least 3 stone more than you. Ya' can't win mate!"
"I don't care about winning Reggie."
"So why ya baiting him mate?"
" 'Cause I fuckin' can. It's a matter of principle now."
"You're more game than me Yorky, I'll say that for ya."
"Come on you two bastards, git in the Ute before I leave ya' and you can fuckin' walk home!", said Ivers.

     Ivers put the Ute in gear and took off so fast, he spun the back wheels. Once he hit 30, he said,
"Give us one of those stubbies, Reggie.", said Ivers.
"Can ya open it Ivers?", said Reggie as he handed Ivers the stubby.
"Don't be such a fuckin' ding-bat mate! I'm flat out driving with both hands, never mind one."
"Burgoo, open that fuckin' stubby for me or you can git out and walk."
     I opened the stubby and handed it to Ivers.
"Here ya go, ya fat fuck. I hope ya choke on it!"
"Ha ha ha ha!,  said Ivers, as he took the stubby. "I told ya I'd knock ya arse over head, burgoo. You fuckin' pommys are all a gutless pack a' bastards. Ya can't fight for shit.!"
"Yer not real good yourself Ivers."
"I'm better than you, burgoo! I knocked ya down."
"Yeh, maybe ya did Ivers, but ya know what, ya punch like a fuckin' old sheila. Ya never even hurt  me!"
"I can always stop the Ute if ya want another go Burgoo."

     Ivers was havin' a great old time now, gloatin' and braggin' about how he knocked me over. I bided mi time and as soon as there was a lull in his bullshit and skyving, I said,
"Hey Ivers."
"What d'ya want burgoo?"
"Would ya mind explainin' somethin' to me?"
"No worries burgoo.", he said with a stupid smug look on his face.
     I may have been pretty full but my timing was perfect. I waited a few seconds and then said, in a very polite voice,
"Alright Cecil, Please tell me how a good-lookin' woman like ya missus can let an ugly fat bastard like you, git up in the saddle of a night-time? Is she short-sighted?"
     Ivers slammed on the brakes again! This time we ended up sideways in the middle of the dirt road.
"Oh Jesus Yorky!", said Reggie, "You must have more guts than brains!"
"Fuck him!", I said as I jumped out the Ute. "I'm not finished with that fucker yet!"

     As Ivers walked round the front of the Ute again, I ran at him and threw a punch that landed right on his forehead. It rocked him back a foot or so and hurt mi fist in the process!
"Ya fuckin' burgoo spittin' bastard!", he said. "I couldn't see ya for the fuckin' head lights. Ya fuckin' hit me, ya pommy fuckin' bastard!"
"Fuck you Ivers. That'll teach ya to keep ya squinty fuckin' eyes open."

     No sooner we're the words out of mi mouth, he punched me so fuckin' hard, I saw stars! As I hit the deck, he jumped on top of me and started to pummel me. As soon as Reggie saw what was happening, he jumped out of the Ute and tried to drag Ivers off of me, which took quite a bit of doing. Once I regained my feet, I said to Ivers,
"Fuck you Ivers, ya still didn't hurt me!"

     As he came at me at me again, Reggie jumped in between us and said,
"I think you pair of fuck-wits have had enough. Can we go home now?"
     I must have caught Ivers with at least a couple of good blows, 'cause one of his eyes was quite red. When we were settled in the Ute again, Ivers said, as he pulled away,
"Let me know of ya want another go, burgoo, I can keep this up all night!"
     Wiping the blood from mi nose, I said,
"It doesn't matter how many times ya knock me arse over head Ivers, you'll never fuckin' hurt me mate, and it will never change the fact that you're a fuckin' ugly fat bastard. I'm a more handsome  bloke than you'll ever be. You'll never be handsome as long as your fat fuckin' arse points to the ground!"
"Ah! Shut the fuck up ya winging, pommy, fucking bastard and pass me another stubby!
     I opened a couple more stubbies and handed him one.
"Cheers burgoo!", he said as tipped up the bottle.
"Hey Cecil, I see by your face, I must have caught ya with a couple of beauties!"
"Fuck you burgoo!", he said between guzzles.

     At long last, we made it to Gilltraps Hotel. Ivers didn't even bother to park. All he said, as I got out of the Ute, was,
"I'll bring ya gear round tomorrow for ya burgoo. I'm not huntin' through the Ute tonight, it's too fuckin' late! I almost forgot to tell ya burgoo, I've got a new job starting Monday morning if ya still lookin' for work."
"Pick me up at 6, on Gilltraps steps.", I said. "And don't be fuckin' late!!"