Friday, May 6, 2016
Today, some Dad and Dave humour and some bushie items.
Long before Crocodile Dundee and long before the Beverly Hillbillies, there was Dad and Dave from Snake Gully. Dad Rudd and his son Dave were characters in the Steele Rudd stories of On Our Selection, which in turn gave rise to a long running Australian radio drama series (the days before television) which finished in 1953 when one of the leads, George Edwards, died. Ken Hall turned Dad and Dave into films with Peter Finch playing Dave. There is also a 1995 flick, Dad and Dave On Our Selection, which features Leo McKern as Dad Rudd, Geoffrey Rush as Dave and Joan Sutherland as Ma Rudd.
Apart from the humour of life in the bush and of yokels visiting the city, Dad and Dave jokes are also often about Dave and his girlfriend Mabel.
Caution: some of the humour is risqué.
Dad and Dave were standing watching a dingo licking its privates. Dave said to Dad: 'Just between you and me, I've wanted to do that all my life.' Dad said: 'Go ahead, but I'd pat him a bit first. He looks pretty vicious to me.'
Because he and Mabel were going to live with Dad and Mum when they got married, Dave wanted Dad to build a new dunny* to replace the existing dilapidated one. Dad resisted the idea strongly.
‘It’s been good enough for Mum and me for all these years, so it’s good enough for you and Mabel.’
Dave was determined, so he fitted a fuse and a cap to a plug of gelignite, dropped it into the dunny and retreated behind a stump to watch. He had just made it to the stump when Dad came out of the kitchen and headed for the dunny. He rushed from behind the stump and yelled at Dad to save him from a disaster. Dad thought he was trying to beat him to the dunny and put his head down and ran faster.
‘You young blokes ain’t as good as yer think you are,’ he yelled. Dad got there first and had barely entered the building when up it went. Ka-boom. Dave rushed to Dad’s aid and extricated him from the wreckage.
‘Are you all right, Dad?’ he asked
‘I’m all right son, but stone the crows, yer mother would have been annoyed if I’d let that one go in the kitchen.’
*For the benefit of overseas readers, ‘dunny’ is slang for ‘toilet’
An old farmer was worried about his favourite bull. It was ignoring the cows. So he went to the vet and got some medicine. Next day he was telling a neighbour about it. 'I gave that Brahmin of mine one dose and within half an hour he had serviced eight cows.'
'Blimey,’ said the neighbour, 'what's the stuff called?'
'Well, the label’s come off the bottle,' said the farmer, ‘but it tastes like peppermint'.
Dad and Dave went to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney and were very interested in the new tractors that were on display. One salesman demonstrated his machine and then offered them a deal.
'You can have this model for $10,000, and I'll take off 10 per cent for cash.' They went away to discuss the deal.
'What’s he mean by take orf 10 per cent cash?' asked Dad. 'How much would he take orf?'
'Gees, I dunno, Dad,' replied Dave.
'Listen Dave, you're in pretty good with that barmaid at the pub where we're stayin' and she looks like a pretty smart sort of girl. How about you ask her?' So Dave approached the barmaid.
'Tell me, Dulcie, if I gave you $10,000 less 10 per cent, how much would you take orf?'
'Jesus, Dave!' she said, 'If you gave me $10,000 less 10 per cent, I'd take off everything bar me garters and you could use them for stirrups.’
Dave decided to take Mabel to the Snake Gully Café for lunch. Dave looked at the menu and said, "They've got sheep tongues on the menu, Mabel. I think I'll have that. What about you?"
Mabel said, "No Dave, I couldn't eat anything that came out of an animal's mouth."
"What would you like then, Mabel?” said Dave.
Mabel said, "I think I'll have an egg."
A swagman* who had tramped many kilometres along a rough outback track came to a small pub called the "George and the Dragon". He made his way around to the back in search of a handout but before he had time to ask, the publican's wife came on the scene and gave the tramp the greatest verbal thrashing of his life. She called him a lazy good-for-nothing loafer and added if he was hoping to get even scraps from the kitchen, he could forget it. The tramp just stood there in silence.
'Well,' she snapped impatiently, ' now what is it you want? '
'I was wonderin ', said the man, 'if I could have a word with George?'
* Swagman: a person who walked from place to place carrying his bedroll and belongings (his 'swag'), often an itinerant worker
And, for those who still want something different and visual . . .
The secret wig farm of Donald Trump has been discovered on remote islands near the city of Tromso in Norway . . .
Still don’t believe it, then look at the following pic . . .
Nahh, that’s not true.
It’s an indigenous species of grass that grows along the shores of those islands.
And, by way of a segue to Corn Corner . . .
Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss League records were destroyed in a fire, ...and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.
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A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."
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I can't believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off.
And a cheerio and get well soon wish to Kevin S and to my father in law Noel W, both recovering from being quite unwell. Get well soon guys.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
More Australian history and fun facts sent to me by Graham.
30 Hours inside a dead whale to cure rheumatism
"The smell and heat were hardly bearable… great blasts of gas and horrible bubbles would gush out around us and make our hair stand on end," reported a putrid story in the Sydney Bulletin in 1896. The yarn described a bizarre, revolting cure for rheumatism: climbing inside the belly of a slaughtered whale for 20 to 30 hours to expose oneself to the corpse's healing "ammoniacal gases… of an overpowering and atrocious odour". The remedy was supposedly discovered near the New South Wales whaling town of Eden when a rheumatic drunk fell into a dead whale (as you do) and emerged hours later from the "huge mountain of decomposing blubber" feeling better than ever. Not only was the cure unlikely to work, it was also rarely practised — thankfully.
Christmas party in a WW1 hospital
When it came to Christmas in World War I's military hospital wards, every effort was made to ensure the wounded servicemen enjoyed themselves. Soldiers were joined by their army officers, nurses and doctors to celebrate the occasion. Wards were festively decorated, some with ribbons, others with images of Santa Claus and maps of Australia, and food was plentiful. It's not recorded precisely where or when this photo was taken, but elsewhere, the 2nd Australian General Hospital in Egypt celebrated Christmas Day 1915 with a traditional roast dinner, and even the doctors pitched in – one carved the turkey and ham, while another gave out beverages.
19th century miners cook up golden Christmas ‘cake’
In the late 19th century, immigrants were still coming to terms with what an Australian Christmas looked like. Absent were carols, snow and mistletoe, and in their place were picnics, sports and soaring temperatures. In the bush, new Australians gathered around night fires while travelling stockmen shared stories, and on the gold fields, mining companies celebrated with large "crushings" of gold. They would then exhibit these "golden Christmas cakes" in the windows of local banks. This illustration, published on January 1, 1872, depicts a cake after its crushing. The previous holiday season saw what was believed to be the largest ever golden cake produced in Victoria, weighing 106.7kg, then valued at £15,026.
Santa rides an emu to department store’s famous toy fair
Foy and Gibson's, one of Australia's earliest department stores, was famous for its annual toy fairs, which boasted "unprecedentedly low prices", and holiday season attractions. Melbourne's Bourke Street store attracted customers with its rooftop carnival, complete with ponies, train rides and a ferris wheel that teetered so close to the edge of the rooftop that "it felt as if you were falling from the top of the building". Children could also meet Father Christmas, but it's doubtful he was as smartly dressed as this poster from the late 19th century suggests — or that he rode in on an emu.
Father Christmas rides an eagle on terrifying card
Santa Claus’s design has evolved over hundreds of years. By the early 20th century, the contemporary interpretation of a portly man with a bushy beard and furs had taken hold. What hadn’t, clearly, were his animal sidekicks of choice. While he might now prefer reindeer, Santa has been known to ride a goat named Ukko, a kangaroo, and even an eagle carrying a basket of presents in its talons. This poster for drapery firm Craig Williamson Pty Ltd features Santa riding one such eagle in service of a bad pun: "Our attractive show catches the eagle-eye of Father Xmas". The show caught the eye of Sidney Myer (of Myer department store fame), who bought the company in 1908.
Santa’s gift to children of men killed in WW2
Santa Claus swapped his sleigh for a yacht on Saturday, December 15, 1945. Disembarking at Point Walter, Perth, Santa delivered presents to the children of men killed during World War II. Before his arrival, the 109 Australian Convalescent Depot worked tirelessly to ensure that the Christmas party was a memorable one, organising a bevy of cakes and sweets, and a sports program including swimming and tennis. Over 1000 youngsters, wives and guardians were estimated to have attended the event.
Children celebrate Christmas near unfinished Sydney Harbour Bridge
On the afternoon of Saturday, December 6, 1930, Rear Admiral Evans and the officers of HMAS Australia II welcomed families onto their warship for the annual children’s Christmas party. The ship was moored at Garden Island, Sydney, and transformed into a festive playground, complete with slides and celebrities. While "Mickey the Mouse" thrilled youngsters, the great cannon on deck fired off salvos of multi-coloured balloons. The crane, usually reserved for munitions, carried children in a cage out above the ocean, in full view of the as-yet-incomplete Sydney Harbour Bridge (it opened in 1932). Its passengers included Rosemary Budge, the daughter of the secretary to the Governor of New South Wales, pictured on the left wearing glasses.
Santa steals a Christmas kiss from a nurse
In a bid to lift the spirits of children struggling with illness over the holiday season, Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital hosted an annual Christmas picnic in 1944. Children left the ward and bathed in the summer sun. While some years brought special attractions like camels, Santa was a constant. He dressed more like a wizard with cotton balls stuck to his robe than contemporary incarnations of the gift-giver, and in December 1944, he was certainly not afraid to get more than a little festive with a nurse.
Christmas train shortage forces well-to-do passengers into cattle cars
The opening of new lines meant the Victorian train network was placed under significant strain over the 1882 holiday season. A carriage shortage forced operators to resort to an old plan of utilising cattle trucks to transport Christmas "excursionists". This satirical cartoon, published in January 1883, poked fun at their uncomfortable predicament: "Christmas time must be a season of peace and goodwill to all the cattle who look contentedly at their tormentors being whirled away in the very vehicles in which they have so often suffered."
Cockatoo pie for Christmas dinner
Prussian scientist Ludwig Leichhardt (pictured) was hailed as the "prince of explorers" in 1845 after he and his exploration party completed a 4800km journey from the Darling Downs to Port Essington. On Christmas Day 1844, midway through the expedition, he recorded in his journal that his party enjoyed a "Christmas dinner of suet pudding and stewed parrot" — possibly a cockatoo or a galah. Delicious. It was not unheard of for early settlers to put native birds on their Christmas dinner tables if domestic fowl was scarce. In 1834, the year South Australia was declared as a colony, local woman Mary Thomas described eating a traditional ham and cockatoo pie for Christmas.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Today is recognised by Star Wars fans as International Star Wars Day – “May the Fourth be with you.” It supposedly developed from the Conservatives having placed an ad in a newspaper on 4 May 1979 to congratulate Margaret Thatcher’s taking office that day. It read "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations." Because of the popularity of Star Wars Day, the next day, May 5th, has come to be called "Revenge of the Fifth", a play on Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans join the "Dark Side" by celebrating the Sith Lords from the Star Wars series.
Some Star Wars humour . . .