Tit Bits And Twaddle
Observer, Volume XV, Issue 844, 2 March 1895, Page 11
Tit Bits And Twaddle
At Cue, Westralia, Sunday, according to a local paper, ' is pleasantly passed in tennis, cricket, and football.' Pastor Blaikie, who has gone to the other side for a holiday, should give Cue a wide berth. At a Manawatu township the other day the Maoris got up a race-meeting. For the principal event the stakes were ; First horse, seven fowls; second horse, one fowl.' The bets were laid in eels, plug-tobacco, and dried shark. A ' Scenery Preservation Society ' has been established in Wellington. At the preliminary meeting last week, Mr L. G. Reid said the bare and forbidding aspect of the Wellington hills was sufficient to show the necessity for such a Society.' Well, yes, . there's a good deal in that. Wellington's hills are about as pretty as a bald head. At Maurice ville (Wairarapa), the other day, some local wags improved the shining hour by catching a poor old horse, just a bag of skin and bones, and painting: the nnfortunate animal's all too prominent ribs a dead white. When the jokers had done with that horse he looked a pretty good imitation of a living skeleton. Let us hope his boss took the hint. A book fiend interviewed an insurance manager in Wellington the other daj . Directly the manager understood the nature of the visitor's business, he shouted down the tube at the side of his desk : ' Send up the porter to kick a book-canvasser down stairs !' ' And while he is coming,' said the canvasser, with a sweet smile, ' permit me to direct your attention to the work which is perhaps the finest thing of the kind ever offered to the public' By the time the»-porter arrived on the scene, the manager was ' booked.' Nelson gets very few shows, which is possibly why the mission-schooner Southern Gross while iying lately at Sleepy Hollow, invited the public to roll up on Sunday and inspect her, inside and out, at a charge of sixpence a head. A Westport man ' parted : to see the Cross, and he doesn't seem to think he got value for Ms money. He says : ' I protest against people who profess themselves so anxious to keep the Sabbath day holy, in the way they consider holy, being parties to a breach of their own rules for the sake of the bawbees. Further, it is a bit annoying to find one's sixpence gone "bang" to view a dirty little schooner.' We do love to hear of a liberalminded man. So refreshing, don't-you know. At Karioi, the other day, a resident picked up a pocket-book containing £200, a first-class railway season-ticket, and sundry other valuables. The find belonged to a tourist who had gone on by coach, and the finder lost no time in chartering a horse and following him. He overtook the globetrotter, who wasn't even aware of his loss, at Raetihi. He was profuse in his expressions of gratitude. If he had lost that draft he didn't know whatever he should have done. He hoped the finder hadn't had much trouble ? ' Well,' said the latter. ' I had to hire a horse, pay for bed and board, and sacrifice two days' work.' ' Awfully sorry,' said the globe-trotter, ' but I'll make it right. Here take this.' ' This ' was five shillings! The finder of the pocket-book may be excused if he doubts whether honesty is the best policy, after all. They have started an oyster farm somewhere about Wellington. Whereat the New Zealand Times rises to dazzle us with the enormous potentialities of the industry. Calculates that as the yields in Europe and America have fallen off through bad winters our colony ought to fill that breach, and supply the great markets of the world, sending Home 1,000,000,000 oysters (a few odd noughts extra wouldn't matter much in such estimates) v every year, and reaping a revenue to the tune of nearly two millions sterling ! A beautiful prospect, to be sure. And really the industry wants to be cultivated instead of being frittered away like our kauri forests have been, and nothing done to replace the quantities used up. But when the Wellington people have the delicacy brought down to a reasonable price at their own doors won't it be time enough to think of having sufficient to feed the rest of the world with ? And the idea of supplying the world with oysters from a farm that has, so far, only supplied a fishmonger with five specimens or the succulent bivalve for show purposes is looking a bit ahead.
Nelson publicans' faces have dropped six inches since the police have served them all with notices that they must give their bar hands a half -holiday once a week in accordance with section 8 of the Shop Act. ' Serve us all alike,' say the Nelson bonifaces. A Hobart man charged his wife with using ; language ' to him the other day. And you might have knocked him down with a quill-pen when the magistrate blandly informed him that if a fine was imposed he would have to settle it, as the lady had no separate estate, and that further, if a breach of the peace was committed he would be liable to punishment, as the law required him to exercise proper control over his life-partner. A poor Christchurch woman was employed to do half-a-day's washing at a swell house the other day. She did the washing and also cleaned the windows, and blackleaded the stove, and threw in a few other odd jobs, and when she was through, the mistress offered her — sixpence ! Venturing a very mild remonstrance she was told : ' Oh, I only gave you the work out of charity. I thought you were poor.' There are lots of champion mean men about, but this is the boss champion mean woman, so far. It is a pretty mean customer who will borrow money from a Maori to pay his hotel bill, at a race meeting, then refuse to pay up, let judgment go against him when sued, and then file in order to evade payment, borrowing as much money for the Assignee's -fees as would have squared off the debt. This was the case against Walter Walshe in Wellington Bankruptcy Court last week, the Maori being the only proved creditor. Judge Richmond told the bankrupt in painfully free language what he thought of his conduct, and refused him a discharge unless he paid the dusky creditor 20s in the £1. Wherein John Maori scores.
A Christchurch joker advertised in the local papers the other day. thusly : ' A young man requires a situation as sonin-law in a respectable family. No objection to go a short distance into the country. A comfortable home not so much an object as money.' At Stratford dairy factory they are busy making a monster cheese, to weigh 500cwt. It is for Hawera Agricultural Show. The cheese will contain coin of the realm to the value of £5, from one sovereign down to the humble 'thrip'ny.' It is to be sold by the pound. A Wairarapa station-holder, taking a stroll through his orchard the other morning, about five o'clock, saw a young woman busy gathering apples. 'What!' he said, 'at it so early as this ? well you deserve a reward.' And he threw the industrious maiden half-acrown Later in the day he asked the manager the name of the girl. He thought she must be a temporary hand. We haven't got any women at work in the orchard,' said the manager, ' she must have been pulling those apples for herself.' It is related of a comedian, wellknown in New Zealand, that being asked (in fun) to preach a sermon on one occasion, he delivered himself thusly : ' I will take my text from Job, fifth chapter, seventh verse : " Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward." I shall divide my discourse, this morning, into three heads. 1. Man's ingress into this world. 2. Man's progress through this world. 3. Man's egress out of this world. Man's ingress into this world is naked and bare ; man's progress through this world is trouble and care ; man's egress from this world is no one knows where. In conclusion, my dear friends, if we do well here we shall do well there. I could tell you no more if I preached a whole year.'
Scene : Christchurch Supreme Court : Counsel to- witness : ' And what did you say then ?' Witness : • I merely shrugged my shoulders. That's all I said.' And for the life of him he couldn't understand what the Court waa laughing at. A very unfortunate typographical error appeared in a Southern paper the other day. The reporter wrote : ' The doctor felt the deceased's pulse before he prescribed for him.' The demon comp. set it up: 'The. doctor felt deceaseds purse before he prescribed for him.' Some scandal - mongers at their wretched work have been busy befouling the fair fame of a young lady living at Havelock, Marlborough. Two of them, W. T. McGregor and Thomas Wearne, have had to advertise in the Blenheim papers an abject apology to Miss McMillan and her family, and own up that the aspersions which they helped to circulate are without foundation in fact. Serve them right. At the Wellington, dinner to cele« brate the attainment of Wednesday as the early-closing day, Mr Higginbottom said he regarded the Shop Act as ' one of the most unjust and un-English measures ever placed upon a statute book.' Councillor Bayliss considered the Act as ' an infringement of the liberty of the subject.' The ears of those responsible for the Act ought to have tingled I Scene : Masterton S.M. Court. Solicitor Beard : ' The Gazette may state that any man who commits a breach of the by-law shall be hanged. But would that make the hanging legal ?' Jay Pee Caselberg (on the Bench) : 'If it would, Mi- Beard, you and I would have been hanged long ago.' ' Not I, your Worship.' Mr Caselberg : ' Yes, you ! Why, you allowed your chimney to take fire only the other day.' (Everyone laughed, including the. police.) A story about the way in which a new-chum gudgeon was hooked is told in Wellington. Arriving in the colony with a few hundreds in his pocket, and anxious to settle down, he was shown a suburban property which pleased him. A friend warned him that the price asked was excessive, but against all counsel he planked down £400 for the land just because it pleased him. . Didn't he want to kick himself when he was shown that the county valuer set it down as worth only £200, and that the vendor had got it only a few months before, on bills, for £180, thus pocketing a clear £220 without parting a coin. A Wairarapa new - chum settler, anxious to emulate the wondrous deeds of Lichtwark, the horse-tamer, enquired of a ' horsey ' friend the best way of subjugating a fiery steed in his possession with a view to taking the fire out of it. ' The best way,' said the horsey man, with a covert wink to the boys, 'is to take him to a five-acre paddock, turn him loose, and quietly follow him till you catch him, =yen if it takes you all day.' ' And a still better plan,' chipped in a local funny man, ' is to let another man follow the horse while you sit down and watch the operation.' The new chum is still thinking it over.. The gilded youth of Christchurch has taken to amuse itself by attending theatrical and musical entertainments and interrupting the performance. They patronise-the dress, circle, these well-dressed hoodlums, and laugh and talk so loudly as to interfere wiih the enjoyment of all the other playgoers, varying the programme by shouting insulting remarks to the people on the stage. Complaints about the conduct of these- fellows are continually appearing in the local papers, but nothing is done. The police don't interfere. Perhaps the chappies are two ' well-connected?' A Greymouth man, in passing a local church the other night, or rather the other morning, about the hour when churchyards are supposed to yawn and graves give up their dead, was startled to see the ' sacred edifice ' all lit up, while someone was evidently in possession of the organ, for snatches of wild, weird, spasmodic music resounded, and made the listener shiver in his boots. He rushed off to the vicarage and aroused the parson, and the parson roused up two or t"ree more, and chey all proceeded to the church, determined to fathom the mystery or perish in the attempt. The sexton thought it was a case of ' spooks,' the parson muttered ' burglars,' but was quite unable to explain why burglars should give themselves away by playing the organ. It was really very mysterious. Softly the party opened the door and stole in. The 'music 'still continued. The organ appeared to be having a fit. ' Whoever you are,' exclaimed the parson, in a loud voice, ' I charge you to desist and reveal yourself.' Then the music suddenly ceased, and a familiar voice replied : ' Why, bless me gentlemen, I'm doing no harm ! I'm only tuning the organ.' It appeared that the tuner having been unable to pay his periodical visit to the organ loft on the previous day had arrived late that night, and getting the key. of the church had gone in to ' tune up ' without wasting more time, because next day was Sunday.
The way of the extortioner. — Forty-eight per cent, was the interest charged on a Dill which was sued upon in the Napier S.M. Court the other day. Our office boy at the telephone (trying to find out who had rung the bell) — "Hallo, there; are you 37?' Young lady at the other end (indignantly) — ' No, you horrid thing ; I'm only 17.' There are nearly 40,000 women cyclists in the United States. And yet the appearance of one woman in bifurcated farments 'on the wheel ' in some New iealand towns is viewed in the light of little* less than a scandal. ■ At a Victorian Agricultural Show the other day one of the exhibited ponies was described by a reporter as having ' a head on him like a cement-barrel with a couple of the staves bulged out.' And this equine wonder took first prize ! ' Impudent and unwarrantable ' were words applied by Plaintiff Stranaghan to the lawyer on the other side in a letter he was imprudent enough to write to Judge Denniston before the case was ended. Of course, the dignified ' Coort ' had him up and rapped him over the knuckles for ' gross impropriety, amounting almost to contempt.' Pathetic appeal clipped from an Oamaru paper: — 'Important Notice. — Seeing that the editors of the Oamaru papers will not publish my letters, would any kind friend send me along any spare cash to enable me to pay for my letters, or get them in book form. W. M. McKenzie, storekeeper.' ' Kind friends ' are requested not to all speak at once.
Masterton has produced yet anothor mean man. He sold a horse the other day, and after the transaction was concluded wanted to remove the gee-gee's shoes, as they were ' not in the bond.' A funny case -was heard. at Melbourne the other day. A German, answering to the name of Gumpenberg, sued William H. Younger, another German, for £41, for procuring him a wife. Younger made the acquaintance of a girl, but Gumpenberg wrote his love letters for him, said all the nice things to the lady. The judge found for defendant. What Gumpenberg had done had been done ' for love.' It was at Waipawa races the other day. A wily native nag-owner thought he had a ' dead bird ' for one of the events, but, unfortunately, the public shared his opinion and made the steed a red-hot favourite, so that his owner saw that if he won he would pay nothing to speak of. So, quite in the pakeha style, he went to his jockey, a young lad, and tipping him a fiver, instructed him iwt to win. The boy took the fiver and promptly backed his mount with it, and he won the race, hands down. The Maori owner was as mad as a hatter, and called a meeting of the stewards. The stewards assembled, and the guileless native intimated that he had a complaint to make against the rider of his own horse. What had he to complain about ? they asked him. ' I paid the boy to make no win,' frankly remarked the guileless native, ' and he goes and wins as he likes. He didn't obey his orders, and I want him to be disqualified.' The stewards enjoyed the ' protest ' immensely, but that native owner's colours are seen no more.