4t I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains." —Longfellow.
In a recent issue of the Guardian you chronicled thefact that Councillor St. Hill had grown some huge gooseberries. You said they were as large as potatoes, and that on an average they scaled half an ounce each. Well, you gushed a little too much perhaps when you spoke of gooseberries and potatoes in the same breath. Buthe must have been a thick-skulled individual who would have taken it for granted that the gooseberries were as large as some of the potatoes that can be shown in this mighty agricultural district. Notwithstanding your palpable hyperbole about the Saint’s gooseberries and the spuds, there is ah editor in Oamaru (an old Ashburton editor, by the way.) who took you to task for, writing so outrageously about the big gooseberry. He gently insinuated that you had been in error—in mote understandable English, that you had told a crammer! It is nothing new for an editor to be accused of that trifling weakness. The Oamaru man is quite aware of that fact, for he was once, as I said, an Ashburton editor. But the Oamaru man has now got hit on the head by a gooseberry that weighs three-quarters of an ounce, and he is ashamed of himself, and of course has to publish his apology to you. 1 believe if our ht. .Hills, and Trevors; arid Soalys, and Smiths were to go over their bushes even yet, they could pelt the head oft that Oamaru mail with gooseberries weighing
heavier than the biggest Swedish turnip Oamaru was ever able to produce. Grow gooseberries ! Oamaru could never wipe out the Saint at that ! ! I get some diabolical letters written to me sometimes. Here’s the worst I-ever received:— i Ham-Sandwich House, Ashburton, Jan. I,’ 1880. Mr. Chi.spa,—Why are tea meetings the most successful Christianising agents in the world ? Give it up ? Because people go to them to scoff" and remain to pray. —-D. Q. I found out who the writer was. I saw him “ scoff” ten sandwiches at on.e sitting on the occasion of a tea fight. He went out for a few minutes, telling the people he had had more than enough. I believed him so thoroughly that I began to shake up tny memory of the details cf his work, in case I should be wanted to give evidence at an inquest. But imagine my astonishment when, fifteen minutes afterwards, I saw him working away at a pile of ham sandwiches —a pile as large as a bundle of roofing shingles. And he isn’t dead yet. “ Scoff ” indeed ;he makes “ scoffing ” a trade.
Scene; Fire Brigade station, 7 p.m., last practice night. Weather : Howling South-wester, and Jupiter Pluvius showering his blessings in torrents. No appearance of officers or men. 7.15 p.m. Two young and ardent firemen appear in full uniform—and umbrellas.
A youth who sees the Laureate’s wreath hanging out for him to clutch, be! ive bob L-- could scratch up ten verses on die subj. ct of the Borough water pipes and the County Council, getting a rhyme in each verse for the word pipes. Tin- is how ho did it. He desires me to say,.' that he loves each member of the County Coum il with a love as groat as was Dawd’s for Jonathan. Campbell Walker, Campbell Walker, You’re a terrible talker, Whcii'thc borough’s claims give you the grilles. To stir up your dander And make it wild wander. Are pioperties owned by the pipes. E. G. Wright, E. G. Wright, You’re a great hand to fight, And your tongue cares not aught whom it wipes; On the counter-petition ’Gains ; Road board partition It was great- -bit you muddled the pipes. Alf. Saunders, Alf. Saunders, Whose brain-pan ne’er wanders Because of Old Tom or old swipes, . You’re a broth of a boy, And my heart leaped for joy When you hinted at buying the pipes. ' But Saunders, oh ! Saunders, ‘ Your pluck went to Flanders —■ It is usually the strongest of types— • When you let such a bargain Slide past in the jargon That was talked about buying the pipes. Tom bullock, Tom bullock Your wits went to mullock, ; And weren’t worth more than a snipe’s, When, content with surrender, You stood by like a gander, And let them stand out of the pipes. John Grigg of Longbeach, To you now I preach, But I won’t give you many hard stripes— The south laud is swampish. And, being so dampish, You don’t care a rap for the pipes 1 , , But, Julian Jackson, r You should have ta’cn action— For gradually the water scheme rlpes, ‘ And iron is belter : - For making a fetter For the stream, than the earthenware pipes ! E. S. Coster, E. S. Coster, Who Rakaia does foster— Her nor’-wester-broiled physiog. wipes— You were wanting in stretch, sir, Wh;n your mind couldn’t fetch, sir, The chance that stuck out in the pipes ! And Cameron ! Duncan, You’re not often funkin’, But this time your courage oe’r-“ flypes”— (That’s .Scotch for a tumble) — And your head was a jumble When you backed out of buying the pipes ! The eight of a County Might well, of their bounty, Have purchased the iron—(the snipes !) — And saved quite a mint of tin Had they only just bought it in, The stock of Mayor Friedlander’s pipes ! Oh, Chispa ! oh, Chispa ! You now have to lisp a Sweet Blessing that will give them the gripes, For had you been one, sir, Of the County’s eight men, sir, They’d surely have bought all those pipes ! Chispa.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 237, 8 January 1881
CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 237, 8 January 1881
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