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JOTTINGS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 320, 16 April 1881
[By Sinecure.] The verdancy of the gentleman who does your police items has excited ray admiration. That request or his to hear how that drunk, who two days in succession was Under the notice of the Bench, and on each iccasion was possessed of but one and twopence, managed his finances is perfectly refreshing. I doubt if he has yet received4iny enlightenment on “ How its done,” if so his correspondent is the more verdant of the two. No, no, Mr Reporter, it is not to be expected that any of those who are “in the service” will so readily disclose the secret of obtaining bed, board, and liquor, and ale apparently for nought. If you desire to start in this line on your own account, your term of apprenticeship before you can lay claim to a knowledge of the arts of Bohemianism will bo no short one ; neither will your stock-in-trade of experience be easy of requisition.
We’ve a number of religious dogs in this town if one may judge by the attendance at our places of worship on Sundays. Don’t for one moment, dear reader, imagine I’m punning, rest assured otherwise ; but it really is to bad to have your best beaver wrecked by a canine worshipper who discovering the same under an adjacent seat sets to work on it in orthodox “rat” fashion. Dogs are very well in their way, but so far as I have been able to ascertain, it yet remains to be proven that they derive any benefit from being present at our devotional services. Certain it is that they deteriorate the attention of the neighboring worshippers to a considerable extent. “Every dog has its day,” says an old saw, but I don’t think that day should bo the Sabbath.
“Act, act in the living Present.” The above was vividly brought to my mind whilst perusing the account of the stampede from the anniversary services at Seafield on the occasion of Mr Laurie s fire. Although probably their minds had been directed to the great burning and its accompanying horrors, made the more painfully apparent by the rev. gentleman’s glowing oratory thereon, the light thereof paled on the instant with the first alarm. “Little beginnings, etc.,” and as a consequence the extinction of the little blaze, was uppermost in their minds. By-the-by, I wonder was the reverend gentleman “ well in at the finish,” because if not, the fault was his ; and on future occasions I should advise him to act as did a Welsh confrere on the occasion of news being brought to the village church, of which he was pastor, that a wreck had occurred on the coast some three miles away. The uprising of the congregation was unanimous, for these fisherfolks considered such an occurrence a godsend, and the first on the scene stood the best chance of providing his home with luxuries for some months from the stores washed ashore. Therefore, seeing he stood a good chance of playing involuntarily the part of whipper-in, his reverence appealed to his congregation to list to the termination of his discourse, which would only occupy four words. None refused to comply, and the interim was successfully employed in divesting himself of his gown, followed by his tripping it merrily down the pulpit steps, and closing proceedings with— 1 ‘ the, four words I desire to say to you are, dear brethren, ‘ Let's all start fair !' ” Your contemporaries, both north and south, Mr Editor, have been taking the wind out of your sails in the “ natural curiosity ” line. From one we hear of a singing chicken, another vouches for a
potato large enough to provide, food supply for a gang of Irish ro&dtnftkers for a week, and lastly from Invercargill comes a monster melon which was introduced to Sir A. Gordon during his introductory tour. Now, I've noticed you’ve failed entirely in unearthing anything up here, so to rescue you I’ve raised the following goose story from the Devizes Gazette “At Littlooote farm there is a goose in the possession of Mr Russell, which was presented to his father on his tenth birthday. Mr Russell’s father died some years ago in his 76th year, and as the goose was aged when given to Mr Russell, senior, and is yet alive, it is thus known to be over 80 years old, and is supposed to be nearer 100 than 80 years.” The negotiation of one of her gooseship’s drumsticks would, I should think, prove interesting although somewhat unproductive to a hungry feeder.
Where are the Court Minstrels ? That was a big hoax on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week. On three several occasions I lounged around the Town Hall with an air of total indifference, but hopes of obtaining a gratis night’fc amusement high raised in my breast, and on each mot with disappointment. Never mind; on one occasion I had the satisfaction of, with the aid of a fellow pressmatij, dropping an unsuspecting townsman in for throe boozes, at a little game known as “ odd man shouts.”
They have lively times of it in Oamaruat their church services ; as the following from the N. 0. Times will show :—Mr Clover was in the' act of referring to his having been interrupted in his speech at the Congregational tea meeting, when he again found himself unable to proceed in consequence of a fit of coughing, which seized the whole audience simultaneously. On investigation, this was proved to have been caused by the ignition of some cayenne pepper in the hall, and it was found necessary to make an adjournment to the Wesleyan Church. Mr C. inclines rather to a pallid-complexion, and following the above, a wag was heard to say to a fellow Congregationalist : “ Why is the gentleman who has just sat down like Tri/oline V’ This being given up, the reply of; “ Because he’s a red clover!” was followed by the collapse of his hearer.
JOTTINGS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 320, 16 April 1881
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