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JOTTINGS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 344, 14 May 1881
[By Sinecure.] A gentleman well known in this district —who is remarkable for his advanced ideas on the virtues of cold water and vegetables—had a visit from a young gentleman from one of the northern provinces. The said youth had beenbrought up on beverages of a totally different nature to those affected by his host —in fact, the family with which he claims kinship are reckoned the best judges of malt liquor around the diggings they at present prospect. Well, on the visit in question, the youth observed during dinner that his elderly host drank nothing but water ; but, being, like my? self, of a modest nature, he abstained from any remark. At tea time, however, the product of the pump was again the medium through which cheerfulness without inebriation was imbibed, and the visitor’s curiosity could stand it no longer. “ Do you drink nothing but water Mr last thirty years,” was the reply. _ “My goodness gracious ! What a constitution you must have had!” exclained the astonished devotee of colonial industry.
Some good yarns are told of the wellknown driver of the overland coach to Hokitika. It is a custom for the beforementioned whip to wire over information to the Boniface of the swell pub the news of any distinguished passengers being en route, and due preparations are made for their arrival. Tommy had, not long ago, a Yankee pedlar of notions as a passenger, and he telegraphed to Boniface that James Gordon Bennett, of New York, was travelling in cog. Preparations of a vast nature were set on foot pending the arrival of so great a celebrity, and on the coach reaching the hostelry, landlord and waiters—white chokered and vested—were in readiness. The pedlar couldn’t understand so much attention, and after being “lionised” for an hour or two, calculated that the quarters would be too tarnation high for him, and he lounged to the bar, invited Boniface to ‘ ‘ change his breath,” paid his colonial Robert, picked up his carpet bag, and skedaddled. The landlord was the last to see the joke —and didn’t enjoy it, even then.
The “hatched, matched, and despatch ” column of newspapers is a source of much edification and amusement to my friend Barnacles, and he devours their contents with as much avidity as a child does the pages of a toy picture-book. B. is always full of suggestions as to how that particular portion of the paper should be compiled. In addition to the ordinary birth announcement, he suggests the insertingof figures denoting whether No. 1,2, or otherwise. The marriage announcements, he thinks, might be improved upon by giving the relative ages of bride and bridegroom, asheis confident such an addition would be a perfect treat to lady readers, and create much diversion. You can well imagine, then, with what gusto Barnacles showed me a wedding announcement in a Northern paper concluding with “No cake ;no cards ; nobody’s business following it up with a birth notice in a Southern journal, in which a grateful paterfamilias, after announcing to the world that the partner of his joys and sorrows had presented him with a sou and heir, concluded with—“ Both doing well; thanks to our local nurse, Mrs .” Grateful father ! Happy mother ! ! and thrice happy Mrs ! ! 1 in being so much appreciated, and, what is better still, getting a testimonial advertised on the cheap.
The interpretation placed upon Press telegraphic messages by members of the Fourth Estate are sometimes of a very ludicrous character. Lately during the delivery of evangelistic services by the Rev. 0. Pym, a telegram was despatched throughout the colony giving the item as follows “ The Rev. 0. Melville Pym has commenced a series of evangelical services in the New Zealand Insurance Company’s buildings. ” An energetic pressman down South transmogrified it into the following : —“ The Rev. C. iPym, of Auckland, has commenced a series of evangelical services on behalf of the funds of the New Zealand Insurance Company. ” Rather rich this, and, coming at a time when fires were daily increasing in every township throughout the colony, all the more to be relied on. How the shareholders would regard it though, I can only conjecture.
Those printers get blamed for a great deal, but on whom will fall the onus of constituting the Grand National Steeplechase into a Wellington institution, as 1 noticed occurred in the Wanganui Chronicle of a recent date.
“ Where’s the Captain ?” “We can’t move till he comes,” &c., Ac., were the exclamations from a few of the firemen in a midland township, gathered around the engine on the occasion of a fire recently. Rather good having to detain the engine till the arrival of the commander of the Brigade, and that, too, with a second-in-command —in name, at least—present. Suppose that commander had broken his leg en route, what would have been the course of action ? Call an extraordinary meeting of the Brigade, and elect another as Captain? The system in which dog raids are carried out may he gleaned from the following :—X was a well-known sporting character, and owner of several terrier dogs. When the fiat went forth to hunt up all defaulting dog owners, the commanding officer of the police, with an eye, to business, despatched a stalwart trooper direct to the residence of X. Unfortunately, for the hopes of the law officer, and decidedly otherwise as regards X’s pocket, he had just previously changed his residence, having let his house to a friend, and consequently his tykes had accompanied him. For three days did the constable remain “on guard,” in hopes of dropping on the dog owner, but without avail, and his superior officer in the meantime paid a visit to the Registrar to ascertain if X had effected registration. He hadn’t, and so the following day, espying him in the distance, the man-in-blue made sail, and soon overhauled him, when the following conversation took place : —M.1.8.: “ Gojd-day,X. Oh, how about your dogs? You haven’t registered them, and I’ve sent a man down to your place several times, but devil a dog can he discover. ” X : “ Oh, that’s easily explained. I’m not living there now, and my dogs are in So-and-so’s stable, behind the hotel where I stop. I registered them yesterday, though ! ”
JOTTINGS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 344, 14 May 1881
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