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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 26, 19 October 1907
DENIS DISCOURSES., Dear Mr Editor, —Wliin I came home the other night I towld Katie that the place was goin’ ahead at a grate rate, an’ that the settlers were in such a hurry to get good seed that the Farmers’ Co-operative Association wore Workin’ their new seedcleanin’ machine night an’ day. “Sure, that’s a good thing,’’ ses Katie. “Now that’s where ye make a gi’and mistake,” ses I, “for I’m towld that some paple in Gala street say they can’t shlape, an’ they have petitioned the town to abate the nuisance, as they call it. Av coorse the whole town takes its cue from Gala street, it’s that fashionable, an’ we can luk out for a epidemic av petitions as soon as we are rid av the influenza. For instance, we may have a series something like this ; To His Worship the Mayor an Town Councillors ; We, the paple av Invercargill, numberin’ at least a baker’s dozen, pray that a poll be taken to borrow another sum of money to put a glass roof over Gala street... Also a petition from the same protestin’ against the wicked design av the council in allowin’ the night-cart to come down ' the said thoroughfare widout havin’ the wheels fitted wid pneumatic tyres, contrary to the solemn pledge av the said councillors. Also a petition from the aforesaid ratepayers objectin’ to Smith’si rooster crowin’ before 9 a.in., an’ prayin’ that a by-law be passed not to allow the milkman an’ dustman to call before 8 a.m., an’ that all organs be shtopped playin’ in places av worship, an’ that the sentry-box opposite the Hospital be removed as unsightly whin the electric cars are runnin’ up an’ down the North Road. Also a petition to shtop all dogs from barkin’. *s*■ •4* “Well, Denis,” ses Councillor Willie Martin whin I towld him, “there is as many petitions as would keep a deputy clerk reading for twelvemonths.” “True for ye,” ses I, “but Councillor Roche will make -h short work av thim. It will bo a case a-v — ‘ Councillor Roche moved and Councillor Ott seconded that the petitions lie on the table till Inshpeclor Rennie finds a Moa Bird in 6 Dee shtreet.’ ” “Well, Denis,” ses Katie, “I think the besht answer to the petitions 'ud be tiie reply a lecturer made wance to a man. The lecturer had explained the passage of the Red Sea an’ the Israelites by say in’ that they crossed on the ice. ‘There’s no ice under the Equator,’ ses wan av the audience. ‘Radies and gentlemen,’ ses the lecturer, ‘the event to which I refer happened thousands of years before there were any geographers in the world, and consequently before there was any Equator. I think, my friends, I have answered the gentleman completely.’ ”
“I see." ses Corney, ‘‘ye mane that there’s no nuisance.” ‘‘That’s about it, Corney,” sos I, ‘‘(he petition has no justification —it’s like the disease the man suffered from. Ses the dochtor—‘‘What seems to be the seat of your trouble.’ ‘Why, doctor, ses tiae patient, ‘it .doesn’t seem to have any seat—it's jumping up and down all the time.’ ” ‘‘The Gala shtreot paple are goin’ to fasht altogether,” ses Corney—begorra if New Zealand wasn't an island they had been right into America long ago.” “Yes,” ses I, ‘‘they shud take things aisy, an’ if anny av thim bother Councillor Roche I’m goin’ to ax him to sing Rory O’Rorke to thim. It’s an illig'ant ditty, an’ Davie’s the boy to do full justice to it. It goes like this : In a quiet little shpot in the county av Cork, That’s famous for bacon an’ butter. There lived an ould man called Rory O’Rorke, Who nivir was found in aflutter. ■“l’m takin’ life aisy,” ould Rory would say, “An’ what I can’t ’arn I can borra; Sure, what is the good av me workin’ to-day If the work will kape fresh till tomorra ?” He lived all alone wid a pig an’ a goat, 'An’ the neighbours declared he was crazy ; For he wore an ould sack inshtead av a coat — It was chaper, an’ fitted him aisy. Whin the landlord came round to inquire for the rinl, )Ses Rory, “Im spacheless wid sorra.
For yer honour must wait ;■ sure I haven’t a cint, But I’ll kill the ould pig by tomorra.”
Wan day he fell ill, an’ a neighbour was sint For the deditor, who lived middlin’ handySes the dochtor, ses he, “ ’Tis a liver complaint. An’ I’ll give ye some quinine an’ brandy.” “Oh, dochtor,” ses Rory, “the cure is all right. If yo dou’t have thim mixed, for, begorra, It's mesilf will be takin’ the brandy to-night— The quinine can kapo till to-morra.’
At last he lay down wid a cowld in his chest, 'An’ ivirywan thought he was (lyin’, So all his relations came dacintly dressed. An' stud by his bedside a-cryin’. "H is aiqual." ses they, "sure \vc nivir could find.’’ Hut Rory jumps up wid “Hegorral Yez needn’t wait here, for I’ve altered me mind. An’ I’m not goin’ to die till tomorra !’’ •4" 4Some, paple, Mr Editor, call New Zealand the workers’ paradise, but ’tis mesilf is thinkin’ it’s a fool’s paradise. We are always talkin’ about America being cursed wid trusts an’ monopolies, but begorra, there's more av that sort av thing in our own little Dominion than the whole av the States, takin’ the size av the two places into account. I-.uk at the matther av fruit. The Government imported an expert from Italy to improve the vineries av the Dominion an’ till us how to grow grapes for the million, an’ now lisixton to what the poor chap ses—"The retailor handling the grapes generally sells them at about three times as much as the man receives who grew them, and anyone who has had any dealings with the fruit market knows that there is anything from 100 per cent, to 800 per cent, between what the producer receives and what the consumer pays. All fruit, adds Mr Hargato. is dear in the shops—much too dear —and the grapes are no exception to the general rule. Pippin and stone fruits arc never cheap, although. they ai’e often sold at auction at prices which mean an actual loss to the grower. T am as anxious as anyone,’ he adds, ‘to see the people all supplied with abundance of good fruit at cheap rates, and ?hero is no reason why it should not be done ; but while the middleman and non-producers, who stand between the producer and the consumer, are making enormous profits out of all proportion to the service rendered! it is difficult to see how it will oe possible to secure cheap fruit for the masses.’ ’’ •4* 4* 4- 4" There’s a confession for ye, Mr Editor—to be towld in a counthry like Now Zealand that its difficult to see how chape fruit is to be pi'ovided for the masses, whin all the time ivirything is supposed to bo done for their benefit, is quai’e news, to say the lashte av it. "Well," ses Corney, "if Mr Bragato is right the shopkeepers must be like the bhoy that Mr Wilford the lawyer towld about in Parliamimt the other day., Ses he —"A I certain man did not know what trade or profession to put his son to, so he put a small table in the centre
of the room, and on this table he put a sovereign, a bottle of whisky, a Bible and a Medical instrument. He said to himself, ‘Now if he comes into the room and takes the sovereign I’ll make a financier of him ; ho takes the bottle of whisky. I’ll make a publican of him ; if he takes the Bible I’ll make a parson of him, and if he takes the medical instrument I’ll make a doctor of him.’ The old man then hid behind the curtain to watch, and presently the son came in, and what do you think he took ? He took the lot, and the old man made a solicitor of him.”
‘■'Thin/' sos Katie, “whin ye were at it ye might have mintioncd the price av bread —its risin’ like a balloon jusht now, an’ jumped up to 8d on Thursday, an’ all because the Oovernmint won’t take the duty atT dour. It:s enough to make a body shtop atin’ altogether, an’ thry livin’ on air or Mrs Millar’s pikelets, Racside’s cakes, an’ McNatty’s scones. As for mate, it:s gettin’ beyond us altogether.’’ “Yes,’’ ses I, “but there’s wan good thing about the Invercargill butchers —they sell nothin’ but prime mate —even their sausages are above suspicion, an’ that’s more than the woman in England cud say that fried some for her husb a net’s supper wan night. Ye see, he was a minor, an’ a breeder av dogs for local lights. By way av developin’ their light in’ tendencies he used to dose their food wid a pretty shtrong mixture, which he kept in a bottle labelled' “Ketchup/’ On returnin’ home to tea wan day he saw his wife standin’ at the door, lookin’ haggard ao' frightened. ‘Oh, Bill,’ she exclaimed, wid relief, T’m so glad you’ve come back. I got sausages for dinner, an’ 4’rien them in some of that ketchup to flavour '’em. Now the sausages are barkin’ an’ shnappin’ at wan another in the fryin’ pan something awful, an’ I can’t separate ’em !’ ’’ - 4- 4-
15ut the gratest joke av all, Mr Editor, comes from Auckland. Wo are towld that at the Arbitration Court proceodin’s were taken aga,nst H. Kneobono an’ .1. M. Lennon on a charge av committin’ a breach av the hairdi'esser’s award. Mr Reed, for defendants, stated that in June Kneebone sold out his shop in Symonds street to Lennon, an’ thin I)ought another place in Queen street. The weekly half-holiday was observed by hairdressers in two streets on different days, an’ whin Krueebono’s half-holiday arrived ho wint up an’ assisted Lennon, who returned the complhnint. They merely exchanged labour, an’ ho submitted that there was no breach. Well, the coort tuk the same view, an’ dismissed the case. ■#“ "Well,” scs Corney, “it seems that as soon as a law is made somewan sets his wits workin’ to circumvent it, an'' if wo go on at this rate we’ll have two classes av paple in the Dominion—wan lot matin’ the laws an’ the other lot dodgin’ thim.” ‘''Yes,” sos I, “an’ in the ind w T e’ll ail he as badly aff as Senator Blackburn, av Kentucky. The Senator is fonemosht in praisin’ the products av Kentucky State, especially those av the liquid order. He was payin’ a visit to an’ ould frind who lived a considerable
■distance away, an’ who met him atl the station'. ‘Well,’ ses his frind, shakin’ his hand heartily, ‘how are you, Joe?’ ‘l’m up against it,’ the Senator replied ; ‘I lost the best part of my luggage en route.’ His frind was much concerned. ‘Did you misplace it ?’- he inquired, -‘or was it stolen ?’ ‘Neither,’ replied the Senator. ‘The cork came out.’- ” 4. 4.
“Well,” ses Comey, “talkin’ av corks, it’s the quare things thatl happens in New Zealand. Luk at Thomson an’ Co., buy in’- up all the quart bottles' they cud lay their hands on at 2s 6d a dozen an’ an’ 1 other firm thro win’ good ale into the gutter to get the money for the bottles.. The only line that there is no demand for is feedin’-bottles, an” the birth-rate’s to blame for that.”“Corney,” ses I, with a frown, “ ye can be afther lavin yer elders to be talkin’ about that subject, an’ he tuk the hint ah’ his hat, an’ thin want out to see how the new gaol is gettin’ on. “Well,” ses Bedalia*
“from all I can hear, ye want to make oait that some paple in New! Zealand are coinin’ money at the expanse av the Dominion.” “That’s, it/ 1 ses I. “Well/-' ses she, “there musht! be a cause for it.” “There is,” ses I. '‘Here it is in a nutshell : The stout parly—' The real secret of success is to find out what the public wants.’ The thin party—‘And give itj to it ?’ The stout party—‘No, corn ner it !’ ” DENIS.
The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 26, 19 October 1907
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