TIT BITS AND TWADDLE
Ha S ha ! ha 1 The Shannon paper naively remarks in a recent issue: ' Since the medical man left the district the health of the people has greatly improved.' The life of a mosquito only lasts about twenty-four hours. There are some dismal people in Coolgardie, just now, who wish they had been born mosquitoes. Masterton farmers literally made hay while the sun shone last Sunday. Harvesting operations were in full swing. It is wellfor the Masterton farmers Pastor Blaikie doesn't reside in their town. A Dunedin upholsterer has invented ' a reception chair.' It is so uncomfortable that no one can sit in it five minutes. It is intended for ' callers.' Editors' sanctums ought to be supplied with ' reception chairs.' His reverence was examining a confirmation class and asked : ' What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?' A small girl replied : ' Please, sir, it is a state into which souls enter to prepare them for another and a better world.' ' For anything I know to the contrary,' said the priest in telling the story afterwards, ' she may have been perfectly right.' At a tliree-shilling-in-the-pound creditors meeting in Melbourne the other day, an excited tradesman, addressing the bankrupt, said : 'Mr , I admire you, I regard you with profound respect ! You may be a poor man with a load of misfortunes on your shoulders, but the way you have gone through us is sublime. You are the biggest in this country.' The gaps represent several lurid missing words. At Palmerston North, recently, a six-yea,r-old child was nearly poisoned through taking an overdose of eucalyptus oil, and was only saved by the assistance of a doctor. Most people imagine that eucalyptus oil is quite harmless, and so it is, in some cases. We remember a case that happened down South some years ago, when an ignorant woman swallowed a bottle full of eucalyptus and merely suffered a little inconvenience. Why, I thought you closed on Thursday afternoon,' said a customer to a Southern storekeeper the other day. ' Oh,' was the reply, ' we close this department of our business on Saturday, but our grocery department, over the way, is closed on Thursday. If you want any groceries, you know you can have them, all the same, I'll get the key of the other shop.' On Saturday that storekeeper plays the same game, t'other way about, arid so no trade is lost. It's a peculiar Act through which the proverbial coach and four may not be driven. It was in a certain Wairarapa township. A festive and youthful larrikin was to oe charged with a breach of the peace, and he dreaded the result. But a happy thought struck him. He knew the jaypee who would ' sit ' on him had a relative in busiuess in the township. To this man's shop the larrikin betook himself and ordered a large quantity of goods, to be paid for ' if I get out of this little scrape of mine all right. 1 The case was heard. The jaypee ' regretted that he could not see his way to dismiss the case, but— cr — he thought that — er— a minimum penalty might perhaps suffice.' The larrikin shook hands with himself five minutes later, when he left the court. But the goods which he ordered are still waiting ' to be called for.' In the Cathedral City the other day a wedding party arrived at a certain church, but there was no parson in waiting to tie the knot, and time was precious, as the happy pair had to catch a certain steamer, for the bridegroom's home, and that steamer is erratic, and there was no saying when it might be making another trip. The bride sat in the carriage-while the pearly tears of vexation trickled down her lovely nose, and the bridegroom vainly sought to comfort her. The ' best man ' hunted for the absent minister high and low, but found him not, and the gentle larrikins assembled and said : ' Here's a go ! This here couple have come to be spliced, and there ain't no parson !' But at that moment a hansom dashed up and the missing shepherd alighted therefrom. He had been waiting at another church ! As the license specified the latter as the place at which the ceremony must be performed, a hasty adjournment was made there, and fortunately the knot was tied just in time to enable the turtle-doves to catch the Lyttelton train.
There was a grin in the Wellington Magistrate's Court the other day, when a fellow charged with wife beating passed in a testimonial as to 'character,' and implored the Bench to read it out. It proved to be a report from the hackney carriage inspector that the holder was not a fit and proper person to hold a driver's license. Papers mixed np, of course. A lady wants to know: ' Ajtrojws of the gown question, why is it that man, when he wants to look more than usually impressive always gets into skirts ? Surplices, barristers, and judges' gowns, the bpeaker's robe, the glaring millinery worn by kings on Coronation Day, the millinery of lord chancellors, bishops, cardinals, popes, and other dignitaries, are all evidences of man's hunger to get into petticoats.' Last week a Greytown man proceeded in a trap to Wellington from Greytown. En route he got stuck in a creek, and but for the opportune assistance of a stranger would have fared badly. The day after his arrival at Wellington he met his deliverer and wished him 'good morning.' 'I seem to know your face,' said the latter, ' but for the life of me I can't remember where we have met.' 'What,' said the Greytown man, ' don't you remember the creek the other day ?' 'To be sure, I do,' was the reply, ' you were stuck fast, weren't you?' 'I was indeed.' 'Well, bedad, / am stuck now. I am dying for a whisky and divil a sixpence have I got to get one.' And then he knew what 'casting your bread on the waters ' meant.
A lively specimen of the educated remittance man, who comes to the colony to sow his wild oats, is George Syms, who figured before the Wellington S.M. last week. George had cha&ed a respectable woman in the street, run her down and assaulted her in a cowardly way. He blandly told the court that he was very drunk, but was sure the police must be telling a cock-and-bull yarn. To this Martin, S.M. made replication thus : ' I'm not going to allow men of your stamp to come amongst us and behave like blackguards. Two months' hard labour, and you may consider yourself lucky it isn't six months.' There was a funny scene at the final performance of the Pollard youngster company in Wellington. la the interval old Grattan Baggs stepped before the curtain and made a prosy farewell speech on Pollard's behalf. By way of sarcasm someone threw the old man a threepenny-piece to 'go and get a beer with.' Grattan didn't see the point and still held on his dreary way, so another coin was thrown, and yet another and a larger. Then the thing became infectious and a perfect shower of small silver fell upon the stage. The kiddies soon took in the situation — and the siller — and raised the hem of the curtain or bulged it out, till they could grab each coin ; eventually the people in the stalls found themselves aiming their cash through the aperture which the children were leaving between curtain and woodwork. This sort of thing was kept up for fully ten minutes, which must have been a | very profitable spell for the ' juveniles.'
A Malvern (South Canterbury) runholder estimates the number of meals he supplied to swaggers during 1894 at 134 a month. The wonder is that that runholder has got any run left. Taieri people, Otago, were paralysed the other Saturday at the apparition in their midst of a pair of tourists, the lady in rational costume. Knickers and dark stockings constituted the nether portions of the touristess's get-up. Nothing like advertising ! At a recent meeting of A. and F. Pears, Limited, it was stated that the firm spent a million sterling last year in advertising the name and fame of their soap. A net profit for the past year was announced of £45,2955. Oh, these funny dailies ! New Zealand Times gravely announces that George Leitch is to appear in a new drama, ' The Old Homestead,' and to play the title role I This beats the character in the Gondoliers who could 'imitate a farmyard' into fits. On the desk of the Victorian Colonial Treasurer is a bottle of brand * 'made in Germany,' and the wholesale price of which is 4d per gallon ! It has been pronounced ' totally unfit for human consumption.' So we should think. This is the sort of tanglefoot retailed in many of the up-country sly-grog shops in New Zealand. Madness and death lurk in brandy at fourpence a gallon. Sample of the way some Government reports are prepared. T'other day the fruit expert was announced as having made a complete inspection of the Manawatu district, and his comments on the state of the crops and methods of cultivation were duly published. Now some of the growers sit up and howl through the press that he didn't come near them at all, but went to one orchard only, and generalised upon that. Rather perfunctory method of inspection, eh ? Down Gisborne way the other day, while the mistress of the house was away, Mary Jane invited all her friends, including her best young man, to drop in to tea. The festive gathering took place in the drawing- l-oom, Mary Jane doing the honors and sweetly enquiring of each of her guests : 'Do you take sugar and cream ?' Just as the fun was waxing fast and furious the missus returned — hours before she was expected — and, but you can guess the rest. Alas, yes, Mary Jane is seeking another situation. The Mangawai corresr ondent of a Kawakawa paper writes: — The wreckage from the Wairarapa still continues to be driven on this coast. A great deal has been picked up. I have been told that one party moved a dray load. Portmanteaux with the usual contents have also come ashore — the letters readable to a certain extent, — so that the ownership might be possibly traced. Large quantities of cases have been picked up lower down the coast by Pakiri, Omaha, etc., including a silver mounted pipe. The contents of a trunk or box were found. A large quantity of goods of all kinds have been washed up. At Christchurch theatre-goers are growling at the manner in which the gentle larrikin conducts himself when he patronises what he calls the 'gaff.' 'Tis the custom of the engaging youth aforesaid to criticise (very audibly), not merely the performers on the stage, but the respectable people who bring their wives, their sisters, cousins, aunts, and sweethearts to see the play. Some of the remarks are decidedly embarrassing to the ladies concerned. The police authorities being appealed to have generously consented to ' swear in a special constable for theatre duty ' — provided the lessee will pay his salary and give him a 12 months' engagement. And the lessee doesn't see it. At Daneyirke S.M. Court the other day a Maori appeared as defendant in a judgment summons case. The S.M. asked whether it would be necessary to secure the services of an interpreter. ' Not at all, your Worship,' said plaintiff, ' he speaks as good English as I do — or you do.' 'Nothing of the sort, your Worship,' chipped in the defendant, excitedly. So the court considered the interpreter was not wanted and the case went on. But when the defendant was asked the first question he smiled and shook his head, and replied, in Maori, that he ' didn't understand English.' Whereat the Court laughed. The guileless native is rapidly arriving at an idea of how many beans make five. Feilding paper recently published the opinion of a New South Wales visitor about Maoriland. It's worth reading. He says : ' I have travelled through America, I have been through Canada, the Argentine Republic, Victoria,and have been settled for some years in New England, some three hundred miles back from Sydney, but I have never seen such a beautiful country as you have got here. I intend when I go back to try and sell out and come over here and settle. Why, you have a- typical paradise compared to us in New South Wales, and you talk about the hard times. It is nothing to be compared to the state of affairs over with us. The banks own prettywell all we call ours over there, and you know what the banks have been doing lately.'
There is some appropriateness in the name of a bootmaker who carries on business in Sydney. It is Fitwell. While Captain Graham (of Fitzgerald's circus) was in the lion's den the other night, stirring up the king of beasts with a long pole, Van der Mehden, the cornetist, played ' In Happy Moments ' in his most soulful style. Singularly appropiiate selection, eh ? A Wairarapa visitor to Wellington patronised the aerial railway now amusing the multitude there, and he declares the sensation is nothing to the Bimutaka Railway going down from the Summit to Xaitoke, no less than four passengers being ' seasick ' on the morning he went to town. This is how the Wairoa Guardian crunches its correspondents :— Nell the Notorious : Your extraordinary epistle betrays all the elements of a sinster, debased mind. Your identity is known, as you were observed putting the missive under the door. Ycu should first pluck the beam from your own eye, before attempting to remove the mote from the eye of another. Bishops galore held forth at Wellington on Sunday last. The Primate preached at St. Paul's in the morning, the Bishop of Salisbury in the afternoon, and Bishop of Christchurch in the evening. At St. Mark's, the Bishop of Waiapu took the morning service, the Bishop of Melanesia the afternoon, and the Bishop of Dunedin the evening. Three bishops in one day at the same church ! How will the flock endure the orations of the common or garden parson after that ?
A crank ilrove a cab through the streets of .Wellington in broad daylight the other day, wearing no other clothing than a pair of knee-breeches. And the doctors couldn't say he was insane. This is what might be called the naked truth. Splendid tribute to the excellence of the management of Wellington Hospital. One of the ex-nurses being taken seriously ill the other day, her first thought was to go for treatment to the institution. Be sure she knew all about its merits. But then her estimate of it only endorsed that of the entire Wellington community. Wellington boasts two or three lady cyclists. Naturally, all eyes are focussed on them wherever they ride ; but one of them (Miss Laura Treadwell) goes out of her way to advertise in the correspondence columns of the local press that none of the little boys are rude to her, indeed, they are remarkahly civil little boys, she thinks, considering the curiosity her appearance naturally excites. Prohibition is supposed to be the rule on the Hutt racecourse, as no license has been issued for several late race-meet-ings. But those 'in the know ' can obtain quenchers for all that. This is how a speaker at a Wellington Prohibitionist meeting described the mode of going about it: — 'If you asked for- "lime-juice" and "winked your left eye" you could get liquor, and it was understood you wanted English beer if you asked for " English lemonade." If you wanted something stronger you asked for " Scotch lemonade." By the way, how did this water-drinker get to know ?