Saturday, November 7, 2009
With any luck I could have been a filthy rich grazier now, but Dad volunteered for the First World War and was badly injured on the Somme.
Anyway they kept me at Yeppoon because they reckoned I was too young to send to boarding school out west. During the war the whole Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Emu Park areas were packed with American soldiers. Tens of thousands of them.
These were the days before sewerage and septic dunnies - at least in town and country. We had the old wooden dunny - the thunder box as we used to call it - standing in the back yard.
Out in the country many people had giant dunnies, maybe 100 metres from the homestead, and you don't have to ask why if you know what those country dunnies were like.
They would dig pits, about three to four metres deep and oblong in shape perhaps two metres by a metre. The tin dunny house would sit on top of that hole and the seat was a long board with a big hole for adults and a smaller hole for kids. My cousins played in there sometimes, often hanging by their hands over the pit of poo through the big seat hole.
After a year or two when the giant hole was finally full of poo, they would dig another giant hole.
Not so in our back yard.
Our dunnies had big poo cans, about 10 gallons, which were collected by the dunny man, Mr Buckley, each week and taken away to be buried in a giant poo pit out in the scrub.
One day a local bloke was walking through the scrub and unexpectedly came across Mr Buckley's poo pit.
To the bloke's horror, Mr Buckley was in the poo pit up to his knees, madly shovelling through the poo. The bloke was aghast.
"Mr Buckley, Mr Buckley," he shouted. "For God's sake what in the name of Heaven are you doing standing in the poo pit?"
Mr Buckley stopped shovelling for a second and looked up.
"I've lost my bloody coat and it's in here somewhere," he shouted back.
"But you couldn't possibly wear your coat again after it's been in all that poo," the man said.
"I'm not worried about my bloody coat," said Mr Buckley.
"But my lunch is in the pocket."
And remember, those were the days before you wrapped your lunch in Gladwrap.
Posted by Kavanagh's Queensland at 11:18 PM