At the township of Wauchope, a bit down the track,
Cricket’s a great relaxation.
Should a ball fall upon the roof of the pub,
All adjourn for a generous libation.
The batsmen all aim for the roof of the pub –
While the game’s on they all drink alot.
The fans and the players at day’s end, in fact,
Are quite rotten and stinking and shot.
One day o’er the grandstand a fellow was draped:
His face had a horrible twist.
An odour of beer killed the flies at ten feet.
He was totally Mozart and Liszt.
Ted Hill who’d stopped by, sought further advice;
“Pray, who is this beer=sodden wreck?”
His informant said, “Well, we’ve been playing three days …
… And this is the Umpire, by heck!”
“How utterly crude,” said Ted. “Surely the cop
Who looks after the law around here
Could pick up this joker and shove him in jail,
Thus removing the odour of beer.”
The man said: “The thing is, this Umpire you see,
Whose smell alcoholic won’t cease,
Is also a much valued townsman. He’s our …
… Representative of the Police!”
Lest you should think that we’re rough and uncouth,
Our tour had it’s cultural side.
In Darwin we studied the farming of crocs;
At Katherine – The Gorge! – High and wide.
At Alice the work of the old pioneers
In the Centre, in great isolation,
Was brought to us clearly. We marvelled how they
Had helped to establish our Nation.
We were slated to visit the great Standley Chasm
Where dingoes ferocious are found.
Ted said: “Now Marj, please … Just a quick word …
… Concerning your playful pet hound.”
“Just keep the Blue Heeler on heat do you mind …?
Oh, my Gawd … That’s all wrong … NOT on heat!
Just keep him away from those wild dingo dogs.
Make sure he’s chained up to your seat!”
“Forty long years have we two been wed,”
Said Marj, “and it’s quite plain to see …
… The bugger’s a wild uncontrollable dog.
Why, he worked for the old PMG!”
Once more a Casino – At Alice this time.
Spend a bit! Why not lighten your packs?
If you hold on, tenacious, you know that mendacious
Public servants will take it in tax!
The pokies spewed coins. Jess shouted: “I’ve won!
The casino has come up with pay dirt!”
A frenzy gripped Jess – She pressed coins in galore
But she lost the damned lot plus her Tay-Shirt.*
*Irish for T-Shirt
Noel Fullarton’s place has camels galore;
Each one of us got up to ride ‘em.
It’s a toss-up which sight is more greatly bizarre –
The camels or people astride ‘em.
Mavis the elder, leaving her beast,
Staggered bow-legged over the course.
She looked like a cowboy who, riding the range,
Has been sitting too long on his horse.
But Mavis the Younger sat up there in style;
She really deserved a medallion.
Quite clearly she felt for a moment as if
She was home on her thoroughbred stallion.
The camel boy helped Irene down from her steed.
(He told her his mates called him “Andy”.)
She cried: “Oh, my God! This is all that I need!
I’m sure I’ve gone totally bandy!”
The Roll of those heroes who got to the top
Of Ayer’s Rock shall now be set out:-
Melva and Nevill, Bev, Barry and Mavis –
The stars of our Rock Walkabout!
Regarding Ayers Rock it was Bob who came up
With a scheme both bizarre and original.
“Do away with th climb. Put a flying fox in.
Help the oldies and folk aboriginal.”
Most of our Mob took a flight round The Rock
And The Olgas … In glorious weather.
Kids in their teens flew our flying machines
With expertise and no effort whatever.
We had a short sip at the red Sunset Strip.
Then as sunset gave way to the night,
The huge … colour-changing … great bulk of Ayers Rock
Slipped softly and gently from sight.
Coober Pedy’s next stop … The weather stays fine …
Everybody is having a ball.
With these few brief words your Scribe now signs off.
Thank you Ted, thank you Baz, thank you all.
We finally enter a township of dust –
Immense mullock heaps all around.
“Coober Pedy,” in fact, in the old native tongue,
Men toil just like moles beneath the brown earth.
Will the hard rock its jewels ever yield?
Houses and churches are built underground
In the world’s largest known opal field.
Our coach stops outside the Umoonah Mine
And inside we all of us trundle.
The opals displayed are so sparkling and bright
Each one of the guys drops a bundle.
The girls on their fingers have opals like fire,
(And for all that I know on their toes);
Each guy has a dazed sort of look on his face
And an overdraft wherever he goes.
Barry and Ted checked the nightclub at Coober;
They thought that it might be a ripper.
They said that the girls were all A-One Okay,
But completely wrote off the male stripper.
The ladies cried, “Ted, why can’t WE come along?”
Ted said, “Girls, now please … I’d be HUNG …
If I took you ladies to a show out of Hades …
AnyWAY… You are ALL … Far too YOUNG!
“Old ladies I’d take … OLD ones have calmed down …
But NEVER young ones in their prime.
There could be a riot ‘cos none of you girls
Is older than sweet thirty nine.”
Coober behind us, we’re out on the road,
Just like a southerly buster.
Before daylight fails we shall all have arrived
Way down at the Port of Augusta.
Nelson and Jess toddle often up front,
Inventiveness never yet waning.
Jess tells us yarns of galahs in the toot,
The Blue Heeler’s most entertaining.
The bus gave a jerk. Ted said: “Listen, Jess, love –
If your hand on my knee starts to roam
I must tell you, my dear, I’ve now spent damn near
Two full weeks away from my home.”
Jess said: “That’s enough of your nonsense and stuff!
Just give us no more of that bosh!
The bus jerked; had I fallen, then Teddy, old boy,
You’d have gotten one hell of a squash!”
“The trouble with men – they can’t help it, poor dears,
Is – giving no reason or rhyme –
They lose their docility, get full of virility –
And think it’s once more Christmas time.”
It’s far from surprising that Nelson is known
As Professor and Surgeon of Trees.
He has lectured on this and on Blue Heeler Dogs
Upon which he shows great expertise.
Remarkable trees are the type “Never-never.”
(They’re not found in any museum).
Nor are they found in any place else,
“Cos you never, but never can see ‘em.
At the Port called Augusta we’d beds soft and warm;
Our sleep was calm, sweet and profound.
The exception was Bev, who’d not slept a wink.
(She denied Bill had chased her around).
We crossed Spencer Gulf, drove through Horrocks’ Pass,
Had a comfort stop at Orroroo;
(An old fashioned town with horse hitching posts,
And a ballroom-sized gentlemen’s loo).
We pulled up for lunch at a wild one-horse joint,
A place that was called “Mannhill”.
But anyone hoping to find manna there
Must have been some sort of dill.
They locked up the pub, refused us their toots,
Would not even give us a beer.
Ted said to the boss: “Your rotten pub stinks.
Be sure that we won’t come back here.”
At Broken later a banquet chinese
Was eaten, and Oh! What a feast!
With chopsticks deployed everybody enjoyed
Exotic delights of the east.
Certificates issued to all on this night –
To those who were Ayers Rock ‘On-toppers,”
Who’d travelled the long north-south bitumen road …
And those who were just “Chicken Rockers.”
Why, even those chaps who looked once at Ayers Rock …
And gave up! … (Is this reprehensible?) …
We’re given a prize! … For of everyone there,
Those chaps were the most bloody sensible!
After drinks, with The Heeler a few sallied forth
To start the Club pokies a-bleeding.
A defeat quite complete set our crowd on its seat,
And our dough got one hell of a kneading.
But never mind, folks! – To Dubbo next day,
By way of Cobar and Wilcannia.
At the long journey’s end – a first class motel,
A warm shower, a cold beer … Rule Brittania!
Presentations were made by Ted to us all.
(Barry distributed prizes).
Weddings and birthdays were suitably marked
With cakes of all shapes and sizes.
We made presentations to Barry and Ted
Who’d done such a wonderful job.
Many were those who expressed the good will
Of the guys and the gals in our Mob.
Happy we’ve met, most happily been
Together o’er half of our land.
Much laughter we’ve shared and many sights seen,
From the south to the Timor Sea strand.
Advance, then Australia so beauteous and wide,
Source of our deep inspiration;
Home of our people from so many lands –
But one indivisible Nation.