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Today's quote:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A moment of "Strewth!"

 

The last time I heard the exclamation "Strewth!, once fairly common in Australia, was in the mid-60s. I was then a lowly Ledger Examiner with the ANZ Bank in Alinga Street in Canberra when Kay Atkinson, a ledger machinist, had just barely missed dropping a heavy metal tray of ledger cards from the mezzanine floor onto the heads of the unsuspecting customers below. She voiced her relief with a resounding "Strewth!" --- and within minutes was before the manager, Mr Reid, who wanted to know how she could have dared uttering such profanity in his august banking chambers.

She returned red-faced to our guffaws and heckles of "Oh Mrs Jones!" which is what we had come to call her after her recent marriage to a chap by the name of Jones which coincided with the launch of a TV commercial that featured a margarine-buying Mrs Jones. Of such innocence were our jokes in the 60s!

I was reminded of all this when Ian Paterson, a colleague of mine from my Bougainville days in the 70s, who had trawled through my Bougainville website and blogs, emailed me:

"Pete, you have thought no doubt about writing a book, haven't you? I have lived half a dozen lifetimes in this incarnation. But you, struth [sic], don't need to come back for 2000 years! You have crammed in about 50 lifetimes!! Not only that, you have an amazing way of viewing life with extremely entertaining and interesting expression. So I will be buying a copy as long as you sign it with a suitable inscription."

No book - yet, Ian; I am far too busy already writing my own eulogy to make sure the bastards get it right.