Formalism, I’m giving away;
Making metre, it just doesn’t pay.
All this rhyming’s a curse;
Were I writing free verse
I could churn out a hundred a day.
Based on an old army joke that used to circulate
during the Vietnam War years, but which probably dates back
to the Trojan War or beyond…
Note: Australian Army cooks at that time were usually referred to by the troops as “Tucker Fu**ers”
Tucker – Australian slang for food.
He takes his diary and he writes:
“Our situation’s very tight.
Where e’er I look a fearful sight.
All round, the fires of Hell are stoked;
Dead bodies that are steamed and smoked,
The clash of steel a constant sound.
(A weapon rattles to the ground)
How did I get into this mess?
But then I volunteered I guess.
My goose I know is surely cooked.
Any retreat would not be brooked,
And shells are bursting all about….”
But then beside his ear a shout:
(The mess sergeant has caught him out)
“Now put away that bloody book!
You’ve got two hundred meals to cook!
Pick up those egg shells from the floor!
Flip omelettes and those apples core!
And pick that flamin’ saucepan up,
And make some tea – I’ll have a cup,
And get that goose out on the shelf.
(I bags a drumstick for meself)
Remember lad, that war is hell,
But well behind the lines we dwell,
And so are nowhere near the fight,
So cook! You don’t have time to write!”
“….it will take at least a decade to get rid of racial tensions……”
All those millions are surely enough.
Cash, the flames of destruction, should snuff.
All will then live in peace
And all tensions will cease.
How do idiots dream up this stuff?
In paradise if you got sick you died,
Until the miners brought the modern drugs.
The dead were many and the graves were wide;
Utopia is strewn with deadly bugs.
The natives from the bush, with skirts of grass,
Their jungle rot, it ate right to the bone,
But ’twas no match for potions sealed in glass
That healed the sores of men who crafted stone.
Malaria, the fever killed them young,
Until the quinine quelled the parasite.
The maladies of liver and of lung
Were treated, and the darkness turned to light.
Some think the tropic places paradise;
Reality is not so neat or nice.