The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
['Boori': The article on Souvenir Hunting...]
"Boori": The article on Souvenir Hunting ("K.O.C." 15/3/18) recalls the quest of a badly wounded Ghurka returning on a big Peninsula hospital ship. For two days an awesome smell drove the patients and stokers to their limit, and then things happened. In a jealously guarded bundle of clothes beside the Ghurka was a Turk's head. Orderlies rushed in with antiseptics, and tried to remove the gruesome object, but the owner made such a desperate attempt to commit hari-kari that they had to desist. Finally, the head was removed and sealed in an airtight zinc case; then the Ghurka was happy.
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"Jeffess": Met an old cobber in town the other night, and passing the time of day one with the other, we naturally drifted to the nearest pub. After the usual exchange of compliments, I remarked that I was thinking of going to the nearest show. "Oh, you ought to go to the..... picture house, that's a bloomin' good film there; I saw it last night", said my cobber. "What's the name of it?", I inquired. "Mercredi Pro-chaine" was the reply in all good faith. I did not go to that particular house for amusement, I went to another show with my pal, and in the interval I got a lot of information re the social life of the Cairenes. "You see that girl over there?" "Yes, what about her!" I would reply. "Oh she's so and so". Marvellous, I thought "You see the fair girl with the big hat; no, not there, farther down the row?" "Oh yes, I see the girl with the feathers; well, what about her?" "By cripes 1 she's a clever girl that. You ought to hear her play the piano. Yes, she's a teacher. She teaches music in three languages, English, French and Italian. It takes a bit of doing, I can tell you." I reckoned that it did.
"Boori": Have a few words to say about old cobbers. There are two varieties of lice known to Billjim and his mates from Maoriland. They are boot lice and lousy lice. When one has only a water bottle for twenty-four hours or more, and one shirt, the lice have a blithering time. The classification is difficult to an outsider, being governed by a minute colour scheme. First, there is the Transport Marine —a big grey chap with sooty markings; next come the Greybacks, which are too universal to deserve mention. Then there are the various Brindles, which are natives of Egypt, and I am told that some of them have been found embalmed in the tombs of the Pharaohs. These are generally distributed in fodder, bagging, and general merchandise, With the arrival of the fierce Red-uns, the board is cleared of others entirely. Finally, at the end of a lone; list, are the aggressive Turkish Blacks, the pioneers of the harem system, and the way in which. they multiply knocks old Bunny completely in the shade.
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"Booligal Bob": Who said we couldn't get smokes sneaked into the Clink? I was doing twenty-eight days for telling a certain sergeant that he had no father. The Clink was a wire netting enclosure somewhere on the Canal. My cobber •heard that I was without smokes, and immediately gut to work. He approached the Clink from the rear, yarded up half-a-dozen of those beetles that old Pharaoh's missus used to call sacred scarabs, squatted himself outside the wire, and pretended to be reading a book. After a while, he digs a straight line under the wire, fastens a smoke to one of the beetles, and puts him in the furrow. The insect inarches straight ahead, and I got the cigarette. Others followed, and when one of the scarabs showed signs of going on strike, another one was detailed to do the job.
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"Billy Pelorus": It was in the Heliopolis tram, and my next door neighbours were two French ladies. Here's portion of their conversation: "You are making excellent progress with English, Madame. Where do you learn?" "Oh, I get the much practice with the Sisters of New Zealand at the Aotea Home." "Really!" replied the first speaker, "I did not think that they spoke English—why I cannot understand them. Still, they are not so bad as those Australian sisters."
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"Corrie": It's dinkum and happened here the other day. A certain trooper, who had been waiting several months for a commission, was caught by his O.C. in the act of breaking some small routine regulation. He got seven days C.B. Two hours later, his commission came through, but he had to do the week's C.B. all the same. That's what I call stiff luck.