The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
"Tony Wellington": Ever seen a Bun Parade? I'll tell you about one, which is held every morning at a certain hospital Walk along to the canteen, and you will see the patients lolling around, waiting for 10 o'clock; some are holding up either the wall, the floor, or the electric wire post. At 10 o'clock, the big door is opened and the mob passes in and takes charge. The old shopkeeper's question, "What will you have today?" is out of date, and the only thing one hears is, "Hey! Digger, a dozen buns over here." It is a sight to see those buns fly over the counter from seller to buyer, the best selling line of goods the canteen has. The four men behind the counter have to go some to keep pace with the demand, and in the space of one hour something like 2,500 buns are sold! Soon the tables are surrounded by men in. ''Blues", intent on one object, eating buns. The buns are sold at the rate of three for two d zzies, and they are really worth the money, because they are wholesome, fresh, and not likely to do the harm to any man who is up and about. Of course, they are not meant for patients in bed. The demand for buns is so great that it's a case of get in and get your cut, or you'll slip. Next we have lemonade, which is mostly consumed on the permises; and we find our old friend the bottle-o doing a great business'. Does he buy the bottles? No, my friends, he gets them baksheesh, and lines them up on the table in rows of sixes until he has quite a lot. His usual saving is, "D'want that bottle?" Well, some men don't care about going back to the counter to claim the half dizzie on the bottle, so the bottle-o scores lucky. About 500 bottle of lemonade are sold daily.
"Spotted Dog": One business that will never gain a footing among the natives of this country is furniture removing. Coming back from Amman recently we encountered dozens of families migrating eastward. Each member of the family tree assists in the carrying of the house furniture and supplies, including live stock, and poultry, and, of course, the baby is given an occasional lift. The load, as a rule is most unequally divided, the Hebe bearing the lion's share of the burden, tramping stoically along after her lord and master. But one "Unit" claimed my attention for their flagrant disregard of this ancient order of the East. The old man had evidently acquired western habits, or else the second member of his herd had reversed the ruling. He was carrying the baby and seemed to be doing the job quite cheerfully, as he followed in the footsteps of his chosen one.
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"Algie": You have heard of phrenologists, palmists and thought readers, but has it ever occurred to you that a "Digger's" character is often reflected by his old felt hat? Now the man who talks and thinks in "horsey" language wears a full crown, just as it is issued to him, and is invariably very tender with horses, women and children. If a man has a dent in the front of bis hat, he is rather cruel in his, disposition. The man who wears his hat, "cowboy" fashion is generally sarcastic and thinks he is a bit of a "knut". Give me the chap with a "floppy" hat, as he is a man of many parts and has good points in his favor. If you want a steady, reliable fellow you will find him wearing a hat with a narrow dent down the middle of the crown, with peak of rim down level with the eyebrows, and the back corresponding. The man with the after-part of the rim turned up is wanting in will power and is also given to laughing at his own jokes. But never be afraid of the man who has the rim of his hat turned upwards, clerical fashion; he means well towards mankind, but is wanting in confidence. It is hard to tell the character of a man if he has his hat perched on the side of his head. He will resort to the fashion if he adheres to the traditional military style. If he is despondent, or thinking hard, or is full of bliss, he will assume the tilt. And rogues and ruffians invariably wear their hats in the same way. If the rim is vertical to the base of the crown and the wearer has a big head, he is more or less lacking in brain power and foresight; but if he has a small head, then the wearer of the hat is more or less a shrewd, man. I think I have mentioned the most noticeable adjustments of the hat; but there are so many Utile innovations that each man makes to the original style, that they go to prove how diversified men's characters are. You will find no two hats identical; and you will find no two characters alike. Is it any wonder then, that Billjim has so much affection for his old felt-hat when it is so responsive to his feelings?
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"Acrabah": It happened in the old Bir-el-Abd days, when water was as scarce as Scotch doctors in Htaven; and the well refused to yield the life-giving liquid or the pump to pump anything but good ozone or golden sinai sand after the first ten minutes' work. This being the case, the lucky first troop to water drank their fill; while the remaining pessimistic and disconsolate troops of the Squadron started off to a mythical well some two miles away. So the un written law became, first troop clear of the line obtained the sugary cup. The scene that ensued after the inevitable whistle had blown for water, would have gladdened, the heart of a Yankee "hustler". Little did anyone think that the Squadron possessed such energy or its members such a turn of speed. Figures hurled themselves on to previously unfastened chains and performed flying bareback mounts which would have made their fortune in Cinema land. The troop N.C.O. yelled, "Walk march," when his troop was clear, and the winning mob "Tod-Stoaned" triumphantly away, to the cheers of the feed heap hangers on. Tnis proved eminently satisfactory, but the climax was reached when three troops, dead-heated and the "Walk march" came simultaneously from three excited N.C.O.'s. The first-hundred yards everything went smoothly, the next, the grinning troops were jogging in Order to hold their own; but when the goal was sighted—well, the strain was too much for human nature and the bewildered horses charged their place of refreshment at a lead two and ride one hand gallop, while the pumping fatigue on duty let out for a friendly sandridge. There is still some dispute regarding the winner. Viewed from anywhere but a military standpoint, the affair was a huge success. But the "powers that be", watching the subsequent sorting out of horse, rider, canvas hose and trough, took that view, and when we fell in for orders that evening every man knew that the "open go" system of watering horses was a thing of the past.