The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 9 (January 1, 1934)
The House that Jake Built.
Hey folks, step up and meet Jake O January, the catch of the calendar and the apple of Mrs. Tempus O'Fugit's optic. And note the name, pronounced Janu-airy with the emphasez on the “airy.” Jake O. is jakeoh and is versed in his vestments, for does he not take old years and, with a stitch in Time, return them as good as new years? Some know him as Joinuary because he joins yesterday to to-day and to-day to to-morrow. Others opine that he is the keeper of the door of 1934. Apparently he plays many spare parts and, now that we know where we are, let's look where we're going. In other weirds, show us the door and we'll find the house. Let's agitate the shivery grass:—
Show us the door,
We ask no more,
And we'll rattle the knocker of '34.
This is the “pew,”
All natty and new,
That the cop on the corner directed us to.
It's fit for a bride,
It's portal is wide,
And they say that it's up to the knocker inside.
But let's, so to speak,
Take a cursory peek,
And chance getting booted outside for our cheek.
But no—it's a crime,
And besides, it won't rhyme,
There's a card in the window “To Let—Father Time.”
But if we're content
To part up the rent,
It's ours and we'll find that our “dough” is well spent.
And if, when we take it,
We fail to forsake it,
We're “jake,” for a home is as good as you make it.
Home Sweet Home and Home Sweat Home.
But that, as the flea said when he bit the wrestler, is a big order, for years, like yearns, need kneading; otherwise they are no better bread than a little faded flour. Years are as good as you make them and the happiness in a home depends on the “heart” in hearth and the “dome” in domicile. Many a mansion is a man-shun because Dulce Domum has died on the doormat. “Dough” without Dulce is tantamount to beer without thirst. But when she brings her bag even the thumble hatch, or at least the humble thatch, with roses round the rostrum and leaks round the root-room, looks more like “home sweet home” than “home sweat home” with hot air and cold water laid on.
So shift your sticks into '34 and find things as you take them. And, if you take over instead of under, before your finger nail has finished going black, there will be silver fish floating in the soup, gold-bugs buzzing round the blanc-mange, a cricket on the hearth, a football on the roof and double-headed pennies tossing the tocsin all over the table. On the other hand, if you take possession of the premises with a face so long that you have to jack it through the front porch, you will crib the crib before the furniture snatchers have finished sawing the legs off the grand piano to push it through the portico.page 10
The Rock of Sages.
Some people mistake hot air for cool thought; but we opine that a verbal icecream is better than a babble I-scream. Thus we thusticate that January is the mellowest melon in old Cal Calendar's cornucopia, because it combines the skin you live to touch with the interior interrogations of the “spot” marked X, or exhibit A in a whisky case. Another pint in January's fervour is that it is the newest end of the new year and the “to-morrow” which we yearned for yesterday. Life lived with liveliness is a tub of to-morrow's. To-morrow has always been the rock of sages, the profit of the prophet, the haven of the hoping, the luck of the nervy and a proof of youth; and when to-morrow means no more to you than a tick off the old clock you can say that you've got four “flats” and are running on the rims.
To-morrow will be Try-day.
Before we grew to meanhood, and when mortgages, marriages and time payment (or time and tied) meant no more to us than the lines on father's face, the morrow was the marrow of to-day; to-day was merely the morrow in pyjamas and to-morrow was only to-day once removed by mirage. So if we can't be sensible let's be young, for,
If to-day brings sorrow
There is still to-morrow
Waiting one door on,
When to-day is gone.
Each to-day is to-morrow,
If you care to borrow
From old Tick Time
With his chiding chime.
If to-day is shady
You may raise your “cady”
To to-morrow's morn—
Or to-day's first-born.
For to-morrow's to-day—
Or it was, anyway—
And to-day is to-morrow,
That's to say, if you borrow.
Each day is a day
And you take or you pay
As you go, on the morrow,
Of “siller” or sorrow.
But taking it all
On the rise and the fall,
The soul cannot sorrow
That bets on the morrow.
To-day may be sticky,
Uncertain or tricky,
But, come-day or borrow,
There's always to-morrow.
To-morrow's the Day.
Every New Year is “to-morrow” come true, which is why we wake the welkin and put the “whoop” in whoopee. And, to add to the attraction of the occasion, the wise wangle salutary solecisms called Resolutions which, like cinema comedy crookery, are bespoken to be broken. A New Year resolution is a two-way promise which is born but not borne. But the best resolutions are so carefully composed that they can be broken with less commotion than the average commandment. For the benefit of the poor fish who can't get a bite without being hooked we offer the following examples of double-headed resolutions, guaranteed to fall right side up when put to the toss.
I promise to pay all bills without kicking up a fuss—except those necessitating an expenditure of money.
I will never play golf instead of digging the garden—unless I would rather play golf than dig the garden.
I will always go shopping with the wife—if I can't get out of it.
I will smoke no more cigarettes than I can, and will spend no more money than I have got.
I will never deceive my wife—I know I can't, anyway.
I will never kick the cat when enraged (we haven't got a cat).
I will work hard every day—except Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, etc.
I will be cheerful at breakfast—God willing.
I will never back racehorses—unless they are running in races.
I will be a good husband—within reason.
I will sew buttons on my husband's shirts—unless he sews them on first in desperation.
I will believe him when he says he was detained at the office—but I can still think what I like.
I will never say that “I haven't a stitch to wear,” unless it is true—and it's always true.
I will not cry for a new hat—unless there is no other way of getting it.
I will never play bridge and forget to get my husband's dinner—except when I play bridge and forget to get my husband's dinner.
I will be a dutiful wife—whenever it pays.
I will try to be good—but dash it, a man has got to live his life.
I will not go out more than seven nights a week.
I will help mother—whenever I want something.
I will try to be what mother says she was at my age—oh yeah!
All of Us.
And so we'll sing, “wring out the old, bring in the new,” and exchange New Year Greetings for Old Year grittings.page 12