Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 3 (June 1, 1939)

The Drag-on and The Rake-Off

The Drag-on and The Rake-Off.

Modern methods of child-wailfare decree that it is cruel to say: “If you're not careful the bogey will get you.” To-day we have a complex complex through over-indulgence in fear-fixations and metaphysikinks in fifty-three varieties. Instead of digging up the good old bogey which every child was quite pally with we have invented another by saying, in defect: “If you're not careful the Future will get you.” We produce the Future as a kind of “terror incognito” for the exploration of which the embryo explorer must train to every hair he has got if he doesn't want to lose himself and go round and round, as lost explorers do, until he meets himself coming back and conks out from misplaced confidence and self-deception.

There is no doubt that St. George had a soft snap compared with modern youth's expedition into the Vast Unshown. George had advance information. He had the low-down on his dragon's hide-out, and the general meanness of its demeanour. He knew that it was a fire-breather and could be put out with a puff or two of the Nero Patent Fire Extinguisher, procurable at any armourer's at the ridiculously low price of two doucats and a deener. Besides he had every encouragement to sally up the dragon's alley. If you have studied the background of that famous picture entitled “Leave it to George,” you will understand. Who wouldn't take a chance on a mere dragon in the interests of such a snappy bit of beauty-in-distress? Most of us would give a bull-dozer a run for its money for less.

Anyway it was a straight-out oneway proposition in which either the dragon got it in the central-heating or St. George would be poured out of his tin-wear in more-or-less involuntary liquidation. All George had to do was to gird up his sirloins with steel girders and go on location. He had to get the decision, anyway, because the scenario said so and the advance bookings were already sold.