© Merv Webster
Author: Merv Webster
OLD JACKO IN THE CITY
Old Jacko was a bushman who lived out the back of Bourke,
a Ringer who for sixty years knew nothing but hard work.
Big Mal, his boss, said, “Jacko mate you’re skinny as a rake,
so slip down to the city man and have a flamin’ break!”
The old bloke wasn’t all that fussed, but Mal said, “No buts, son.
You take your swag and old Blue too and have a bit of fun.”
The city’s razzle dazzle really blew old Jacko’s mind
and Blue marked every light pole in Kings Cross that he could find.
Some druggo asked the ringer if he’d like to score a hit,
so Jacko decked him on the spot. He didn’t mind a bit.
A scrawny, scabby tabby then appeared from out a drain
which sent the old blue cattle dog completely off his brain.
Blue followed Jacko’s precedent and took the moggy out
and both were feeling mighty good. They didn’t mind a bout.
They wandered down the street a way and walked into a bar,
where Jacko thought the blokes all dressed a little bit bizarre.
Then as he knocked a schooner down he asked this chap how come
some blokes were slipping other blokes a rather tidy sum.
“You silly great big sausage dear. We’re gay here, can’t you tell.”
“Who wouldn’t be?” grinned Jacko, “I’d be rather chuffed as well.”
The worms were biting by this time so Jacko turned to Blue
and hinted he could eat a horse and chase the rider too.
They’d had enough of fish and chips and thought they’d have some Thai,
that oriental tucker place big Mal said they should try.
The restaurant was open, therefore Jacko found a seat
and tried to read the menu, but the lingo had him beat.
He called the waiter over, who spoke worse than Jacko read,
so the Ringer thought he’d gesture to the little bloke instead.
He pointed to the menu, then to him and down at Blue,
convinced the well dressed waiter would now know just what to do.
Then suddenly a grin appeared upon the waiter’s dial
and Jacko thought ... he’s got it ... and responded with a smile.
The waiter beckoned to old Blue who followed in pursuit
and Jacko thought ... that’s service ... and he thought it rather cute.
I wonder what he’ll give old Blue - he does deserve a treat -
a change I guess from biscuits and a chunk of old corned meat.
Old Jacko sipped a glass of wine and sat there patiently
and entertained himself by playing spoons upon his knee.
He wondered just what sort of dish the waiter had in mind.
He’d never eaten Thai before or tucker of that kind.
Then from the crowded kitchen came the waiter with a tray.
A meat dish cooked in spices and done in the old Thai way.
He lay it on the table and he said “You like it chum?”
But Jacko looked dumbfounded and his body went quite numb.
His look was rather fearful like and tears came to his eyes
and all the boys from back of Bourke they would have heard his cries.
For there, beneath the crackly, was his one and only mate,
old Blue his only friend in life dished up upon a plate.
Poor Jacko went berserk they say and tore the place apart
and ended up a nervous wreck and with a weakened heart.
These days he’s in a nursing home and life is full of bliss,
but Jacko’s never eaten meat from that day down to this.
©Bush Poet and Balladeer