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by Ronald Kitching, retired

[This is from the editor’s email archive, dated 19/04/10 with “New Story” in the email subject.]

It has been announced in Canberra that the Government is to take over the production of milk. Mr Rudd is reported to have stated:

Like Education and Health, we have decided to take over the production of milk. There are several reasons for this brave but essential move.

I have been advised by the Minister for Water, Penny Wong, that farmers are wasting too much water growing cow feed. What our innovative Minister for Milk, Mr. Peter Garrett, has decided to do is make the Dairy Industry mobile. The cows will be moved to where the grass and water is.

Also the CSIRO is co-operating by developing a new breed of cow which will be crossed with the African wildebeest. The largest mammal migration in the world is that of the Serengeti wildebeest.

The Governments dairy cows will then have the migratory habits in their genes, thus producing great benefits to the nation.

There is lots of feed and water at Lake Eyre at the moment — that will be a good place to move our migratory herds to. Thought and innovation — that is all it takes; I am a pragmatic hands-on operator. I know how to get things done.

2 years Later:

Registered Cow Milker (to his Foreman): Where are the cows?

Foreman: Hasn’t the cowboy gone to round them up?

RCM. No, it’s his day off.

Foreman: Well then, I’ll have to ask the Superintendent, but he does not start until 9am.

At 9.15 am after listening to the Foreman’s complaint about no cowboy available:

Superintendent: Look, Foreman, all this takes is a bit of organisation. We’ll have to prepare a new roster that makes provision for the cowboy’s day off.

But we cannot do it now, as the Rostering Division is in Canberra doing a course on the new rostering software. Can’t one of the Cow milkers be delegated to round up the cows?

Foreman: Not really — remember the trouble we had with the Cowboy’s Union when some fool did that about 6 months ago. We had to settle the strike with a penalty payment to the cowboys, as their professional dignity had been affronted.

Not only that the Cow Milkers Union lodged an objection to this extra duty with the Milk Court of Appeal. It’s still in court, as they try to settle the issue.

It looks as though it may end up in the State Milk or even the Federal Milk court with a split decision being decided by the Minister to settle the matter.

Superintendent: Well then, for now, let the calves out, they can have the milk, until we get an official cowboy.

Thank God that job’s done; let’s go and have some rum and milk with our coffee.

At Coffee Time:

Foreman: What about Woolworths and Coles; they will belly-ache about not receiving their milk delivery?

Superintendent: I’ll refer their complaints to the Commissioner of Complaints. He mentioned last week that on a regular basis, they are importing a few thousand tonnes of tinned and condensed milk from Switzerland to tide us over in these emergencies.

If the volcanoes in Iceland settle down we should have most of the first lot by the end of next month.

Foreman: All’s well that ends well.