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Lennie Lower was one of the most famous journalists in Australia during the 1930s and 1940s. He was a prolific writer of satirical vignettes (for a long time he wrote eight columns a week, plus other projects). These three articles below were reprinted in Here’s Another (1932).

WHAT GOLD IS, HOW TO GET IT, AND WHERE IT IS

It’s not a bit of use looking for gold if you don’t know where it is.

People are pegging out claims all over the place when they would be better employed pegging out the washing.

Gold is a metallic auriferous gold metal which is found in large or small single lumps, or linked together as is in gold watch-chains, or invisible, such as sovereigns.

Amateur prospectors must remember, however, that it is illegal to peg out a claim on a man’s stomach just because he has a gold watch-chain.

Alluvial gold is found in creek-beds, water-holes, drain-pipes, and various other places. It is found on mountains and in valleys, etcetera.

It is also not found in many of the above places. That is the catch.

The best way to tell gold is to pass the nugget around a crowded bar, and ask them if it’s gold.

If it comes back, it’s not gold.

HOW TO DISCOVER A GOLD MINE

The gold quest is still on. Countless unemployed are now working like mad, though still practically unemployed. We ask you, citizens, what do you know about gold? Echo answers, “Ask me?”

What do you know about quartz?

Quartz is what you get milk in.

What is a quartette? It is a pint and a half.

Gold is found in veins and seams. How vain it seems?

The unsuccessful prospector spends all his life tapping rocks. The successful prospector spends about three weeks rocking taps. After which he sets off for the desert once more.

Alluvial gold is usually dished from the start. From the cradle to the grave, so to speak. More trips are made from the cradle to the grave than from the cradle to the “Australia.”

Which reminds us of minny golf courses. There are too minny golf courses. Which also reminds us that very few golfing prospectors tell the hole truth.

Mines! Mines! What do we know about mines? Mine’s a beer!

My heavens, amigo (Spanish) if you had to fill up a certain amount of space like this, you would also do as we do.

We are stonkered for ideas. There comes a tide in the affairs of men when they rush to cover. When they go into nursing homes. When they discover that they have important business about 300 miles away. When they say, “You know damn well I don’t like baked rabbit!” and such harsh words.

One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin. Two touches, and you’ve got it suspicious.

Let us then away.

THE LOWER STANDARD

One of the brightest spots in our hitherto drab life is the abolition of the gold standard in favour of a note standard.

The British Government is merely following a procedure which we have advocated and put into practice for many months past.

Some of our notes have been classics.

DEAR SIR, – Owing to the present financial depression, we find ourself unable to meet your just demands immediately. However, we are expecting shortly a legacy from a wealthy relative in Fiji, and you may rest assured …

Then there was the other one which always worked. You simply pin the note on your door: “BACK IN TEN MINUTES.” You then go away for eleven years, and are never heard of again.

GAS CO.

Sirs, – Your insulting message reached me this morning. Need I say that I was disgusted and annoyed? This is the fourth final notice I have had from you. Any more of this, and I shall be compelled to request you to send a man to cut off my gas supply.

This usually fixes things. Of course, there are faults in the system.

Yesterday we were presented with a note, “I.O.U. 5/-. Signed, L. W. Lower.” So we went back to the gold standard.

The whole thing is very involved. Mean to say, come home and find on kitchen table a note, “Waited up till 2 o’clock. Where have you been? Your dinner is in the oven.”

That sort of note is NOT negotiable.