Nature calls!

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Alan SHARP
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:41 pm
Location: Waikato, New Zealand

Nature calls!

Post by Alan SHARP » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:18 am

This poem arrived today, in a much travelled email, without any credits. The poem represents a bye gone era, which many today, would have no recollection of. This particular poem, I can not recall seeing before, though there are many accounts from down under, recalling the hazards encountered when nature called. Enjoy and reflect.

------------------------------------------

They were funny looking buildings, that were once a way of life,
If you couldn't sprint the distance, then you really were in strife.

They were nailed, they were wired, but were mostly falling down,
There was one in every yard, in every house, in every town.

They were given many names, some were even funny,
But to most of us, we knew them as the outhouse or the dunny.

I've seen some of them all gussied up, with painted doors and all,

But it really made no difference, they were just a port of call.

Now my old man would take a bet, he'd lay an even pound,

That you wouldn't make the dunny with them turkeys hangin' round.

They had so many uses, these buildings out the back,"

You could even hide from mother, so you wouldn't get the strap.

That's why we had good cricketers, never mind the bumps,

We used the pathway for the wicket and the dunny door for stumps.

Now my old man would sit for hours, the smell would rot your socks,

He read the daily back to front in that good old thunderbox.

And if by chance that nature called sometime through the night,

You always sent the dog in first, for there was no flamin' light.

And the dunny seemed to be the place where crawlies liked to hide,
But never ever showed themselves until you sat inside.

There was no such thing as Sorbent, no tissues there at all,

Just squares of well read newspaper, a hanging' on the wall.

If you had some friendly neighbours, as neighbours sometimes are,
You could sit and chat to them, if you left the door ajar.

When suddenly you got the urge, and down the track you fled,

Then of course the magpies were there to peck you on your head.

Then the time there was a wet, the rain it never stopped,

If you had an urgent call, you ran between the drops.


The dunny man came once a week, to these buildings out the back,

And he would leave an extra can, if you left for him a zac.

For those of you who've no idea what I mean by a zac,

Then you're too young to have ever had, a dunny out the back.

Russell
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:59 pm
Location: Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire
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Re: Nature calls!

Post by Russell » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:54 am

Thanks for a funny one full of memories for me.
Maybe we didn't have a zac but coming from a rural area quite a few houses still had a thunderbox out the back. When it was a wet day and you payed a visit there was nothing worse than finding no newspaper hanging up :( :evil:

Russell

P.S. There was a very funny book called "The Specialist" many years ago. All about the builders of such welcome refuges.
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

Alan SHARP
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:41 pm
Location: Waikato, New Zealand

Re: Nature calls!

Post by Alan SHARP » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:21 pm

Hi Russell.

I still have one, but rarely used, at the farm cattle yards, it started it's life over 100 years ago behind the original house. The next door orchard property, has one I built into an 8' x 8' utility some 15 years ago. In one corner is an inbuilt box seat, which when you lift the lid, reveals a long drop below.

I just Googled the poem, and see one Judy JENKINSON is credited with this Aussie poem. Some where I have a book full of photos of old, and odd, long drops and dunnies, but I don't remember this poem being in it.

http://www.wolfweb.com.au/australia/dunny.html

Zac has got me beat though.

PS. As a kid my biggest fear was at night, when the wind would blow the candle out.

Alan.

Russell
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:59 pm
Location: Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire
Contact:

Re: Nature calls!

Post by Russell » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:11 pm

When I was small we visited friends whose 'neccessary' was built into a tree suspended over the river below. Because I was small I was feart that I would fall through the hole in the wooden seat into the river. I developed the propensities of a camel. Discomfort being more bearable than pure terror.
In Glasgow a 'dunny' is a small enclosed room often under the stairs in a tenement close. Sometimes folk use the word for the low roofed sheds where their refuse bins are kept.
Russell
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

Alan SHARP
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:41 pm
Location: Waikato, New Zealand

Re: Nature calls!

Post by Alan SHARP » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:00 pm

As those in Christchurch New Zealand found out over the last year, you never know when you may be called upon to re-invent the privy. Here is a NZ site devoted to some relief.

http://www.showusyourlongdrop.co.nz/lon ... ter-dunny/

Russell
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:59 pm
Location: Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire
Contact:

Re: Nature calls!

Post by Russell » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:35 pm

Love the ingenuity Alan. Great inventive site. Says a lot about Kiwi resilience. Obviously still a lot of colonist mentality there.

Russell
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

Wee Ann
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:17 am
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Nature calls!

Post by Wee Ann » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:40 pm

Glad to be able to help here! A zac would be better known as a tanner where we grew up1

Loved the poem!

Ann
Roe/Rowe, Kane, Logue, Harkin, Commons, Gillan, Ireland.
McPherson, Richmond, Bowers, Laird, Russell, Cuthbertson, Scotland

momat
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 10:50 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nature calls!

Post by momat » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:13 am

For those of you who've no idea what I mean by a zac,
According to the Australian Dictionary of slang , a Zack is a sixpence ,which in this case would refer to leaving the guy a tip.
Maureen

Russell
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:59 pm
Location: Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire
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Re: Nature calls!

Post by Russell » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:23 am

That's an interesting slang word. wonder where it came from. Back here in the U.K. sixpence was referred to as a "tanner" back in the days of pounds, shillings and pence - which I remember only too clearly yet can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday :shock:

Russell
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

momat
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 10:50 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nature calls!

Post by momat » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:52 am

A ZAK is also South African slang word for money .
With the many different cultures that settled in Australia over time I imagine many modern day slang words are a combination of languages.

I too remember a Tanner .We thought we were rich if we had one as a child.
yet can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday :shock:
It's called Senior moments.
Maureen

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