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20 March 2012

A friend is about to do a review for the DG Awards, and it reminded me that he was at a convention here in New Zealand quite a few years back now. He was a man who adored a good joke, and while at the convention he told me the following one –
A kiwi decided to take a holiday in Australia, he’d drive all over, cross the Nullabor, and finally catch a plane home. He picked up a rental car, and on the way across the Nullabor he found that the car had developed a mechanical problem and he was stranded. At first he remembered the advice he’d been given, to stay with the car, but he’d run out of food, he was running out of water and he began to panic.
He recalled that about a mile before where he now was, he’d seen a thin thread of beaten track heading off from the road and had wondered who lived out here to make it. He believed that this was his only chance of survival, so taking the last of his water he walked back down the road and found the track. He followed that the rest of the day, slept until first light, drank the last of his water, and started off again while it wasn’t too hot. By mid-morning he found a little shade, waited until the heat was less and began walking again. Towards sundown he came over a rise and below him he saw a small township.
He was frantic with thirst and he reeled up to the first house. The owner emerged and the kiwi pleaded with him. “I was standed back there, I’m dying for a drink, give us a whisky will you, mate?”
The elderly man drew himself up in horror. “Sir, this is the township of Mercy, founded by a good and pious man, we do not believe in spirits.”
“Then what about a beer, the kiwi begged, “Can you give me a beer?”
The elderly man drew himself up again. “Sir, this is the township of Mercy, founded by a good and pious man, we do not believe in any type of alcohol.”
Desperate the kiwi looked around and saw cows grazing down the valley. “What about a drink of milk then?”
The man shook his head. “I’m sorry, there’s been a drought and we dried the cows off early.”
“Water?”
“I’m sorry, with the drought, the water is quite undrinkable.”
“Hang on a mninute,” the kiwi said. “What do you people drink if there’s no alcohol, no milk, and no water?”
“Ah, said the man.” Our founder taught us how to manage. We brew a wonderful herbal tea in the pouches of koalas.”
The kiwi is desperate by now and he’ll try anything. “Okay, give me a glass of this tea.”
The old man goes inside, comes out with a large glass of tea, the glass is frosted and the tea is deliciously cold. The kiwi drains the glass to the final drops then spits vigorously several times.
“Geez, mate. You were right, the tea’s wonderful, but why on earth don’t you strain the fur out of it first…”
And the old man draws himself up indignantly. “Sir! The koala-tea of Mercy is not strained!”

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