Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back of Beyond

Outback Australia can be an isolated and strange place at times, take for instance my experience last year as I drove the back way from Alice Springs to Gidgialpa Station in North Eastern South Australia.

The water pump on my Toyota failed and I found myself in some quiet little town too small to have a proper name. The local mechanic said it would be two days until parts arrived so I booked a room at the local hotel and went to the bar for a drink.

I found an empty bar stool and ordered a whiskey.

“Sorry mate” said the barman, “we’re not allowed to serve spirits. Local by-law”

“You mean a man can’t get a whiskey around here at all?” I inquired.

“Well,” said the barman, “You could try the chemist. He’s allowed to sell whiskey for medical purposes.”

So off I go to the chemist, where I ask for a shot of their finest whiskey.

The chemist frowned, tut-tutted and shook his head. “Whiskeys for medical purposes,” he said. “You must have a prescription. Why don’t you go see Dr.Bury. His place is just up the road. He might be able to help.”

So off I go to the doctors’ surgery.

“Cant help you son,” The doctor told me. “I’m only allowed to write a prescription for whiskey for someone who’s been bitten by a snake. I suggest you head on down to the shire office. The clerk down there keeps a pet snake.”

Half an hour later I’m back at the bar and asking for a beer.

“Couldn’t get a whiskey then?” asked the barman.

“Nah,” says I, “The bloody snake’s booked up for the next three weeks.”


Symdaddy said...

That's a good'n!

Magsx2 said...

Hi Tempo,
I love it.
At first I thought you must of been on holidays. LOL.
Yea well it is bit late for this old girl. :)

Windsmoke. said...

Very humourous made me smile. Sounds like there's a lot of desperates in that town that would go to any length for a glass of whiskey. Like ya new look :-).

Belle said...

This makes me wonder if there are lots of liquor laws in Australia. Great joke!

Tempo said...

Hi Symdaddy, The Aussie yarn is an ago old verbal tradition that goes back a long time, it's much under rated and I fear that we may lose it in this modern age.
Hi Mags, I had to set the scene... but thats how the yarn works eh? It seems like it might actually be fact for a minute, then sneaks up on you...
@Windsmoke, An Aussie would pick it straight away, we only drink beer in the hot months of summer. I do like whiskey, but only with a bit of cola.
Hi Belle, The drinking laws are pretty free here, you can pretty much drink what you like, where you like though parks and beaches etc are mostly drink free areas for the sake of family's.

Pearl said...

Now THAT's a good story!!



malcfifty said...

When the outback town had a doctor, I knew it had to be a joke!

Tempo said...

Hi Pearl, thanks for that. It's one of hundreds I'm writing down before the Alzheimers kicks in...
Hi Malcfifty, ..and a chemist and a shire office... but they've always got a pub.