Sunday, 18 November 2012

It Must Be Love

One of my favourite Internet friends is Denis Wright and his
response to the conversation I overheard in the Yass Post Office is so much more perceptive than my comments on Australian male/female relations that I think it deserves a post of its own. Here it is:

"As an old bushie I can attest to the frequency of such exchanges with only slight variations. It can and should be decoded as a more-or-less affectionate comment on the love of his life. Were the wife in question to overhear the exchange [which would be part of the fun all round] she would scowl on cue, maybe call him a mongrel ["both of yez in fact!"] and it could be presumed with some conviction that this would be as good as it gets in that household.

Synonyms for wife:
[Formal] The missus
[Normal] The old battler
[Sometimes] Mum

If there were a genuine marital problem, the subject would be changed pronto by the questionee to the vagaries of the weather or how he should deal with a case of mastitis in the best milker in the herd, and the questioner would take the cue to keep his trap shut.

Beyond that point, prying into such intimacy was strictly taboo. The mysteries of women, wives in particular, are crosses each man in a flannel shirt and boots has to bear alone.

There's misogyny and there's bush lore. As long as he's not gambling all their dough or coming home drunk and beating her up, this is love."

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