Home, CV, Press, Recordings, Newsletter Archive, Recipes, Contact

Friday February 13th, 2009

‘There But for Fortune . . .’

“ Oh, our younger days were tough,
You and I, we had it rough,
at least we've got something to talk about.
But our friends who died too soon,
Before their lives could really bloom,
So unlucky not to make it out.

 Now I'm walking down that dirt track,
Everything I own on my back,
I guess I've had a fortunate life at that.”
Fortunate Life

Hi folks,

Friday the 13th once again!  A week of mixed blessings. . .

Thanks to all our friends who wrote with concern about our safety during the bushfires. So far, Melbourne itself has been spared direct grief.  (40 km from Yarra Glen to the city centre and holding so far!)  Such a tragedy for so many around us though.  ‘There but for fortune go you or go I . . .’

Our six year old granddaughter, Misty, had a bit of gastro yesterday.  She’s a first grader at St Mary’s. When her mother asked her would she like to stay home sick from school, she said, ‘No I have to go and do my prayering for the fire people!’ (See why I love this kid?)

Here is a Realtime Spot-Fire Map that updates showing where the fires are and their status:
Also a Country Fire Authority  Incidence Summary and Incidence Update RSS Feed that keeps you aware of what’s being doing and suggestion what you can do:

I keep both of these windows open on my computer at all times.

Prime Minister Mr Rudd, while meaning well, of course, declared in recent headlines that,  ‘Hell has visited the good people of Victoria.’  I didn’t like that imagery much.  It was a bit morally irresponsible for a leader of State.  Hell, by definition, doesn’t visit good people, it visits bad people. It connotes punishment for wrong-doing. Sinners burn in Hell. Not innocent people. The people suffering in this catastrophe are innocent and did NOTHING wrong. The only ‘sinners’ in this story are the pyromaniacs who lit those damn fires. The rest are feeling the devastation, tragedy and awe of an overwhelming catastrophe.  Not an Act of a God, or of a Satan.  No need to bring those Fellows into the equation. I would have thought some of our more enlightened religious leaders might have picked up on this.

Just recently, the Prime Minister has referred to the ‘Evil of Arson.’  (Who does that remind you of?) I dread to contemplate the backlash against anyone actually accused of starting these fires – especially if the WRONG persons are accused. They’ll be tar and feathered. I hope care will be taken and calm heads will prevail when pointing the finger. When imagery like Hell and Evil are used to describe this kind of tragedy, it often times leads to scapegoating.  

“The scapegoat was a goat that was driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in Judaism during the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. The rite is described in Leviticus 16. Since this goat, carrying the sins of the people placed on it, is sent away to perish, the word ‘scapegoat’ has come to mean a person, often innocent, who is blamed and punished for the sins, crimes, or sufferings of others, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.   The Ancient Greeks practiced a scapegoating rite in which a cripple or beggar or criminal (the pharmakos) was cast out of the community, either in response to a natural disaster (such as a plague, famine or an invasion) or in response to a calendrical crisis (such as the end of the year). The pharmakos was either killed, stoned, beaten or driven from the community. Psychoanalytic theory holds that unwanted thoughts and feelings can be unconsciously projected onto another who becomes a scapegoat for one's own problems. This concept can be extended to projection by groups. In this case the chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat for the group's problems. In other words, blaming another person or thing, for your own problems.” wikipedia

‘There but for fortune go you or go I . . .’   

Our bush getaway in Cockatoo was one of the few houses to escape the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983.  We were staying in Melbourne at the time. Again, there had been extreme drought for over a year and the temperatures were in the 40s. The fires swept across South Australia and Victoria, killing 75 people. The fires incinerated 3700 homes and reduced more then half a million hectares of townships, forests and farmlands to ashes. Some 2400 families or individuals lost their homes and between 2500 people were injured. Insurance losses exceeded $320 million.  In 2009 money, that would be in excess of $1.5 billion. We sold our house soon after that. Cockatoo has now rebuilt into a thriving little community

In 2001, we were forced to evacuate our bush house up in NSW when the infamous ‘Black Christmas Fires,’ started jumping the fire barriers. Sydney felt the brunt of that one. While relatively minor compared to the current devastation, it still was extremely dangerous and scary. We drove up our mountain road to the ranger station and asked the ranger for his opinion on whether we should stay or leave. He said, ‘I’m leaving,’  and got in his truck and drove off. So we took the kids, and grandkids, and drove out of the bush and down to nearby Bermagui until the danger had passed. Once again, we missed that one by the skin of our beak. I wrote a song about that experience. The lyrics are down at the bottom of the page.

Leonard Cohen (75) sighed into town this past week, performing a series of sold-out stadium and on-the-green concerts. His support act for the Victorian leg of the tour was Paul Kelly, oft referred to as our own Australian poet laureate.
 I had read about the fantastic response Elder Cohen was getting to his concerts overseas – older people weeping and screaming – a religious experience, some said – and naturally, knowing Paul Kelly somewhat – and the fact that Kelly hardly ever does support acts for anyone in Australia – I was curious to see what kind of reaction Paul would get from the press, opening for one of the elders of songcraft. They do have some similarities in writing styles after all.
 As of ten concerts, so far, I have not seen one mention of Paul Kelly’s set in any media reviews of Elder Cohen’s shows.
 Like a musical forensic detective, who notices somewhat strangely out-of-place in the crime scene, and can’t help but ask a few more questions, I asked, ‘what’s wrong with this picture?’
 Surely, the poet laureate folk balladeer of Australia would merit a few favourable lines on a double bill with the poet laureate folk balladeer of Canada. Or is our media so fickle that they would seemly toss over our own native son, Paul Kelly, in a mad panic to heap yet more lavish praise on old Leonard?
 As you can tell by now, I tend to get very vocal in my newsletter whenever I notice the critical faculty of those around me going ‘bye bye’.  In other words:

“It goes like this
The diminished, the sixth
The minor seventh, the augmented fifth
all leading to the Whatsamattaujah?”

I had planned to write more about all this and Elder Cohen this week, but the bushfires took the sting out of my barb and I decided it was more of a time for us to come together. Artistic differences aside, I want to give my special and sincere appreciation to Leonard Cohen, Paul Kelly, and music firms AEG Live and Frontier Touring Company for pledging AU $200,000 from their sold-out tour to help the victims of the bushfires.


RE: Marysville Folkie Connection - Bushfires
The latest news from Marysville where some of our folkie community live is....
1."Aunty" Lyn Stone lost her home and her bus but was able to save her
computer and her embroidery gear.
2. Frank Murphy and Mary S were in Melbourne when the fire struck and lost
everything they did not have with them.
3. The Alleways AND their home & property (including the incredible "Otto")
are safe.
Dave Alleway advises that he has many dozens of SMS messages and unanswered calls that he is unable to respond to.
The real impact for these people is the loss of friends and community that they have built up over many years living in the district.
At this time they are mourning the loss of at least twelve of their neighbours and that number is certain to rise.
Those things cannot ever be replaced and our hearts go out to them on that account. Stay safe, Bill Arnett

hi joe,
it is really terrible and shocking to read the news about the fires there.   is there any kind of relief fund to which one can contribute?
take care, Joan Besen

(Note: Thanks Joan. The Red Cross is accepting online donations and you can find information there about other ways to contribute:

Hey, Joe!
I've been the happy recipient of your newsletter for about five years and I've got to say, it's something I would miss if it stopped; not as much as breathing but nevertheless...... The list of hot sauces is one of the rare things that, when I'm alone, make me laugh out loud but just to have some of those in my vocabulary the next time I eat something that registers high on the 'Pain-in-my arse-ometer' makes me eternally grateful!
Keep 'em coming. Paul Roberts

What about "shadduppa ya fuckin' facebook hot sauce" or "bastard bastard bastard cybersex on arsebook hot sauce" ???
(ooh crikey ! excuse my language hot sauce) xx kath tait

Hi Joe,
I love your delicious mix of serious commentary and ridiculous humor. I recently browsed a hot sauce vendor in Rehobeth Beach Delaware. The hot sauce labels/names were great, but NOT as great as yours here!!! .....and hopefully you can leave the recipes for cooking companion animals out of my copy next time!
YACK! LuvYa, wildflower

Caro Guiseppe,
 Hugely enjoyed your wry use of the word 'disagreeable' in reference to the latest Israeli spin on bashing the proverbial out of the Gazans! Gut-wrenchingly tragic and indescribably sad that they can't see, though the world increasingly can, that one of the aftermaths of cruelty, persecution and genocide is that you take people, as you might children, and make monsters out of some of them. Through this perverse course of events yesterday's persecuted become today's oppressors.
 We shall all have to watch to ensure that this doesn't happen to the Muslims. Stay cool!  Michele

The story's the same.
You touch my wife, I poke out your eyes.
Hamas is crazy. Sam Green

Hey, Josepha,
Eddie Cole is absolutely wrong! Our national religion [USA] is greed. Bill Lempke

What I’m Reading This Week
The Rediscovery of Man, by Cordwainer Smith. One of the most original thinking sci-fi writers still relatively undiscovered by the mainstream. Real name: Dr Paul Linebarger, born in 1913, Ph.D in political science at 23, grew up in Japan and China, the godson of Sun Yat-sen, who gave him his Chinese name, Lon Bah Loh, meaning ‘Forest of Incandescent Bliss’, due to the fact that his father, a judge, helped finance the Chinese revolution of 1911. Under his real name, he was the world’s leading expert, of his time, on psychological warfare.

Poems, by Israeli poet, Yehuda Amichai, translated from the Hebrew, by Assia Gutmann (Assia was Ted Hughes second wife, after Sylvia Plath, who also committed suicide.)

Selected Poems, by Garcia Lorca. A compilation of translations of the Spanish symbolist poet, some by Roy Campbell (translator of St John of the Cross), and a rare translation by Langston Hughes. Lorca was executed by the Falangists during their occupation of Granada in 1936.

100 poems, by e.e. Cummings.    )tHe master . . . O(f) lovE . . .poEMS & cre(a)tive pUnctuation.(

What I’m Watching This Week
Heavenly Creatures,
directed by Peter Jackson. First major role by Kate Winslet and first major film by Jackson, the director of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and ‘King Kong.’  New Zealand true story about two teenage girls whose friendship leads to an unspeakable crime.

Underbelly, Season 2. Melbourne-Sydney underworld stories based on true events around the murder of Australian anti-drugs campaigner, Donald Mackay. In 1974, Mackay stood as a Liberal Party candidate for the House of Representatives against Al Grassby.

What I’m Listening to This Week
Let the Mystery Be,
by Iris DeMent. Fantastic feel-good song by Iris (she was the one singing ‘Pretty Saro’ on the verandah with her fiddle playin’ husband in the movie ‘Songcatcher.’ ) Thanks to Dai Woosnam [UK] for finding it. Download it for a couple of dollars on iTunes.

My friend Dai also sent along some other great YouTube videos which I recommend:

David Bowie and Bing Crosby Singing a Xmas Duet

US Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, Morphing into Each Other, to Ravel’s Bolero

True Love Story Between an Elephant and a Dog

Harassment Forces Afghan Girls Out of School

KABUL (Reuters) - Every day, as they walked to school, Maryam Mansoor and her sister ran a gauntlet of intimidation and harassment by youths armed with knives.
"A lot of my classmates and other female students don't come to school anymore because they fear the boys' harassment and kidnappings," said Maryam, 18, who finally quit school at her worried father's behest. From acid attacks, murder, torching of schools and sexual assault, violence against female students is dashing the dreams of thousands of Afghan girls and women who are thirsty for an education that may help rejuvenate the fractured economy and society of their war-torn country.

Invest in Girls to Help Economies: Davos
Nike's chief executive, the head of Unicef and Melinda Gates agreed on Saturday that there's a simpler way to help rejuvenate many of the world's economies: invest in the education of girls and make sure they don't become victims of the global financial meltdown.
For the first time, the World Economic Forum devoted one of its marquee sessions to the impact of educating girls in developing countries, an event four years in the planning that ended up coinciding with the world's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Nike CEO Mark Parker called girls "the most neglected, at risk, unsupported part of the world's population".
By providing girls with education and economic-based opportunities, he said, there is "a very direct connection to shaping the post-crisis world in many ways" because they will then help transform their families, their villages and ultimately their countries.

LIN VAN HEK & DIFFICULT WOMEN, JUDY SMALL AND KAVISHA MAZZELLA in special concert at Montsalvat, in Eltham, VIC,  Sunday March 15th, as part of the week long celebrations of International Women’s Week.  More details on this show to be confirmed!

Contact Lenses that Transmit TV Shows
By Fiona Macrae

It sounds like science fiction - contact lenses that transmit TV shows and tattoos that let us feel the emotions of the actors on screen.
Yet experts believe both could be reality within ten years.
They say the constant miniaturisation of technology will lead to TV sets being shrunk to the size of contact lenses and powered by body heat.
Channels could be changed by voice commands or a wave of the hand, says a report on the future of home entertainment.
Ian Pearson, a 'futurologist' who advises companies on new technologies, said of the TV contact lens: 'You will just pop it into your eye in the morning and take it out at the end of the day.'
Digital tattoos, meanwhile, will pick up on the emotions portrayed by actors in TV shows and create impulses allowing us to feel the same emotions.
This would allow James Bond fans to feel the thrill of outdoing the enemy or sports fans to experience the elation of jubilant players, the report, commissioned by electrical retailer Comet, predicts.
While the wearer's eyes might seem a bit tinted to onlookers, they wouldn't be able to tell what programme was being viewed, a report on the future of home entertainment states.
It states: 'We could even get to the point where we'll be able to immerse ourselves in a football game, making it feel like you're running alongside your favourite player or berating the ref.'
Miriam Rayman, of the Future Laboratory consultancy, which compiled the report, said that while the predictions may sound pie in the sky, most of the know-how already exists.
She said: 'The technology is getting smaller and smaller and people are trying to work out how to make it more immersible. They are trying to bring it closer and closer to the eye.'
Bob Darke, Comet's commercial director, said: 'The future of home entertainment will go well beyond wafer-thin screens - we will be networked to our TVs emotionally and we will enjoy interacting with our home entertainment systems.
'The world, in all its multi-sensory forms, will literally come to us, just the way we want it. It will give staying in and slouching on the sofa a whole new meaning.'


A Concert Promoting International Peace, The Middle East, Guantanamo Closure, The Liberty and Protection of Writers, Musicians & Artists – A Fundraiser for International Pen, Melbourne.

7:30pm ($50/$40)

International PEN, an organization dedicated to the welfare and freedoms of writers across the world who are subject to persecution and torture, together with internationally acclaimed, award winning virtuoso pianist, Australian born, WARREN WILLS are putting together an extraordinary event; ‘a musical celebration of peace across borders’. This is a unique concert that ties in with the campaign of International PEN centers in Australia who are involved in freeing Melbourne journalist, Harry Nicolaides, imprisoned in Thailand.
Warren’s performances are interspersed with readings by celebrated author Arnold Zable, and Iraqi actor, Majid Shokor, and a sneak-preview of the trailer 'On the Banks of the Tigris' a documentary film currently in production, in which Majid Shokor explores the suppressed history of Jewish, Islamic and Christian Iraqis who performed, composed and worked together in pre-Saddam Iraq.
Special guest appearances include guitar sensation,  Slava Grigoryan, MTC/Billy Elliot actor, Richard Piper, Australian-Spanish comic actor, Simon Palomares, Singer/songwriter, Joe Dolce, Renowned Klezmer violinist, Ernie Gruner, Greek-Australian singer/songwriter, Anthea Sidiropoulos, Singer/songwriters Phil Splitter and Susie Davies-Splitter and Mutti Mutti Man, Kutcha Edwards.

BOOKINGS: 1300 769 803,
Enquiries: Anthea Sidiropoulos 0414603186

Fidel Castro Demands Obama Return Guantanamo Base
HAVANA (Reuters) - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro demanded on Thursday that President Barack Obama return the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo to Cuba without conditions, and he accused the new U.S. leader of supporting " Israeli genocide" against Palestinians.
Castro, who had recently praised Obama as "honest" and "noble", lashed out at his administration for stating that Washington will not return Guantanamo if it has any military use for the United States and without concessions in return.
"Maintaining a military base in Cuba against the will of the people violates the most elemental principles of international law," Castro wrote in a column posted on the government-run website
"Not respecting Cuba's will is an arrogant act and an abuse of immense power against a little country," Castro said, resorting to a charge he has levelled against the 10 previous U.S. presidents since he came to power in a 1959 revolution.
Cuba indefinitely leased Guantanamo to the United States in 1903 after the United States occupied the country during the 1898 Spanish-American War. Castro charges that the base at the south-eastern tip of Cuba was taken over illegally. (article)

(Note: It’s about time!  Folks, here’s an ironic footnote: I will be performing my song, Guantanamo Bay, (a parody of Guantanamera) at the Human . . .Right? concert this Monday in St Kilda (see details above). Guantanamera translated means ‘girl from Guantanamo Bay!’  I wrote this parody as a protest song a couple of years ago, but was refused permission to record it by the publishers for a couple of reasons:

  1. Guantanamera, once a political protest song during the Battista regime, is now Fidel Castro’s favourite song and practically the national anthem of Cuba. Fidel don’t like people messing with his favourite song. Even if it’s a protest against Guantanamo Bay - which he's protesting about.  Go figure.

 2.   According to the publishers, once a song is parodied with a political tint, it lessens its value for advertising purposes! Hail Comrade Big Mac!

Militants Killing Laughter and Music in Pakistan Region
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani comedian Alamzeb Mujahid had bad news for his fans after being freed by Islamist militants who kidnapped him in Peshawar city last month.
"I'm retiring from showbiz," Mujahid, whose stage name is Janaan, told a news conference without going into details about either the kidnapping or his reasons for quitting the stage.
Friends and colleagues were less circumspect.
They say Mujahid, an ethnic Pashtun , was kidnapped by Islamist vigilantes hell-bent on imposing Taliban-style values in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), a volatile region bordering Afghanistan .
A veteran of hundreds of theatre and television plays, the slim, clean shaven 38-year-old actor has begun growing a beard for his life after comedy.
Reluctant to speak about his life-changing experience, Mujahid told Reuters he was joining Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary group, to preach religion.
"God has fed me before and will continue to feed me now," he said solemnly.
Mujahid was lucky.
Others who have fallen foul of militant morality squads, didn't get a second chance.
In January, a woman dancer, Shabana, was dragged onto the street and shot in the centre of Mingora, a town in Swat, a valley about 130 km (80 miles) north of the capital Islamabad where militants are virtually in complete control.
Gunmen tried to kill Pashtun singer Sardar Yousafzai in Dir district as he returned home after performing at a wedding party in December. He escaped but his harmonium player, Anwar Gul, was killed and four other people were wounded in the attack.
The climate for anyone associated with the entertainment industry in the region turned hostile after Islamist parties rode to power in NWFP on a wave of anti-American sentiment following the U.S.-led invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan in late 2001.
The disapproving Islamist parties banned music on public transport and had movie posters featuring women torn down.
Militants went a lot further. (article)


Ben & Jerry [USA] created "Yes Pecan!" ice cream flavor for Obama.
 They then asked people to fill in the blank for the following:

" For George W. Bush,  they created _________.

Here are some of their favorite responses:

- Abu Grape
- Cluster Fudge
- Nut'n Accomplished
- Iraqi Road
- Chock 'n Awe
- Wire Tapioca
- Impeach Cobbler
- Guantanmallow
- imPeachmint
- Good Riddance You Lousy M*th*rf*ck*r... Swirl
- Heck of a Job, Brownie!
- RockyRoad to Fascism
- The Housing Crunch
- Nougalar Proliferation
- Death by Chocolate... and Torture
- Freedom Vanilla
- "You're Sh*tting In My Mouth And Calling It A" Sundae
- Credit Crunch
- Mission Pecanplished
- Country Pumpkin
- Chunky Monkey-in-Chief
- George Bush Doesn't Care About Dark Chocolate
- WMDelicious
- Chocolate Chimp
- Caramel Preemptive Stripe
- I Broke the Law and am Responsible for the Deaths of Thousands...with Nuts
(thanks to Bill Lempke)

Bee Gee Robin Gibb has Baby with Housekeeper, 26 Years His Junior
By Colin Fernandez

There are very few rules in his marriage, judging by all his talk of threesomes and cruising. But Robin Gibb managed to break one, all the same.
The Bee Gee, 59, has fathered a child with his live-in housekeeper, who is half his age. His wife Dwina is said to be infuriated by the birth even though the couple have an open relationship. She has apparently thrown the housekeeper, Claire Yang, 33, out of the Gibbs' 12th century Oxfordshire mansion.
 Robin Gibb has a three-month-old baby girl, Snow Robin, with Claire Yang (left). The housekeeper now lives with her child a few miles away from the Bee Gee's mansion in Oxfordshire Friends say that Dwina, a bisexual former druid priestess, had previously given her blessing to her husband's eight-year affair with Miss Yang but now feels 'betrayed'.

Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue

Remember the 1st Three Letters....S.T.R.
During a BBQ, a lady stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening
Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE(Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency numberimmediatelyand describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke..
(thanks to Marni Sheehan)



Terra Dolce are the most popular chiles in Peru, they is excellent in Southwest, Mexican and South American dishes.


I have gone off of the healthy eating slightly over the past couple of weeks as we have been entertaining a relative from Belgium. I took the opportunity to cook him some of my ‘newsletter specialties’,  we drank wine every night, we took him out to some of Melbourne’s exceptional eating places, including Jacques Reymond’s, and basically made ‘European-style’  breakfasts every morning: smoked salmon, swiss cheese, sour dough rolls & rye, coffee etc. It was good fun – kind of like a foodie holiday for us too - but now we have gotten back to more sensible eating and day-to-day living! But an open-minded friend at the local health food store said to me, ‘Well, every now and then, it’s good to Re-tox!’  

Here’s a re-tox for the kids.

Frogs in Ponds

Serving Size: 1 jelly cup per child

1 pkt lime jelly crystals
chocolate frogs

Mix the jelly according to instructions on the jelly box.
Pour equal amounts into plastic see- through cups.
When jelly has almost set, put a chocolate frog in the jelly with some sprinkles on top!
(thanks to Danni!)

                  New South Wales Black Christmas Fires (2001)                             
Oh, the air it was dry and the winds they were high
On the New South Wales Coast
With temperatures over thirty-four
Just a tinderbox about to explode.
Happy families blessed with a well-earned rest
In their holiday attire
Little did suspect, lives would soon be wrecked
By the New South Wales Black Christmas Fires.
On Black Christmas Day, up near Penrith way,
The first bushfires took their toll,
Thirty homes were claimed, by a wall of flames,
And sixty more burned out of control.
Oh, the fire fighters came, twenty thousand names,
From every State and Shire,
To risk their lives, with no end in sight
In the New South Wales Black Christmas Fires.
‘Evacuate!’ The alarm was made
As thousands left their homes
As memories, and precious things
And photographs would soon be gone.
Damn those arsonists in twenty-one arrests
With fourteen juveniles,
Some serial attacks by pyromaniacs
But one was by a nine-year old child.
Oh, those firebug thieves who could cause such griefs
To what thoughts do they aspire?
Is it angry minds, or just thrills behind
The New South Wales Black Christmas Fires?
Oh, that ‘Elvis’ nickname for that great sky-crane
Helitanker fire-fighting machine,
Over burning gales, dropped nine thousand pails
With a whoosh that was a joy to see!  
And on the ground the brave fire fighters saved
With containment and back burning pyres
But the danger remained, as we prayed for rain
In the New South Wales Black Christmas Fires.
When the deluge came of that precious rain,
The Blue Mountains felt it first,
And in Sydney town, the drops came down
And began to quench that awful thirst.
Still the South Coast burned and all hands were turned
To the areas most dire,
But the back was smashed, in the smoke and ash
Of the New South Wales Black Christmas Fires.

~ joe dolce ~



One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot
As a Christmas gift.
The next year, he didn't buy her a gift.
When she asked him why, he replied, "Well, you still haven't used the
Gift I bought you last year!"
And that's how the fight started.....

My wife walked into the den & asked "Whats on the TV?"
I replied "Dust".
And that's how the fight started.....

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming
Anniversary. She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 200
In about 3 seconds.
I bought her a scale.
And that's how the fight started.....

I asked my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?'
It warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation.
'Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!' she said.
So I suggested, 'How about the kitchen?'
And that's how the fight started.....

My wife and I are watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were
In bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?'
'No,' she answered.
I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'
She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying 'Yes.'
So I said, 'Then I'd like to phone a friend.'
And that's how the fight started.....

When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace
Expensive. So, I took her to a gas station.
And that's how the fight started.....

My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I
Kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at
A nearby table.
My wife asked, 'Do you know her?'
'Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my old girlfriend.
I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many
Years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.'
'My gosh!’  Says my wife. 'Who would think a person could go on
Celebrating that long?'
And that's how the fight started.....
(thanks to Bill Lempke)