Works in the Herald 1934
EPISTLES TO AB - BILLIBILLI BLACKLEGS

Fourway Farm,
October 18, 1934.

Dear Ab, -

I am afraid your Ma and me will be forced to see some of them centenary celebrations after all, much as we hates it.

I am still solid with the Billibilli district in withdrawing our support from all such celebrations and generilly ignoring same. Be that as it may, this old rimatism is piping up pretty solid recent, and I feel I owe it to meself to see a city specialist about it. Your Ma thinks so too, and is coming down to look after me in case I get worse, tho I tell her she needent.

I suppose it can be manidged without us taking any active part in any cereminys and still upholding our feller Billibillians attichood of calm and disinterested nutrality.

So you can expect us Monday if you can get us a room at the place you are boarding at. If not, I am afraid you will have to give us your own room and hunt up some place or other where you can sleep pro temp. But donít let that worry you.

While still standing apart from this here Centenary and all its works so far as is consistent with Loyalty to His Royal Highness the Duke, I am intreeged to notice that the prominent town of Billibilli seems to be getting emptier and emptier as the days go by.

In fact Councillor Bill Honeycum, the pioneer and prime mover of this here Centenary boycott movement, finds that business has fell off so bad at his grocery store that he is beginning to say nasty tings about blacklegs and backsliders.

Be that as it may, I think Bill has let himself get soured by what is reely a string of strange coincidentses.

If a Billibilli citizen happens to be called to Melbourne by irgent business or sickness it aint no fault of his that a Centenary happens to be happening, and Counciller Honeycum aint got no right or proper evidens to up and say publickly that it is all a case of underhand camuflage and transparent excuses to get down and be in the swim.

Take me own case as an example. Did I deliberate and with mallis before thought go and give myself a dose of rumatism four year ago with the Centenary in view? It donít stand to reason. Billís gone cockeyed with Centenaritis.

As I points out to him, them residents of Billibilli whose photers he sees in the newspaper pictures attending various functions has probably just gone there to sneer, as is their patriotic duty to do, and is taking no real enjoyment in the spectacle.

The worst of Honeycum is that, tho he is a good counciller as councillers go, he aint brod minded.

So, Ab, you can expect your Ma and me a Monday. And if you happen to have any free tickets for any of the shivoos you might keep them for us just in case we might see something to critise and so get one back on them Melbourne brasshats what done Billibilli such dirt by leaving her out of their programme in such a prejudicial and pointed manner.

Your brother Joe is stopping back with great reluctance to look after the farm. He seems to have got a very sudden idear that he reely ought to be measured for a good suit of city-made Sunday clothes against the visit of your girl friend this side of Xmas. But I points out to him rumatics is far more important than fancy duds, and any how, hes got the wireless.

Well, Ab, from all at home till Monday.

Your aff. father.
JAS. JAMES

"Den"
Herald, 20 October 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004