Works in the Herald 1934
EPISTLES TO AB - PIES IN COLLINS STREET

Fourway Farm,
November 16, 1934.

Dear Ab,

I am sorry, my boy, but your ma and me donít find it possible to get terrible indignent about what you have told us in your very indignent letter this week. We are grieved to think that you should feel the position so keen, but wit all doo respecks we must furmly refuse to write any sharp notes to your brother Joe as requested over his behaviour while down in Melbourne for this here centenary.

Somehow we canít quite simpathise with your superior state of mind. If you brother Joe wants to heat hot meat pies in the middle of Collins Street in the peek hour, well, he has just got to eat hot meat pies in the middle of Collins Street in the peek hour, manners or no manners, and there is no more to be said about it.

You see, Ab, your brother Joe has one of them single-track minds what often goes with great characters.

When Joe gets hungry, well, he gets hungry. He is terrible fond of hot meat pies which, after a time, is apt to ease the said hunger. Therefore, when Joe is hungry and meat pies is to be had Joe will eat meat pies in the middle of Collins Street or in the middle of Windsor Castle if he happens to be there when the pangs of hunger nore his vitals.

So I am sorry Ab, lad, if a pashion for truth forces me to say that you seem to have mislaid your sense of valyers down there in the city somewheres.

If it had been a Royal Prince what bought and et them pies in public you and all your swank friends would of broke your necks and the pie-shop winders trying to get more pies so that you could foller the Ryal example.

But when your poor brother Joe pufforms that harmless - and I mite say singerlerly independent and nobly simple action, you got to act and write as if the honor of the Jameses had been drug in the mire of Collins Street, and your repitation in the city was for ever rooned.

Ab, Ime a good bit disapinted in you. The one thing your ma and me was scared about when you first went down to toil in the city was that you might grow into a social snob and shame the fambly.

Your ma and me - not to mention your brother Joe - is proud enough to blieve that it takes more than a few hot meat pies to stain the family scutchin of the Jameses of Billibill. And when you say that Joe behaved like a bucolick oaf (whatever that is) and made you feel small, you got to remember that no man can be made to feel small unless he is prepared to be small both in mind and manners.

So put that in your hip pocket and sit on it till you manidge to hatch out a better bred brood of social simptoms and sentiments.

Not losing sight of the fack that it was your hayseed brother Joe what give up his course at the farming coledge when you turned out too dull for life on the land and had to be schooled for a city job.

Love from your ma and me.

Your aff. father.
JAS. JAMES

"Den"
Herald, 17 November 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-05