Among the qualifications required by the Railways Department for its new station-director (The Man in Grey) are the suavity of a diplomat, a radio announcer's voice, an ability to suffer fools gladly and to look well in a pearl-grey uniform, together with an encyclopaedic knowledge of tickets, time-tables, fares and the female temperament.
I think I should suit, for I've knowledge minute Of all tickets, time-tables, and trains; All speedings and slowings and comings and goings Are deeply impressed on my brains. I know just how long the express to Geelong Stops outside certain stations; and where All the footwarmers go when the winter winds blow. So I think I am qualified there. I can find you a porter, or see that your daughter Leaves safely for Sydney. My list Of refreshment-room fare is exclusive and rare I can tell you what trains you have missed. I can find little Willie, or mind little Millie While Mother, with no time to spare, Goes to buy her a bun. I can tell you what won All the races. I'm competent there. I have knowledge unique of what days in the week Trains stop at your station -- or not. I can tell ("Sat. excepted") what trains are connected With which. I am au fait with the lot. On "Mon. only" or "Tues." I have accurate views. I can tell you on "Suns." when and where You can gather mushrooms or the gold wattle blooms; So I feel I am competent there. And, with all this assortment of facts, my deportment, Impressive, yet friendly, is right. At my resonant voice all the ladies rejoice; And fools flock to me, dribbling delight. My garments I wear with an air debonair; But one handicap stands in my way: Tho' in all else I'm "It," those who know me admit That I look simply awful in grey.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005-07|