Works in the Herald 1935

The biggest scientific congress ever held in Australia is at present in session in Melbourne. Eighty learned societies are represented, and subjects to be discussed include: Medical science, wireless research, meteorology, agriculture, surveying, anthropology and many others.

“Who are these blokes with bulging brows
   I see all o’er the shop?”
The layman asked.  “Them’s scientists,”
   Replied the courteous cop.
“They are the country’s biggest brains;
   There’s nothing they don’t know –
The ways of stars, the eight of suns,
   And why the winds do blow.”
“Then think you they could cure this cold
   That leaves me leaden-eyed?”
“Well –- no; they ain’t quite up to that,”
   The constable replied.

“But they could take a man apart
   And sew him up again
As good as new; they know how trees
   Grow from a tiny grain.
And they can harness wireless waves
   And make hem do their will,
Or split an atom bang in two,
   Or cleave a mighty hill.”
“But could they make this north wind change
   A point to east or west?”
“Well, no,” the cop replied; “not yet.
   That’s far too stiff a test,

“But they can cause electric eyes
   To shut and open doors,
Or answer telephones, or guide
   A great ship from the shores.
Their ‘ographies’ and ‘ologies’
   And wonders that they plan,
To shove ahead this human race
   Do fair amaze a man.
Why they’ll have television soon,
   Or so I’ve heard or read.”
“And will that make man happier?”
   The simple layman said.

“Tho’ most amazing, as you say,
   The things they do and know,
They cannot make the rain to fall
   Or cause the breeze to blow.
They cannot build one blade of grass,
   Or read a flapper’s mind;
That collar stud I dropped this morn
   I’ll swear they could not find!... ”
“Move on, there!” cried the constable
   These ain’t things for a joke.
Upon my word, I never see
   So iggnerint a bloke!”

Herald, 17 January 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003