In America now (says a traveller) canned beer has practically relaced the bottled product. Twelve ounce tins are sold for 15 cents in the U.S.A., and tin-openers are supplied.
Romance goes out of everything in these days of ill grace, And even old John Barleycorn grows "standardised" apace; Once henchman of gay gallantry, a kindlier part he played. Scene: Tavern door. A saucy wench. A merry, ruffling blade. He stops. She smiles. Arm round her waist. "Could Eve be more divine? See, a kiss, my pretty sweetling. Then, I pray, a stoup of wine." 'Twas in a "silver tassie" that Rab Burns pledged his lass (The current one, 'tis understood). But days grows drab, alas. Scene: London pub. Tiles. Glittering glass; and there, behind the bar, A brass-haired goddess, proud, aloof from this meek gutter child. "A pot o' four-'arf, thank yeh, miss. An' please to dror it mild." The scene shifts to Australia, "where a man can raise a thirst." (See Kipling). From "long-sleevers" now they drained the stuff acurst. Back of beyond, by Clancy's run they've a had a six months' drought. Scene: Old bush shanty. Summer. Flies. Six shearers "cutting out." A shirt-sleeved, whiskered barman. Says Bill: "By gum, it's 'ot! Breast up, blokes. Name yer gargle. Rybuck, boss; mine's a pot." But mass-production now debunks old John, for olden sins; They've "synthesised" him, "standardised" him, soldered him in tins. Grog goes no more with gallantry, nor wine with poesy. Scene: Chain store-grocer's. Pickles, clothes-pegs, jam, tinned salmon, tea. Smug grocer (strict abstainer). Enter cove in working duds. He slings a sprat across the joint: "Hoy! Gissa tinna suds!"
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-05|