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Men by C.J. Dennis

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"I cannot believe," said a London judge, "that the laws regarding a man's wife is the same as for a man's dog or a noisy machine." He was discussing a case in which the neighbours of a man sought to put him in gaol because, in his absence, his wife persistently cried, whined, and moaned.

I sea, "Mrs. B.,--an' I think you'll agree-- 
To call any one dawgs ain't a 'abit with me;
An' no more ain't it been to find likeness atween 
A decent-spoke soul an' a noisy machine. 
No, there's limits, mum, limits, that's puttin' it plain, 
To me 'ablts of speech when I wish to complain."

But I sez, "Mrs. B, if you'll listen to me, 
You'll know that men ain't all they're reckoned to be. 
As for weepin' an' wailin' because they leaves 'ome, 
It ain't been me 'abit; I sez let 'em roam. 
As I sez to my George--an' it's tellln' no lies-- 
When 'e 'angs round the 'ouse 'e is worse'n the flies. 
As for moanin' an' groanin', you'll find it a fack,
The time for sich doin's is when they comes back." 

I sez. "Mrs. B., I am all thirty-three, 
Tho' you'd 'ardly believe it by lookin' at me, 
An' I've studied the men from their 'eads to their toes. 
An' there's none worth yer owlin' as fur as that goes. 
Taint 'owlin' but growlin' you gits out of them. 
As fer dawgs--well, I never was one to condemn."

I sez. "But, Mrs. B., if you listen to me 
You'll give up the 'abit of gin in yer tea.   
For tea's a nice tipple; an' so, ma'am, is gin; 
But to mix 'em together is worsen a sin ... 
Oh, shut up yer yelpin'! Why, dawgs an' machines 
Don't 'arf-way describe wot sich catterwauls means!"

First published in The Herald, 21 December 1936;
and later in
The Queenslander, 6 May 1937.

A Fair Exchange by C.J. Dennis

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In reply to Mrs Minoprio's trousers, recently worn in an English golf tournament, Mr Morrison, an ex-Cambridge triple-blue, at the Royal Worlington Golf Club this week turned up in a skirt.

Would you be much impressed, my dear,
   Now you've adopted shorts,
If males like me came dressed, my dear,
   In skirts, to divers sports?
With gussets, flares and pleats and things
Like that, we'd give our fancy wings
   To grace the links and courts.
You should not worry very much,
   Since male attire you choose,
If, with a chic Parisian touch
   And taste in cut and hues,
We garbed ourselves, from neck to knees,
In crepe de chine or "summer breeze"
   Of pretty pinks and blues.
Would frills and flounces seem absurd
   Upon the manly form?
I don't see why, upon my word,
   Such gads, should raise a storm
Of ridicule.   And, if they do,
Scorn coming from one garbed like you
   Is really rather warm.
Think the position out, my dear,
   And be consistent, please.
And, while you dash about, my dear,
   In pants shorn to the knees,
You're drawing from the normal male
The same loud laugh with which you'd hail
   A man in fripperies.

First published in The Herald, 29 November 1933

One Dull Man by C.J. Dennis

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Major Montague, an ex-secretary of Portland Club and one of the framers of the rules of Bridge, who is visiting Australia, declares that women are better Bridge players than men. Women, he says, are quick and alert, while men are often dull and lifeless.

Why did you play your spade in there? (said she).
I can't think why you don't take care (said she).
You fuss and fiddle with every card
As tho' you found the game too hard
   You hung on to your trumps until
   They caught you napping.  Really, Will,
You think and hesitate so long;
Then in the end you play it wrong.
   Why, you can't even call your hand.
   You men!  I cannot understand.
You are so stupid, dull and dense.
The game requires just common-sense.
   But Bridge for you holds little gain:
   Yet you're supposed to have a brain (said she).

Tired?  You?  I hope I am no cat (said she).
But I must say I do like that (said she).
What about me? You go to town,
And gossip there with Smith and Brown.
   And go to lunch and have a drink,
   Yet in the evening you can't think.
What about me?  Your life's the best.
Why should you crave for so much rest?
   Ask any doctor.  He will say
   A business man should always play.
You should play more.  You know you should.
A change of occupation's good.
   Yet, when I ask you to go out,
   You say you're tired and moon about.
What about me?  Do I complain?
Why, it's a wonder I keep sane
   With all the dull monotony
   That this existence holds for me.
You'll tell me that I'm lazy soon.
Why, I played all the afternoon! (said she).

Did you, my dear? I didn't know (said he).
Well, I suppose I must be slow (said he).
   Yes, slow and dull.  Again you're right -
   You always are . . .Heigh, ho! . . . Good night (said he).

First published in The Herald, 21 January 1931

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