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The Apricot's Apology by C.J. Dennis

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Victoria's Agent-General, Mr McWhae, says that if ever we are to win our way in the fruit markets of the world we must stop the exportation of inferior fruit.

I'm only a speckled apricot,
   But they passed me at the docks.
And they said, "He'll do -- he ain't too new,
   But he'll help to fill the box."
So they sent me out on the bounding sea,
   Food for the friend, and alien --
And they said, "Look here, you make it clear
   You're dinkum, and Australian."

Well, I did my best to pass the test.
   Me! that was just a runt.
And a Turkey fig says to me, "Dig,
   You goin' to the front?"
And I answered, "Yes; I must confess
   My figure ain't allurin',
But I'm an Aussie apricot,
   And, lad, we're all endurin' --

And when I came to a British dame
   In a poor fruit pedlar's basket.
She said: "What!  That!"  And he raised his hat,
   And he said, "How can you ask it?
It comes from far Australia, mum,
   Where fruits is pretty rotten."
So I went in to a rubbish tin,
   And, henceforth, was forgotten.

But I sends a wave from me lonely grave,
   And I asks you is it fair
That blokes like me should have to be
   Advertisements out there?
No!  Send the best!  For that's the test:
   I've done what I could do. 
But can't you send some better friend
   As representing YOU?"

First published in The Herald, 8 June 1922

A Fair Spin by C.J. Dennis

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Says a "Herald" heading: Pillory the Exporter of Bad Quality Goods.

I'll give the game a go.
They say I should be circumspect; but I don't care a hang.
I'll bang
The cows in slang . .
'Ere!  Wot's the game?
Don't this Australia want a decent name
For treatin' other blokes all on the square?
I wouldn't dare
To sell crook rabbits down in Spadger's land;
Fer, if the ole tarts down there should complain
Jist once, why, all me custom
Would go right up the pole.
Upon me soul!
Yeh see, I trust 'em
An' they trust me.
Because they say, "This rabbito, why 'e
Gives us a dinkum spin.
'E wouldn't take us in."
Now, ain't that nice?
I don't like givin' statesmen my advice,
But - well, I'm just an ord'nary sorter bloke,
Still, I think it is getting past a joke
When coves that earns reel decent livli'oods
Rings in crook goods
Jist 'cos it pays.
Aw, spare me days!
I got some sense of wot the 'eads calls pride,
An', for to do a snide,
Crook deal like that
Sooner eat me 'at.
Fair dinkum: when I sum the 'ole thing up.
But still, I sometimes think
That us blokes -- toilin' for a bit of dough --
Gives the straight game a go
Better than all the 'eads who play a game
Wot gives Australia a rotten name.
Blimey!  I sooner be --
(Now, let me see
Wot's this that Wordsworth says?)
Why, spare me days!
"I'd sooner be"
(Yes, me!)
"A pagan, suckled in some creed outworn,"
Than some smug Christain 'oo puts up to scorn
Australia's name.
Aw, strike!  We play the game:
Us rabbitos.  An' -- on the square --
Even if I 'ad 'eaps of gilt to spare,
Like some of these
Exporters that I knows,
I wouldn't go
And play the game so low.
I'd not send one crook rabbit overseas,
No, not to please
A flamin' King;
It ain't the thing.
Desertin' Aussie is a dirty trick.
            GINGER MICK.

First published in The Herald, 19 May 1922

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