The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “THUNDER”. Once again this one was a lot of fun. I shouldn’t say that as Jon will come up with an impossible topic if thinks he is making it easy.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20080629.mp3]

I spent most of this week down the bush. I have just discovered that lyrebirds listen to 3RRR. The reason being that I have a veggie patch and I have been doing all the right things. It was fertilised, and composted and watered (erratically). So after last weeks garden theme, the lyrebirds obviously thought I was being disrespectful and didn’t actually want the garden, so they decided to turn it into a nest.

Yep. They pulled up all the green things and reorganised my mulch and compost into an incubator. Then to add insult to injury they invited the wallabies and wombats to help with the reconstuction.

End result. One beetroot. It tasted good though. Back to the suburbs this week.

Ed Bates does sterling service on the atmospheric background guitar sounds this week.


“Pig” Mills had an Uncle Reginald, who lived out past Hepburn Springs
He had a chronic allergy to all forms of work and a number of other things

Even washing the dishes was enough to upset his delicate constitution
His days could cope with little more than eating and sundry ablutions

No sewerage back in those days, the journey could be tiring and hard
It was a lonely trek to the “Thunderbox” at the far end of the yard

In wintertime you’d freeze your arse, in summertime you’d bake
And not forgetting the spiders and the occasional Tiger Snake

The wind would attack from the back of the can, they were cramped, dark and dirty
The stench would make the paint peel once the mercury hit thirty

It was just as well Reg didn’t mind the hike out to the throne
Cause he spent more time out on the can than he did inside the home

He had it painted in Fitzroy colours, no outhouse ever looked neater
He had a bookshelf installed and for the long winter nights, carpet and a kerosene heater

A short wave radio with a twenty foot antenna to get news and the football score
It got to the point where Eunice, his wife, had to leave his meals at the door

Eunice was known as the “Thunderbox” widow, no prospect of any improvements
A few precious moments shared over breakfast for an update on Reg’s bowel movements

With her husband hogging the outhouse, Eunice was naturally not happy
When nature called she had to slip next door or even resort to a nappy

The “Nightman” would cart off the “Night soil” as it was euphemistically referred
“Night soil” of course was not soil at all, but a polite way of saying a turd

Once the town went to sleep, the “Nightman” came calling, working his way down the street
When he pulled into Reg’s and slid out the can he’d find an arse sagging down from the seat

So he worked out a system, he’d pull up out front and give two blasts on the horn
Reg’s can was too heavy to carry by shoulder, but in winter at least it was warm

Then came the news they were going to get sewerage, Reg was over the moon
He could ablute when he liked without leaving the house, it couldn’t come a moment too soon

A few days before the pipes were connected a terrible storm hit the town
Thunder and lightning, a torrent of rain and the power and phone lines came down

The floodwaters rose to the top of the can, Reg turned as white as a ghost
His arse on the seat and his mind on the job, he wasn’t deserting his post

A lightning bolt struck the antenna and shot down into the can
Igniting the methane and Kerosene vapour and more than just shit hit the fan

That outhouse was blown into millions of pieces which rained down into the mud
What little survived sank in the waters and was swept away by the flood

When your times up its up – at least it was quick, Eunice had only one gripe
“Before the angels took Reg it would have been nice if they’d given him enough time to wipe”

They buried poor Reg, mind you all they could find was a smouldering pair of socks
The priest remarked “It’s not without reason they call it a “Thunderbox”

Eunice was stoic, drank two or three sherries and wept as they laid him to rest
It was some comfort knowing at least Reg had died doing what he loved best

“To be honest” she whispered “He didn’t say much, outside of the occasional fart”
“Me in the house and him out the back — I’d grown used to us living apart”

“One conciliation” Eunice reflected, as she threw back a sherry and blushed
“Reg didn’t live to see the toilet connected but at least when he died he was flushed”

Now decades on when the weather turns dirty I look back and my heart starts to thump
When it thunders and howls, I think it’s just Reg’s bowels, he’s up there taking a dump

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

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