LITHGOW unionists, who have declared a “beer strike,” will inscribe on a “dishonor roll” the names of men caught drinking beer. This beer strike habit is growing serious. There has been an epidemic of it lately.
Pretty soon the breweries will give up making beer and go in for ginger pop, orange crush, ice cream soda and kindred beverages. Still, I am all for the change. I would glow with pleasure to hear hard-working chaps ordering temperance drinks after a day with the pick and shovel.
“What’s yours, Joe?”
“A raspberry kiss, Charlie.”
“How about you, Mike?”
Another milk shake?”
“Count me out this time, Charlie. I don’t want the stuff to get a hold on me.”
“You must have something on my shout Mike. How about a packet of fags?”
“Well, if you insist, I’ll take sixpenn’orth of liquorice allsorts. I just do love a liquorice allsort.”
That’s what this dishonor roll will do to men. Why, it wont be long before a man will be afraid to wipe his mouth with the back of his hand in Lithgow for fear his mates will send him to Coventry on suspicion of beer-sparring.
Behold this fellow sneaking by
With burning cheek and downcast eye.
His face is glum, his mien is sad.
His workmates hiss and murmur “Cad!”
The little children shrink away,
And taxis honk and horses neigh.
He well deserves his fate. I fear,
They caught him last night drinking beer.
There is no question of his guilt.
He stands convicted to the hilt.
No wonder he incurred their wrath.
They found him with the very froth
Still clinging to his lip, where he
Had quaffed his noggin greedily.
His speech was thick, his eye a-blear,
Undoubtedly from drinking beer.
Then, let him go his way alone,
A target for the stick and stone,
Pursued by catcalls, groans and hoots
And urged along by well-aimed boots,
Unwanted in the corner shop,
Where others drink their ginger pop —
A heavy price, it would appear,
Far sneaking an illicit beer.
– Peerybingle Papers, Weekly Times (Melbourne) October 28 1939.