Across the River: Living with life's little mysteries

LIFE is full of little mysteries, isn’t it?

Like how important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Or when does a mass murderer become a terrorist?

And why does a round pizza come in a square box?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they slept like a baby when babies wake up every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you in a movie, but you're on television?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

How long does a doctor have to practice medicine before he gets the hang of it?

And speaking about doctors, I wonder what disease cured ham actually had?

A MYSTERY: Does anyone know what disease ham had before it was cured? We'll just have to live with the enigma. Photo: Geoff Goodfellow.

A MYSTERY: Does anyone know what disease ham had before it was cured? We'll just have to live with the enigma. Photo: Geoff Goodfellow.

NOW let me take you to a well-known Riverina restaurant in the 1980s where the local underworld boss has just learned that his bookkeeper had embezzled $10 million from him.

The bookkeeper is deaf. This was considered an occupational advantage in underworld circles, and why he got the job in the first place, since it was assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not be able to hear anything he'd ever have to testify about in court.

At the restaurant is also the solicitor for the underworld boss, who is proficient in sign language.

“Where is the 10 million bucks you embezzled from me?” asks the underworld boss.

The solicitor, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the $10 million is hidden.

The bookkeeper signs back: “I don't know what you are talking about.”

The solicitor relays the message to the underworld boss: “He says he doesn't know what you're talking about.”

The underworld boss pulls out a pistol, puts it to the bookkeeper’s temple, cocks it, and says: “Ask him again!”

The solicitor signs to the bookkeeper; “He'll kill you for sure if you don’t tell him.”

The bookkeeper signs back; “OK! You win. The money is in a brown briefcase, under a 44 gallon drum behind the shed on my cousin Enzo’s orchard at Leeton.”

“Well, what'd he say?” asks the underworld boss impatiently.

The solicitor didn’t hesitate: “He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger.”

ACTUALLY Dudley is just back from the Riverina. One morning he watched a huge funeral pass by the cafe where he was having breakfast with a local rice farmer friend.  

It was a very Italian funeral with big black cars and big men with dark glasses everywhere.

“Whose funeral is that?” asked Dudley, while chatting with his mate.

“One of Big Louigi’s girlfriends.”

“What did she die from?”


“You can’t die from herpes, can you?

“Yep,” said the rice farmer. “You can if you give it to Big Louigi.”

DUDLEY was also telling me the other day about two blokes living in the Australian outback who saw a couple of jobs advertised by the Queen. She was looking for footmen to walk beside her carriage. So Mick and Webby applied then flew to London for an interview with Her Majesty.

“Because my footmen must wear long white stockings, I must see your ankles to be sure they are not swollen or misshapen," said the Queen, who was conducting the interview herself.

After they showed her their ankles, the Queen says: “It is also important that you don’t have knobby knees, so I need to see your knees too.”

Once she has seen their knees, she says: “Everything appears to be in top shape, so now I just need to see your testimonials.”

Four years later, when the two lads were released from prison, Webby says: “You know Mick, I reckon if we had just paid a bit more attention at school we’d have landed that job."


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