For ten months now I’ve brooded over coming second place
in the pickle section deeming, it no less than a disgrace.
It was written plain and simple, so there can be no excuse,
that the pickles in this section must be made from local produce.
So my asparagus and parsnip with a curried chili base
should have won first prize and put a smile upon me face,
but some bludger here from Castlemaine; two hundred miles away,
has been given the blue ribbon for his pickled eggplant satay.
I’m not complaining ‘bout his product; that is not the point,
but his pickle isn’t local grown, it’s from some other joint,
but let me tell you I’m not giving up; I’ll get him this year,
with a turnip, olive blending, and salted shrimps in beer.
Might I add I’ve had a word to they who run the Wentworth show,
about the rules of local pickles, and I surely let them know
that the winner of the pickle section, who entered here last year
had no local content in his pickles, and I really made that clear.
With that problem off me chest, I thought of doubling up me chances
with a pickle that cannot be beat, and with a flavour that enhances
the taste buds to start tingling, and a recipe soon come to mind,
of camel melon boiled with loquats, using lemon rind to bind.
Even though I know I can’t be beat, I need more back up here,
so I’ve asked me wife to enter, and she said she’d volunteer.
I suggested that she make a sauce, and plum would be preferred.
After I have come in first and second, she might finish third.
I promised I would pick the plums for her; the finest ‘bloods’ around
off a tree me mate has grown, who lets them rot upon the ground.
I’ll discard the plums with fruit fly, although their flavour is unique.
I’ll even cut and pip her plums, using me special pickle technique.
But I made the biggest blunder while I cut and pipped a plum.
I was listening to the football and I sliced me bloody thumb
when the bulldogs kicked another goal to put the cats away.
Me blood was blending with the plums before I tied a tourniquet.
There is confusion in the kitchen for sheer panic often numbs.
Me wife is shouting at me for putting blood in with the plums.
She whisked me to outpatients with a towel wrapped ‘round me hand,
but outpatients sent me to a super clinic ‘cause there is so much demand.
At reception it is mentioned, the super clinic is a better place for me.
They have a dozen doctors there and we are struggling with three,
and with a wound that’s flowing freely, they probably will say,
once you’ve been diagnosed you better come on back this way.
There’s a hundred patients waiting there inside the waiting room,
and every face put on a picture with their fate of doom and gloom.
Some were coughing; some were sneezing, and others looked quite glum,
but I’m the only one in here whose needing stitches in his thumb.
So I’m the most important patient ‘cause a wound can get infected,
and even though I come in last, quite rightly I’m expected
to be called in straight away to have me thumb sewn back in place,
for an open wound needs strict attention - I’m the important case.
I suppose that I should mention when the blood was washed away,
that a couple of dabs of dettol and two band-aids were okay
to ease me worries and me wife, who at this moment I now know
is back home cooking blood plums to make sauce for the show.
I just cannot tell her that plum sauce, hardly comes up to scratch,
against the chutney I’ll be cooking; that no one else can match,
but as I was peeling parsnips, me guts were feeling funny,
and I was forced to leave the parsnips while I sprinted to the dunny.
I thought ‘what have I eaten that has loosened up me bowel?
It’s not the tripe; the cabbage pie, that made me tummy growl.
And when I was dicing my asparagus, I took a little sniff,
then me throat it started hurting and me neck was going stiff.
For a week I found meself laid up. I coughed and sniffed and wheezed,
amongst the smell of cooking camel melons. I suppose I should be pleased
that me wife has taken pity with this blasted lurgy I have caught,
and I suppose that she will claim the prize because of her support.
When me coughing had subsided and the flu had finally flown,
I started scratching like there’s fleas on me and damn near to the bone.
As it turns out I’ve got measles - I thought measles is for kids.
Struth! And I could have mumps as well. I’m really on the skids.
But at least without the coughing, me pickles now have got a chance.
Oh but then to join me other setbacks I’ve caught St. Vitas dance.
Me wife thinks I’m into disco dancing, but she is wrong you know,
I’m into pickle making and winning first prize at the show.
But I hardly feel like eating and I’m as listless as they come,
and it’s been like this ever since I cut those plums and sliced me thumb,
so I went to a private doctor, who laughed when diagnosing me …
I’ve got waiting room syndrome and it’s as common as can be.
Bloody waiting room syndrome! I should have flamin’ known,
with every bugger in that waiting room, diseased or virus prone,
spreading every flamin’ bug they’ve got, where blokes like me succumb,
when I visited that super clinic with a scratch upon me thumb!
I suppose I should be happy knowing what was wrong with me.
I should keep clear of the super clinics to make sure I’m bug free,
but depression I succumbed to wasn’t from the clinic, this I know.
It’s from the judging of the pickles at the recent Wentworth show.
Don’t let anybody make your pickles; no one can cook them like I do.
I know me wife was trying to help, but she never really had a clue.
I can’t understand the judging process; it’s got some awful flaws,
I’m sure most of the judging panel need to learn to add up scores.
No one can go past camel melon loquats shared with lemon rind,
or a turnip, olive blending, with salted shrimps that are combined.
I admit I suffered jealousy which had me thinking of divorce
when I saw that ribbon hung around a bottle of plum source.
But truthfully I’m proud to know, me wife had claimed first prize,
but after reading judges comments, I was quick to realize,
she could not have won it on her own; it all came down to me
pouring blood in with the plums to give the colour clarity.
And the judges marveled how the sauce had clotted in the jar,
and that’s because of all me platelets which made it set like tar.
But to see her relishing in glory is not the reason I’m upset.
Something else got underneath me guard I never thought a threat.
To claim a third is disappointing when I know it should be first,
and being beaten by me wife it hurts, but this is not the worst.
Those judges done me good and proper. I told them of his guise,
but that bludger up from Castlemaine was still given second prize.
Copyright © Lindsay Laurie | Year Posted 2021