|I've nothing against Australia. I just thought this was funny.|
Our critters are no laughing matter either.
The Forty Pound Pepperpot
So there I am, as a cashier at a cut rate Wal-Mart wannabe chain store when I hear someone engaged in conversation using an interesting accent. I look down the line & I can't believe what I'm seeing ... A pepperpot! A real live pepperpot!
For those who've never followed Monty Pythons' Flying Circus, an explanation is in order. The Pepperpots, as the Pythons called them, are a stereotype they lampooned a lot: Late middle age to older ladies. Earthy, frumpy, LOUD with " 'eavy cawkney awccents". Never met one before.
Her turn to be checked out, I used my tried 'n true icebreaker I always use on people from "exotic" lands.
"I can tell by your accent, your'e not from around here. Are you from New Jersey?"
"Oh no dearie! Ahm from Arstrawlia!"
"Not meaning to be disrespectful or anything, but I thought you might be from England."
"Oh aye moved from 'ere to Arstrawlia back 'n 48."
"Oh," I said. "You're a forty pound pom ..."
"OOOO!," she exclaimed turning to her husband. " 'Y heah that Carl? 'E knows about the forty pound Poms 'e does!"
Carl, bless his soul, looked like he wanted to be somewhere else.
After the Second World War, the UK (Up the Queen!) decided to embrace socialism & all the agonies that go with it. Topped with a post-war industrial downturn & a lot of displaced people from all over Europe, the employment situation was rather dire.
The situation in Australia however, was quite the opposite. Industry, commerce & ranching were begging for people.
In typical fashion, Great Britain (Up the Queen!) used the old tried 'n true method of getting rid of "undesireables" wether Welsh, Scotts, IRISH(!), English, & otherwise ... SHIP 'EM OFF TO THE COLONIES!
The government made an offer: As a one way passage to "down under" cost forty pounds, the Crown (Up the Queen!) would pay half. Over a million people took up the offer.
Lasting from the late '40s to mid '50s, this was the last great white migration in history. It's also why many of todays' Australians have German & Slavic surnames.
Pommie is a derogatory Australian term reserved for English folks. Thus the newcomers taking the forty pound one way to the island continent were referred to as "forty pound poms".
Oh yes! Back to my story.
When asked what they were doing here in the states, the lady replied:
"We're 'ere 't see our daughter. She married a Yank!"
Story copyright © 7-29-13 Jay Agan
A Little Bigotry here.
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