Charlie's PatchCharlie and Fred had been shearing sheep, till the shed cut out last week,
So they stopped at the pub for a beer or two,
You know how it goes, oh I'm sure you do,
Though you sit there looking puzzled and pure and oh so flamin' meek.
Well the day wore on towards evening, and the beer was flowing well,
until Charlie thought they'd hit the road,
So they paid the publican what they owed,
And made for the car parked down the street, out in front of the Shell.
Fred had a couple of stubbies in hand, as they climbed into the car,
And he screwed off the caps as they drove along,
Amusing himself with a country song ,
For he fancied himself, this shearer bloke, as a country and western star.
He handed a stubby to Charlie of course, for they were true-blue mates,
And they got along well, on the shearing round,
And enjoyed themselves, as they both unwound,
for they travelled the homesteads up and down Australia's eastern states.
Then Charlie pointed up ahead, where there stood a copper in blue,
And he knew they were in for trouble of course
For he'd heard it straight from the mouth of a horse
That a team from the city had come along to see what it could do.
They had pledged themselves to halt the flood of drink-driving thereabout,
And the word had spread they were hard as nails
And were throwing the drinkers into the jails
Where the sentences were growing long before the offenders got out.
Well, Charlie began to panic a bit, for he needed the car for work.
And he knew very well if he went to jail|
His marriage was sure to falter and fail,
So he pulled off the road and slumped down low, feeling a bit of a berk.
But Fred had the answer, no flies on Fred, he had a brain, that's true.
And the label he pulled off (from his beer),
And said "Look, Charlie, just stick it here.
No hang on, mate, turn yourself round here, I'll stick it on for you.
Charlie was puzzled but Fred was sure, so Charlie did what he said,
And the pair drove on with foreheads bedecked,
With Fourex labels, with beer all flecked
Till they reached the spot that had caused the driver so much fear and dread.
The policemen came and looked into the car, and one quick breath did snatch
"You haven't been drinking, men," one uttered
and the other one stood there and muttered,
but Fred said, "Never, for can't you see, we're both of us on the patch."
He indicated the label stuck to the skin up above his eyes,
And Charlie nodded his head and smiled
As he thought how the cops had been beguiled
While Fred sat back complacently, believing he had been wise.
The sergeant dressed in blue gave a grunt, and brought out a plastic bag.
On St Patricks' Day, 'twas a fitting scene
As the crystals inside turned bright green,
Which made our shearers grimace and groan and back on their haunches sag.
"I thought these patches were foolproof sir," said Fred as they paid their bail.
"My brother had one for smoking you see,
so I thought the same would apply to me,
And would work to keep me sober and free instead of going to jail.
And now when these shearing pals appear, to try out a low-strength batch,
The men at the bar shout :"Hey you two,
How come you're drinking that feeble brew?
We heard it on good authority that you were both on the patch!"
Copyright; Patricia Markey
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