Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sepia Saturday 251: Three Tasmanian Coppers

Last week, my grandfather's horses were speaking to me from their photos. This week it's the police.  But I can pin the blame for my silliness on Marilyn for her Facebook suggestion that the cops were looking at Alan. 

 " you see that woman looking this way?" said John gruffly through his thick beard and moustaches. John's hirsute appearance matched his abrasive personality and he was visibly agitated. "That old cow is on the lam. I recognize her."

"Really John?" Charles said indifferently, thinking to himself that John's imagination was working over time again; even for an imagination inside someone else's imagination.  He understood it completely; afternoon street patrol in Hobart could get very, very slow.  Sometimes he felt that time was standing still. He folded his hands and observed with a faint smile, "Looks like an ordinary old sheila to me." 

"I'm telling you," said John with growing excitment, "I saw an ancient sepia colored flyer just the other day." He lowered his head and glowered into the dim light.  "It came in the postie from Manitoba. The RCMP have been after her for more than 50 years! Something about an illegal bonfire, smokin' and drinkin' under age and trespassing too. Done some real damage up there tromping through a field. Now here she is - thinkin' it's clear sailing cause half a century's passed." 

Harry, standing calmly by, harumphed at the absurdity of his mate's Clouseau-like allegations; he didn't bother to turn around and continued to stay focused on the street scene. John ranted on," Those RCMP blokes have no cold cases - they never stop until they get their man. Look at her, peering away at us just like someone with nothing on her conscience.  Bit of a brazen hussy."

Charles observed with a faint smile, "I think she's trying to read that boot sign over your head Johnny. Or the sign in the Chemist's window." He felt his head throbbing and somehow his world seemed to get alternately larger and smaller; larger and smaller. 

John was chafing at Charlie's casual attitude. "No Charlie," he said, " You're dead wrong! She's squinting at Harry's arse - that's what she's doing - no manners at all!" He paused and in a rare moment of thoughtfulness sized up the scene before speaking again. "Harry - at least you could move over to the left a bit and get your arse out of her sight!" Harry shifted to the other foot ignoring John which he'd learned was the wisest choice of action.

Raising his voice in frustration John asked, "Do we have no privacy here; is there no respect for the law? Let's get a warrant, reach in there and search her hard drive. Teach her a lesson for being so bloody nosy." 

"Too late Johnny," said Charles barely smothering a chortle, "She's figured you're onto her. Not as much of a drongo as you thought. Argghh...she's beat us to it and reaching for the publish switch. Gone, gone, gone - she's back on the lam again. And look at what she's done to us; left us standing here for eternity, framed."

Make a quick getaway to Sepia Saturday for more stories: Sepia Saturday #251


  1. drongo…I like it.

  2. I think that brazen hussie is still drinkin' and smokin'! HA ~ Never underestimate the power of Sepia Saturday to inspire some creativity.

  3. Funny & creative. I have no idea what drongo means. Is there really a boot sign?

  4. Absolutely, bloomin marvellous, thank you for brightening my Friday afternoon.

    1. An Australian term of endearment :-)

  5. What a riot! In a good way, of course. You are the dialogist among us (and if that's not a word yet, now it is). Most enjoyable.

  6. Literally fun post. And hey, you saw the BOOT sign too! It's where I got my inspiration since I had no pix of Bobbies, Mounties, or any other kind of police dudes.

  7. What fun and such imagination!!

  8. Great fun! I don’t mind taking the blame but you can have all the praise for a creative post. Oh and yes I missed Boots off the list of things beginning with B.

  9. LOL. This is me, reaching for the publish switch.

  10. Tee hee - I liked the bit where his head was throbbing from the world getting bigger and smaller!

  11. Good fun and I learnt a new word - 'drongo.'I sense a bit of 'devil'ment in this Tasmanian story.

  12. From Urban Dictionary:


    Australian slang: A "no-hoper" or fool. Derives from a racehorse of that name in the 1920's that never one a race out of 37 starts.

    Recruits to the RAAF in WWII earned the nickname "drongos".

    also from Wiki:

    The drongos are a family of small passerine birds of the Old World tropics, the Dicruridae. This family was sometimes[ much enlarged to include a number of largely Australasian groups, such as the Australasian fantails, monarchs and paradise flycatchers. The name is originally from the indigenous language of Madagascar, where it refers to local species, but is now used to refer to all members of the family.[1] The family is usually treated as having two genera, Chaetorhynchus and Dicrurus. The genus Chaetorhynchus contains a single species, the New Guinea endemic pygmy drongo. The placement of this species in the family is highly dubious due to both morphological and genetic differences, and it has recently been placed, along with the closely related Silktail of Fiji, with the fantails (Rhipiduridae).[2] The remaining genus contains the remaining 25 species of drongo.

    The family Dicruridae is believed to be most likely of Indo Malayan origin, with a colonization of Africa about 15 million years ago. Dispersal across the Wallace Line into Australasia is estimated to have been more recent, around 6 mya.[3]

    These insectivorous birds are usually found in open forests or bush. Most are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails; some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. Some drongos, especially the greater racket-tailed drongo, are noted for their ability to mimic other birds and even mammals.

  13. Thanks Robert. Got to love Australian slang - our Aussie friends call us "septos".

  14. Hillarious! Calling someone a drongo means they're an idiot, but not seriously. I assume you know where septo derives from (septic tank- rhyming slang for Yank).