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Back in 1962, a friend of mine named Eric was following a horse-racing system which, believe it or not, rarely lost. The system was highly selective and only rarely produced a horse to wager on but on "Debutante Stakes" day at Caulfield it nominated two horses in consecutive races. Eric backed them both and had a nice collect when Young Victoria won the Debutante Stakes for fillies and Time and Tide won the Debutant Stakes for colts. Amongst other things, Eric bought a motor-mower out of his winnings.
Exactly seven weeks later he had his next system horse. It was a three-year old colt named Jerkin and was to be ridden by Melbourne's top jockey, Roy Higgins. As 5/1 was readily on offer by all the bookies, I visualised my friend's future if Jerkin won. "A motor-mower last time, Eric, a motor car this time. Heh! Wacko!" I said to him, clapping my hands to express my excitement at his likely success. Imagine my surprise when he told me that he was not going to back Jerkin. I asked him why not. "I've had this dream," he said, and now I quote him verbatim, "I interpretated my dream using Zurko's "Book of Dreams" and it says I'm going to have bad luck with my horses." A few minutes later, when I had managed to stop laughing, I asked him, "Eric, I know the only thing in your life is horses but how in the hell did you work that out?"

He told me that in his dream he was mowing the lawn with his new motor-mower when the mower broke away from him, charged across the lawn running over a dove and killing it. The motor-mower then split down the middle. "What's that got to do with anything?" I asked. "Everything! Everything!" he replied, with feeling. His interpretation of the dream, with the help of Zurko, he explained as follows: Because a dove is a bird of peace or good luck, he was due for bad luck for killing it, and because the motor mower symbolically represented his horses he had lost control of them and was due for bad luck. The motor-mower splitting apart only emphasised the breakdown of his method, therefore, he was not having a bet.

Nothing I said could persuade him to show some commonsense. I pleaded, "This is your system, Eric, it's won almost every time. It's seven weeks since you've had a bet and your last two horses both won so you can have this bet for nothing. Put something on it, anyway!" Nothing would change his mind. "Consider the horse," I said, "and the jockey. Jerkin has won 4 of its last 6 starts, 3 out of its last 4 races, and Roy the Boy, Higgins, the best jockey in Melbourne is in the saddle and you've got about 10 times the true odds. You've gotta be crazy not to bet on it. What more do you want?" No! Nothing got through to Eric, he was adamant. "Well, Eric," I said. "You are crazy! But I'm having my twenty quid on it because Jerkin is gunna bolt in."

The race was duly run and Jerkin "bolted" in, winning easing-up by a neck which could have been many lengths if Higgins had ridden him out. Eric was astounded and extremely dejected. I had expected him to have put a few hundred pounds on Jerkin, so it represented a very, very big difference to his bankroll. Despite his sad state I insisted he celebrate my success and I forced him, a teetotaller, to drink my health with a glass of champagne. Eric's downcast spirits did not improve when I pointed out to him that his dream had, in fact, come true. "Huh? How do you work that out?" asked Eric. "Easy! Eric, easy! easy as pie, have another drink."

You see, Eric missed out on backing a 5/1 certainty which is about as bad as a punter's luck can ever get.

Batter my brain, lead foot'd loon; for you *
As yet but screech past, fast, into the bend
So I must brake and stoppe in order to defend
My car from blowes and dints whilst new.
I, like some ravished maid, tis true
lust labour to catch up, but to no end,
Until the traffic slowes you down, my friend
And I drawe up right next to you
Wind downe my window to abuse.
But the lights turn greene, you streake away
Nor ever curst, to sinne another day.
* Holy Sonnet: Batter my heart, three person'd God .....

There she stood, her majestic splendour shone.
Warm fingers of morning sun caress her;
She is the beauty known as Wellington.
Backdrop to the city, all to her defer,
Her watchful brooding presence comforts all.
Standing on her summit, your senses pound:
The scene below is magical and wide,
A vista with a river winding round,
The Derwent with its tides that rise and fall.
We love our famous mountain sentinel,
To see her fills our hearts with joy and pride.

Cars speed through another small town –
And spin on the corners, as they go 'round.
While unaware that they may he hit,
There on the fence, the onlookers sit;
They laugh out loud, and give a cheer,
As cars spin out, for they have no fear.
On they race, just to get ahead;
How long, before many people are dead?
All year long we all complain,
And say the young people must be insane.
Then later, we read about their fate,
After high-speeding it, around the state.
But the news for now is the Targa's fate,
Fast cars, speed and the accident rate.
It's not supposed to influence the young
To speed and race, and call it fun.
But like Targa, their engines will roar –
When they put their foot flat to the floor.
So for now and the rest of the year,
We will once again be driving in fear.

Movie stars need no urgin'
To consult a plastic surgeon.
Lots of methods are allowed
To help out those less well-endowed.
A little nip, a little tuck,
A little bit off here for luck;
Collagen for plumper lips
Liposuction for smaller hips;
A little cut, a little thrust,
Striving for that perfect bust.
Pump it full of silicone,
Et voilà – Pammy Anderson!
Chins treble, wrinkles show;
Face-lifts are the way to go!
They repeat these as their skins unravel
And end up speaking through the navel.

Listen to the silence as you walk
through the garden of serenity.
Let peace be your companion,
as you rest a while.
See the beauty of the flowers,
their colours bright and gay,
smell their perfume in the air
as you while away the day.
Listen to the gentle breeze
rustling through the leaves,
and think of peace and solitude.
Let silence surround you,
and bring peace and harmony
within your soul, as you stroll
among the flowers.
Let the solitude comfort you
and make you whole,
in the garden of serenity.

Men deemed her the fleet's very best vessel.
Her steel keel, her sheer stem, the level deck
Where met her sleekly-swept stern spelt speed —
Yet where sped she when she left the levee?
West she went, yet where next steered her helm?
Every swell's green crest the crew met deftly,
Heedless, they, the restless, sleepless deep.
Blessed she seemed, yet where went she?
She never knew Eve's Eden's eddy.
She knew Hell's wet depths when sent there!
When, then? When seven bells knelled her end.
Beeseeched she help, yet help never sent;
Wrecked! when the reef's keen edge
Cleft her steel-strengthened belly.

Every word contains an 'e' but no other vowel.

Timeless the mighty mountain stands
Timeless the river flowing wide,
We see and share their many moods
And live our lives out by their side.
Who has not watched a lovely sunset
And seen God's glory once more new
As through the black the red tinge darkens,
Gold puffs surround ethereal blue?
And what of wind and storm and rain?
We see the waves whipped up to foam
While veils of rain reduce our view
And wind blows shrill round every home.
When winter's chilly fingers grip us
And snow bedecks the mountain top
Our children long to go and play there
Till ice and cold cause games to stop.
When sunshine bathes the earth with gladness
Then comes the blessing: a perfect day.
The mountain beckons us to climb it
While spinnakered yachts speed on their way.

They go, the hours diminishing our lives
And with them tender visions fade away,
Yet each nostalgic moment that survives
Grows stronger in my heart each passing day;
The memory of that so dear, first, fond friend,
So lovely, yet I can't recall her name.
And others, too, like gossamer it seems:
From time to time I wonder what became
Of them. In my dream's eye I seem to lend
Each face a beauty, youthful, without end —
But do they ever see me in their dreams?

Oft have I heard you in the depth of night
As your plaintive cry breaks the solemn hush.
Like the damned bewailing their awful plight
You weep it seems for the soul of the bush.
Cur-looo, Cur-LOOO, your haunting mournful call
Cleaves the still night air like the sharp axe-blade
Hacked through your hiding-place and left it bare.
We proudly staked our claim, but nature, paid
The steep price for your long-held bastion's fall.
Small wonder that your parting cry is all
Sadness, brim-full of anguish and despair.