Trying to tell stories that suit all English speaking folk around the world is difficult in the fact that we have different terms for the one thing.
For instance, in Australia we say timber, in the US they say lumber, I believe that the Kanuks are also so inclined.
Also talking of timber, we say 4 by 2 and the others say 2 by 4's. So if you can get around the Aussie terminology for whatever, you may get a bit of a giggle outta 'me yarns.
I know a few country folk, folk that spent a lot of time working, and little time at schooling, but that is the way it is sometime in poorer rural families where Dad reckons that if you have one son in school, why bother sending the rest, as the frist bloke can tell the others what he learnt.
However, some of the rural folk have that loveable slowness in speech and in thought. These ones are the purely lateral thinkers. These folk are the ones that I love to hang around as it makes me look almost intellectual.
My best mate, Slow Joe Rolly and his dad, Joe Slower Rolly, had come into town, with the old Bedford truck to get some timber at the local timber place, wot sell timber and stuff.
Old Slower didn't like town much, and was not really eager to leave the truck, but this was for several reasons, one being that if it cut out he wouldn't be able to get it started again without a lot of swearing and bush type mechanisation applications, known only to the two Rollys. Another reason was that dad Rolly couldn't open the driver's side door and the third was he had trousers on that had suffered from a severe bout of ….Well you know what.
Young Slow Joe went into talk to the timber bloke. “Do ya' have any hardwood timber, mate?”
“Yeah, plenty of hardwood timber. What size do ya' want?”
“I'll go an ask Dad.”
“Dad said we need some 4 x 2.”
“Yeah! Mate, we got plenty of 4 x 2 hardwood, how long do ya' want 'em.”
“I'll go an' ask Dad,” said Slow Joe.
“Dad reckons we'll want 'em for awhile, 'cause we is building a shed.”
Now don't be unkind, it seems reasonable that 'how long” should indicate time. I mean if you are going out and your wife asks, “How long will you be?” do you tell her that you will be the same length when you come back as you are when you went out, right? Okay, so you will from now on, I see.
Eventually, young Slow Joe Rolly got a job in a saw mill out near the back of the place that they lived in front of, ifn 'ya' know what I mean. See, I told ya' it made me look intellectual.
At anyrate, not long after young Slow Joe started work he was in a hardware store in town and up on a shelf he saw a row of vacuum flasks, or as we call them Thermos flasks, Thermos being a trade name.
“What are those things?” he asked.
“Thermos flasks, mate, stainless steel Thermos flasks.”
“Gee! What are they for?”
“They keep hot things hot and cold things cold, and a lot of workers have them.”
“Fair-bloody-Dinkum, I'll get one then.”
The next day, Slow Joe was busting a gut for Smoko to come, and when it did he sat down with the rest of the blokes and casually opened his tucker box and pulled the Stainless Steel Theroms flask out and put it in full view of the other blokes.
They looked, they looked but didn't say anything, so Joe moved it around and about until one bloke couldn't hold his curiosity.
“What's that thing, Slowee?” he asked.
Joe was so proud, so happy that he had something that no one else had that he almost cried, but instead he said. “It's a Thermos flask.”
“Wot's a Thermos flask for, Joe?”
“Well,” the beaming Joe said, “It keeps cold things cold and hot things hot.”
“Fair-bloody-Dinkum,” chorused several of the other blokes.
“Wot ya' got in it, Joe?” they asked.
“An ice-cream and a cuppa' tea, that's wot.”
So there you go again, running poor young Slow Joe down for a bit of lateral thinking.