Friday, February 24, 2012

Condoms galore!

Extract from My Mate and Me - The life and times of John Warby and Family

Meanwhile, Laurie and I were cleaning out below, when we discovered half a dozen large cartons, stacked away under the stern counter.

On close inspection, we found that each sealed carton contained one gross of smaller cartons. Each of these contained one gross of small envelopes, each containing a condom.   Laurie and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.  

Here, were roughly 125,000 condoms, obviously purchased from the War Disposals sale in New Guinea and left on board, when the owners had sold the lugger.    To our trusting eyes, they seemed in good order, but neither of us was authoritative on the subject!  Why not sell them? Or even give them away?   We sent a carton per taxi to an Army mate in Sydney, who was now in business as a chemist, and far more expert on the subject than ourselves.  Would our windfall turn out to be a goldmine?


But the word was 'no'.  Despite appearances, they were too old and untrustworthy.   No doubt, that was why they had been abandoned.  We decided to dump them that night on the outgoing tide. I still recall what a slow job it was, hauling up each carton in the dark, opening them and heaving the small cartons over the side to be dispersed by the tide.

Next morning, the shore was littered with hundreds of cartons that had been blown ashore by the wind, and not floated out to sea, as we'd hoped.  But we were glad to see that it was not long before they, too, disappeared.  Perhaps the next tide was higher and had carried them away, we thought.

Eighteen months later we found out where some, at least, had gone, when we put Panton up on Hockings Boatslip at T.I., for some underwater attention.   An irate shipwright confronted us.  Wasn't the Panton in Careening Cove last year?   She sure was, we said.   Did we own it, then?  Rather modestly, we agreed she was ours at the time.   Did we chuck overboard thousands of French letters then?   Laughingly, we agreed, yes, we had done that.  

“You bastards!” he shouted, revealing that he and his wife now had a strapping son, resulting from him picking up some cartons!

 He and his mates had collected the lot.   I wonder how many other new Australians we were responsible for!   As it is said, “God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform”!

 Murphy had nothing to do with it!

1 comment:

Di Hill said...

Hi - great story Patty.