Friday, June 18, 2010

Ring Denis [0419 429 934] with comments and new material, and have a Yarn

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A very Merry Christmas and hopefully a happy rainy new year and may all your watermelons burst, your Kelpies develop web feet and your children grow strong eating yabbies.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Shear it or shoot it But don’t dare Mules it.

Spend a day with a busy farmer and see what an enjoyable job it is to mules a large mob of sheep. What sane, practical man would go to such effort and expense if it wasn’t necessary really necessary?

Towards the end of the Great Depression after a decade of widespread unemployment and poverty, there was a call to have the Australian flag restyled. The Southern Cross, under which many a swagman had stared at, while sleeping out, during those dry cloudless nights, was to be replaced with the rabbit and the blowfly. The rabbit for feeding the many families kept alive with no breadwinner and the blowfly that went to work after storms had drenched the woolly mobs, laying the eggs that became the maggots that urgently needed crutching and dipping putting ready cash into the bagman’s pocket. In those dark days maggots saved many a homeless Swaggie from starvation. The War found everyone work and luckily our flag remained untouched to be carry north by tough young men who had been raised and grown strong chewing underground mutton.

As valuable as the maggot was to the casual swaggie it is no laughing matter to the sheep. Summer storms cause areas to flood and many sheep get bogged and only with great effort could they can free themselves. If they have large areas of fly strike with maggots eating their skin they were frequently too weak to free themselves. Often its days before the boggy areas are dry enough before anyone can find and free them. Crows like to pick out their eyes while they are bogged so more often than not they are found blind and so weak they have to be shot.

A concerned grazier with years of experience seeing his sheep suffer during a hot wet season which occurs at least once in the life of a sheep decided to experiment at the seat of the problem and came up with mulsing. Although it was a lot of extra work it was worth the effort just to prevent his flock suffering a long, slow, painful death.

The young celebrities of our time who take it upon them selves to boycott woollen garments because of mulesing have little experience of animal welfare. They happily attend race meetings were all the beautiful thorough breeds have been branded with red hot branding irons as are all the cattle we eat. If sheep as animals weren’t fashioned to live outdoors at all hours in all weathers, suffering winter blizzards, summer storms with all their fierce thunder and lightning, being hounded by dingos and birds of prey, God would have given them lounge rooms like he has arranged for the domestic cat. Farmers know profit and rewards flow from happy and healthy animals.

We are all strong supporters of animal welfare and get much pleasure from love and devotion to our pets. There are few welcomes so freely given as a wagging tail. City dwellers store much of their humanity in pampered pets and increasingly find needy urban dropouts an untidy nuisance. On a cold winter’s morning they will show no concern or interest when hurrying passed a homeless deadbeat who has likely spent the night in the cold doorway in which he is sitting. There is no time to waste when one is rushing to the beach to wade in up to their waist in freezing water to massage and cuddle a whale who has inexplicably tried to commit suicide by beaching itself.

In my youth my father had a friend who was on the Milk Board that controlled the dairy industry. He was a political appointment and confessed he lacked the knowledge of how to turn a profit from the udder. He told me his one principal was, when called upon to make a decision he never put the cow before the man.

After sitting in an office chair for ten years I was asked to come out of retirement and shear a mob of sixty big wethers at the Sheep & Wool School to show the foreign students something of shed conditions. The shearing stand & pen was set up in a large brick city building. No windows, no breeze, in the middle of February during a heat wave. With city habits like a couple of beers at the local I’d gone soft. After five sheep my Dungas and Jackie Howe were soaked and the sweat was dropping off my brow like a new water bag. No barber would vote me dry for a fortnight. I was the only one to do the job so I had to knuckle down to finish the truckload. Then suddenly the place was full of school kids. Some bright fool with nothing better to do had decided that it was a waste to have me being watched by a few Pakistani students. So, something like a dozen school buses were bringing kids from selected schools around Sydney to enjoy the thrills of bush work. The youngsters would arrive, one bus at a time and the kids would crowd around and watch till I’d shorn two or three, then ushered out to be replaced by the next batch. With the end in sight and the last of the kids were as fresh as I was busted and I must have looked like death warmed up I asked a bright young girl standing close by. “What do you think of the shearing?” says I. “The poor sheep”. says she. “That’s funny, my daughter came with her school a couple of busses ago and was standing just where you’re standing now, and do you know what she said?”   No?   Poor daddy.


By the sluggish River Gwydir

Lived a wicked redbacked spider,
He was just about as vicious as could be;
And the place that he was camped in
Was a rusty "Jones'es" jam tin,
In a paddock by the show-ground at Moree.

Near him lay a shearer snoozing,
He had been on beer and boozing
All the night and all the previous day,
And the "kooking" of the kookas,
And the noise of showground spruikers,
Failed to wake him from the trance in which he lay.

Then a crafty looking spieler,
With a dainty little sheila,
Came along collecting wood to make a fire;
Said the spieler, "There's a boozer,
And he's going to be a loser,
If he isn't you can christen me a liar!
Wriggle round and keep nit, honey!
While I fan the mug for money,
And we'll have some luxuries for tea."
She answered "Don't be silly,
You go back and boil the billy,
You can safely leave the mug to little me."

So she circled ever nearer,
Till she reached the dopey shearer,
With his pocket bulging, fast asleep and snug,
But she didn't see the spider
That was ringing just beside her,
For her mind was on the money and the mug.
Now the spider wanted dinner,
He was daily growing thinner,
He'd been fasting and was hollow as an urn;
As she eyed the bulging pocket.
He just darted like a rocket,
And the bit the spieler's sheila on the stern.

Like a flash she raced off squealing,
And her clothes began unpeeling,
While to hear her yells would make you feel forlorn;
On the bite one hand was pressing
While the other was undressing,
And she reached the camp the same as she was born.
Then the shearer, pale and haggard
Woke, and back to town he staggered,
Where he caught the train and gave the booze a rest,
And he'll never know a spider,
That was camping by the Gwydir,
Had saved him a couple of hundred of the best.


It all started with the wake we had for Singing Jim. The greatest shearer’s cook who ever stoked a brick oven. Jim ended up in an old men’s home but just beforehe did he passed on to his best mate a gold watch that he’d secretly kept through all his ups and downs. In earlier times he went without rather than sell it. He wanted to die leaving enough to finance a wake for his mates. So that’s what we did. Pawned the watch, put the funeral notice in the paper in big type inviting his old mates. Of course we mentioned there was a wake to follow. And what a wake it was.
Cooks are important to a man who’s working hard. And many of us could remember walking back to the huts after a hard day’s work at the shed. First we’d hear Jim singing an Irish air with a lilt that would charm the Gestapo. Then next we’d smell the tucker wafting up towards us bringing on a hunger that chased away our weariness. And out of the oven he’d produce legs of mutton that he’d turned into turkey. And they’d be of a colour that would have you think they’d been painted by an old master.
Well, we did his memory proud. We drank his health enough to have breathed life back into him. We reminisced about his skills in the kitchen. The way he plattered the sausages. The way he cut lambs fry so thin. His cream horns and meat pies. And the way someone would have to stand with a wet chaff bag ready to toss it over the sponge cake when he took it from the oven just in case it floated away.
Well, when I woke from the wake I had a taste in my mouth as if I’d been licking a dog’s backside, listless and weak my body felt as though I had been squeezed through a mangle.
The living must live, so I got up and dragged myself into the ant heap where we make the rent.
Late in the day, still feeling the worse for wear, I passed a shop occupied by a Chinese herbalist. Hang on, I thought. I’ve heard about the wonderful healing secrets of the East. So I went in.
Two slight Chinese lads were busily dispensing and weighing an unbelievable variety of herbs and barks and nuts and dried things. They looked at me through the scales that each held in his hand.
Pointing to the cabinet of a thousand compartments from which they were taking their ingredients I said, “Any one of those drawers have something to fix a crook liver?”
Now an old mate of mine once told me that the only cure for a dickie liver was death. However it was worth a try.
“You will have to see the herbalist,” was the reply from the dispensing assistants.
“No. I thought I’d just see if you had a berry I could suck or a bit of bark I could chew that would fix up the old bile bag.”
“You will have to see the herbalist.”
Well I paid my ten dollars and was taken around the back of the cabinet and given a seat. I waited for the herbalist. Eventually the door of the small consulting room opened and he farewelled his previous patient, who was a rather attractive European lady, which increased my confidence. He stood there, not much more than a shadow, he had a face which was a grill of stained teeth flashing a bit of gold. And in front of his face he held a cigarette. Not the way we hold a cigarette between the V of our fingers, but resting on all of his fingers as if it was a blow pipe instead of something you draw on. He took a puff, gave me a toothy smile and beckoned me towards the consulting room. As I rose he burst into the most convulsive fit of coughing, so much I feared for his life. But without any embarrassment he followed me into the room and sat me down, and then sat himself down on the other side of the desk. The coughing was coming to an end.
“There goes one of his lungs,” went through my mind. He was regaining his composure and after stubbing out the cigarette he began mopping his face of teeth. Putting the handkerchief away, he looked at me and asked in faulty English what was my trouble.
My trouble? I thought. What was I doing sitting in front of this frail little man, his size and shape that of a consumptive young girl? I fully expected him to be taken away by the first germ to enter the room. What’s my trouble? Well, here goes.
“I drink too much, and I’d like something to fix my liver.”
There was a moment’s silence before he pulled out a drawer in front of him and from it placed the smallest white linen pillow on the desk. He reacted without speaking by indicating that he wanted me to unbutton my shirt cuff, roll up my sleeve and pass my hand to him across the desk. He then rested my hand on the pillow and with what seemed like a couple of feathers but turned out to be his thumb and forefinger he felt for a pulse at the base of my thumb.
In complete silence, he concentrated. I thought I would bide my time looking around the room. The walls were hung with anatomical illustrations one after the other displaying a section of the human body. The colours were so vivid that one’s first instinct was to get a towel and wipe up the blood. The section hanging in front of me detailed the man’s head. The skin torn from the side of his face – his eyes were about to leave their sockets, his mouth was wide open and his tongue was so far out that it looked like his last cry for help. Out of the corner of my eye I tried to find the section for the lower part of his body to see if someone had hold of his balls. And still the little medico was listening to my pulse. Christ, it must be at least five minutes he had been listening. Six minutes, seven minutes, eight minutes, silent and motionless as though we weren’t there. Me with my arm across the desk and he joined to me through his fingers. Then within me I felt building the need to break wind. But I thought to myself, if I fart now I’ll kill him.
But still he didn’t move. Nine minutes and he had me risking serious injury holding on to what seemed like a southerly bluster. Ten minutes and he lifted his head and let my hand go. Thank Christ, I thought, at the same time cautiously deflating what thankfully turned out to be a fizzer. I rolled my sleeve down and was buttoning the cuff when he indicated that he needed the other hand. Holy mackrell, not again.
However, ten minutes later he seemed to be finished with me. Hadn’t done any of the usual doctor things. No sign of a stethoscope, didn’t ask me to open my mouth and say Ah, hadn’t even felt at my liver. I was hoping he hadn’t misunderstood me and thought that I had a sore thumb.
Well, into the drawer in front of him went the little cushion and out of a drawer to his side came a small pad and pen. Holding the pen upright, not slanted like we do, he proceeded to draw a column of characters down the page. Then he started at the top and drew another column to fill the page. What meticulous people these little Orientals are. He gazed at what he had written for some time. Then very deliberately he added a stroke to this character and a wiggle to that. Finally he lifted his head and turning the pad around to face me said to me in faltering English that he would explain the treatment.
I was to take the script to the boys at the counter and they would make up three identical parcels of ingredients following the instructions he had written. I was also to buy a stone pot from the shop. When I got home with the parcels and the pot I was to put the contents of the first parcel in the pot, fill it with water and boil it until there was only a third left. I was to drain off the juice and drink it. The next night I was to fill it up again, boil it down and drain it off and drink it, and the same again the third night. After three boilings I was to chuck that lot out and start on the next parcel. Nine days’ treatment in all.
Then with a look of concentration that would turn your hair grey, he put his hand on mine as if to reinforce what he was to say.
“And while you are on the treatment, you are not to drink anything cold.”
Numbed from that, I made my way around to the counter-come-dispensary. A little Chinese lady had arrived just before me with a script to be repeated. The two young men behind the counter took a script each and set about supplying medications.
Now any thoughts I had about the characters on the script being meaningless were soon dispelled. Each of us got three parcels but what went onto her piles were quite different from what went onto mine. They were of all colours and textures. Each handful of fresh material was weighed out one, two, three, into equal amounts and tipped onto each bundle. I was just beginning to wonder whose mixtures, the old woman’s or mine, was the more intereting when suddenly her piles were topped with what seemed to be a good measure of dried cockroaches. Holy Moses, I thought, looking at the old woman, I’m glad I’m not as sick as you. The smile was soon wiped off my face because I copped a handful of what looked like dried wombat shit.
After parting with far more money than I had intended, I left the shop with three of the prettiest neat parcels you’ve ever seen, and a Chinese stone pot with a spout and handle and a lid. I was still deeply concerned about that last handful but I thought I’d better give the treatment a go. I was told that the best plan was to put the pot on a low heat and let it simmer all night.
Well, it simmered while I slept but when I woke I thought I was having a bad dream. (Had I spent the night sleeping at the rubbish tip?) It seemed to me that I was trapped inside the carcass of a dead whale. The house was full of the most dreadful stink. Hell!!, the canary, I thought. I was out of bed in a flash to find it gasping for breath on the floor of its cage. I rushed it outside and hung it on its daytime hook. Its eyes popped open as soon as the first fresh air hit its beak. I rushed back into the house and turned off the heat. Opened all the windows and doors. Gave the goldfish a scrub under the kitchen tap and changed the murky soup in which they’d spent the night with fresh water.
Back to the stove. I lifted the pot and there was this thick, black, pungent essence lurking at the bottom of the bowl, an occasional bubble being the only sign of life. And this was what I had to drink to bring my liver back to normal.
Well, if it had to be then it had to be. So with that I strained off a glass of the juice. It was still too hot to drink. So while it was cooling I added fresh water to what was left in the pot, ready for it to be rendered down again as soon as the sun set.
I’ve never been adventurous with food. Snails, goat, shark fins or eyes are things I don’t have close by when I am eating. Even those cheeses so prized by the gourmet which don’t seen to me to have come back from being putrid won’t get past my nose. So to drink this boiled-down soup of every stunted tree and bush from the East was like facing a bayonet charge for me. Well, I held my nose and gulped it down.
God, as I drew breath after swallowing I had a taste in my mouth like a harlot’s flank. I rushed to the tap to get some water to wash the taste out of my mouth. But with the Chinaman’s warning a-ringing came to my ears, “You’re not to drink anything cold.”
God, another nine days of this. I’d better get someone to mind the bird and the fish. Well, things can never be that bad that they don’t come to an end. I never thought I would see out the nine days of warm muck and with never a cold drink to touch my lips. Mind you anything I ate during that time tasted as if it had been soaked in the vats at the local tannery. At the end of the ten days I threw out the pot. Then the walls were washed down. The family gradually came back to the house again. I had the bird and fish returned. More important, I did feel better. Gone were the hangovers, the early morning shakes, the aching limbs, the swollen liver and the bloodshot eyes. Yes. The little man was a genius. I wanted to tell someone of the miraculous cure and where best to find a sympathetic ear? The corner pub. It was early so the audience was thin and the barmaid was too busy cleaning glasses to listen.
I preached with an evangelistic zeal of the miraculous cure of drinking nothing but liquid manure for nine days. I was so pleased with myself, but then I was interrupted by an old regular who I knew had sat on the same seat for ten years with no other diet but beer sandwiches.
“You dopey bastard, don’t you realise that sly Chinaman just got you to lay off the slops for nine days? If I did that I would be fit to start working again.”
The barmaid said, “Well, do you want a beer?”
“Yes, give me a pint.”
“Where have you been?” asked the publican as he came to the bar.
“Don’t ask him,” said the barmaid.
“Well, don’t disappear again,” said the publican. “I’ll go broke if I lose a drinker like you.”
I have saved money, I thought to myself. And then there was the pint the barmaid had put in front of me. It had that friendly colour about it. A couple of bubbles winked at me over the brim. No holding my nose as I drank it into me and as I drew a breath memories flooded in from the last session I had. Singing Jim’s Wake.
I drained the glass and put it back on the bar.
“I’ll be off, then.”
As I went out through the bar door, I felt the money in my pocket and thought to myself, before I’m tempted to drink my pocket dry I’ll first duck down and redeem Old Singing Jim’s watch.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


thanks Pauline Finlay


Australia rides on the sheep’s back. Well, that’s what they used to say, but no more it seems! Once the first Merino hogget stepped off the boat in the early eighteen hundreds the vast open plains of inland Australia were, within a decade, covered with massive flocks the size of which had never been seen before. Talk about rabbits? Compared to the enclosed areas of England, it seemed so easy to send a drover away with large mobs, to wander for months on the long paddock. Eventually fences proved cheaper than shepherds.

For a hundred and fifty years wool was the finest fibre - the king of clothing. Europe couldn’t get enough of this warm luxuriant fibre. But now people climb to the top of Everest without wearing any wool, Ski fields are plastic fashion shows, no army in the world has a woollen uniform - the people of the industrialized world are wearing petrol and the third world finds wool too expensive. The future is anyone’s guess with the inland and its rivers being taken over by camels, cats, carp and cattle. Maybe cotton will poison them all.

The sorrow of it all is not just the loss of few old bare-bellies but what will happen to the spirits of the old men who went before us. The ghosts of old guns, who, from out of the night, would creep up to join us at the campfire and unseen, prompt us to boost our stories. Helping older men to spin yarns of their colourful past and the younger ones confessing their raw hopes. Many a tale was told after dinner, outdoors by the light of a mulga fire, that turned the drudgery of shearing tight combing wrinkly wethers into smiles and hopes that made tomorrow just another day towards the cut-out and the contactors promise of ewes and lambs forever. No wonder the swarm around the campfire at the shearer’s huts was called the University of the Bush. It’s that spirit of the men and it’s their place in our history and traditions, that we are loosing.

There are still enough old fellows out there with tales of the past that we should be trying to record before it’s too late. It’s the hope of this newsletter that we can unite some of that interest with the seeds we will sow. Hopefully this Newsletter, like a bugle call, will enlist the old guard with, all their yarns, to share their past with the future.


By Darcy Burns

Old Bill the shearer had been telephoned
To hop the train next day,
Had a pen at Mungindi,
An early start in May.

He rolled his swag and packed his port,
Then hurried off to bed,
But sleep he could not steal a wink,
To soothe his aching head.

He heard the missus snoring hard,
He heard the ticking clock,
Heard a midnight train blow in,
Then heard a crowing cock.

At last Bill in a stupor lay,
A’dreaming now was he,
All drawn for pens and loaded up,
He shore on number three.

He grabbed the missus in his sleep,
Then shore her like a ewe,
The first performance soon was done,
Then up the neck he flew.

As he turned to longblow her,
Like a demon now he shore,
With his mighty knee upon her,
And his grip upon her jaw.

As he picked her up and dumped her,
Down the whipping side he tore,
She dare not kick or wriggle,
She had seen him shear before.

He was holding Jack the Ringer,
He was leading Mick the Brute,
As he called for tar then heaved her,
Like a hogget down he chute.

As he reached to pull the Lister,
Now excited, out of gear,
The electric light was shining,
And all was bright and clear.

He gazed out of the window,
Half awakened from his sleep,
Out there upon the footpath
Lay the missus in a heap.

Gawd blimey! I’ve had nightmares,
After boozing up a treat,
And walked without no trousers
To the pub across the street.

But this one here takes licking,
And it’s one I’ll have to keep,
I dare not tell me pen mates
I shore the missus in her sleep.


The musical milk maker

Turns bore water into wine
Choose from two styles - red or white
First batch completely sold out
Orders taken for next plonk season


You only have look at a pub in sheep country on a Saturday morning to see that there is something sick at the shearer’s traditional office. The once packed bar is now the last resort for someone looking for a pen. Country that for more than a century has been covered with large flocks of Merinos has been forced by low wool prices and a record drought to divert to other uses. Resulting in few sheep – fewer shearers!!

Shearers being as resourceful as they are have turned to well paid jobs in the mining boom or are self employed driving a semi or if they have a piece of mud swapping their small flock for a few cattle. Each day, I speak on the phone to an old timer, who, for years has been a rock solid customer, regularly renewing his swag each year but who now just needs something for his crook back and a bit of a yarn. Some of the tales I have heard of shearers finding nice little earners replacing their work in the sheds have been fascinating.

One mate, who hadn’t missed a bell sheep in ten years suddenly found his favourite sheds changing to cattle. His wife was a hairdresser and had her own salon. Women unlike sheep need a clip more than once a year and as luck had it they live in a university town where the well paid academics are not affected by drought so she was flat out trimming, tinting and waving. Almost all the professor’s wives had a pedigree dog which needed just as much grooming as the heads of their owners. No back of the ute for them.

So the missus talked my mate into starting up a side line called “Pampered Pets”. Under her tutor ledge he soon learnt that a snip snip here and a snip snip there paid much better than busting your way up the burr covered wrinkles of a wether’s neck. $95.00 for a shampoo and trim and paid with a smile. Once the word got around that he could do as good a job on a pouch as mum could do on the matron or the debutante, hairy hounds have been arriving from near and far. The town vet is sending him all the posh fussy work. Four jobs a day and he doesn’t raise a sweat. So easy to count out!!!

Other mates have started shearing a sheep in the morning and a sheep in the afternoon at tourist wildlife parks on the city outskirts then that sometimes extends to shearing a sheep for each busload. Then over time they are called upon to be the star of a country theme week at the numerous city supermarkets. They shear a sheep every hour, give a little talk, answer a few questions, let the kids pat the sheep and feel the fleece and pose for photos. It all goes down a treat. And it turns into quite a career change. Instead of belonging to the AWU they have to join Actors Equity and because the work is casual it pays well. You can charge Plumbers rates!!!

Back some years ago Sydney had its stockyards and abattoirs near the centre of the city on the land which was later redeveloped for the Olympic Stadiums & Village. The rail head and holding yards covered a vast area and on part of this complex was a shearing shed. It was owned and operated by a famous old firm of shearing contractors (R A Rooney & sons) who took many a young boy north west to the twenty stand sheds on the Barcoo and the Warrego in central Qld and to bring then back as budding guns.

However this bloke I’m talking about was a Pommie migrant who came off a sheep farm in Northern England and although he learnt to shear our Merinos he couldn’t handle the back country heatwaves. So he settled down working at some casual building work but while Rooney’s main workforce were busy out west he would get a couple of days a week at the saleyard depot shed shearing small mobs of stragglers or full wools that it was thought better to shear before slaughter. The upshot of all this was, he became friendly with the drovers that took the mobs from the trains to the saleyards then to the abattoirs. We are talking of big numbers each day and overnight there would be half a dozen or more new born lambs that were soon to lose their mothers. Normally these would be killed and feed to the working dogs but after my pommie mate saw these lambs and was told he could pick out one or two for himself he straight way had an advert. in the Saturday newspaper. LAMBS FOR LAWNMOWERS.

When someone phoned to request details they were told they could hire a lamb at ten dollars a month – paid three months in advance – he owned the lamb and would take it back when no longer required – he would bring two or three lambs for the children to choose their favourite – if they kept the sheep beyond a year he and only he would call and shear it at a cost of $80. - the fleece was his but if they wanted it for spinning he would sell it to them. Plenty were happy enough to sign the contract, pay up the money and have their children fighting over who was to bottle feed their new pet. Within the first year he had two or three hundred out $10 a month. A nice little earner and they were all growing a poddy fed fleece when wool was worth big money. For a man with no land he had a fair clip. Eventually larger than the family farm back home.

I think the formulae is still feasible but after twenty years he grow old and most of his large homes with big backyards were redeveloped as home units. Beside his supply of lambs was no longer local. But it was great while it lasted.

I still, occasionally see the odd old mate who will call in for a beer and a chat. Generally they are pessimistic about their home town prospects with the long drought and financial downturn and are half inclined to pull up stumps and start again on the coast. What do you advise Denis? The first thing I’d warn is don’t burn your bridges. Stay put till you have a definite change for the better.

My Advise to him was that he should go for a walk down George street towards Circular Quay. On the way you will pass numerous building sites. Look for a job of at least forty stories high with the glass installed on the first few floors so the building is nearing completion. Look for a labourer wearing a Milro singlet and tell him you’re from the bush then ask him the name of the building manager. If the building manager is not in his office ask for him till you find him. These blokes are generally tolerant to other battlers. Tell him you intend to settle in the city and start a business. When he says how can he help say you want the contract to supply the building’s light globes and if he says that’s already taken try for the toilet paper. If he smiles and gives you an appointment to see him later in his office. Come back and see me and I’ll give you some help with the next moves. There are plenty of fortunes made from light globes and date rolls!!!