Let me tell you how this upstanding citizen of Parkes managed to get banned from visiting the hospital at Christmas.
It started all very innocently, as old Pop had rolled his Mack and ended up in hospital. I visited, simply to gloat and spread some goodwill, only to find Pop had fractured some vertebrae.
Before I had said a word, Pop started to laugh, immediately sparking unbearable pain in the fracture. The laugh turned into a bellow, which was the signal for every nurse in the hospital to arrive in a panic to find Pop holding his guts, trying to stop laughing, while still bellowing and squeaking ‘it’s him’, as he pointed at me.
Suddenly, I was back in the car park, and BANNED from the hospital.
Justice did prevail, however, and a few hours later, Pop’s wife rang to say that it was all sorted and would I come back and see him?
She witnessed it all and could only defend me once she stopped laughing. I’m not sure what lies she told because the next day, I was greeted at the front desk with a giggle and: ‘Oh, YOU’RE here to visit Pop’.
I had hardly reached his room and he started bellowing again, screaming ‘you’re banned’ at me! This time, the nurses arrived, but took one look at me and started to wander off.
Until, that was, we started to recount pig-farming experiences.The nurses’ reactions ranged from sheer amazement to total revulsion.
I had to top Pop’s stories. So, I recounted some experiences in training boars for artificial insemination.
Pop told of the morning he had loaded his ute full of pigs to take to the saleyards and had tied a rope to a dead pig to leave it in the paddock on the way.
But with all the squealing and movement on the back of the ute demanding his full attention, Pop forgot about the dead pig behind. By the time he arrived in Parkes, only the back leg remained.
The stock agent politely enquired: “What happened Pop, couldn’t you fit the last one on?”
Naturally, I had to top Pop’s stories. So, I recounted some experiences in training boars for artificial insemination (AI), starting with the number of editions of the local newspaper he had to stick down his trousers to protect his virginity.
Then there was the time I let a young boar into the collection area just as Mat, seated on the end of the dummy, answered a phone call. As I closed the gate, all I heard was ‘f***’, or was it ‘fertiliser’? I swivelled round to find Mat flat on his back over the dummy with the boar on top of him, doing ‘what comes naturally’.
On another occasion, when a load of boars was delivered, one took an ‘impure interest’ in the driver, knocking him on all fours. The driver’s immediate reaction was to jump up, forgetting he was on the bottom deck of the stock float.
His head clouted the ceiling and he was back on his knees again, both arms clasped over his head. The boar’s response was immediate, as he mounted the driver and proceeded to procreate.
The poor driver later commented that aside from the pain, all he could remember was the ‘corkscrew’ flashing past his eyes.
By now, Pop was bellowing like he had fractured all his vertebrae and, yet again, it was suggested I should leave him alone for a while.