Gold Plated Trouble

March 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Bush Poetry, Gold Plated Trouble


Drilling is a very expensive operation, with equipment, labour and expertise running into thousands of dollars per hour. The men in charge of these operations take protocol very seriously, they have to. The labour on the other hand, often contains a fairly large element of ‘larrikin’, which can cause further problems for management.

Bush poetry by Ronnie Wilson

“Jack the Rigger” worked on a western drilling rig,
Where the climate is hotter than hell.
And him and his mates are as tough as they’re big,
Burnt brown and sweat stained as well.

The land all around is scorched red from the sun,
Anything metal will burn at the touch.
The life of a driller doesn’t include a lot of fun,
And the temperature at night doesn’t drop much.

They work on a round platform, five meters across,
In the centre runs the diamond tipped drill.
And if any metal, down the drill hole, get lost,
The whole bloody job comes to a standstill.

The down time for retrieval could take up to a week,
To the tune of a million a day.
And the foreman’s temper would scream to a peak,
And the men knew to keep out of his way.

One day jack tripped and he fell with a slammer,
As his feet got caught on a stray pole.
And clanging across the deck skidded his trusty hammer,
Which first teetered then dropped down the hole.

The foreman in rage bought the whole job to a halt,
And a man was sent to fetch the magnetic mole.
And Jack declared to the foreman, he alone was at fault,
It was his hammer that fell down the hole.

The boss snarled back “you’ll keep for now Jack”,
But you better get out of my site.
And to make up for your slip you’d better not slack,
‘Cause my barks not as bad as my bite.

It took ten grueling days of sweat, tears and blood.
With Jack the hardest working man there.
And he did back to back shifts in the dust and the mud.
Till his hammer was pulled from its lair.

With the driller’s back drilling, life went on once again,
And Jacks folly in time was forgotten.
But the foreman still cracked at the slightest strain,
And he still treated Jack really rotten.

After a month of abuse the foreman called a parade,
And he lined up the whole of his crew.
He said I’ve been waiting to put an end to the charade,
And now Jack will finally get what he’s due.

He pulled from his pocket a hammer plated with gold,
From the other came Jacks severance pay.
He said, now Jack, you can “consider yourself told”,
You can finish at the end of the day.

Jack received his gold hammer and he let out a slow hiss,
His eyes were as black as pure coal.
And he said “where I’m going I’ll have no use for this”,
As he tossed that gold hammer right back down the hole.

Ron Wilson