Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Enough to Make a Grown Man Cry

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Enough to Make a Grown Man Cry

Article excerpt

YOU know you're getting old when you find yourself starting sentences with "I don't know about young people these days".

Every time I hear it, I start looking around to see if my father has snuck into the room.

It's when I realise it's my own voice that I know that I'm no spring chicken anymore.

"Listen here old fella," was always one of his favourites.

In fact, I think he still says it.

As a young bloke, I recognised it as a warning that someone had crossed the line and there was going to be trouble.

And I'll be buggered if I didn't hear myself say it to someone a few months back.

I tell you this because of the article I saw about the bloke from the Northern Territory whose son was banned from the school bus, so he punished him by making him walk two-and-a-half hours to school every day for a week.

"Sounds fair enough," I thought.

Then I realised the kid was five years old.

Five years old!

At that age we were walking 15 kilometres to school ... through six inches of snow ... in bare feet!

Kids are so soft these days.

I'm just kidding, of course. That's a fair hike for anyone.

It seems young Jack had been kicked off the bus because he hit the driver in the head with an apple core.

An apple core!

I remember when I was a lad we used to throw whole apples and then ...

Sorry, I got carried away again.

Anyway, Jack's dad, Sam, started dragging him out of bed at 5.10am for the dusty, hot 13km hike from the Darwin rural area of Herbert, to school at Humpty Doo.

At the end of the old-fashioned punishment, Sam took out a public notice in the local newspaper.

"Jack Burt and his dad wish to thank all the kind people who stopped to offer them lifts in the past week," it read.

"It's good to see a number of good people in the community. Jack hopes to be allowed back on the bus on Monday."

Sadly, the first day Jack was allowed back on the bus he was in trouble again within three stops. …

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