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GOF the Entomologist

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In January 1965, I was one of a hundred pimply-faced teenage boys who entered the portals of Dookie Agricultural College in rural Victoria, to be unceremoniously delivered, like lambs to the slaughter, into the hands of senior students for 2 weeks of bastardisation initiation and orientation.

This practise was to be outlawed a few years later when some
do-gooding spoilsports pointed out that teenagers were actually being killed during similar rituals elsewhere in Australia.
Death, as they so cogently suggested, was more often than not, a deterrent to satisfactory completion of a course of education.

One of the less radical methods employed to ensure that we got very little sleep for 14 nights in a row, was the allocation to each one of us, by our masters, of an unusual and bizarre research subject, about which we were required to write one thousand words.

A week later, one at a time, we stood in front of our assembled peers and a panel of terrorist judges up to midnight and beyond, to read our discoveries out loud.

Anyone detected smiling or otherwise enjoying an oration was immediately sent on a four-mile run to the bottom corner of the bush paddock to sing our newly-learned College Song to a big old gum tree which had probably witnessed this sort of juvenile shenanigans for at least the previous 40 years.

My special research subject was;

"The mating habits of flies on heat".

Now I don't know about you, but my knowledge of this subject at the time was infinitesimal.  You are now older than I was, so you probably  know a great deal more.

After writing 1000 words on my topic in the studious sarcasm-free style to which you have become accustomed here in The Bucket, my total knowledge about flies bonking was still somewhere around zero. 

Accordingly, I stood on the rostrum to deliver my poorly-researched discourse with some scholarly authority. 
Unfortunately at some stage during the performance a judgment was made that my face had betrayed the brain's serious intent.

Natural history does not record whether the Old Gum Tree, or the nocturnal creatures resident within it's boughs appreciated my 1 am solo baritone interpretation of the College Song, two verses of which were;    

"Godiva was a lady,
 Who through Coventry did ride,
 Upon a snow-white horse
 To show off her lily-white hide. 

 The only ones to notice,
 That she was upon a horse,
 Was one blind man, the MG boys,
 And the Dookie boys of course."

Well OK, I know this is not Chaucer, Wordsworth or Frost, but hey this was an Agricultural College, not some hallowed seat of learning for English Literature.

Credit where it is due.

At least wherever I travel in the world and come across naked women riding horses I am doubly well versed on appropriate etiquette and how to behave with propriety.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

19 responses »

  1. OH MY GOODNESS!!! How hilarious. I must say, though, that I do not like hazing because in the United States, it tends to involved alcohol consumption to the point of alcohol poisoning and that seems downright barbaric to me! I think your assigned topic is quite funny and would love to have seen you trying to lecture on the topic 🙂 Also would have loved to hear you out singing that ridiculous song. BTW, do you often "come across naked women riding horses?" If so, lucky you. HAHAHAAHAHAHAAHHAHA!! Good one, GOF!!!

  2. Thanks Freedom. We were isolated some 20 miles from the nearest town, and we had no access to alcohol.If you were caught with alcohol on campus it was grounds for immediate dismissal from the college.In a way initiation was a beneficial experience….we were all united as a single unit…..those kids who had come from privileged families and posh schools soon realised they were no better than the rest of us. As part of the process we had to learn useful things too including an entire encyclopaedia of facts about the college…..capacities of dams, areas of paddocks, number of cows, lecturers names etc etc … instilled an incredible loyalty in us….towards both the Institution and each other…one that remains to this day …..our class reunions still happen after 40 years.I'm still looking for naked women on horseback….I know you will be kind enough to tell me where they all are in the world 🙂

  3. "I'm still looking for naked women on horseback….I know you will be
    kind enough to tell me where they all are in the world :-)"Sure, GOF, I will post a picture forthwith, LOL!

  4. I am always amused at the name of the school, which I assume was named after some notable person. "Dookie" – in my younger years – was a juvenile term for sh … uh … excrement.

  5. Sure, GOF, I will post a picture forthwith, LOL!Just when I was going out to cut some knee-high lawn (this being the first sunny day we've had in 4 weeks)….now I've got to sit by my computer and wait for more important things 🙂

  6. "Dookie" – in my younger years – was a juvenile term for sh … uh … excrement. I don't think we ever learned the origin for the name of the college location, but I certainly like to refer to the qualification we received at being a Diploma of Shit Shovelling……because of all the cattle, pig, poultry, horse etc etc manure we had to clean up every day.

  7. It has been posted and I sure hope you are the only one that can see it!!!!!

  8. It has been posted and I sure hope you are the only one that can see it!!!!! Thanks Freedom…..I see it….I see it…..nice horse! 🙂

  9. LOLOLOLOL!!! Sure, sure.

  10. How dare kids die in the middle of being ragged! They just don't make 'em like they used to GOF.

  11. Jeeze, GOF. Don't go telling the kids of today about this stuff. We are in the middle of telling them how horrible they are and now they know we were proper little shits as well.It reminds me of how urgently I wanted to grow up. Not for the driving and the grog, just to get the hell out of school.

  12. Wonderful as always!
    MrFD's expereince at Ag College was much the same except I think there were more incidences with condi's crystals in fountains and certain parts of the anatomically correct bull statute out the front of the college may have changed colour for a day or two.

  13. They just don't make 'em like they used to GOF. So true Ninja….the whole world is going down the velvet lined tubes.

  14. It reminds me of how urgently I wanted to grow up. Not for the driving and the grog, just to get the hell out of school. The good part was that after the 2 weeks were finished we knew that we had been forced to suddenly "grown up", and that 2 years later we would be in a position to inflict ourselves upon the "year of 1967"….which I think we probably did in a slightly less threatening manner.

  15. Thank you FD.There were times when this initiation process was positively terrifying, concluding with a night when we were herded in total darkness to fill up our cups to drink from a vat of steaming stinking blood collected from the abattoir floor sump.Instructions were to drink it at the call of 1-2-3 Drink!We were suppose to notice at that precise moment that the lights were switched on and there was a proper end-of-initiation feast laid out before us…..many of us….petrified..drank some blood before we realised what was happening.

  16. I wonder if girls were subjected to similar tortures at all-girl colleges. My entire education was co-ed and I always thought the girls were tougher than the boys….. we had to be if we were going to survive riding horseback naked.

  17. we had to be if we were going to survive riding horseback naked.I'm collecting relevant pictures if you have a contribution to make Emjay. :-)One of the sad things about this college was that it was all boys while we were there, but not too much later girls were also allowed to enrol.I am a man who was born 10 years too early. 🙂

  18. Reblogged this on Just Another Ag Student and commented:
    Today I am re-blogging rather educational and comical tale from a past student of Dookie Agricultural College from years 1965-1967. So what was it like back then..?


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