Lego Men and Sieves

My little brother (he’s about 7 feet tall now) was one of those compulsive swallower types when he was a kid.

He ate everything; gravel, moths, pot plant mix, bark, necklaces…….the list goes on.
It didn’t matter about texture or taste – if he could fit it in his mouth, he’d eat it.

His specialities were coins and lego men. He swallowed money like a pokie machine on pension day. It didn’t matter about the size of the coin – fifty cents disappeared down Pete’s throat quicker than a donut on the set of the Oprah show.

I’m sure he nearly cracked the ceramic in the toilet a couple of times with the amount of “extras” he was expelling. What’s that really noisy Japanese gambling game with the coins? – Pachinko? When Pete went to the toilet, he sounded like a pachinko machine.

Whenever Mum felt like us kids were being ungrateful or not realizing the value of the Aussie dollar (or when she just felt like being cheeky), she’d tell us a story about when her and Dad bought our first home in Dimboola, which is a small country town in Victoria.

We were apparently SO poor, we couldn’t even afford to pay attention.

The story went that quite often in those days, they couldn’t afford money for milk for us children (because they were so very, very poor). They’d search in between the couch cushions and behind dad’s seat in the car for 1 and 2 cent coins, hoping to scrounge enough money to feed their little babies.

One time in particular, they’d had no luck scrounging money from around the house. They were dead broke. Not knowing what they were going to do, they sat down on the verandah to think some more about how they were going to get enough money to buy the milk.

My brother Peter was also out on the verandah, sitting cross legged and singing – with a lego man’s head sticking half way out of his mouth. It was a Knight lego man with a jousting stick and everything. That was gonna hurt coming out.

Mum and Dad looked at each other, grinning. Eureka!

A short time later, with the aid of 4 or 5 prunes, some mushy pears and a sieve, they’d soon reaped sufficient coinage to pay for half a dairy.

Apparently we should “never take anything for granted because you never know when things are going to get to the lego man and sieve stage”

Personally I think the story was a load of shit.

Lego Men and Sieves


Cairns, Australia

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