A bloke walks into a pub in Longreach one night, says he’s just arrived from Tassie. He orders three schooners of XXXX, sits at the back of the bar room and starts to drink, taking a swallow out of each glass in turn. When he finishes, he goes up to the bar and orders another three.
The publican says, “Mate, taking three at a time like that, the beer’ll go flat before you get through it. Why don’t you just take one at a time?”
The bloke explains, “Mate, I’ve got two brothers. Before we left home in Huonville, we all used to drink together. We can’t do that any more, ’cos one’s now a Gumsucker and the other one’s a Sandgroper. Even though we’re spread all over the country, we agreed we’d always drink this way. Then we can all share a drink with each other.”
The publican understands and leaves the bloke to his three schooners, which he orders every night. It becomes a regular thing and the locals get used to seeing him drinking three at a time.
Several weeks later, the bloke comes in and only orders two schooners. He goes and sits at the back of the bar room as always. The locals notice he’s only got the two and fall silent. When he goes up to the bar to reorder, the publican says to him, “Mate, I don’t want to be nosy but I’d like to offer my condolences, let you know how sorry I am about your loss.”
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The bloke looks a bit puzzled for a moment but a light dawns in his eyes and he chuckles.
“Oh thanks, mate, everyone’s fine. I’ve just joined the Salvation Army and taken the pledge. Hasn’t affected my brothers, but.”
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