When UWA students were naughty

Not overstated at all. Not one bit.

Not overstated at all. Not one bit.

You may recall that a couple of years ago UWA students got into serious trouble for racist jokes in the guild newspaper, PROSH. Hardly the first time student humour was controversial. Won’t be the last either.

Today, we look back to 1931, when the student rag, then called Sruss Sruss, also managed to caused outrage. The editor was Griff Richards, who later went on to edit the West Australian. So it didn’t exactly destroy his career.

Unfortunately, the Dodgy Perth research team has not managed to uncover a copy of this infamous publication. UWA doesn’t appear to have one, and the State Library has lost theirs. There may not be any other copies left.

All we are left with is one joke about a Professor Ross, who taught physics and maths, not being able to have any more children because he’d lost the formula. Hysterical, eh?

And one rather weak poem:

She was only a sportsman’s daughter,
She lived besides the mill:
There were otters in the water,
But she was otter still.

Well, Prof Ross didn’t find these funny, and he rapidly became an enemy of the guild, Sruss Sruss, and its editor.

The week the newspaper was printed, UWA students had not helped their cause by going upstairs at His Majesty’s armed with rotten crayfish, eggs and vegetables. Then proceeded to throw these at the audience below, forcing the curtain to come down and the play to be abandoned.

At first, there was only a small piece in the West Australian about this scandal. But then the Sunday Times had a slow news week. Sruss Sruss, it decided, was the worst thing since Hitler would be a few years later, and it had to be stopped now.

The University authorities, backed by Prof Ross, panicked and fined everyone involved, and ordered every copy of the newspaper to be pulped. They also expelled Griff Richards for one year.

In fact, the Guild went further, and burnt every copy of Sruss Sruss they could lay their hands on.

Kids today, eh? Don’t know they’re born.

Let’s go outside

letsgooutsideYoung people today, eh? No standards, is what we say at Dodgy Perth HQ.

Not like in the good old days, like the 1950s. When people knew how to behave. And respected their betters. And did not make love in broad daylight in front of picnickers.

No sir.

Take for example, the way our grandparents celebrated New Year’s Eve 1953. The good old days. Just like in Back to the Future.

Can you imagine wild “necking parties” going on all night in King’s Park until the families arrived with picnics the next day? That generation could never have blended booze and sex into wild public orgies, never caring who saw them. Impossible!

It cannot be that these courting couples deliberately sought out audiences to their wanton promiscuity.

No. It was the 1950s, not 2015.

There could never have been a couple freely enjoying themselves in a ’53 model American sedan in King’s Park. Her blue nylon frock was not draped over the bonnet of the car. And sheer silk stockings weren’t boasting of her activities as they flew from the car’s radio aerial. There were no empty bottles strewn in the bush around them. This did not happen. It was the 1950s, when everything was better than today.

As dawn broke over a parking spot on Crawley Bay, near the University, you would not have been able to see a dozen people in six cars greeting 1954 in their own unique way.

A slim girl, probably no older than eighteen, was not vomiting into the river while her escort (shoeless, tuxedo pants and lipstick smeared singlet) did not drink breakfast straight from a bottle.

The pair in the back seat of a cream sedan nearby were being chaste. Not engaged in open activities which would make a pro blush.

Since it was the 1950s, all of these activities were confined decently to the marital bed. To people who were married to each other. That’s how things were back then.