The Wingen Competition
Featured Image: Wingen Maid Mountain | by © R S Smith, Lake Munmorah NSW. Try looking from different angles and use your imagination.
My good mate Greg Scott gave a superb rendition of Col Wilson’s (‘Blue the Shearer’) poem about the local pub at Wingen at our recent Writer’s Festival in Scone. The pub is named the Durham Hotel; but no-one actually calls it that. Overlooking the village of Wingen is the ancient rock formation the ‘Wingen Maid’. It’s supposed to represent a woman when viewed from certain angles? There might have been many angles and lots of ‘we wish’ from patrons leaving the Wingen Pub after a long session? I’ll leave it to your imagination. It has a much deeper ‘dreamtime’ association for the original local inhabitants, the Wonnarua people.
The Wingen Maid & Man in the Mountain
Located on a hillside off the New England Highway is a rock formation that, when viewed, from a particular direction, it resembles a lady sitting down on the side of the mountain. The rock feature which gives its name to the nature reserve is the ‘Wingen Maid’, an important figure in the beliefs of the Wonnarua Aboriginal people. They believe the land-form to be that of a woman who was waiting for her husband to return from battle and when he didn’t arrive she wished to die. Instead she was turned to stone. On the northern side of Dry Creek Road, the ‘Man in the Mountain’ is clearly visible from the road. This is an Aboriginal face in the mountain looking toward the Wingen Maid.
The Wingen Whine
There was an ugly rumour that a native who may or may not have been a winemaker produced a vintage purportedly representing the local area. He called it the ‘Wingen Whine’ which was sold in the pub. I’m reliably informed the bouquet was pithy, the pallet pungent, the nose piercing and the taste to ‘die for’; or maybe you will die? I’ve yet to meet an informed survivor. Maybe the ‘whine’ gave rise to the poem; or possibly the obverse? Perchance the ‘whine’ had a perverse effect?
“The Wingen Competition” by ‘Blue the Shearer’
In the Wingen Pub in Wingen, which is not too far from Scone,
Two men can whinge in tandem, or one can whinge alone.
Or a group can whinge in unison, for in the Wingen Pub,
The whingers in the public bar have formed a Whingeing Club.
They whinge about the weather, price of petrol for the car
And the GST is in the whingers’ repertoire.
They whinge about the price of beef, the falling price of wool,
And one bloke there just loves to whinge about his poofter bull.
They whinge about their relatives, their neighbours, and their friends,
In the Wingen Pub in Wingen, where the whingeing never ends.
The Publican of Wingen pub, an innovative chap,
Thought: “A world-wide competition would give the pub some class.
‘Twould be fitting for the Wingen pub, as Wingen is its name,
And whingers whinge here anyway, if whingeing were the game.”
So a whingeing competition was arranged, and whingers came
From all points of the compass in search of whingeing fame.
There were whingers from America, and from England too,
Where I’m told that whingeing well is what the English do.
The judges came from Sydney, where the world’s best whingers live,
Each carefully selected, so that they could give
Whingeing credibility; two women, and one man,
Whingers of renown themselves, and so the games began.
Most whinged about their spouses, their bosses, or their farm,
The government, the council, the things that threatened harm,
The Wingen Whingers did OK, and some scored them ahead,
But the Pommy whingers went real well, and most thought that they led,
Then there came a stranger, with a beaten, hangdog look,
Like a cross between a fly-blown sheep, and a worn out battery chook.
But when he started whingeing, it was clear he had the gift,
The kind of whingeing genius that gives the craft a lift.
He whinged about his babyhood, and when he was a lad,
He whinged about his mother, and he whinged about his dad,
His sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunties by the score,
He whinged about his cat and dog, and then, he whinged some more.
He whinged about his physique, from his head down to his toes,
He whinged about the fact that he could never pick his nose
Because his grimy fingernails were bitten to the quick,
And then this whingeing whinger tried another whingeing trick.
He whinged in graphic detail about his operation,
The hospital, the surgeon, the maggot infestation,
Even hardened drinkers thought he’d gone a bit too far,
They had never heard a whinger whinge with whinges so bizarre.
It was worse than sixty minutes, and went on even longer,
He showed no sign of tiring, his voice kept getting stronger,
The judges tried to gong him. He insisted he be heard,
And the ghost of Hanrahan was there, applauding every word.
This whingeing virtuoso had all three judges cringin’
In the whingeing competition in the Wingen pub in Wingen.
He drew a tiny, mini breath. They prayed that he’d run out,
But: “There are some other matters I intend to whinge about….”
“NO MORE!!!” Sobbed the judges. “DESIST. BE QUIET. SHUT UP.
WE DECLARE YOU CHAMPION. YOU HAVE WON THE WHINGER’S CUP!!!”
“It isn’t very big,” he whinged. “I thought it would be gold.
And publican, your beer’s too warm, and your pies too cold.
Your bar stools need more padding. You’re air conditioning’s stuffed.
Your TV’s bloody awful, and your clientele’s too rough.
Your toilet’s are disgraceful. You should be arrested,
Your service is abysmal, and your barmaid’s too flat-chested.”
The locals threw the champion out. “Begone, and don’t return..
There is whingeing, and there’s whingeing. That’s something you should learn.”
Things are back to normal now the whingeing champion’s gone,
From the Wingen pub in Wingen, which is not too far from Scone.”
The publican’s had second thoughts. With eardrums badly scarred,
By such high speed non-stop whingeing, so now all whingeing’s barred.
But should you want to whinge a bit, or see how it’s done,
Just amble up, in horse week, to the Royal Hotel, in Scone.
BLUE — the shearer (Copyright Col Wilson)