The Suspected Wharfie

There was a certain wharfie on the Melbourne waterfront who was suspected of stealing. Each day he left the wharf where he worked, pushing a wheelbarrow filled with straw. So a police detective was detailed to watch him. The detective searched among the straw but found nothing; and yet he was satisfied in his own mind that the wharf labourer was engaged in pilfering of some sort. This went on, day after day, for two weeks.

Late one afternoon the wharf labourer dropped in at the Seamen’s Arms for a beer. The detective who had been detailed to watch him joined him at the bar counter and said, “Look here, I’m being posted to Bendigo, so you can talk freely. I promise not to tell anyone. I’m just curious. What are you stealing?”

“Well,” said the wharfie, “under the circumstances I don’t suppose there’s any harm in telling you. It’s wheelbarrows.”

— Bill Wannan’s Come in Spinner: A Treasury of Popular Australian Humour

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One thought on “The Suspected Wharfie

  1. Pingback: Post Update 28 Nov 2015 | Rafferty's Rules

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