17 February 2008


This term’s inauspicious origins
arose amongst Grade II Staff &
Tactics students thirty years ago.
Back then and likely still the same,
soldiers were prone to accidental
acronyms. Prof Walker is acclaimed
as the author of this one – framed
as a useful reminder to students
whose priorities became confused.
When expanded the term says:
“Who Gives A Big Red Rat’s Arse.”

I know of one other more poignant
and fitting than the Prof’s, a lift
from his stable – but WHOGABBA
is still able to jerk all the right chords
with me. His wasn’t classy and mine
neither but both keep priorities in
view, reminding us of aims with a
greater personal meaning. My own
aphorism translates to “Who gives
a black bat’s arse” – which of course
I do – meaning I really care.

I refer to a tiny bat we saw in the
packing shed today (dare I mention it
in polite company?) – a Little Pied Bat
who lives in caves or empty dwellings.
He’s found a great place to settle in
here with us, if willing. I guarantee
it will be his home for as long as he
convinces the dogs he’s resident
caretaker and not a guest. I mean to
say, who else proudly claims to have
bats in their (packing shed) belfry?
© 4 January 2008, I. D. Carswell