Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Of frozen chooks and raffles…

How many times in your life do you get to explain what a frozen chook raffle is? Not many - and to be honest being an Aussie I would never have to as other Aussies understand me and the whole frozen chook raffle deal. But I wrote this book for Ellora's Cave - Thigh High - part of the Going Down Under series that is specifically Aussie stories written in Aussie speak by actual Aussies. They said speak Aussie in it. We want you to. Right-o, I bloody will sunshine.

Anyway back to the chookchook equals chicken. Why is it frozen? Well, that's what the Fle wanted to know. What's a Fle? A final line editor and basically they are the last person who checks your book before it heads out for publication. Now, the Fle being an American was goggle-eyed at the terminology in the book. Well you would be. Aussie strine is like a foreign language when we speak it in all its glory. Normally I am never allowed to keep Aussie words in any book as other nationalities “won’t understand” - so it was nice not only to spruik fair dinkum Aussie but have it remain in place. Mind you, I had to write an extensive glossary to explain what various words meant. The poor Fle stumbled on a couple I didn’t think to add into the long glossary. I just assumed they were universal speak. What were they?

- I put in that ‘nong’ equalled ‘dill’ but apparently in Yankee-speak ‘dill’ is pickle…in Aussie speak it’s a silly person…I guess some people are like pickles.

- ‘big smoke’ – when someone is reported to be heading to the big smoke it means the city – you know – pollution, smog = smoke.

- and apparently ‘Blind Freddie’ is another Aussie only thing – it means someone with no sense of sight could see the obvious.

And then there's the frozen chook. Why is it being raffled? Australian pubs it's not uncommon to be having lunch or a drink and someone comes round with something to be raffled, usually for charity or to raise money for the local footy (football) or cricket club (incredibly slow boring game) to get uniforms or to go to some state final or whatever. Anyway, the raffle is usually something like a meat tray done up by the local butcher. It would have steak, snags (sausages), rissoles, lamp chops – the usual barbie fare. Or it could be a seafood tray - prawns (shrimp) crabs, oysters, barramundi etc. Or a frozen chook or chooks. Yep – a couple of frozen chooks on a tray with a dozen eggs. It’s all a bit of a lark and light hearted fun. We’re not serious people but we are gamblers. Aussies we will bet the odds on anything. You have a raffle? We'll take a ticket or several – “$2 each or 3 for $5.00, love or if you buy ten I’ll give ya a kiss.” We love to take a chance on anything even the outcome of a frozen chook raffle.

Thigh High is out October 16th with Ellora’s Cave.
Be an Amarinda book


Anny Cook said...

Love it! It's fabulous!

Sandra Cox said...

You made my head spin:)
Congrats on the release! I'd wish you many sales but that's a given:)