Poem: Ode to the Crackling Transistor

Ensconced we sit in contoured plastic seats,

our floggers banned, our brollies not allowed,

with leg-room our desire for comfort meets

and yet the advertising’s way too loud.

Where thermos flasks of soup once warmed us up

and pies were cheap, or peanuts from a sack,

We queue for coffee now, five bucks a cup,

or more for a limp, tasteless low-fat snack.

And not even a second siren’s blast

so kids with footies on the hallowed place

can race towards the roped off centre, fast,

where once we ran straight for the player’s race.

And should the PA break and cheers stop dead,

No sound at all would now rise overhead.

Instead thin wires threading to our ears

would carry secret signals straight inside

that called the action in our silent spheres

’cause god forbid we’d let those sounds out wide.

No more do trannies broadcast all around

No more “How’s Fitzroy doin’, do ya know?”

no “Who did Jack pick, mate, for best on ground?”

or “In the last, how did the fav’rite go?”

No “What’s the latest on McKenzie’s knees?”

There’s no point asking someone who can’t hear.

In my day pods were how you got your peas

But now they just give tinnitus I fear

And little conversations have been lost

And no-one’s stopped to analyse the cost.

But I’ll stand up for trannies’ crackling noise

against that tiny electronic stuff

against new fancy, web enabled, toys

My tranny’s cobweb ready but its tough.

Its got a nifty case of leather (faux)

Though thirty seven times it has been dropped

I turn it on and it will always go

In thirty seven years it’s never stopped

(unless it needed batteries of course).

I listened in my boyhood while in bed

for teams on Thursdays and the cricket scores,

With volume low I presssed it to my head.

So when I take my tranny now I’m proud.

Until they ban it too I’ll go out loud.


  1. Andrew Gaylard says

    Ah, Richard, we might yet inspire the popular rebirth of the classic fourteener. Wait till I get my Dark Lady cycle finished. (Caro, Sam or Kelli?)

  2. johnharms says


    That’s two fourteeners.

    Tommy H and the crackling trannie – and now for one on the white floppy hat with green lining.

  3. Pamela Sherpa says

    Lovely Richard. Just visited a cousin in country Vic who sits in his back shed to listen to the footy on radio. He can’t stand watching the rubbish they play on TV!

Leave a Comment