The Beer comes Free

The Beer comes Free

A Poem by Norman 223

A true story of a trip into the Australian outback (with a little poetic licence.)


The Beer is Free



“THE BEER IS FREE“,  the notice said

As our car spluttered into the town.

Our radiator clogged with insect corpses

And the noon day sun beating down.

We knew if we tried to carry on

Our hoses  were sure to burst,

So this seemed a good place to

Stop and cool down

Have a meal and quench our thirst.


This solitary cafe and fuel pump

Was just a corrugated iron shack.

But the smell of cooking and the thought of a drink

Was heaven in that Australian outback.

We looked at the menu chalked on a board

”Steak, chips and salad at four dollars a head“

Well, a meal like that we couldn’t afford

 To miss, if the beer was free (like it said).


The steak was huge and perfectly grilled,

The chips and the salad were equally large

And the "tinnies " of beer were nicely chilled

And came, as they said, without any charge.


The engine had cooled but the fuel was low,

 So before we left we topped up the car.

Whilst filling us up with ten gallons, or so

The owner told us we’d not get far

In this heat and suggested that ”You really ought’a

Take on a few extra pints of water.

‘ Cos if you don’t it ‘ll just dehydrate yer

If you don’t top up the calls of nature.”


We agreed,  and after we’d paid our bill

Asked this enterprising man

If he would let us go and fill

Our radiator and a plastic can.

“No worries mate”, he said with a grin

And came back with a bucket and an old beer tin.

It’ll cost you three dollars a litre“ said he.

”Water’s scarce around here  - but the beer comes free“


© 2019 Norman 223

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Life the great experience loved your take on the outback I love your viewpoints creative funny entertaining top notch act

Posted 1 Year Ago

You captured the essence of the outback here I could feel the heat and smell the steak great work loved it !

Posted 1 Year Ago

Norman 223

1 Year Ago

One of the greatest highlights of my life, when I saw a total solar eclipse the next day in Woomer.. read more
Excellent poem & Outback adventure! So perfect, witty and funny dear Norman. You are back to us in rare form- hurrah! I very much envy your exceptional descriptive, rhythm and rhyming skills my friend. Take good care of yourself and keep us updated on how you are doing- we care! Oh yes, if I ever travel the Outback, I’ll be sure to bring my own water- ha!

Posted 1 Year Ago

Norman 223

1 Year Ago

With my family in Australia, I am always being sent books of Australian "Bush Verse" as presents. .. read more
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Nice story. Of course there must be a catch to free beer! I love how you've managed to include so much detail in such a limited space of words. A very good read. :)

Posted 1 Year Ago

ha ha...nice twist at the's free, water costs.
Reminds me of Steven Wright making fun of the idea of paying for bottled water...something we can get for free out of a tap.
I was reminded reading this of Lobo's "me and you and a dog named boo"--

"another tank of gas and back on the road again"
the steak made my mouth water....of course you write in a way that gets to our senses.

Posted 1 Year Ago

I see that the hospital escapades have become old news now & you're ready for an outback safari! I love this poem with great rhyme & rhythm, but most of all, great ambiance for this expedition. I love your wry, true-to-life observations ("radiator clogged with insect corpses" . . . and . . . "smell of cooking . . . heaven in the Aussie outback")! Most of all, the punchline is great . . . water more valuable than beer! Since I feel guilty watering my garden here, I can relate to the precious water sentiments greatly! Thanks for sharing a great poem & I hope you are steadily gaining back your spitfire spirit so you can deal with the doctors once again, as needed! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Year Ago

There had to be catch to all those great prices and free beer, huh? Still, it seems that you came out okay. I sure could go for a 4 dollar steak right now.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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7 Reviews
Added on April 22, 2019
Last Updated on April 22, 2019


Norman 223
Norman 223

Essex UK, United Kingdom

Now,rapidly approaching the age of 89 I'm still trying to write as an optimistic exercise in keeping senility at bay, although I reluctantly have to accept age,unreliable memory, pacemakers and syn.. more..


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