They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in their cradles,
And ate the cheese out of the vats.
They licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles,
Split open kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
That school, although established less than a decade before, had already earned a substantial reputation in the district, and perhaps the whole city for that matter. That reputation amounted to being widely and generally dismissed as being a bodgie school. That word bodgie—pronounced with the hard `o’ as in body—had two quite distinct meanings, both of which were Australian colloquialisms. The old one, spelled bodgey simply meant no bloody good and was used in reference to anything that either did not function properly or else was inappropriate to the required purpose. As such, from my point of view, it might have fitted Moorabbin Tech to perfection, but in fact the intended usage was bodgie which at the time was a new slang word in the middle to later 1950’s, referred to a thug or larrikin or any other form of juvenile delinquent. To be blunt, it was a school for hooligans, a training ground for lives of crime.
The Bodgies, and their attendant girlfriends called Widgies, were an Australian phenomenon and in fact were entirely the result of the preference of young people for American style clothes and music, in the midst of what was otherwise a profoundly British society. Their music was the loud erratic stuff of strange performers called Elvis Presley and Bobbie Rydell, and their uniform was a T-shirt, blue jeans and a good strong pair of boots for kicking heads. Of course, they imitated what they saw in contemporary American movies.