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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)

Plum Duff and Dumb Bluff

Plum Duff and Dumb Bluff.

Jusso; but like opinions and many other things which start with O, Christmasses differ. The eats of the west and wets of the east, the souse of the north and the noughts of the south reflect the tastes of the tasters. The plum duff of England is not the dumb bluff of Scotland, which country keeps up Christmas by preparing for New Year. Every country celebrates according to its lights-and its liver. For instance, in Argentine the Argentinklers gather round the pickled pampas while they dance the Argen-tango to the music of their national blow-nose airs. In Mexico the peasants toss the tortillo and drink the fiery musquash while they play a game called potting the president. In Spain at Christmastide the soft notes of the bullring and the sound of onion peels mingle with the scent of the garlic groves. In China they sing banditties and indulge in a game of chance called “find the ransom” or “Shanghied and seek.” In Japan they tinkle the yen. In the Pacific Islands they dance the paw-paw on all fours and sing songs to the great I-yam. In Holland they chase the cheddar and also indulge in Schnapps, a sport in which the points are scored in “spots.” In Switzerland they celebrate by the age-old custom of “tapping the tourist,” which consists of taking him up to take him down. In Siam they toss doubles or quits with the terrible twins and eat rice twice; for everything is multiplied by two in Siam; and at Christmas they sit down to a multiplication table, twice the mainbrace and back the “double-header” both ways.