Tributes have begun flowing after the announcement of the death of 97 year old Kel Carruthers, Australia’s last surviving drongo.
A statement released by his family described Kel as dying not quite so peacefully whilst fully awake after falling and hitting his head on a concrete kangaroo in the front yard of his Lilyfield home.
“Kel died the way he lived, as a complete and utter drongo,” said son Digby Carruthers. “He was having his usual Sunday morning stroll in the front yard reading the jokes page from the Australasian Post when a magpie attacked him, causing him to slip on a tin of Nugget boot polish. We gave him a Bex powder and cup of Bushell’s tea but it wasn’t enough to save him.”
“Kel was a relic of the 1920s and 30s, known as the golden age of drongos,” said historian Digger Grundy from the University of Wangaratta. “He rose to prominence as the youngest member of Tiger Kelly’s gang, whose adventures were fictionalised in the Ginger Meggs comic strip. Kel’s specialties were falling off trams, having his hat eaten by Pharlap and being shot in the arse by Fatty Finn’s slingshot.”
“It’s a little known fact that Stan Cross’s famous “for gor’sake stop laughing” cartoon of a building worker hanging off the pants of another building worker is based on an actual incident that happened to Kel”, said his daughter Bunty. “It happened when he was working on the construction of the AWA Tower at Wynyard and he ended up falling and landing in a huge pile of horse manure. He was such a drongo.”
Guests at Kel’s funeral will include 102 year old Sid Murphy, Australia’s last surviving mug lair, and Sadie Boynton, 99, the last sheila, who will form an honour guard. Guests are then invited to the Three Weeds for a remembrance six o’clock swill.
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