The penis art of David the Robot

… plus — surprise! — reflections on occupational labels and on limericks.

(There will be discussions of male genitalia and mansex, but no X-rated images; these are isolated in an AZBlogX posting yesterday, “Dave the Robot takes pen in hand”. The posting below isn’t couched in street language, but it cites some street language, some of the limericks are dirty, and other parts of its content might be unsuitable for the sexually modest or for kids.)

The XBlog posting begins (#1 and #2 there) with a drawing — entitled “Bros” — of two naked men whose penises are embracing. Cropped here to show the sketchbook style (a kind of deliberate artlessness) of the drawing:


Then on to the artist, who has achieved some sort of fame via raunchy sketches on Instagram featuring genitalia and bodily fluids.

From my XBlog on the “Bros” sketch, its imagery and the terminology it might suggest:

Gay swordplay taken to a new level. Or holding dicks, a step up from just holding hands. They seem to be cock bros. Cock buddies. Dick besties. (None of these compounds has made it into the slang dictionaries, though Urban Dictionary has an entry for dick brothers, for two men who have fucked the same woman.)

Then from the Happy Mag site, in “Fuck the Instagram police: David the Robot earns his followers by drawing dicks” by Paul Maland:

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if your school-mates that excelled at doodling doodles in their workbooks stuck it out, and even went on to achieve artistic fame?

David The Robot, real name David Marie, is an Instagram based cartoonist and illustrator out of Perth. Dave’s crude drawings of willies and other-worldly misadventures have taken Instagram by storm, netting him over 100,000 followers, and even a few account suspensions along the way.

A tradesman by day and notebook illustrator by night, Dave’s work has come to life off the page in recent times, landing on tattooed skin and inside the walls of gallery exhibitions.

We had a chat with the artist to get a sense of what makes the creative within him tick, and how his poo, bum and wee art fits in with the world around him.

What would happen if that kid etching dongs into school desks never stopped? Behold the crude magnificence of David the Robot, Instagram’s dirtiest illustrator.

(From its site: “Happy is an Australian based online music and youth culture magazine focussed primarily on independent news, reviews and feature articles.”)

Two flags here. First, the word tradesman in the Happy piece — DtR’s own characterization of his day job — which led me to ask my Aussie and Aussie-knowledgeable friends on Facebook:

if a young guy from Perth says that he works as a tradesman, what kind of work does he do?

Second, since this question used the expression a young guy from Perth, it led quickly to a side discussion of limericks with the first line

There was a young man from Perth

But before I go on to these spin-off topics, a bit more on DtR’s sketches. His Instagram site has a huge assortment of these, in several styles. Two of these are reproduced in my XBlog posting: in #3 and #4 there — meticulous b&w sketches (of a penis machine and a penis creature).

Most of his work would not pass muster for WordPress or Facebook, but here’s a quick sketch of a male “Perv Couple” that will do:


(No, I don’t know the significance of the signature KEW on DtR’s drawings.)

tradesman. I had two senses of this noun in my active vocabulary: someone in the skilled trades (plumber, electrician, welder, carpenter, etc., which call for special training and in the US generally require a license); or (especially in the UK) a shopkeeper, especially a small shopkeeper). Maybe DtR was referring to one of these, maybe to some third thing.

[Digression on categorization. One widespread system of everyday categorization of occupations — not categorizations for administrative purposes or technical studies in sociology, but the categorizations that ordinary people use in everyday life — has a rough major division into three, which have come to be labeled blue-collar, pink-collar, and white-collar. The blue-collar category is significantly split in two, manual labor vs. skilled trades (however these are labeled); and the white-collar category is also significantly split in two, commerce (sometimes known as business or, yes, trade) and the professions.

As is customary with everyday categorizations, the boundaries between categories are often unclear (though their prototypical membership is much less variable), and the match between ordinary-language labels and the categories is often complex.]

I hoped that the Macquarie (Australian dictionary of English) would be helpful in DtR’s use, but no. My 1981 edition gives four senses:

tradesman: 1. a man engaged in trade.  2. a shopkeeper. 3. a craftsman. 4. one who calls on private houses to deliver goods.

So: both of the senses I knew, plus (roughly) ‘delivery man’, and that first sense, which is just the basic semantics for a N + N compound with elements trade and man, so it embraces everything that comes under the heading of trade. That includes the basic nouning of the verb trade — trade  ‘exchange of one thing for another’ — plus all of these senses from NOAD:

noun trade: 1 [a] the action of buying and selling goods and services: a move to ban all trade in ivory | a significant increase in foreign trade | the meat trade. [b] dated, chiefly derogatory the practice of making one’s living in business, as opposed to in a profession or from unearned income: the aristocratic classes were contemptuous of those in trade. [c] North American (in sports) a transfer; an exchange: players can demand a trade after five years of service. 2 [a] a skilled job, typically one requiring manual skills and special training: the fundamentals of the construction trade | a carpenter by trade. [b] (the trade) [treated as singular or plural] the people engaged in a particular area of business: in the trade this sort of computer is called “a client-based system.”. [c] British [treated as singular or plural] (the trade) people licensed to sell alcoholic drink. [d] informal a person in gay male sexual encounters who is not penetrated sexually and usually considers himself to be heterosexual.

Plus trade as a short form of the gay slang rough trade ‘rough or lower-class men sought, and sometimes paid, as casual sexual partners by more privileged or affluent men’ (NOAD). So far as I know, tradesman is not used as an occupational label in either of these sexual senses, though there was a certain amount of guffawing on Facebook about the possibility that DtR was a stud hustler.

Eventually, Facebook exchanges with Wufkey Crosby (from Melbourne) and Jason Parker-Burlingham (originally from Brisbane) narrowed things down to an occupational category that seems to be specifically Australian, though it’s related to the ‘skilled tradesman’ or ‘craftsman’ categories above. It’s a skilled-trade occupation plied by largely self-employed assistants or small contractors. Jason: “everything from housebuilding to landscaping to electrical or plumbing would be on the cards”. It’s an occupation, not just an activity (so it’s like being a handyman in the US, but full-time and more institutionalized), and a tradesman in this sense might hope that with success they could move from being an employee to having employees of their own.

It’s enough of a thing in Australia that it has its own Aussie diminutive: tradie. Kyle Wohlmut supplied a link to a Perth Now story of 8/2/18, “Wombat attacks tradie in Bathurst”, beginning:

If you were to rank dangerous Australian animals, wombats would rarely come to mind, if make an extended list at all.

But a tradie in New South Wales learned very quickly that the docile marsupial has plenty of bite.

And in a Google search on {Australian tradesman Perth}, Aric Olnes found a  ComparetheTradie site that advertises:


We connect you to professionals available to do your job on your terms

On the limerick watch. Google searches netted three limerick families, one of which is in the G. Legman collections (I: The Limerick, 1964; II: The New Limerick, 1977):

family A: afterbirth:

There was a young man from Perth
The nastiest/dirtiest bastard on Earth
When his wife was confined
He pulled down the blind
And devoured/gobbled/ate up the whole afterbirth
/ And licked up the green afterbirth

(underlined variants are those in Legman I:789)

There was a young man from Perth
The sickest motherfucker on Earth
He ate out his mother
And cornholed his brother
Then dined on his wife’s afterbirth

Legman II: note p. 653 has this development of I:789:

We pity those two men of Perth
Who had crab, clap and syphilis from birth.
Said one to the other:
“Alas, my poor brother,
We’re the rottenest bastards on earth!”

family B: birth:

There was a young man from Perth,
Who was born on the day of his birth.
He was married, they say,
On his wife’s wedding day,
And died when he quitted the earth.
/ And he died on his last day on earth.

There was a young man from Perth
Naked at time of his birth
Determined to see
The same new ditty
In the time he has left on this Earth

family 3: surf:

There was a young man from Perth
Who thought he knew how to surf
He stood on the board
And tripped on the cord
Now his feet stay firmly on earth

Then from Legman, his other Perth limericks, the first and third involving men in Perth, the others involving young women in Perth rather than men:


There was a young fellow of Perth
Whose balls were the finest on earth.
They grew to such size
That one won a prize,
And goodness knows what they were worth


There was a young virgin in Perth
Swore she’d do it for no one on earth,
Yet she fell without scandal
To a red Christmas candle
And was always less choosey henceforth.


There was a young lady named Bower
Who dwelt in an Ivory Tower.
But a poet from Perth
Laid her flat on the earth,
And proceeded with penis to plough her.


There was a young maiden of Perth
Whose vagina was sealed up at birth,
All because her fond mother
Feared some man or other
Would carnally alter her girth.


There was a young lady of Perth
Who said, “Lord! I’m increasing in girth!”
And her lovely young figure
Got bigger and bigger
And BIGGER — till after the birth.

And then on Facebook, an assortment of limerick lines from various posters:


An artist and purveyor of mirth

Who was well aware of his worth

Ned Deily

By day called a tradesman. But at night he amazed ‘em, with shows of his impressive girth.

Michael Newman:

Who was very unsure of his worth

Who was only a few years from his birth

Who suffered much too long from dearth

Who was born on the Forth of Firth

Who didn’t like living on Earth

Who lived a long life of mirth

One Response to “The penis art of David the Robot”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Kyle Wohlmut in Facebook:

    even the [Sydney Morning Herald] (arguably the Australian “paper of record”) uses “tradie”:

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