Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Dingo Ate My Baby

Jason's good friend from work, Joey (and by "good friend" I mean "the only other guy among the 800 or so employees who is not mentally retarded") has recently given his notice as he is about a month away from departing for the wilds of Australia.

What perils await him whilst living among the crocs and the dundees? It's hard to tell. But, in a rallying effort to be my usual, helpful self (hey, no smirks, please), I have compiled all the useful knowledge of Australia that has been playing bumper cars in my brain over the last, oh, 24 years or so, and I am offering them here, in the sincere hopes that you fine people might add to it. Some of you are even from this far off land, and if so, your advice would be invaluable (meaning: I won't pay you for it).

First, I would like to issue a safety warning. Australia has some pretty nasty stuff (no, I'm not just talking about nasty Kylie Minogue dance songs, though they are pretty horrifying), including a whole bunch of animals just waiting to tear you to pieces. Well, not you, Joey, specifically. I'm pretty sure they'll eat any tourist, though I imagine they go for those wearing obnoxious fanny packs first - which brings me to another point. Don't say fanny when you're in Australia! Unless of course, you are referring to a woman's love tunnel, which is what it means in the land of Oz.

Anyhow, back to my harrowing list of animals that could eat you, or at the very least maim you: saltwater crocodiles will reportedly attack even unprovoked. Aw, that kind of reminds me of myself, actually. But then there's box jellyfish (should I call them fanny jellyfish to be PC?) that apparently contain enough poison in their tentacles to take down 3 Joeys, or Joey and 2 friends, or just Joey but three times as dead. Even the dorky platypus will cut you down with his venomous ankle spurs - but don't worry, he's not lethal, just UNBEARABLY PAINFUL. My personal favourite is the cassowary, a big 51/2 foot monster, weighing in at an impressive 130lbs. He will drop kick you if you look at him the wrong way - don't let the fact that it's just an ugly bird throw you; it really does have an ultra-sharp third toe that he kicks, and has been known to kill people with. So don't make friends with him. And while kangaroos may look all cute and innocent, I suggest you stay away from them, or this one at least:

Or at least make him buy you dinner first.

Just don't go out for Australian hamburgers, which for some unknown reason are adorned with beetroot, and be sure to stay away from vegemite altogher. Vegemite seems like a cruel joke perpetrated by the pranksters of Australia - it's a salty food paste made from brewer's yeast. Australians spread it thinly on toast; in everyone else it induces vomiting. Plus, it's brought to you by the good folks at Phillip Morris, who are known for producing tasty treats right? At the very least, you can't say there aren't any good yeast spreads out there. Right.

So where was I? Oh yeah, talking about a horny kangaroo taking Joey out for dinner. Sorry bout that. But it's a safer topic than a certain phone-throwing celebrity from down under who sings in an illustrious band called TOFOG.

Don't worry, Australia, I don't blame him on you (he was born a Kiwi), but I do blame the band on you. I mean come on: 30 Odd Foot of Grunts? Who needs that? Joey, if you happen to catch these guys in concert, do bring a phone to throw at them, the bigger the better. Because in my opinion, the horny kangaroo is a better bet. But you needn't resort to kangaroos while you sojourn in Australia because prostitution is not illegal, baby! But you have to be careful not to solicit near schools, churches, or hospitals. I think you can probably manage that, right? There are massage parlours in New South Wales and licensed brothels in Victoria so you can do quite well for yourself. Just don't take up pimping, because that's still a no-no.

And while we're talking about The Way Things Are in Australia, I should mention the fact that they drive on the other side there. And while driving on the wrong side of the road (well, certainly not the right), you apparently should keep your eyes peeled for skiing kangaroos. All of this can be taxing on someone foreign to the land, especially considering you'll be frantically translating the whole time. Oh sure, Australians speak "English", but let's face it: those hosers wouldn't know proper speak if it hit them in the head, eh? Luckily, you can take a crash course in Australian here, and learn such helpful phrases such as "That man has a large stomach" and "Someone stole my bicycle."

And if bicycle theft turns out to be a big problem, you can always turn to one of Australia's national pastimes, the boomerang. Yes, it seems silly and pointless, but then, all the best sports are. Throwing a stick and waiting for it to come back to you may make you feel a bit doggish, but remember, it's a curved stick. Much more highly evolved. And while not as dangerous as saltwater crocodiles, it is best to be mindful of this warning: "Remember - you are the target!"

And if you should happen to get homesick while you're down there, you can take comfort in their similarly strong tradition in great beer. I totally recommend Foster's to start you off on the right foot. They're not just about cute novelty beer coasters, but I do have a fondness fo them, probably because we don't have coasters up here in Canada. As far as I know, no Canadian has ever put down a beer.

As you can see, I have very limited knowledge of this great country, so I would sincerely appreciate input from all of you. And as they say in Australia, I'm off like a bucket of prawns in the sun....or, g'day, mate.

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