Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Anyone got a map?

I can't deny that it feels good to be able to walk around barefoot. To eat fruit with a strong and fresh flavour. To turn on the TV and see the country you are in winning sport (although first thing I saw was Liverpool v Arsenal in the Carling Cup - we shall never speak of this again).

Where am I going with this? Okay, let me tell you. I just received a text message from Danny back in London, saying: "Melbourne voted world's most livable city..again." This came as no surprise.

According to The Economist, over the past 6 years Melbourne has held the title three times, Vancouver twice and Vienna once (I'm not going to draw any parrells between the victory in Vancouver and it being the second most highly populated foreign city by Australians outside of London either??)

Anyway, I still think my response to Danny was pertinent: "Shame it's so far from anywhere."

Now that may seem a touch harsh, as Melbourne is a great city. It has a certain laid back attitude that is truly refreshing, I think the best bars and people the world over, but it really is miles from anywhere. While many people in London complain about the weather, food and general mood, ask the question why are you here, and 9 times out of ten the answer will be the same: it's close to everything. I guess what I like in a location is constant change. If it stays the same I get bored. Don't get me wrong; I love all the things that come with familiarity, but I tend to get restless if things stay the same for only as little as one month.

That is Australia's main draw back. As utopian as it is, it's located between 'bumfuck, nowhere' and 'why-didn't-you-stop-and-ask-directions-before-we-got-lost--my-mother-told-me-not-to-marry-you-because-your-so-pig-headed---now-turn-the-car-around-and-ask-at-the-fuel-station..ville.

Not too long ago, a collegue struggling to fight back my constant Ashes taunts sent me a few lines of a joke newspaper article about Australia getting sick of being stuck out in the Pacific. Now, here in Aus, all my friends are working during the day meaning from 8am - 5pm, I'm pretty bored. In an effort to keep my brain ticking over (and one really can't scratch themselves for 9 hours straight - trust me I tried) I've remembered that this reminds me of a newspaper article I once saw......

Australia bender - wakes up in North Atlantic

After what witnesses described as an all night blinder, Australia this morning woke up to find itself in the middle of the North Atlantic.

"Fuck me we sunk some piss," said a bleary-eyed Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, speaking from his residence at Kirribilli House, approximately 600 nautical miles west of Dublin.

According to residents of several countries destroyed or lewdly insulted during the continent's nearly 7,000-mile saltwater stagger, the binge began just after noon yesterday at a pub in Brisbane.

"It started off with some blokes talking about how know one really knows much about us apart from koalas and the Steve Irwin, praise his soul," recalled witness Michael Ewen.

"Then this bloke pipes up and says Australia's main problem is that it's stuck in Australia. So off we went. It made sense at the time," Ewen concluded.

By 2am, powered by national pride and alcohol, the 3-million-square-mile land mass was barging eastward through the Coral Sea and crossing into the central Pacific, leaving a trail of beer cans and sausage roll wrappers in its wake.

Australian wildlife react to the night's events

When dawn broke over the Northern Hemisphere, the continent suddenly found itself smack in the middle of the Atlantic, and, according to most of its 20 million inhabitants, that's the way it's going to stay.

Perth resident Andrew Glasson explained the country's thinking: "We sent troops to Afghanistan. You never hear about it. We have huge government scandals. You never hear about it. It's all 'America did this,' and 'Europe says that'.

"Well, we're right in the thick of things now, so let's just see if you can ignore us," he added.

Officials on both sides of the Atlantic conceded that it would be difficult to allow Australia to remain. "They broke Florida," said U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. "And most of Latin America is missing."

Meanwhile, victims of what's already been dubbed the "Australian Crawl" are still shaking off the event."Australia bumped into us at about midnight local time," said the Spanish President Juan Carlos.

"They were very friendly - they always seem friendly - but then they refused to go around unless we answered their questions. But the questions were impossible! Who is Ian Thorpe? Do you have any Tim Tams? What day is Australia Day?'"

How much can a Koala Bear, experts ask

By late morning today, however, not everyone in Australia was quite so blithe. "We've still got part of Jamaica stuck to Queensland," said Australian army commander Lt. Gen. Peter Cosgrove. "I think we might have declared war on it. I don't bloody remember. Maybe it's time to go home."

Cosgrove, however, is not in the majority, and at press time, U.S., African, and European leaders were still desperately trying to negotiate for Australia's withdrawal. But the independent-minded Aussies were not making it easy.

In a two-hour meeting at midday, Australian representatives listed their demands:
1. Immediate inclusion in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
2. A permanent CNN presence in all 6 Australian states,
3. A worldwide ban on hiring Paul Hogan,
4. A primetime U.S. television contract for Australian Rules Football,

U.S. negotiators immediately walked out, calling the Australian Rules Football request 'absurd'.

In related news New Zealand today became the major power in the South Pacific.

Waking this morning to find itself as the lone superpower in the South Pacific, after Australia moved north during the night, the Kiwis were overjoyed.

"About bloody time," stated Prime Minister Helen Clarke. "We have had just about enough of them and were considering allowing Ngai Tahu to invade them and claim Queensland.

"Look out Northern Hemisphere, you don't know what you are in for. They steal your entertainers and claim them as their own and inflict their sports teams on them. We will be better off working with Samoa"

Popular opinion is that New Zealand moves to occupy Australia's place as the weather is better.

No report has come from the island state of Australia, Tasmania, as yet. It is believed that Australia left quietly so Tasmanians wouldn't notice and want to follow. It appears the ruse has worked. New Zealand has offered to adopt Tasmania as West New Zealand.


At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

I miss Melbourne...*sniff*

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