When CrazyCatLady casually mentioned that she grooms the dog of one of my fellow Americans, I was more entertained by the notion of an enormous, bald, black dude with a little, white, YappingRat, than I was of hearing the accent of one of my countrymen.
I happened to be over at Mum-in-law’s one afternoon when said BigBlackDude stopped in to pick up his dog, and I was warmly introduced to him with pleasantries of what city we were from respectively as well as a handshake that nearly powdered the bones of my fingers. I mentioned that I was fairly new to the country and he instantly produced a flyer for a Thanksgiving Day Feast at a local park, featuring a gathering of roughly several hundred of my fellow ex-pats. Wife and I eagerly agreed to go.
A few days later, after we’d completed the move to our new house (because the owner’s of the old one decided they’d rather live there AND completely fucking ruin Christmas…), we received a call from a Telstra employee who was in the area to hook up our phone. Wife hung up and asked me if I caught the Phone guy’s name (I had, as it’s fairly uncommon) as well as the fact that he was American (I hadn’t, because I’m fairly retarded).
Sure as ShitPickles, a half hour later and BigBlackDude cruised up in his PhoneHookyUppy Mobile and ended up hanging out for a bit, showing us pictures of his Aussie wife and gorgeous li’l Aussie girl. Being in need of a ride to the Feast, we invited The D?d and his girl too, as they are also two of my (and Wife’s) absolutely mostest favoritest people on this planet.
D?d and his girl had both had hard nights, the former working the night shift at the hospital and the latter drinking 4 shots of absinthe, so Wife and I weren’t expecting that they’d want to hang out much at the Celebration de Americana. Especially in light of the fact that they were not only grossly outnumbered in the Aussie-to-‘Merican ratio, but that The D?d and I were 2 of the only 4 white males there (out of about a hundred or so).
His uncomfortable, and sometimes politically incorrect, joking aside, I did my best to reassure him that this type of gathering was exactly like any old picnic shindig that I’d been to while I lived in Texas, it’s perfectly okay to be the only white guy, and that it was unlikely that there’d be any random shooting of automatic weapons.
Though I know he isn’t really racist, far from it, and that he’s far more enthralled with American stereotypes as opposed to ethnic stereotypes, he did seem inordinately pleased that there was a watermelon-eating contest. I forgave him though, as I likened it to the idea that I’d be just as tickled were I to see somebody in khakis scream, “Crikey, she’s a big ol’ gehl!” ride on a ‘roo, wrestle a croc, and fuck a koala… um… I mean, throw a shrimp on the barbie, for surely the sheer novelty of it would make all those stupid stereotypes seem less retarded.
‘Cept for that koala thing, I s’pose. Heh.
After introducing Wife and the crew to some of Turkey Day’s finer offerings, like Pecan Pie (argklhlglglghhh… *drools* pecan pieeeeee…), activities began, and The D?d mentioned that he wanted to try and hit some “zingahs.” After figuring out that he meant “zingers” and that this was something he picked up from The Simpson’s (where most of his knowledge of all things ‘Merican come from) he grabbed a bat and a Chris Rock look-alike warmed up on the mound to pitch him a few.
Watching my undersized(HA, I was undersized next to these behemoths)-extremely-white-not-exactly-athletic-looking brother-in-law gearing up for a pitch from a dudded-up, pimped-out, ChrisRock was sure to be some fun, even if it had the potential to be at The D?d’s expense, so I was quite amazed when he cranked his first-ever-swing-with-a-bat shot WELL into the outfield.
After hanging out for a bit in the shade, and after several beers, he and I also kicked 5 kinds of ass at the Egg Toss Event, winning a bottle of wine and the respect and admiration of the congregated Aussie/American half-breed kidlings*. As I was formulating plans for how to trick him into playing the Egg Toss/Judd Throws Egg Straight at D?d’s Head game, we stumbled our way through a good old fashioned gridiron ball getting thrown around.
*Few things are cuter than that little hybrid accent, where they say “noh-oy” and “cheehs” yet still say “Cann’t” and “carr.” I can’t wait ’til our kids start school, heh heh.
The D?d once again amazed me by throwing perfect 30-yard spirals while seeming for all the world like he wouldn’t be able to bounce the damn thing that far. Another Aussie was involved in the game as well, looking very athletic and capable, and I thought that certainly his side-arm, left-handed, elephant-piss-poor attempts at a throw were in jest. I was wrong and was in dire need of additional beer so that I could more comfortably ridicule a perfect stranger while BigBlackDude was chucking 20-yarders comfortably with either arm and The Dud threw a “pointy footy” like he’d done been doing it all his life.
Being that the vast majority of the throng were black, ex-military, big, and buff, the choosing of the softball teams promised to make The D?d, and even myself, feel even more Weakling Whitey. He made the cut as a fourth pick, and I sat down when I saw that there were enough people, using my back and lack of suitable footwear as excuses while I really just wanted to lay on my beautiful wife’s lap and lazily heckle my brother-in-law and BigBlackDude.
I’m pretty sure that I was readying myself to yell something concerning The D?d’s fielding prowess as compared to the 8-year old girl next to him when a line drive bolted straight past her, The D?d came flying from 20 feet away, slid to his knees to scoop it up, and laserbeamed a beauty 40 feet FROM HIS KNEES to ChrisRock, who then bobbled it while the runner made it safely to home plate.
My jaw dropped clean open before Wife, D?dGirl and me all started cheering. It. Was. Awesome.
He’d been skipped in the batting order during the first inning, but the bruthahs knew the boy could play, so they gave him a chance the next time around.
I’d meant to heckle him with something along the lines of a KKK joke, something about it not being a “roo-be-good bat,” or a comparison between a softball bat and his penis, but I didn’t get much of a chance as he swung away at the first pitch offered…
…and knocked another beauty.
It was about then that BigBlackDude (the hulking mass of humanity in the grey T-Shirt) and the other ballplayahs mentioned that, “Fo’ his firs’ time playin’, that boy is purdy good,” and I made the most of the opportunity to mention that, “not only is he MY brother-in-law, but I taught him everything he knows.”
Despite the fact that BigBlackDude knew that only half of that statement was true, he laughed when I told him that I was relieved that The D?d was doing so well at softball, as when we first arrived at the picnic, “he was feeling pretty Aussie,” and he then full-on doubled over with belly-splitting chuckles when I added, “…and pretty white too.”
It wasn’t quite The Mom’s Pecan Pie, and it wasn’t quite a re-enactment of Broncos/Cowboys Overtimey goodness, but it was a righteously awesome Thanksgiving Down Under.
I’m thankful for my beautiful wife, my new family, my new house, and for lots of really huge black dudes and all the fun we had with them.
That sounded so wrong that I’m giggling right now.
We’re all in the new house, the kids love all the windows with which to make faces on and the clickety-clickety-slamity-slam of the lightswitches and doorknobs they can now reach, and this beautiful place is Ours.
Since the only thing I can imagine that would be more awesomer than riding a giant Black Stallion, with flames shooting out it’s ass, blasting Metallica out it’s ears, on a saddle made of chocolate… is going to bed with my beautifully wonderfully amazing Wife, I’m out.
Be good, and watch out for ‘roos.