I?d like to tell you a little bit about this country I live in.
I could go on and on with social diatribes and any random, yet no less poignant, observation that I may have made since my arrival here. I?m not going to do that.
Hell with it, I?ll simply drop you into and out of a day in my life. Today, for example.
The news this morning was heavily-laden with the terrorist doings. Naturally. Then the newsies say things like, ?Um, Aussies… it can happen to us too, so don?t go anywhere for a while.? No long, drawn-out messages about traveling safely, what to consider when planning a holiday, who to scrutinize when getting on buses in the middle of Beirut… nope.
?Don?t go where they blow shit up.?
That?s the message. The rest is just fluff.
I get into the classroom with my son after stumbling late, once again, out of our house a mere 2 and a half minutes away. We are greeted with no less than 5 kids that Boy describes as ?brown people.? Though they may all be (in relative order) Indonesian, Aboriginal, Indian, Liberian, and Malaysian, he really only comments on their differences in light of the fact that their skin is darker than ours, and how much he loves when some of them speak ?Chinese? (because when you?re 5, every foreign language is Chinese).
While we read a book about a duck that?s learning to surf, I notice that, of the 15 children leaping randomly and flea-like about the room, there are no less than 9 different nationalities represented. This is only an estimate, of course, because I?m guessing that the slightly olive-complected boy named ?Kalib Hashnihakanahhakansomething? has roots from somewhere near the Middle East.
You?ll never hear anyone there calling it a ?Melting Pot? though. It?s just the Pre-Primary School.
I fought traffic whilst flipping through stations that are playing the same song at the same time (probably the same one you flipped from this same morning). There is some meaningless banter between the flamboyantly gay host and a footy star, which I pause on because I?m hoping for far less tolerance from the jock and more lisping and wrist-limping from the poof.
No such luck, and then I doze at a light while 3 people in a row try to sell me radio airtime, energy bars, and car insurance (which they neglect to tell me I don?t really need as it?s included in my licensing fees).
At work I talk to a guy on the phone with such a thick Romanian accent I start giggling and dropping Ali G references with nary a hint of suspected ridicule. I have a meeting with a couple of Poms that want to sell flowers online here in WA, but aren?t sure how many other online florists they may be competing against, but assure me that it?s ?absolute rubbish? that they can?t register their company name because it?s too close to an existing company that also sells… *gasp* flowers.
I entertain my coworkers with the same trick I do for my wife. I take ordinary, average, run-of-the-mill SPAM emails that want me to have longer lasting erections and eat painkillers by the handful, and read it like it?s a personal letter from family or a close friend.
My journey homeward involves more fighting of traffic, and the obnoxious and highly entertaining afternoon hosts are giving shit to Hugh Jackman for being so incredibly humble:
?Seriously mate, Harrison Ford doesn?t get in an interview and say, ?So, it?s a pretty good show, hope you go out and see it, the archeological stuff isn?t TOO heavy and over your head, and there?s some pretty good action too, with a whip and a cool hat thrown in.??
He takes it all in stride and ad-libs some theoretical lines from X-Men 4: The Musical.
Laziness rules out over DinnerPreparingness, and we feed the kids ?Baked Beans? which I recognize as the item I grew up calling ?Pork and Beans.? As Wife points out that ?Fruit Cocktail? always has a multitude of cherries on the label and there are freakin? 3 in a liter can (and they?re HALVES), I share with her that ?Pork and Beans? is really ?Baked Beans and a Square-Inch Hunk of Pigfat Potentially Construed as ?Pork?.?
I eat a Tim Tam as pre-dinner, and it?s still one of the finer compilations that Chocolate and Cookie ever did together. I won?t even go into Hedgehogs and Caramel Slices. Oh, Sweet Baby Jeebus.
We read The Jungle Book, stick the kids in bed, and settle in to The 2006 MTV Movie Awards. While I?ve forgotten the reason behind a channel originally devoted to music videos (called ?film clips? here) hosting an award show that had more to it than the BIG ones (the ones with the little golden alien dude with the sword on the trophy), I did enjoy all the hooplah. And the fact that an Aussie won one award and a dude got another for kissing an Aussie dude. And they were COWBOYS. That?s realistically one of the only things that keeps the ?ew? factor as low as it is for me.
The highlight of my night arrives. Well, the other highlight that isn?t hanging out with my incredibly awesomely cool wife, bullshitting for hours about nothing and everything.
No, the highlight is a Toohey?s New beer commercial. If you?re here in Oz, you may have seen it.
A city, any city. It?s downtown inhabitants are using gigantic trebuchets to launch Volkswagen-sized bags of Malt, Barley, and Hops into a nearby cloudbank. They happily fling them from throughout the metropolis as folks in their offices watch them disappear into the vapour.
They all slow to a bit of a halt, and on a taller buildings rooftop an elevator dings, and those that were previously loading another ton?s worth of beer-brewins turn to stare excitedly at… a deer.
It took me a few times of watching this ad to realize that this is the same deer from the label on the bottle I was imbibing, but that changed NONE of the comedic impact of those beer-craving idiots leading that wide-eyed, innocent, impressive-looking creature onto the trebuchet and WHOOSH… off he flies stoically into the clouds.
Then, it starts to rain beer and every single living soul in that city is engulfed in pure rapture. That part gets me a bit teary… give me a minute… *sniff*
I love this country.
Hell, I left out the part from the longer version of that ad where they load a couple of Lauderdale-esque chicks onto the thingy and shoot ?em into the clouds too, giggling and hooting all the way.
It?s late now, and even though it?s Friday Night, I know that yet another beer and additional hours of non-sleep will only hurt me when it?s pre-dawn and two little yard-monkeys are clamoring for pancakes, because I may not actually be a grown-up, but I play one in the kitchen.
Good night folks. Love where you are and the ones you?re with.