It hasn't escaped my attention that humans have a penchant for stupid and pointless fads. The yo yo for instance is a wonderful example of pointlessness. My male staff knocked his two front teeth out with his when he was a kid. It was a move that thereafter was named "The Orthodontist" and was very popular amongst skilled yo yo-ers until the safer "Walking The Dog" manoeuvre was invented by Carrie Abandayd. Tragically this trick was also banned when Carrie's yo yo killed a passing Chihuahua.
Another human fad, the usefulness of which completely passes me by is holidays, or vacations if you happen to have the misfortune to live on the wrong side of the Pacific Ocean. How peculiar that people scrimp and save and go without so that they can afford a trip to somewhere exotic and then don't bother researching their destination. The British used to be masters of this, complaining that in Spain all they could get to eat was "foreign muck" and that they couldn't get a good British meal of curry and chips anywhere. The stupid locals all drive on the wrong side of the road, only speak Spanish and it's always too hot. Aussies are no better. Instead of trying to learn the local language they'd rather teach Balinese or Thai hotel porters and waiters Australian slang and then tell them it means something entirely different. Hence these days if you should arrive at your Kuta Beach resort in Bali to be greeted with "G'day. Fancy a root" from the doorman you should be neither surprised nor offended. It's just that some drunk Aussie has told them that "G'day. Fancy a root?" is the most respectful form of greeting in Australia.
No doubt this holiday/vacation fad will pass as they all do when you humans find out that it is harmful to your health and that sunburn and "Bali belly" are not as much fun as you first thought.
Meanwhile the Australian Tourist Authority is doing it's bit to deter tourists by employing my male staff on their on-line help desk. My regular readers may already know that my male staff has a low tolerance threshold for stupid questions. (Though it has to be said that he's not averse to asking them himself. Asking Badger and I "Are you hungry?" being a prime example.)
So far he's doing a great job deterring visitors to Australia, although some of his "clients" are probably dumb enough to take him seriously. Would you like some examples?
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown, and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles. Take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane , Cairns , Townsville and Hervey Bay ? ( UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe .
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not ...
Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, Sydney. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA)
A: Face south, and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is ...
Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, Sydney straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK)
A: You are a male British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled, and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France)
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.
I didn't howl at all. I merely expressed mild shock that my feet were wet. I've told Billy a trillion times not to exaggerate.