Friday, August 19, 2011

Lies, Lies, and Well Maybe One or Two Lies In Toto

In the words of a great poet,

Stop what you're doin'
because I'm about to ruin
the image and the style that you're used to

The self-evident truths we all know about Australia are not turning out to be so true!

What is more Australian, as far as Americans know, than "Throw another shrimp on the Barbie?"  This phrase was actually spread to Americans by the Australia Tourism Commission via a commercial starring Paul Hogan. The commercial was actually conceived before he was famous. It is probably one of the most successful self-stereotyping efforts in history.  We can only hold so many thoughts about foreign lands, and the shrimp shot to the top for our memory slots for Australia.  I can only think of South Central Los Angeles' "Go ahead, visit, fool! We'll put another cap in your ***" as getting across a message so effectively.

However, Australians call shrimps prawns.  So they would throw another prawn on the barbie.  They probably did a little research and discovered that prawns didn't excite the American public.  So they laughed all the way to the bank as they fed us their lies.

I watched a lot of MTV news in my formative years.  And The Comedy Channel news.  And CNN, when wars were on.  And the President, when he interrupted prime time.  And many very speical episodes and "The More You Know"s. And nobody ever mentioned this.  They were complicit in our mis-education. The lies stop now.  Start throwing prawns!

So I bring us back to the poet, with a slight twist of his words.
I sound funny
but yo I'm makin' money see
so yo world I hope you're ready for me.

"Shrimp on the barbie" made the world ready for Australia.  It's about more than money, I suppose.  It's about luring people to the other side of the world for their own good.  But still, part of you dies when a lie is told(1).

Actually the truth has been out there in the public for a while. It's been a secret out in the open, like how they make iPods out of soylent green at Area 51 (2).  See .

The barbie part is definitely true, with slang like brekky (breakfast) and footy (Australian rules football) running rampant. To the untrained ear, it sounds cutesy sometimes, like I'm going to the potty.  

Speaking of which, the other self evident truth, that toilets flush backwards is still as murky as a rest area bathroom 100 km away from nowhere, in the bush in South Australia.

The water just goes down.   The toilets which I have investigated here don't use the traditional American floating flap system(3).   Here, it's more of an up and down valve.  To mix some metaphors, Justin Bieber's hair kind of swirls.  A Marine's hair just goes up and down (in the most deadly manner possible).  These are Marine toilets here.  I don't know how much water they use, but it flows like a jet engine, born of a country that knows the energy of crashing surf.  More investigations to come.

(1)This is itself a lie.  There's of course the whole Nazi asking you about Anne Frank exception and all that.
(2)Don't forget to stop by the cafeteria when you take the Area 51 tour.  They can throw another soylent green on barbie with the best of them. People who say "soylent green is people!" haven't tasted it.
(3) If you don't know what I'm talking about, open the top of your toilet.  Don't worry.  The water at the top is perfectly clean.  Look around. Fix leaks. Buy a new, water efficient one at the Durham Costco: $92, with a $100 water credit from the city.  You have to destroy the old one, which is easily done when you store it wrong in your garage, you know, theoretically.



  1. If I wasn't laughing already, I laughed again at the list of tags at the bottom of your post: "lies, shrimp, toilets".

  2. I love how you are up on all things credit/tax-incentive/rebate related with the toilet and water credit.