This from Dave Hughes: (Comedian) “Can Australia Day just calm down a bit. Don't get ahead of yourself mate, you're not Christmas”
But that’s the thing though Dave, it’s better than Christmas. It’s not about a guy who supposedly turns water into a quite a nice drop, it has relevance to everyone in this magnificent country of ours. We still get to eat and drink ourselves stupid, yet there is no stupid overpriced gift giving and more often than not, we spend the day with people we truly want to be around. Oh, and we usually get to play a game of beach cricket with a big fuck-off hat on our heads and swim on big blow up thongs. Better than Christmas? – Um, YEAH!
Apparently it wasn’t until 1994 that the whole country unified to make the 26th of January each year, a public holiday, thus the spirits of all Australians were lifted as one. Ever since, there has been this slow but sure evolution into the event that is Australia Day. Akin to News Years day, plans are made, lamb chops and sausages are purchased and Triple J Hottest 100 is cranked. Even if, like me, you hardly know any of the songs anymore. It’s just tradition. Well, was tradition until Triple J accidently leaked the winner this year pre-countdown. Here’s where I admit I do not know the song that actually took the Number 1 spot. Yep, my Triple J listening days ended somewhere around pushing a basketball sized baby out of my vagina - the same day I had to grow up.
We have a long standing tradition, ok, 3 year tradition, where we meet with a great bunch of people we met when we lived on the Tweed. It started out as a bit of a nothing one day when picking up the kids one day after school. “What are you guys doing on Australia Day?” “Oh nothing much, you?” “Thinking of going down to Jack Evans boat harbour – want to come?”"Sure" And so it happened. Jack was all of 6 weeks old, and the day was unexpectantly awesome. We ate, we drank champagne (yes, yes, after the requisite amount of time after feeding J of course), we played cricket, we swam, we spoke ALOT of shit and then we went home and continued on for another couple of hours. The best thing? – it was easy. Some would go so far as to say it was - Aussie as.
That’s the thing about Aussies, we are easy. Easy in the easy going sense, not the I root everything that breathes kinda sense. That mantle is well and truly held by an American Golfing genius.
The fact that this year the police have a zero tolerance when it comes to drinking in public spaces is understandable but, I’m going to use the word here - it is positively, UnAustralian. I cannot comprehend a game of beach cricket without being able to hold a drink whilst fielding. Or a champagne and orange whilst we cook our Webber bbq breakfast. Looks like we are going to have get tricky and reuse that coke zero can, because we aren’t’ the ones the cops need to worry about. It’s the young guys and few dipshit adults that are decidedly unAustralian. Who cannot get together; have a great day, a few bevvies without it turning into a racist punch-up. If that’s your intention buddy, just stay home and have a wank, because that is clearly what you do best.
So what does being Australian mean? If you have always lived here, how do you know the difference?
Vegemite: Basically brown yeast. Oh yeah and don’t we Aussies just lap that shit up. Me especially. It goes well on toast with lashings of butter. The outside world, on the other hand, has a different opinion. Cheesymite aka poo in a jar, is a whole other story.
Thongs: Pretty much the only country using the word everyone else in the world uses for g-string. Makes for some pretty interesting lost in translation moments.
Our flag: Word of warning though, the Australian Flags on car windows has the chance of going the way of the Frangipani Stickers. Overexposed by bogans. Today in the Harbour town car park I saw the triple threat. Frangipani car seat covers, Australia Day flags off the windows and Crazy Bitch Sticker on the back window. Avoid at all costs.
Our beaches: I don’t have much to draw a comparison to, other than Bali, but from what I have seen in movies, our beaches rock. They are clean, white and apart from when they throw in the odd stinger, are the best ones in the world.
Our Weather: Ok, this is not unique to Australia, but thunderstorms and hearing the crack of thunder on a tin roof whilst drifting off to sleep, pretty much sums up my summers growing up.
Meat Pies: Does it get any more Aus than this? Lara “Where the Bloody Hell are you?” Bingle tweeted this: "Four n Twenty pie @ the cricket mmmm” Now that is Aussie. Sure the whole translation of “Where the Bloody Hell are you?” ad campaign fell flat on its bazookas to the UK audience it was supposed to entice, but really and truly, it’s a stunning girl who’s engaged to a top Australian cricketer who’s enjoying a meat pie at one of our national pastimes. Plus, she’s just had her Aston Martin (not very Aussie) stolen (very Aussie) and found by the cops (Very unusual in any country).
Our accent: The way I’ve always looked at it. We are speaking correctly, everyone else has an accent or a twang or just a whole other language. Now I realise we are 23 million* in a world of 7 billion* Kind of makes us the minority. So in essence our accent comes across as very abrasive to some. I know it has been pointed out to me lately that I have been saying “ay” when I say something needing confirmation like “This weeks gone really quickly - PAUSE -- ay?” Not the most charming feature for a lady to have.
I am sure there are hundreds of more Aussie things we do. Quirks and ideals we as Australians have that are unique to the lucky Country. Whatever you do on Tuesday, remember our indigenous population who were here before any of us and well before that fateful day in 1788 when the First Fleet landed. Also remember that we are the ones living now. We, our children and our children’s children will be the ones that keep Australia what is considered to be one of the luckiest countries on Earth. So love it, respect it and respect each other. Most importantly Have a fantastic Australia Day.
Feel free to share your Oz as Moments.
*Give or take