One of the most embarrassing things in life is when you become the thing you used to hate. That’s why it absolutely pains me to admit that I’ve been driving a 4WD.
Yes folks, I am now one of those road-hogging, petrol-guzzling, environment-destroying, talk-on-the-mobile-while-driving, complete and utter tossers who drives a 4WD in the city.
For some reason I can’t remember, my friend and I have swapped cars for a while, so I didn’t really decide that I needed an off-road vehicle and went out and purchased one.
I’ve been driving this baby for a few weeks now and the closest I’ve come to going off road is when I buggered up a reverse park and ended up on the nature strip.
Let’s be honest, the only bush-bashing I ever do involves the ex US President, and the closest I have ever got to driving through creeks or bursting through sand-dunes is when I’ve occasionally forgotten to slow down for a speed hump.
Did you know you can even buy spray-on dirt now so that you can give your 4WD that off-road look, even if you’ve never been anywhere near the back country?
Let’s be honest, I live in the city; what do I need a 4WD for? So I can get to the next set of traffic lights faster? Most mornings I don’t even get my speedo above 50. I don't need a V6 or a V8. I could probably run my car on a couple of cans of VB.
Sure there is the possibility that at some stage I might go off road in it but, using that logic, I might as well drive a tank in the off chance that as some stage I might have to go to war. It would also be kind of like my remaining single on the off chance that I might at some stage meet Alan Rickman or Gary Oldman.
Hey, have you noticed that all the car adverts have great shots of creeks, desert donuts and parking spots perilously close to the edge of a cliff. This is despite the fact that the nearest most people who drive a 4WD will ever get to a cliff is if that’s the name of the pensioner they hit at the crossing when they are driving while talking on their mobile phone.
And with petrol prices rising so fast, soon it’s going to be cheaper to put champagne in your tank, and save the unleaded to drink on special occasions. I filled up the other day and my car doubled in value.
If petrol prices go any higher, I think I’ll finally get to take my car off road because I am going to have to use it to invade Iraq myself to get some cheap oil.
I love getting to travel overseas for work, but the toughest thing about going to the US in particular is going through customs. Although the travel is long enough that you can have a few drinks on the way. (In my defence it's not because I think binge drinking is clever, it's just the only way I can get through the latest Russell Crowe movie.)
No, the reason I think it's tought is all the paperwork. I hate filling in forms, it makes me feel totally dyslexic. (Which by the way seems a really hard word for dyslexics to spell.)
One question on the custom's forms which is a bit difficult- "Have you ever been arrested for a crime involving moral turpitude?" Well, um, seeing I have no idea what the moral turpitude is, I'm not sure I can tell you.
I've never seen Ice T on Law and Order: SVU say "Yo, this bro is goin' down for moral turpitude. I'm gonna bust a cap in his ass!"
It's at this point that the questions really become ridiculous. "Are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?" Isn't it great that with all the extra security we have at airports we are still relying on the honour system.
As if the master criminal mind is going to be filling in this form and write: "Well yes I was, I was going to steal some money and kill some people, and maybe even fit in some moral turpitude if someone can tell me what the hell it is. I know I shouldn't be admitting this, but my Mum told me to never tell a lie."
"By the way, if you are interested I have attached a detailed copy of all my plans, included a list of my accomplices, and also some evidence I found about who really killed JFK. Plus, while we are at it, when I was in Grade 6 I borrowed a copy of The Magic Faraway Tree from the library and never returned it." Friggin' forms!!
OK, I’ve finally worked out why the world is so screwed up. All the politicians running it are brain-dead, corrupt morons who wouldn’t know their policies from their private parts, and all the people who really know how it should be run are too busy driving cabs. Well, that’s according to the taxi driver I had on my way home from the airport the other day. I had a cab driver who had no idea where he was going. Now I’m not saying they should know exactly where everything is (even God loses Guam occasionally), but I’m pretty sure that the most direct route to Chelsea in Melbourne is not via the Sydney Opera House. Here’s an idea, cabbie, how about you ask that bloke you’ve been on the phone to all trip if he knows the most direct way.
By the way, don’t you love it when they ask you "can you direct me". Well, actually, no. I’m not your navigator. This is not The Amazing Race. Would it make it easier if I drove also?
Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent again – sorry. We were talking about tourism in Australia. We worked out why our tourism is in a bit of slump – people have seen that damn Qantas ad and think that everywhere they go, there’ll be a bunch of annoying brats singing "I Still Call Australia Home". Apparently tourism Aust has been given $360 million to bring in the tourists. I think we should spend it on beer and sausages and have the world’s biggest barbeque. Maurie the cabbie thought we should just keep the money, forget the ads, and just pretend we have weapons of mass destruction. It worked for Saddam Hussein. Some people call him a madman, but he got results. He had 100,000 US tourists (soldiers) there within a week. "Yeah, sure we have bombs. They’re hidden in the arse of the big Merino and in the Dog's tuckerbag at Gundagai". (Spelling's bad, I'm sure.)
The truth is, most Americans still think we spend the work day wrestling crocodiles and saving our babies from dingoes, only to go home, throw a shrimp on the Barbie, and drink a bucket of Fosters. (If truth be known, any Aussie worth his salt would rather drink water than Fosters). Even when ordering a coffee, they expect us all to sound like Steve Irvine (the crocodile hunter). "Crikey! I’m here at Starbucks, the home of the most dangerous coffee in the entire world, with a caramel macchiato. What a little beauty! Now it’s hot, so danger! Let’s see what happens if I sneak over and poke it with a biscotti."
But while we may criticise the Yanks for stereotyping us, we have to shoulder some of the blame ourselves. Every time there is a visiting dignitary in town, we’re always the first to roll out the clichés. Like the last time George W. Bush visited Oz, we gave him a Dryzabone coat. Yep, that typical Aussie bit of clothing that we all wear. I wear mine when I’m riding my kangaroo to work. I believe the time before, we gave him an Akubra hat, stockman’s boots and a stock whip. He looked like a stripper from Manpower.
Now if you think about it, I’m pretty sure most people could identify the point in their lives where they stopped being eligible to be prime minister. In fact, if you really looked back, I bet you could pinpoint the exact moment when you took something or did something – or someone – that would be later used against you if you ever sought higher office. "You know, Becks, it’s lovely to be here in this spa with you and all your Manchester United team mates, but you know, if these pictures get out, I can never be Prime Minister."
Well ..... a couple of us were banned from going to the soccer to watch the local boys playing because we have this silly way of heckling them. Soooooo, we got into the ground yesterday and stole the net at both goals. Match was called off and I think they're still looking foir the nets. That will teach them. Banning us!!! HA!!!!