WE, the people of a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional wanker. We come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand) and although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to bitch and moan about it whenever we bloody like. We are One Nation but we’re divided into many States.
First, there’s Victoria, named after a queen who didn’t believe in lesbians. Victoria is the realm of Mossimo turtlenecks, cafe latte, grand-final day and big horse races. Its capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that “it’s liveable”. At least that’s what they think. The rest of us think it is too bloody cold and wet.
Next, there’s NSW, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital Sydney has more queens than any other city in the world and is proud of it. Its mascots are Bondi lifesavers who pull their Speedos up their cracks to keep the left and right sides of their brains separate.
Down south we have Tasmania, a State based on the notion that the family that bonks together stays together. In Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the State bring smiles to the sternest faces. It holds the world record for a single mass shooting, which the Yanks can’t seem to beat no matter how often they try.
South Australia is the province of half-decent reds, a festival of foreigners and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation. Where else can you so effectively re-use country bank vaults and barrels as in Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (also named after a queen). They had the Grand Prix, but lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula One drivers to sleep at the wheel.
Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant. It’s main claim to fame is that it doesn’t have daylight saving because if it did, all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts and many of them still work there in the government and business.
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The Northern Territory is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, sheep stations the size of Europe, Kangaroos, Jackaroos, Emus, Uluru and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content of anywhere too. Although the Territory is the centre piece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest prefer to fly over it on our way to Bali.
And there’s Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a document defining a nation of half-arsed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland as it’s beautiful one day and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery.
Oh yes and there’s Canberra. The least said the better.
We, the citizens of Oz, are united by Highways, whose treacherous twists and turns kill more of us each year than murderers. We are united in our lust for international recognition, so desperate for praise we leap in joy when a rag tag gaggle of corrupt IOC officials tells us Sydney is better than Beijing. We are united by a democracy so flawed that a political party, albeit a redneck gun-toting one, can get a million votes and still not win one seat in Federal Parliament. Not that we’re whingeing, we leave that to our Pommy immigrants. We want to make “no worries mate” our national phrase, “she’ll be right mate” our national attitude and “Waltzing Matilda” our national anthem (So what if it’s about a sheep-stealing crim who commits suicide).
We love sport so much our news readers can read the death toll from a sailing race and still tell us who’s winning. And we’re the best in the world at all the sports that count, like cricket, netball, rugby, AFL, roo-shooting, two-up and horse racing. We also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies, the blackest aborigines and the worst-dressed Olympians in the known universe.
We shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime. Even though we might seem a racist, closed-minded, sports-obsessed little people, at least we feel better for it.
You are, I am, we are, Australian.