Australian tips for new chums
To help you understand and appreciate the Australian culture and sense of humour, here are some facts and partial truths about Australians. See if you can separate them. The bigger the hat, the smaller the farm. The shorter the nickname, the more they like you. Whether it's the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery there is no Australian event that cannot be improved by a sausage sizzle. If the guy next to you is swearing like a wharfie he's probably a media billionaire. Or on the other hand, he may be a wharfie. There is no food that cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce. On the beach, all Australians hide their keys and wallets by placing them inside their sandshoes. No thief has ever worked this out. Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the plastic milk crate. All our best heroes are losers. (Shane Warne might just be a case in point) The alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbecue tongs from the hands of the host and blithely begins turning the snags. It's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to hold. A thong is not a piece of scanty swimwear, as in America, but a fine example of Australian footwear. A group of sheilas wearing black rubber thongs may not be as exciting as you had hoped. It is proper to refer to your best friend as "a total bastard". By contrast, your worst enemy is "a bit of a bastard". Historians believe the widespread use of the word "mate" can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or mateship". Alternatively, Australians may just be really hopeless with names. The wise man chooses a partner who is attractive not only to himself, but to the mosquitoes. If it can't be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, it's not worth fixing. The most popular and widely praised family in any street is the one that has the swimming pool. It's considered better to be down on your luck than up yourself. The phrase "we've got a great lifestyle" means everyone in the family drinks too much. If invited to a party, you should take cheap red wine and then spend all night drinking the host's beer. (Don't worry, he'll have catered for it). If there's any sort of free event or party within a hundred kilometres, you'd be a mug not to go. The phrase "a simple picnic" is not known. You should take everything you own. If you don't need to make three trips back to the car, you're not trying. Unless ethnic or a Pom, you are not permitted to sit down in your front yard, or on your front porch. Pottering about, gardening or leaning on the fence is acceptable. Just don't sit. That's what back-yards are for. The tarred road always ends just after the house of the local mayor. On picnics, the Esky is always too small, creating a food versus grog battle that can only ever be solved by leaving the food behind.