Thursday, May 17, 2007


I know the pickins have been slim here; and now they may disappear entirely for a couple of weeks while my wife and I are in Australia. This little jaunt is necessary that I may fulfil certain prophesies regarding the Sydney Opera House, Federation Square in Melbourne, and Cairns. Apr├ęs moi, le crocodil. Read all about it. God and technology willing, illustrated posts from the excursion will appear here. Any suggestions from old hands about how a tenderfoot might best approach this wild and alluring country would be much appreciated.


Blogger Unknown said...

I've never been to Australia, but I traveled there vicariously through Bill Bryson's excellent book "In A Sunburned Country", so you might want to check that out! It's both hilarious and very interesting. Have fun!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure you see the wildlife in OZ, Koalas, Emu, Platypus and of course Kangaroos.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a wombat.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And say hi to all the deadly creatures of Australia, such as the Salt Water Crocodile, the Scorpion Fish, the Funnel Web Spider, various sting rays and sharks, and my personal favorite, the Box Jellyfish -- sometimes called "The Sea Wasp."
Here's a quote from the web:

"One of the more deadly animals on the face of the Earth, also called 'Sea Wasp'. The toxin present on the tentacles (which may reach several feet in length) is so strong, that the few survivors from an encounter with a box jellyfish describe it more as an electrical shock than a burn. After contact, the person will probably leave the water screaming and will faint on the sand with marks on the body that look like streaks. Depending on the area affected, Cardio-Respiratory functions may stop in just 3 minutes, and mouth to mouth resuscitation and first aid procedures are essential to keep the victim alive. It's essential that you stay with the victim, and send someone to phone for or get an ambulance. Vinegar and peeing on the spot may reduce the pain a little bit, but medical assistance is vital to save the victim. The box jellyfish is responsible for more deaths in Australia than snakes, sharks, and salt water crocodiles put together.'


8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to hear you're coming to see us, Jim. But look - while it's true that we share this land with a multitude of weird and sometimes poisonous beasts, we are presently days away from the start of winter so the snakes are all asleep in a hole somewhere and you will not be wanting to go in the water. And the only place a box jellyfish might conceivably levitate itself over the earth to daub you with toxins is in the pages of your marvellous moleskine. Of course, all this applies only to Melbourne (my hometown) and Sydney. Cairns, as a part of northern Queensland, is another country altogether and different laws of physics and zoology may apply.

So... go to a zoo for the critters (Healesville near Melbourne is recommended), go to a National Park to get a feel for the bush (again, there are plenty close to town), and hang around the cities for the galleries, the food and the citizens. We can be just as wild and alluring as you need us to be.

6:14 PM  
Blogger James said...

Jay Dubb!
Jay Tee here. Hope all is well in Australia. Jay Dee is movin up here, Vancouver, for a year. I guess that's good. Hope he doesn't drive me nuts! Takin him salmon fishin with me, if the border guards don't arrest him first!

Kiss Mary for me, Jaytee
PS. "Open E" still hangs on my bathroom wall!

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're unlikely to be killed by a box jellyfish in late May as there are few adult medusae about. At this stage of their life cycle they're a minute slug-like creature with only two or three tentacles known as the PRIMARY CREEPING POLYP. Which is harmless to humans.

If you've enjoyed the box jellyfish you're bound to appreciate the blue-ringed octopus, the world's most venomous cephalopod. When disturbed the rings on its tentacles expand and become a vivid peacock blue.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Dougherty said...

I'd like to add to what Bob R. said by saying "Give those fackers what's coming to 'em!" If I didn't think that one day this blog would be taught as literature in grade schools I would not have censored myself there.

12:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Dougherty said...

...And watch out for the Venom Moth, the Surly Charlie (a type of common air breathing fish with legs and fur- very deadly), and especially watch out for the Leaping "Hothouse" Mouse, which is actually a type of very tall rat, all of which are born rabid and have crystal meth for blood. Good luck to yous.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought I might say hello since I saw you and the missus today whilst mooching around the comics in Kinokuniya. Bit too starstruck at the time to say Hi -plus I had a train to catch and so no time to stage a recovery if I started in with the idiotic babbling. Left that Justin Green book in your path as a way of saying hello. So a hearty welcome from the self delegated Australian Weirdo welcoming commitee.
Anyhoo while you're here (if you look at this thing) might I recommend the green cake making machines and multicoloured jellies of Cabramatta. The Blue Mountains ain't bad (sort of like our Grand Canyon). If you happen to go underwater in Sydney look out for the Weedy Sea Dragons, Cuttlefish and Gropers (Groupers?). We've got sharks too but they tend to be small and surly-not much to worry about. Don't go playing with round bellied black spiders if its been raining and you see one. These are funnelwebs. You might consider these the official welcoming commitee of Australian Deadly Wildlife. Maybe you picked one of these critters up at the airport? Oh yeh, and if in Cairns you choose to enjoy the pleasure of being stalked by prehistoric beasts at the local Crocodile farm you might choose to question the advice of the lady at the ticket booth who suggests you take the dirt path at the end of the third paddock, and stamp your feet when you reach the mound. You might want to take a change of shorts anyway. Happy Holidaying -Iain W
Ps Watch out for the cute critters too. Platypus have poisonous barbs. Koalas just have weak bladders...

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to the bipedal inhabitants of the Australasian continent, I assume that they are all even more scared of the wildlife than those of us who only read about it.

I can think of no other reason to account for the large numbers of them to be found tending bar in my home town of London. They certainly didn't come for the weather.

9:07 AM  

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