S Sense

The latte is crap. Tastes like a burnt flag. And the corn and asparagus triangle is warm on the outside and almost frozen on the inside. Half-way through eating it (I was hungry) an asparagus bone (what else could it be?) got caught in my throat and I coughed crap coffee all over my tickets. The sludge and the geometric gourmet garbage cost me ...wait for it... $11!

Yes folks, $11.

So, can you guess where I am?

Im at Sydney airport. And Im coming home.

Another adventure away from my little shack under the cliffs at the end of the world. Six gigs in four days. For those who may not know, when Im not writing for this groovy publication I like to travel here and there and do stand-up comedy just in case there isnt enough adrenalin in my life. (And there is, I can tell you.)

After a gig in Sydney, my partner in comedy, Alan, and I headed to a festival on the South Coast for more shows. It was Australia day. The flag was everywhere. Apparently you get a free flag you can wear as a cape when you buy a carton of grog. Superyob. How appropriate. How Aussie. Oi! Oi! Oi!

This new patriotism is a worry. For a start its so American, all this flag-waving. People even painted their faces in the Aussie colours red, white and blue. I wanted to put an American flag on our car just to see what the reaction would be. I imagine Australians would honour the flag and follow us. But we decided against it because who wants a bunch of drunk lads in flagged Commodores following us to a folk festival? (Not the festival organisers at any rate.)

Luckily I didnt have the Camira or it would have been that classic combination of an American flag and a bomb.

We decided to travel through the Royal National Park rather than mix it with the masses on the freeway. This park is a beautiful haven and was full of happy people barbequeing beside the waterways. Some drinking was involved.

One inebriated patriot told us proudly that the Royal was the oldest national park in the world. Oi! Oi! Oi! He proudly puffed out his chest which unbalanced him and he fell across his esky.

Now I thought that Yellowstone Park in the US was the worlds oldest national park. Created in 1872.

So when was the Royal created? This was a matter of patriotic urgency.

Alan strode into the information centre. I filmed on our little camera. For posterity.

Drawing himself up to his full six foot plus height, and in his loudest American accent, Alan asked the girls at the desk whether it was true that these Aussies thought they had the oldest national park in the world. And wheres the goddamn proof?

Fazed by this man from the mother of all countries, they telephoned park headquarters and arranged for us to meet with the boss of the Royal National Park. Somehow by the time we drove a few kilometres up to park HQ the word was out that two American rangers from Yellowstone Park were on their way to defend American dominance in all things even national parks.

I filmed as we strode into the bosss office.

Are you filming? he asked. You cant film here. And your office should have made an appointment... Defensive. Bloody Americans.

At this stage, we dropped the accents and the pretense, told him we were comedians (ha ha), and that we were on a quest to find out which was really the oldest national park. His apprehension dissolved. (Were charming.)

He explained to us that the Royal National Park was gazetted in 1879 seven years after Yellowstone. But (he smiled here) when Yellowstone was gazetted it wasnt called a national park. So, really... Oi! Oi! Oi!


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