A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order Chicken Surprise.

The waiter brings the meal, served in a lidded cast iron pot.

Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down.

‘Good grief, did you see that?’ she asks her husband.

He didn’t, so she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises and he sees two little eyes looking around before it slams down.

Rather perturbed, the husband calls the waiter over, explains what is happening, and demands an explanation.

‘Please sir,’ says the waiter, ‘What you order?’

‘We asked for Chicken Surprise.’

‘Ah! So sorry,’ says the waiter, ‘I bring you Peking Duck‘.

A victory for common sense

In 2008 a number of film industry companies took Australian Internet service provider iiNet to court in an effort to make the ISP liable for illegal downloads made by its users. The film studios argued that by not acting to prevent illegal file sharing on its network iiNet was essentially “authorising” the activity and was therefore liable. The studios lost that case, Federal Court Justice Dennis Cowdroy finding that the ISP was not liable for the downloading habits of its customers. Of course the studios appealed. They lost the appeal, and, sore losers that they are, appealed to the High Court – Australia’s highest judicial authority.

Today five High Court judges handed down a unanimous decision in favour of iiNet. They awarded costs (estimated at NINE MILLION DOLLARS) to iiNet.

The studios are now bleating that “the current Australian Copyright Act isn’t capable of protecting content once it hits the internet and peer-to-peer networks…” (Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft managing director Neil Gane). What utter rubbish. The ISPs have long argued that content owners already have sufficient remedies through the courts and it is not the job of the ISP to decide whether someone is guilty of content piracy. Sensibly, the courts have agreed.

Kim Heitman, a Perth IP lawyer who is secretary of Electronic Frontiers Australia, said today’s court decision “means that the content owners need to decide if they are going to continue to try to keep hold of their 20th century business model or open an online shop.” Exactly. If the motion picture and music industries made their wares readily available for download at a reasonable cost piracy would be greatly reduced, possibly almost eliminated.

I don’t condone piracy but I do have some sympathy for those who download illegally. The film and music proprietors have no one but themselves to blame for the present high level of illegal downloads. Their head-in-the-sand attitude which sees everyone but themselves at fault needs to change. While they’re at it they can abolish their stupid DVD regions which add unnecessary cost to DVDs sold in Australia, and restrict what we can buy from overseas.

Full story at The Age.

Ask a silly question…

These questions were supposedly posted on an Australian tourism website. The answers are alleged to be the actual responses given by the tourism organisation’s staff, who obviously have a great sense of humour, and a rather low opinion of people who ask silly questions.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK)

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA) *

A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)

A: Sure, it’s only four thousand kilometres, take lots of water.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)

A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)

A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle-shaped continent south of Europe.
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not… Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in Australia? (USA)

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is… Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)

A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA)

A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)

A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)

A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.

* “Kangaroos in the street” is a standing joke in Australia. In fact, catching sight of one hopping along an urban street is as likely as seeing the Titanic complete its maiden voyage. Having said that, however, I was very surprised one morning to see a young kangaroo in the main street of my small town. It was around five or six am, so there was very little traffic. The kangaroo looked rather lost, and I was working so I didn’t have time to hang around to see what happened. There are lots of kangaroos around here, and it’s easy to see them in the bush and even on the road in a particular spot just out of town (I’ve actually driven slowly behind a small one because it hadn’t learned to move off the road when traffic came along). That’s the only time I’ve ever seen one in town, though.


Father O’Malley, an Irish priest, was transferred to Texas.

He woke the first morning in his new parish to a fine Texas spring day. When he went to his bedroom window to look out on the beautiful morning he noticed there was a jackass lying dead in the middle of his front lawn. He promptly called the local police station.

‘Good morning This is Sergeant Jones. How might I help you?’

‘And the best of the day to yerself. This is Father O’Malley at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. There’s a jackass lying dead on me front lawn.’

Sergeant Jones, considering himself to be quite a wit, replied with a smirk, ‘Well now, Father, it was always my impression that you folks took care of the last rites!’

There was dead silence on the line for a moment, then Father O’Malley replied, ‘Aye, ’tis certainly true… but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin.’