Australia Day

I’m happy and proud to be an Australian… and to live in one of the best nations on earth. Traditionally, Australians haven’t been all that keen on celebrating Australia Day. We don’t seem to have the enthusiasm or jingoistic fervour with which people in the USA celebrate July Fourth. I’m not too sure about the former, but I’m glad we don’t have the latter. For me, I enjoy being an Aussie every day, and I love my country every day; I don’t see the need to celebrate anything on 26 January – especially since Aboriginal people see that day as the one when white Europeans invaded their land.

However, there are things worth celebrating and one of those is our collective sense of humour. A friend sent me the following today in an email. This list makes perfect sense to an Aussie, but also highlights some of the things that make us puzzling to others.

You know you’re Australian if…

  • You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.
  • You think it’s normal to have a leader called Julia.
  • You understand that the phrase “a group of women wearing black thongs” refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.
  • You pronounce Melbourne as “Mel-bn”.
  • You believe it’s optional to pronounce the “l” in Australia.
  • You can translate this sentence: “Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.”
  • You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.
  • You think Woolloomooloo is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.
  • You’re secretly proud of our killer wildlife.
  • You think it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that’s twice as big as its $2 coin.
  • You understand that Wagga Wagga may be abbreviated to Wagga but Woy Woy can never be called Woy.
  • You believe that cooked-down axle grease makes a good breakfast spread. You’ve also squeezed it through Vita Wheats to make little Vegemite worms.
  • You reckon all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up — at which point they become Kiwis again.
  • Beetroot with your hamburger… of course.
  • You believe that (the confectionery) Wagon Wheels have become smaller with every passing year.
  • You wear your ugg boots outside the house.
  • You believe that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off for a pittance.
  • You believe that shortening a person’s name is a measure of affection — and that the more you shorten it the better you like them.
  • You understand that “excuse me” can sound rude, while “’scuse me” is always polite.
  • You know what it’s like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.
  • You know it’s not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle and a seat belt buckle becomes a pretty good branding iron.
  • Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.
  • You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call “Anzac cookies”.
  • You still think of Kylie as “that girl off Neighbours”.
  • When working in a bar, you understand when male customers feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.
  • You know how to abbreviate or modify every word, usually so that it ends with an “o” — for example, arvo, combo, garbo, kero, lezzo, metho, milko, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto, goodo etc.
  • You know that there is a universal place called Woop Woop located in the middle of nowhere… no matter where you actually are.
  • You have at some time in your life slept with Aeroguard on in the summer. Maybe even as perfume.
  • You’ve only ever used the words tops, ripper, sick, mad, rad and sweet to mean “good”, and then you place “bloody” in front of it when you really mean it.
  • You know that the barbecue is a political arena; the person holding the tongs is always the boss and usually a man. And the women make the salad.
  • You say “no worries” quite often, whether you realise it or not.
  • You’ve drunk your tea/coffee/Milo through a Tim Tam.
  • You know that some people pronounce Australia like “Straya” and that’s okay.