Critter Shock – Reflections on Australia for a Korean Friend

Nice to hear from you Kang. Quite a sur­prise. What’s pay­ing for your bibim­bap nowa­days? Sen­ti­men­tal for old times? That’s not allowed until you have killed all your ene­mies, stolen the king­dom, and retreated with twenty con­cu­bi­nes into lux­u­ri­ous degen­er­a­tion.

Me? I’m in crit­ter shock, try­ing to work out where a place called Aus­tralia went. Yeah, I know, you want to say that it never existed except in my imag­i­na­tion… What­ever. Stuff around here in Aus­tralia is strange. In the twelve years that I was away some­thing has hap­pened to my head, or to the natives, or both. Mem­bers of the species under 30, male or female, are now mostly cov­ered from head to toe (and appar­ently on more pri­vate parts too) with amaz­ingly ugly tat­toos. To har­mo­nize with this, uh, brand­ing, every ori­fice in their body is punc­tured with sil­ver studs, punched through the skin, and no doubt receiv­ing coded mes­sages from another planet. Today I saw one of these beings with a bar-code tat­tooed on her arm. I sup­pose that makes it eas­ier at the cos­mic check­out where they are bought as pets. Mean­while the elders of the orig­i­nal tribe, fed on a pure diet of sugar and pain killers, drift about like enor­mous bal­loons, and make grunt­ing sounds that sound for all the world like swamp frogs. I speak here of my eth­nic fore­bears, the Anglos.

The streets are now also pop­u­lated with huge num­bers of celes­tial cit­i­zens pre­tend­ing to be Chi­nese stu­dents, while the gov­ern­ment, appar­ently in fear that they will wake up one morn­ing to find Beijing’s blood red ban­ner fly­ing on the Prime Minister’s lim­ou­sine, has now admit­ted an equal num­ber of Indi­ans (almost invis­i­ble here twelve years ago) to work in the 7/11 shops when they are not cod­ing math to keep the coun­try run­ning, Orig­i­nal Aus­tralians of course all gave up maths in junior high school, when they had learned enough to fill out a lotto ticket. I guess the devi­ous hid­den mas­ter plan is that the Chi­nese and the Indi­ans can fight each other to the death while the Anglo Aussies get on with drink­ing beer.

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