Ahh Australia, aka the 'Land Down Under', 'Oz' or the 'Great Southern Land'. The 6th largest country in the world and a haven of beautiful sandy beaches, spectacular reefs, stunning outback scenery and warm weather almost all year round. Conspicuous by their absence in that list of the great things about Australia and Australian life, are the Australian people. As a Brit I feel like it's my job to antagonise and wind-up Aussies. Whether the Brit/Aussie rivalry is sports related, rooted in some kind of engrained jealously of their laid back lifestyle and sun-kissed skin, or just plain irritation that there is so many of them in the UK now (they account for 95% of the workforce at Walkabout bars in London), I'll never turn down the opportunity to provoke them. Sound like fun? Here is a list
of sure-fire ways to aggravate an Aussie...
Talk About Sports
Australia is a proud sporting nation and they have had many epic battles with England and Great Britain over the years, but surprisingly the Aussies don't like to be reminded of their past sporting failures. Strange, huh? One famous encounter that springs to mind is the 2005 Ashes series where England finally wrestled Cricket's most treasured urn away from our Southern Hemisphere cousins, after nearly 20 years of Australian dominance. You'll be sure to annoy any Aussie sports fan by reiterating Kevin Pietersen's famous words to Shane Warne during the crucial final Test match - “You just dropped the Ashes, mate.”
Confuse Them with New Zealanders
If there is any nationality that gets riled by Australians as much as we Brits do, it's got to be their neighbours to the south-east, the New Zealanders. The Kiwis have their own catalogue of grievances with the Aussies, but a great way to wind-up an Australian is to instantly insult them on first meeting; here's a quick roleplay – Aussie: G'day mate! Me: Oh, hello. You must be a Kiwi! Aussie: (under breath) F****** Pommie.
Demonstrate a Terrible Australian Accent
It was (coincidentally) an English writer Charles Caleb Colton who famously stated that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, so be sure to take that good advice and show off your worst possible Australian accent to make Aussie friends, fast! Need inspiration? Look no further than Jim Carrey's turn in ‘Dumb and Dumber' to see just how it's done - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LPRA6MUH_I
Criticise Their BBQ
Australians do not muck about when it comes to BBQ-ing, and will use practically any excuse to fire up the grill and crack open a few ‘tinny's' (cringe). If you want to make things personal with an Aussie, attack that which they hold dearest to their hearts – flame grilled MEAT. You can either criticise their poor choice of marinade spicing which has overpowered the natural flavour of the meat, have a pop at their poor grilling technique which has caused your burger to be burnt on the outside and undercooked in the middle, or if all else fails, smile, and in your worst Australian accent, ask the BBQ-er to ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie.' Works every time.
Pom, Pommy, Pommie
If you've ever met any Australian folks, as friendly as they might appear on the surface it won't be long before they racially abuse us Brits by calling us a ‘Pom' or ‘Pommie'. Ok, ‘racially abuse' is perhaps a tad strong but, this well established Aussie slang term for British people irked the ‘British People Against Racial Discrimination' (BPARD) enough to launch formal complaints against advertisers in Australia.
Seriously. And they won. So what to do if you are on the end of this kind of Aussie banter? Simply reply: “Pom? I think you'll find I'm not actually a French apple, sorry. Good onya Kiwi.”
Compliment Men on their Macho-ness
Exhibit A (above) is Australian actor Eric Bana, who typifies everything in a macho Australian man; chiselled good looks, a strong leader, bulging biceps, casual racism, a passion for sports and race cars, a diet of beer and meat, an inferiority complex, crocodile wrestling, downright rude, aggressive, homophobic, etc. Any Australian man would be happy to hear them being described in that way!
Take Them Down Memory Lane
Casually start a conversation with an Aussie about Australian history and its relationship with Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, and they will be sure to thank you for reminding them that Britain transported over 165,000 convicts to Australia. What that means is that a significant amount of Australians today take their ancestry from British criminals – why wouldn't the Aussies be keen to hear about their criminal family tree?!
Talk about More Sports
Any excuse to show that picture. And in their own back yard, too.
Criticise Crocodile Dundee
The Crocodile Dundee films (and more importantly the leading man starring in them, Paul Hogan) are treated like some kind of cultural masterpieces by Aussies, and the rest of us (by ‘us' I mean any other human beings ever) have literally no idea why. Maybe it's because the films are probably the only reference to Australia in Hollywood film history, but Aussies are inexplicably in love with them. Paul Hogan was even awarded the ‘Member of the Order of Australia' (a bit like an OBE) for “services to tourism and entertainment” back in 1986 – the man is some kind of god to these people. A sure-fire way to annoy an Australian is to casually mention what a poor actor Hogan is, and how much you detest the Crocodile Dundee films. You could also mention that it would be nice if their
crocodile-wrestling superstar was up-to-date on his taxes (allegedly).
Australia makes some terrible beer; this is simply a universally agreed fact of life. KB Lager, XXXX and Tooheys are some downright rotten beers, but nothing matches the sheer horror of a pint of Foster's. In fact, while widely drunk in many countries (England sadly being one of them), Foster's is not actually very popular in its native Australia and many Aussies are actually ashamed of its association to their country. That said, I still charge Australians with smuggling this heinous, tasteless brand of alcoholic beverage to our shores, and they're laughing all the way to the bank too. So, if you ever happen to be going for a swift half with an Aussie buddy, and he asks you at the bar ‘what can I get'cha Pommie?', quick as a flash reply with ‘anything but a pint of that kangaroo piss
Foster's, please.' That'll grab his attention.
Talk About 'Neighbours'
Another of Australia's wickedest exports to the UK has to be the long-running TV show ‘Neighbours'. I suppose the success of this show in the UK is in part down to viewers here actually watching it (which I can't for the life of me understand the appeal of doing), but I lay the majority of the blame with our Australian cousins who produce this monstrosities. Australians hold ‘Neighbours' close to their hearts, so if you're looking to infuriate an Aussie, let the Ramsay Street mob have both barrels. Any television programme where one of the longest standing characters is called ‘Toadfish' is not a good thing. Oh and while I'm at it, and thanks for Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan too.
Not Offer Them Kylie Minogue to Take Home
As she makes me so angry at all Australians, I think Kylie deserves her very own dedication in this list rather than just the fleeting hat tip above. I get it Australia, every country has their nightmare, embarrassing celebrities that we're keen to get rid of; we've had to accept Madonna as one of our own over here, the Americans have taken Piers Morgan off our hands; it's very much a revolving door of pointless, vapid ‘superstars' moving from country to country, enraging native audiences as they go. But what did we do to deserve Kylie? Why is she on everything? Why won't she just go home and stay there? These are just a selection of questions you should pose to any Australian you meet.
Talk About Sports for a Third Time
What is the point of Aussie Rules Football? Just an FYI Australia, it's not a proper sport. It looks to be some kind of toxic fusion between football and rugby, played on a bizarre oval shaped pitch. Here's a tip, if you're the only sport ever to play on an oval shaped pitch, you're doing it wrong. Here's a bonus tip, if no-one else in the world plays you're sport, that's another sign to knock it on the head.
Mention Rolf Harris
This article was written by Harry Peters of cheap flight company Just The Flight. Visit them online at www.justtheflight.co.uk