Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do The Right Thing For Our Great Australian Tradition

Is there no end to the disasters that are unfolding around us? Global warming, climate change, global financial crisis, recession, boat people, swine flu, Silvio Berlusconi’s marital troubles… we are being swamped by crisis after crisis, heaped one upon the other. It has reached the point were it might be easier to roll up into a ball and wait for it all to go away. But now, the latest calamity has been revealed, and I have to tell you it beats all the others hands down. A study prepared for the OECD, comparing the use of leisure time in different countries has revealed that the Great Aussie Barbeque has passed away.

How can this be true? Australians have been barbequeing since that Jolly Swagman called Andy roasted a Jumbuck over his campfire by the billabong. It’s more than a tradition, it’s a way of life, and every Sunday backyards right around the nation are filled with the sound and smell of sizzling sausages, steaks, and even the odd shrimp…. Er sorry, prawn. But no, apparently we have been deceiving ourselves because the OECD reports that Australians devote only 3% of their leisure time to entertaining friends, as compared to our brothers and sisters in Turkey who invite the neighbourhood around for kebabs a whopping 43% of the time. Apparently, Australians are wasting 41% of our leisure time on watching TV or listening to radio.

This is a national tragedy, not to mention a terrible embarrassment. If there is any substance at all to this devastating news, then it is time to reclaim our heritage, stoke up the Webber, and slaughter the sacrificial sheep. There might not be many things Australians can do in the face of the economic downturn, but one thing we can do is burn the snags and singe the steaks, probably while enjoying a couple of cold ones. That should help boost the economy for Australia’s meat producers, as well as the Japanese brewery that makes a big slab of our beer now, after the Kirin takeover.

While we’re at it, we should take the trouble to invite the neighbours, as well as anyone new in town so that we can all get to know each other. And as for those boat people, why not invite them too? Think of the opportunity! We could be welcoming immigrants and introducing them to the Great Australian Way Of Life at the same time. In fact, why not hire out one of those barbeque pontoon boats and sail it up to Christmas Island and throw a Barbie up there to welcome all of the new arrivals. After all, it doesn’t appear as if the Government is serious about stopping them, so the least we can do is show them how to fit in to proper Australian society.

Yes it’s true, we could pretty much solve most of the world’s problems by having a good old fashioned Aussie barbeque, as we all gather together and chew the fat… although probably not from pork chops because we might still be worried about the swine flu. As we all sit facing the Webber, stubbie of Kirin Ichiban in our hand, we could all come to a new understanding of each other, while at the same time rescuing the Great Australian Barbeque. Yes, indeed I believe that the reports of the death of this fine Australian institution have been greatly exaggerated.

Although I could be wrong. Maybe Australians have stopped barbequing as part of their efforts to stop global warming. After all, Aussies are always doing their best to “do the right thing”.

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